Okay, so I was able to disappear off to Manchester at the start of this week on the proviso that it would improve my career prospects, and wasn’t just a jolly like last time. It turned out to be about half right…
As you may or may not know, all of October is host to the country’s biggest and longest festival: OXJAM. Basically its a series of gigs and nights put on by anyone who wants to raise a little cash for a good cause. There have been some high profile gigs, notably with people like Norman Cook doing sets in OXFAM charity shops, but on Monday night Hannah Newcombe and the rest of the Pablo’s Finest Hour crew played host to OXJAM Presents Twisted Folk.
Now some of you may be familiar with the Twisted Folk guise, it first made an appearance as a tent for Pangaea III and in combo with Acoustic Stage for Pangaea IV. A mix alternative folk, americana and ‘psychedelic poptasticism’, this incarnation of Twisted Folk had the added twist [whey!] of a catwalk showcasing the ethical clothing range from OXFAM Originals. And like Pangaea III I was DJing, with the extra bonus that I got to talk, or compère, between the bands and let the audience know how good they should all feel about themselves for giving to a good cause!
Pablo’s Finest Hour put out a cracking set, as did all the bands, and it was good to hear a few new tunes that were no doubt the product of their two week residency at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. A big hand to all those who helped out or turned up to watch, and an extra big hand for Hannah, whom without the night would have never happened.
Nursing my hangover on Tuesday left me fully recovered for the second excellently hosted Fuse event in almost as many weeks. Wednesday night was the eagerly anticipated Student Radio Awards Nominations with the announcements for the North West region being held at Oxford Road Kro Bar.
I shan’t be economical with the truth, and I will say that I did have the rather excessive three applications in the running for various awards, but alas history wasn’t to repeat himself. Or not for me at least. By his own admission, JC’s surprise at being nominated for this years awards, looked very much akin to mine twelve months earlier. Needless to say the roar that erupted as The JC Show made the final entry on the Best Entertainment nominations list was sufficient a reality check to necessitate a call to his mum.
But that wasn’t to be the only cause for celebration that evening. Little did she know but whilst Becca Day-Preston was laying down some ground rules in the world of electro on her 8 till 10 show DoubleDrop, her name was being read out as Fuse FM’s second contribution of late to the world of upper-class female radio DJs, and was nominated for Best Female for her work on her daytime show Lady and The Tramp. Another almighty Mancunian roar filled the second floor room of Kro that evening, but was only followed by a bemused search for Becca and the subsequent slow dawn of realisation. Nevertheless a quick minded Harry Garne was soon on ye olde mobile to let her know the good news.
So Fuse FM enters this years Student Radio Awards with nominations in two of the most highly coveted categories, and I fear that ASRA have made a severe judgement of error in not including Harry Garne and making it three. But hey, who am I to judge? Well played JC and Becca.
Curiously, from blitzing the awards last year University Radio Nottingham have almost slipped off the radar with this years awards being dominated by Cambridge’s CUR1350. In fact CUR1350 and Warwick’s RaW are the only other stations contending in JC’s battle for Best Entertainment. Leeds’ LSRfm has a strong presence again and will hope to take home a bit more glassware after falling at almost every hurdle to URN at last year’s awards. Overall the North West has a healthy offering, with Fuse, Storm and Bailrigg offering six nominations between them.
The awards will take place at The New Connaught Rooms in Holborn, London, on November 15th with Jo Whiley, Scott Mills, Edith Bowman and Tim Westwood already confirmed to be attending the event. Fusebies should get hold of Sarah Vale ASAP if they want to attend by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org.