Ch-ch-ch-changes..

My friends will tell you I’m not someone that likes change, I like to know what I’m doing, I like to be confident in what I’m upto and am a bit hesitant in trying new things. But sometimes for one reason or another you have to take a leap in the dark..

I remember back in October 2008 being frustrated that I had to leave my radio training to go on holiday and how much I was itching to get back and get stuck in for real at my first proper experience in the radio industry, my one hour show every thursday night at 9pm on Salford City Radio which was broadcast from December 2008 onwards. I was well founded in my judgement, I fell hook line and sinker for the industry, I was a bit rubbish, I’d speak at the speed of light as I was so nervous, something that has never really left me throughout my life, actually.

Within a month of starting the show I’d changed the ethos of the show to a new music show, something I’ve just generally gravitated towards in my life. Within 9 months I’d invested in an olympus voice recorder for Β£43 on ebay In the hope that I could interview bands. I tested it out on a couple of musicians that were friends and all seemed to work ok, my interview technique was a bit ropey but I figured practice would make perfect and was completely psyched when I managed to secure an interview with The Temper Trap who were riding high at the time, Sweet Disposition had just been released and they were everywhere. My chat with Toby was less than ten minutes long and full or errs and erms but it was a revelation to me personally.

Within a year I’d gone from getting an hour on community radio to getting two hours. It’s amazing how word spreads really. I got added to PR lists and started to receive singles and albums instead of having to download new singles from Itunes every week, back in 2008 trawling the internet for free to download legally music was just not as easy as it is now! I was being offered so many interviews that I was airing two per hour and so decided to bite the bullet and ask for that second hour, which Salford City Radio happily supported me with.

It’s all been a bit of a blur since then to be honest, working full time professionally in engineering in the day which I continue to do now as a way to pay the bills, interviewing bands and attending gigs on evenings and weekends, listening to new music on my ipod at work and using countless days of annual leave to attend festivals and to work on radio. It actually got to a point where I was actually getting just two days off work a month and invariably i’d spend those two days dealing with emails or writing articles in a way of trying to catch up..

I was hooked after gaining that second hour of radio, which was live and therefore a step on from pre-recorded hour I started out with, theres just something more interactive and holistic about live radio. Six months ago I was fortunate enough to meet up with the bosses at Bolton FM who said my show would fit perfectly into a two hour evening slot they had on a sunday night at 9pm, to say I jumped at the chance would be an understatement. So for the last few months I’ve been recording four hours of radio every sunday, whilst continuing to write for the websites I’m committed to, working full time and still getting out to gigs to interview and watch bands, and thats not even mentioning the emails, admin, sound editing, listening, uploading etc etc!

The Bolton FM show has been a complete treat for me, It’s a perfect evening time for winding down and on a sunday too, I can get over 250 messages into the show whilst I’m on air, which doesn’t give me a moments peace but I adore it!

Back In October I gave up three days of my annual leave from the day job to volunteer for the Radio Academy’s Radio Festival Radio team, I was fortunate enough to have been offered the anchor presenter role and relished the experience, although it clearly pushed me out of my comfort zone. But what I really took away from the festival was that whilst a lot of bands, labels and PRs have respect for me, the radio industry people have no idea who I am or what i’m doing!. I’m not one to push myself on people or hassle with reminding emails like so many of my competitors, but it really got me to thinking that I needed to put my face out there more but also not to pigeonhole myself to just music as there is clearly so much more to Radio and I believe i’m versatile enough to chat about various things.

Through a chat with a radio colleague I found out there was a couple of paid positions going at INRIX (formerly known as Trafficlink) presenting travel news. So I put together a demo quickly and was exceptionally happy to be given the role. I’m about three weeks into my training now and whilst there are definite improvements to my skills there is some way to go before I’m seamless! I’m now up at 6am every sunday morning to do the role which means no more Saturday nights out too!

This new role has left me in somewhat of a quandry. Whilst excited to gain my first foray into paid radio (albeit not music radio) the resulting role would mean I’d be recording radio or live on air for 9.25 hours on a sunday and thats not even including the prep of the music shows. I really wish I could do it all but the last few weeks of being ill have confirmed that It’s too much for me to handle and It wouldn’t be fair to myself or the stations to deliver a product that we both see is inferior.

So as always with me, I sadly had to admit that I’m doing too much. It has taken me a couple of weeks of soul searching and a thorough evaluation of what I’m doing and consideration about where I want to get to in order to decide what I have to give up.

So the whole point of this blog and its lengthy narrative is to explain that after this week I won’t be on Salford City Radio any longer. No doubt this will hurt me more than it hurts you, but I feel like

the time is right to move on and gain a bit more of my sunday daytime back after three years of missing out on normal life AND roast dinners, and those that truly know me, know how much i’ve missed those roast dinners!

I want to thank the team at Salford City Radio for always being so supportive of me over the past three years, I truly wouldn’t be where I am today without them. Their training, support, kind words and feedback have been invaluable and I want to especially mention Steve Suttie, Chris Brophy, Ian Rothwell and Eddy & Jane Mann for always being so sweet to me. But rightly or wrongly, the time feels right to move on and knuckle down in my new positions to be the best that I can be.

Not that you’re panicking whilst reading this, but the sessions will continue, the interviews will go on and I’ll still be on air on Bolton FM and WXLV on a weekly basis, just in a more realistic dose whilst still working full time and in a way that allows me to free up more of my weekends for my personal life and to look for further opportunities in paid radio.Β 

I also want to make clear steps into the specialist music industry and so have applied for and been offered an hour a week on DIY Radio which I am exceptionally excited about. DIY Radio is the radio element of http://www.thisisfakediy.co.uk/ and my show will launch next monday and then every monday at 9pm thereafter.

As a result of these changes there will undoubtedly be even more new music on my Bolton FM show, wall to wall new music on my weekly DIY Radio show and my monthly Seeks Music podcast too so don’t for one minute think I’ll be slacking off!

Thanks for reading and if indeed you do, caring. Sorry its a bit of an epic but I felt I needed to put it out there to explain. Making this decision has been one of the hardest things I’ve had to do in recent years and believe me when I say there have been tears over it. I probably sound stupid, so I’ll shut up.

Oh and If you were wondering, this blog was soundtracked by the new Sharon Van Etten record and it’s absolutely beautiful.

Shell x

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8 thoughts on “Ch-ch-ch-changes..

  1. JeremyS/The Disappeared

    I feel like I’m reading the opening chapter of a genuinely inspiring story.
    As most “lucky” people know, you have to work hard and create your own chances in order to be lucky.
    Your hard work will undoubtedly pay off; you have the commitment and (clearly) the talent.
    As someone else once said, “The future is unwritten.” It’s all out there waiting for you x

    Reply
  2. Rebecca

    A big leap for you and I understand your heartache but moving towards paid radio can only be a step in the right direction! Let me know when I can hear your lovely voice in Newcastle x

    Reply
  3. Chris walsh

    Always hard to leave where it all started but that’s a lovely heartfelt piece of writing. Good luck with everything mate, we still get our new music vibes and you get a bit of your life back. Win, win πŸ™‚ x

    Reply

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