Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Today, I Am Mainly Avoiding...

...videos. Well, I suppose I am probably safe as, although I was on the radio today, I wouldn't claim to be a star. (I would, but just not in public.)

Actually, I was quite terrified of saying anything in case the listeners texted in and demanded to know why a seven year old girl from the Home Counties was in a radio studio in Manchester and not at school being precocious in an Advanced Elocution lesson or something. I said the odd high-pitched "yes!" and "thank you!" until it was time to sing, but managed to avoid getting tangled up in my own accent.

The DJ was called Lauren, and she definitely had a radio voice. I am not criticising her for this. In her position I would no doubt develop an entirely different personality although I fear the jokes would probably be tellingly similar. I would want to develop a whole alter-ego based on Graham Torrington.

Do you remember Graham Torrington? DJ impressario and smooth-voiced wonder of that classic show, Late Night Love?

Graham had a radio voice. Desperate women called Sandra would call him and tell them all about the various infidelities of the Garys, their erstwhile lorry-driving boyfriends. Graham gave terrible advice in silken tones before fading in the twenty-fifth Lionel Richie song of the hour.

If you do remember him I would like to know about it. Out of interest, partly, but also for A Reason. Tell me your Torrington tales.

Anyway, Lauren was not like Graham. She was really nice and hardly told me to leave my husband at all. Ben, Dan and I (aka Geddes Loom, remember?) were on the radio to promote the show we're doing tomorrow night at Contact, Manchester(the same one that we performed at the festival in Leicester and more recently in Dartington, Devon), so we did a song (February Town) and Ben did a poem. Ben did most of the talking, Dan and I did radio smiles, which are like normal smiles but tinged with the futility of knowing that the people you are smiling at can't see you.

Lauren was a one-woman hive of activity. Pressing buttons and pulling up faders, reading text messages as they came in from listeners (many of whom seemed to be asking her out on dates), introducing tracks and mixes, cueing up things and fading down others. It was fascinating to watch. Reassuringly, though, she was still incorporating my old favourite method, known as the Things Written On Bits Of Paper Technique. At one point she looked at her left hand and said ponderously, "Now, why's my finger pointing at that piece of paper?" before remembering that it was the title of the mix she was just about to play.

Still, my favourite bit of the whole thing was when we were on air and Ben, perched on a bit of desk to get closer to the mic, set off a turntable with his bum and set it revolving (the turntable, not his bum) as he blithely chatted about upcoming shows.

We walked home feeling dangerously upbeat until we remembered that we were really hungry so we all got a bit cross. Well, I did.

Tomorrow we'll be rehearsing and soundchecking at the theatre and performing in the evening. If you're about and you want to come you can! If you like. Not if you don't*.

*Please note my amazing marketing and promotion skillz.

There is plenty of other news, but I am so exhausted from being a radio star (does local radio count or will video only kill you if you've done a BBC session?) so I am currently lying in bed waiting for a decent time to go to sleep. It's nearly nine-thirty now so that's probably legitimate.

(I was not joking about the Graham Torrington thing. Do you remember him?)


Anonymous Frances said...

Totally! But haven't thought about him for years, to the extent that when I said the name to myself it rang such a bell that I was convinced he must have been a film star or president. Not likely with a name like Graham Torrington, though. It's like Norma Jean, crying out for a change.

Such a deep voice, and so unhelpful. That's all I rememeber, unfortunately

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