David’s Daily Digital Dollop: Dollop 118 – Dolloping From The Royal Albert Hall

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This is going to have to be a very hastily written Dollop, as the Folk Awards are about to commence in the next hour, and I doubt I’d get away with typing up a Dollop while sitting in the ceremony. However, if you see me on the TV typing on my laptop, or even worse, muttering the audio Dollop into a digital recorder, then you know that this project has really driven me insane, to the point where I’m willing to sabotage a BBC awards ceremony and in the process ensure that we’ll never be invited back again. So apologies if this Dollop is a bit short and not very interesting or entertaining. At least I provided you with an amazing stream of consciousness blog yesterday all about sandwiches, which will clearly more than make up for any shortfall today.

I am sitting at the bottom of a staircase in one of the bars in the Royal Albert Hall. Everyone else is drinking around me, but I am resolutely keeping this challenge going. You see Dad, there’s no need to worry about my mental health, and that I’m spending all my life preoccupied about blogging. The good news is that these Dollops are stopping me from drinking, thus being good for both my mental and physical health. I mean, chances are that this challenge will eventually end up driving me to drink and becoming a full-blown alcoholic, but the good news is that, at least for now, it’s resulting in me drinking a lot less.

We arrived at the Royal Albert Hall with about ten minutes to spare. We then had to go through security checks before they believed who we were and that we were actually meant to be on the Simon Mayo show. They asked us lots of questions. It seemed like we were going to end up missing our spot as a result of being held up by the security staff. I did try suggesting to the security staff that they could verify that we were The Young’uns by locating our website, which would surely take a lot less time than all of the phoning through to different departments, which was what was currently happening. I thought that this made perfect sense, but it probably just made me sound arrogant. To be honest, I was probably looking rather suspicious, as I was carrying a big bag containing my laptop and other electronic equipment in order to do the Dollop.

Eventually we were allowed through with just five minutes to spare. We were ushered into a waiting room where we saw our good friends The Unthanks, who had just been on the show. We loudly and enthusiastically greeted each other, at which point a harassed producer came running in waving her hands at us and whispering for us to keep the noise down. It took us a few seconds to realise this as we were too busy chattering away and hugging each other, plus she was whispering, so we didn’t really hear her. The reason for her whispering and waving was because she was trying to get us to keep the noise down. The three of us hadn’t realised that the studio was literally next door, and apparently, according to the whispering producer, we could be heard in the studio and would be able to be heard on the radio. In fairness to the three of us, we didn’t know that the studio was so close to where we were, but The Unthanks were aware of this because they’d just been on the show, so if there is anyone from the Simon Mayo team reading this, I hope you can see that the fault clearly lies with the Unthanks and not us.

A minute later we were whisked into the studio, which was literally next-door, so it’s likely that the producer wasn’t exaggerating about us being audible on the radio. We were warned by the producer that we literally would only have two minutes in which to do the briefest of chats and then sing. Baring in mind that the song was 1 minute 40, the chat would have to be very brief. However, when at 557, Simon went to the traffic news, the line wasn’t working, meaning that they came to us earlier than planned. Whether this had anything to do with me or not I cannot say. Whether I happened to use one of the electronic bits of equipment housed in my bag in order to jam the studio line and thus buy us more radio time, I cannot say. But it worked a treat, and we ended up getting 2 minutes thirty seconds on the air as a result, which was well worth the days of electronic research and tinkering, or, I mean, it would have been worth it, if I had actually been responsible for the traffic being curtailed; which I am not divulging.

If you want to know how our Simon Mayo appearance went, then give it a listen. We’re on at 557. Or have a listen from 550, and see if you can hear the sounds of us and The Unthanks shouting away in the background.

At the time of writing, we are currently the holders of the BBC Radio 2 Folk Award for best group. What will the next few hours bring? Tune in to BBC radio 2 from 7pm today to find out.

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