I was tempted, knowing that we’d be asked the same questions by the seven BBC local radio stations we were on yesterday, to give a different answer to the one same question. I could then take recordings of all the interviews and play our different answers back to back for today’s Dollop. But perhaps this wouldn’t have been taking our PR campaign very seriously. Plus, I realised that the time and effort it would take me to visit each radio station’s website, find the show and time that we were broadcast and then edit all the clips together, would probably be ten times more labour intensive than writing a blog post. And it’s not that you’re not worth the time and effort, it’s just that I’m not sure the idea would have really been worth potentially destroying our relationship with BBC local radio for.
If it was commercial local radio then that might be different. I could take a look at each radio station’s sponsors and advertisers beforehand, and then deliberately work their rival businesses into my answer.
“So, how did you meet?”
“Well, it all started in Costa Coffee. That’s where we first met on that magical day. We were all ordering one of their delicious and affordable coffees, and there’s just something about their drinks that promotes a feeling of sociability and an atmosphere of positivity, as if the place is bristling with possibility. All these factors, which I think are synonymous with the Costa Coffee outlets, just created the perfect environment for the three of us to start chatting, and we decided that we should be in a folk group together. I know this sounds fantastical, but that’s the power of Costa Coffee, to make incredible possibilities a reality.”
“Ah, well that’s a great story guys, but I’m sure that the same thing would have happened if you’d all been in Starbucks, which personally I find to be a much better establishment.”
“Well, it’s interesting you should say that, because we realised afterwards that the three of us had actually been in Starbucks at the same time on about ten separate occasions, and strangely, we never spoke. But it was just something about the atmosphere and coffee brewed by Costa that brought the three of us to speak to each other, and that’s when the magic happened. Amazing really. So I suppose that sort of proves scientifically that Costa is better than Starbucks.”
“Well … er … well, not, as, such, because I actually have my planning meetings for this show in Starbucks, and I think that the atmosphere and coffee of Starbucks has led to making my show what it is.”
“I’m not sure you’re helping your case here.”
“no, I am, because we’ve had some great ideas in Starbucks. It was in Starbucks that I had the idea to do a mystery voice competition. It’s quite ingenious, we play a clip of a celebrity talking, and people have to ring in and say who they think it is. And it was also in Starbucks, taking a sip of one of their excellent cappuccinos, that I had the idea to do a mystery sound competition. So, for instance, we might play a mooing sound, and people then ring in to guess what it is. And then when someone says cow, we give them a free pencil. Oh shit, I’ve just given away the answer to the competition. And now I’ve just said shit. Fuck, they’re going to sack me! Fuck, and now I’ve just said fuck. They’re definitely going to sack me!”
“Well, if I were you, I’d get yourself to Costa Coffee where you’re almost certain to meet your next boss who’ll offer you more money to work on a better radio station.”
u“Well, actually, now that I’m going to get fired from here anyway, I have no qualms in recommending Costa, in spite of the fact that we’re sponsored by Starbucks. I shall take your advice. Thank you so much David. I think you’ve really helped me. I was wanting to get out of this shithole and work somewhere else, so you’ve saved my bacon. And when it comes to bacon, then you really should get yourself to Thompson’s Butchers, located on the highstreet opposite the … No, hang on, what am I doing? I don’t need to say this shit anymore. Thompson’s is terrible. They put hideous amounts of water and chemicals in the meat. Haha, this feels great! I feel free! I can do whatever I like. Right, well I was meant to play Simply Red at this point, but sod that, here’s Cradle Of Filth. Haha, I’m free! Thank you, thank you so much David!”
“No problem, although, I’ve just been thinking, and I’ve remembered that actually it was Starbucks where we met, not Costa. The magic happened in Starbucks.”
When we first started, I used to record every interview we did, but now we do so many that I’ve given up bothering. It’s not as if I’m going to listen to these years in the future, and if there ever is a point where I get a sudden urge to listen to our interview of thirty years ago on BBC Radio Merseyside, then something has gone terribly wrong with my life.
I’ve been writing this blog post in The Young’uns’ van, although it has not been as difficult as I thought it was going to be yesterday. It’s been hard writing a blog post at 630 in the morning after four hours of sleep, but Michael has travelled separately in his car because he is seeing his girlfriend afterwards and therefore travelling a different route back, meaning that I’ve actually had some space to write.
The audio versions of these on-the-road blogs should make for interesting listening, as they are likely to be recorded from some rather odd environments. Yesterday I recorded sitting on cross legged on some stairs between dressing rooms, with the laptop on my lap, my Braille display on top of that, and my digital recorder positioned on top of that. People kept walking past me wondering what on earth was going on. At one point my blog reading was interrupted by Adrian from the Unthanks who decided that he fancied a chat. But I hope that these weird locations and odd interruptions will make for an interesting listening experience, rather than an annoying one. To be honest, the interruptions were probably more entertaining than the actual written content I was reading.
I finished editing the audio up until a minute before going on stage, and then uploaded the podcast and published the blog to the website during the interval, which was a close thing given Middlesbrough Town Hall’s slow WIFI. But I managed to get everything online for about 930. But this challenge is just as much a practical one as a creative one, as I am at the mercy of WIFI access. If I can’t get online at our gig in Manchester then the podcast version won’t be uploaded until after midnight, when I’m back home in Sheffield. So far I’ve managed to publish both audio and written versions everyday for 43 days. Maybe if there isn’t any WIFI at the gig I could pop into a starbucks, or a Costa, I don’t mind and I don’t really drink in either of them, but I am happy to use them for their WIFI.