t's 1996, My Christmas is Newport is over and it’s time to head back to Falmouth College of Arts to continue my Broadcasting Studies degree. The radio bug is raging and I’m thinking of building a college station. If I could pull together the skills from people in my own course, add the lads (and ladies) from Journalism and utilise the Graphic Design students I could build a station more epic than Lliswerry High School Radio.
Then the worst thing happened. I was woken up by a phone call from my sister. Dad had died.
If you’ve lost a parent or close relative then you’ll know how tough it is. It’s just the range of emotions. Sadness, confusion, guilt and anger were my dominant feelings. Sad because I’d never see him again, confusion as what would I do? guilt because I’d not spoken to him the previous week as he was full up with a cold and anger because I’d envisaged an even better father/son relationship after completing Uni. I felt robbed. I still do.
It was obvious to me that I’d not be returning to Falmouth. This was not how my Mum and Sister felt though. I’ve never known my Mum have such a strong opinion, or even experienced a time where that strong opinion differed to mine. I went back. I spent a lot of time at my local beach, Gyllyngvase putting myself together again. I can’t thank Mum and Caryn enough. My Uni years shaped a lot of my character and gave me much needed experience and confidence.
This splendid graphic was built by students from the amazingly titled ‘Corporate Identity’ course. Flavour, Falmouth College Radio was born. Recorded onto video tape the day before, the VHS cassette would be dropped to student bar and put into the player for 12:45pm. The player was linked to two TV’s, one in the bar, one in the refectory. My second radio station that didn’t radiate.
Music in 1996 was huge. Well more accurately, wide. Radio 1 was surfing a wave of Britpop during the evening with Jo Whiley and Steve Lamacq. Even though I appreciated it, I’d be lying if I told you I was a champion of Oasis, Blur, Suede, Pulp, Elastica et al. I still had pop running through my veins and I’d fallen in love with remixes. I wouldn’t buy a CD unless it had six versions! Later this was restricted by the music industry. Radio 1 was also building a reputation for new dance music on the weekends with Pete Tong, Dave Pearce and Judge Jules. Even Soul and RnB staged a comeback.
So what are my five big tunes that sum up 1996?
The Floorfiller: Not necessarily my favourite, but one that I’ve used (or seen used) to pack a dancefloor.
Robert Miles – Children
How could, what is essentially an instrumental want to make me go for a bounce? I can tell you but this was the first time I remembering this happen. Equally as epic on the radio. According to Wikipedia [Children]… was as a response to photographs of child war victims his father had brought home from a humanitarian mission in the former Yugoslavia, the other, inspired by his career as a DJ, was to create a track to end DJ sets, intended to calm rave attendants prior to their driving home as a means to reduce car accident deaths. Both worthy causes in my opinion.
Could have easily been, BBE – Seven Days and One Week, Wink – Higher State of Consciousness or JX – There’s Nothing I Would Do.
The Twister: This is a song from that year which I normally wouldn’t have fallen in love with, but I did.
Underworld – Born Slippy.
What was this? From the film Trainspotting this was another lads on the dancefloor moment in Falmouth. Lager Lager Lager! According to Wikipedia, The Guardian called it, alongside the Chemical Brothers' "Setting Sun", the "most experimental and sonically extreme hit [single] of the 90s. Officially a definite twister.
Could have easily been, Prodigy – Firestarter, , Luniz – I Got 5 On It, Jamiroquai – Virtual Insanity, or Babylon Zoo – Spaceman.
The Clubber: The one song that wanted to get me onto the dancefloor.
Mark Morrison – Return of the Mack
I love this tune in its own original format. Lifting it to another level on the CD single, was the Joe T. Vannelli Light Mix.
Could have easily been, Robert Miles (feat. Maria Nayler) – One and One, JX – There’s Nothing I Would Do.
The Coolest: This is the tune that I felt was the coolest yet mainstream song of the year.
Fugees – Ready or not
I didn’t like the Fugees debut track, the remake of Killing me softly. Lauren Hills vocals were not in doubt I just wanted something a bit edgier. Then this happened. I even liked the rap!
Could have easily been, Babybird – You’re Gorgeous, Oasis – Don’t Look Back In Anger, Oasis – Wonderwall, Manic Street Preachers – Design For Life or Coolio – Gangsta’s Paradise.
The Radio Tune: The one that take me back to listening to the radio or playing it on my show wherever that has been.
George Michael – Fastlove.
Some songs just seem made for radio. It had me hooked from the start (Got to get up to get down). According to Wikipedia, A re-sung but otherwise identical chorus of the Patrice Rushen hit 'Forget Me Nots' was used about 70% of the way through, although no co-writing credit was initially given. This problem was rectified in the liner notes of Ladies & Gentlemen: The Best of George Michael.
Could have easily been, Deep Blue Something – Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Lighthouse Family – Lifted or OMC – How Bizarre.
That’s almost it from 1996. At the end of each blog I’d like to thank some people who made the year very special for me. Big Love to Mum and Caryn for sending me back to Falmouth. Love to Dad. Always x
I’d also like to thank the team at Atlantica Café Bar on Market Street for sponsoring this series of blogs. Check out their new Karaoke nights on Wednesday and Thursday with Rob Steed.
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