t's 1997, I’m still studying in Falmouth and running ‘Flavour’ Falmouth College Radio. I’m about to have my first curry, hand in one 5,000 and one 10,000 document and pull the mother of all practical jokes on my best mate. In music, dance was about to dominate the charts and my life.
On completing my major dissertation of 10,000 words, and after a radio show for Flavour it was party time. After a few lagers, we rolled into the local Indian restaurant. Curry prior to this was in my father’s words ‘foreign muck’. The dish of choice for my mum and sister was a packaged/branded Vesta curry, which to me smelt awful. I was not going there. Out of my depth and a little tipsy I followed my best mate, Dan’s lead. When I say followed I mean copied! Out of my mouth came the words “Chicken Rogan, Half rice, Half chips and two poppadum’s please… and pint of lager”. History was made. I was now a curry convert.
I am grateful to Dan for the introduction. That’s doesn’t mean though that I’m going to spare his blushes. I was shocked to find my fellow raver, nemesis and hardcore drinker was sneakily tipping his pint on the floor. Caught out big style… lightweight.
There was also a time when Dan had caught a cold, and it developed into a nasty sore throat. Gerwyn saw an opportunity for a practical joke that would leave Dan looking the most confused I’d ever seen. Taking Dan’s love of sport and current illness, we told him this… “Dan, you know when you play football and you pull a muscle you use ‘Deep Heat’. Well they’ve developed a new throat spray”. Imagine our faces as we all marched down to Boots in Falmouth to see Dan fall hook, line and sinker. The lovely lady behind the counter looked equally perplexed as he asked her for some ‘Deep Throat’. Gerwyn and I would have loved to have helped, but we were busy fighting back tears of laughter in the baby aisle.
I passed my Broadcasting Studies degree. Ian Lamsdale was about to become Ian Lamsdale (BA Hons). Graduation day was the first of many bittersweet experiences for me that summer. I was so pleased that all my family came to see me don the mortar board and gown. I also knew that it was the last time I would spend with my team of friends in Falmouth. I’d also left it late for a bit of love. I’d met Andrea, a local girl, through Kirsty, Kate and Sam. I felt like I was falling for her after only three weeks, but my time in Cornwall was over. Andrea and I didn’t really get started.
My alter ego, DJ Lamsie was also getting ready to say goodbye to the love of his life. I was determined not to let Flavour go the same way as Lliswerry High School Radio. A succession plan was put in place. Stuart Clary was about to become the new Station Manager. I was also presenting the weekly chart show and a regular lunchtime show with Lucia. It was the first time that I’d ever considered a title for my autobiography. As a seasoned afternoon DJ, I considered “Legend in my own lunchtime”. Only two problems, I wasn’t famous, and I was too lazy to write!
Still heavily influenced by Radio 1, I took the decision to create ‘Falmouth College Radios Greatest hits countdown, mimicking their all-time top 100.
So what are my five big tunes that sum up 1997?
The Floorfiller: Not necessarily my favourite, but one that I’ve used (or seen used) to pack a dancefloor.
Sash featuring La Trec – Stay.
If you wanted to pack a dancefloor in 1997, then Sash was the go to guy. Pure clubbing gold. According to Wikipedia this [was] their third consecutive No. 2 in the United Kingdom.
Could have easily been: Dario G – Sunchyme, DJ Quicksilver – Bellissima, Sash – Encore une fois, or Tori Amos – Professional Widow.
The Twister: This is a song from that year which I normally wouldn’t have fallen in love with, but I did.
Dannii – All I wanna do.
The other Minogue has decided to just go by the name of Dannii, Yep, two ‘n’s and two ‘I’s. According to Wikipedia… “All I Wanna Do" marked a significant change in Minogue's career and image, as did her album Girl from which it was taken. Her image had become highly sexualised, culminating in her nude calendar photo shoot and the suggestive videos and album artwork which accompanied her new releases”
Should I mention I owned that calendar?
Could have easily been: Chumbawamba – Tubthumping, En Vogue – Don’t let go (Love), The Verve – Bitter sweet symphony or Notorious B.I.G. – Mo money mo problems.
The Clubber: The one song that wanted to get me onto the dancefloor.
Ultra Nate – Free.
Perfect Dance music with an outstanding vocal. According to Wikipedia, a reviewer from the publication Resident Advisor awarded the song four stars out of five. The reviewer said “…An absolute crowd puller, and an essential release for any house dj that is looking for something to fill up a dance floor in seconds."
Could have easily been:Olive – You’re not alone, Tina Moore – Never gonna let you go, Rosie Gains – Closer than close or Todd Terry – Something going on.
The Coolest: This is the tune that I felt was the coolest yet mainstream song of the year.
Gala – Freed from Desire.
I had/have no idea what the lyrics were/are but I just loved it all. Written by Italian producer Gala, according to Wikipedia In early 2016, Newcastle United supporters adapted "Freed from Desire" for their striker Aleksandar Mitrović, the refrain being: "Mitro's on fire, your defence is terrified"… Fans from Northern Ireland, Ireland, Wales, England, and France made their own versions of the song for their players… was later seen as the unofficial song of UEFA Euro 2016.
Could have easily been: Oasis - Stand by me or White Town - Your Woman,
The Radio Tune: The one that take me back to listening to the radio or playing it on my show wherever that has been.
Natalie Imbruglia – Torn.
If Dannii was going dance, Natalie went indie. What was it with me and Aussie actresses turned pop stars? I blame Kylie for starting the trend in 1988. Effectively a break up song, that I couldn’t relate to on that level I like this because of the lyrics.
Could have easily been: No doubt – Don’t speak, No Mercy – Where do you go, Spice Girls – 2 become 1, Cardigans – Lovefool or Shola Ama – You might need somebody.
That’s almost it from 1997. At the end of each blog I’d like to thank some people who made the year very special for me. Big Love to all my fellow students from Falmouth and Kirsty for putting a roof over my daft head for a few weeks.
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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