It was cold, windy, sleety and miserable. I struggled along Old Street after work with my guitar after work. Why? Katy Carr, my talented songwriter friend who has been spending a lot of time in Poland lately, asked me along to the debut day of Our Radio, a radio station set up by Johny Brown (of The Band of Holy Joy) for the people he works with at Mencap.
They operate out of a basement not far from Old Street station, and by the time we got there they had been broadcasting for four hours already. It was hot, stuffy, but there was an amazing atmosphere. Everyone was busy; there was an octagonal table sprouting a garden of microphones in the middle, around which sat our three hosts, Joseph, Christian and Ritchie.
Ritchie told us about the rap he's written and the performances that he has done and Joseph told us about his love of film music. We had a quick sing of Be Bop-a-lula, we prepared some questions, and then we were ready to roll.
The guys asked Katy and myself how long we'd been writing songs for, where our ideas came from and how we learned to play. We asked them about the music they liked (and at the end I was delighted to hear that Christian had felt inspired to try to write songs himself after our show). Our hosts were relaxed, honest and funny and Johny stood in the background to offer encouragement. I sang my song London and Katy did a beautiful version of her a cappella song Ramble My Rose.
I can't imagine a better way to spend a January afternoon: there was such a warm-hearted atmosphere and at the very end, someone excitedly came downstairs to say that Gloria Gaynor had tweeted the show after discovering that they'd played I Will Survive.
This show is such a fabulous idea, I wish them all the luck in the world. It was also extremely nice to catch up with my two long time friends. Life takes us on all sorts of journeys to all sorts of places and through all sorts of experiences. It's fascinating to have the opportunity to catch up, and both Katy and Johny will be making appearances at Club Artyfartle this year. Oh yes they will!
Our radio have broadcast individual shows on Resonance fm before, see http://resonancefm.com/archives/22046