All Glammed Up For Friday Night Radio

Otago Access Radio’s Friday night line-up has a little added sparkle, courtesy of two committed music lovers.

Dr Glam and Demelza’s Inflammable Spandex Cafe is hosted by University of Otago music lecturer, performer and author Dr Ian Chapman, with partner in musical crime Demelza May. As the title suggests, the programme has fun and weirdness at heart.

Dr Chapman, who laid glitter-rock alter-ego Dr Glam to rest in 2014 only to resurrect him for last year’s Planet Earth Is Blue tribute to David Bowie at Sammy’s, said it felt right to lend the name to a radio show.

“Dr Glam is all about fun and this show is certainly that, so I thought I would align it to my most fun character. Thankfully, Demelza is on the same wavelength.”

Ms May agreed that the pair shared some common ground but said the show also contrasted their respective collections.

“Ian is all about the ‘70s. The time I was discovering going out and having lots of fun was the ‘80s, but I just like whatever can get me dancing and feeling good.”

On any given episode, listeners might expect to hear Dr Chapman introduce tracks from the likes of the Sweet, Slade, Bowie, Iggy Pop and the Ramones, while Ms May favoured Style Council, De La Soul, UK Squeeze, Talking Heads, Was (Not Was) and House of Pain.

A regular feature of the show was a “Local Gem” – a track by Dunedin-based musicians, some of whom were Dr Chapman’s students.

Dr Glam and Demelza’s Inflammable Spandex Cafe launches a diverse evening of music every Friday at 6pm. It is followed at 7pm by indie music show Blip In The System, at 8pm by The Vinyl Vault, at 9pm byThe Afro-Caribbean Show, and at 10pm by house and techno show The Strobe Room.

Dr Glam and Demelza’s Inflammable Spandex Cafe airs Friday at 6pm on OAR 105.4FM and 1575AM, and live and podcast from www.oar.org.nz.

Photo: On fire: Demelza May and Dr Ian Chapman present Dr Glam and Demelza’s Inflammable Spandex Cafe on Otago Access Radio.

All About the Bass in the Strobe Room

If you don’t know your Acid House from your Dub Techno but love electronic music regardless, Otago Access Radio’s Friday night programme The Strobe Room could be just the thing for you.

The show’s host James Mather would prefer listeners simply enjoy the opportunity to sample from his huge collection of tracks, without splitting hairs over the many sub-genres of dance music that would confound even the most dedicated of train-spotters.

An Austria-based listener recently took him to task in an email over whether the music on the show was strictly house and techno.

“This is where the Internet warriors kick off,” Mr Mather said.

“I don’t care whether someone considers it house or techno; to me it’s more the vibe of the electronic music with a regular bass beat, synth sounds and percussion.”

A former “metalhead”, Mr Mather became a convert to dance music in the early 1990’s after helping organise a warehouse rave in an industrial estate in Cornwall, England. Resistance to the then Criminal Justice Bill’s proposed crackdown on anti-social behaviour saw civil liberties groups join forces with sound systems, groups of DJs and engineers working together as one, to organise unregulated dance events.

“We didn’t feel that we were doing anything wrong. We were just getting together and dancing,” he explained. “I was blown away. The music was such a physical force, it went right through the chest.”

Relocating permanently to New Zealand in 2006, Mr Mather found there was little in the way of a club scene to nurture his interest. But by that stage he had already “dialled back” the late nights and had turned instead to collecting electronic music and listening to it at home, focusing on the work of emerging underground artists and bedroom DJs.

The Strobe Room was a means of sharing his growing tracklist with the rest of the world.

“This show is for anyone with an interest in electronic music, from the harder end to the more melancholic and subdued side. There’s really too much choice.”

The Strobe Room airs Friday at 10pm on OAR 105.4FM and 1575AM. Podcasts are available from www.oar.org.nz.

Photo: In the house: James Mather is the host of The Strobe Room on Otago Access Radio.

New Show Draws Inspiration From Radio Legend

The latest volunteer broadcaster to join the stable of music show hosts on Otago Access Radio (OAR FM) is drawing inspiration from the man who has been described one of the most important men in music.

BBC Radio 1 DJ John Peel, who died in 2004, was instrumental in the promotion of new forms of music, from indie rock and punk to electronic music and hip hop. Stephen Neal, host of OAR FM show Blip In The System (Fridays, 6pm-7pm) was a regular listener to Peel’s programme while resident in the UK and plans to echo its eclectic sound in his own show.

Mr Neal, who settled in Dunedin three years ago, was schooled in the alternative music of the eighties and nineties, regularly attending gigs by the likes of Siouxsie and the Banshees and Morrissey. Radio played a complementary role in his developing interest as he searched for music that was “unique or unusual”.

“John Peel brought a lot of new music to me, things that I might never have heard about otherwise,” he said.

“I recently read an excellent book about him, Goodnight and Good Riddance by David Cavanagh, which directly inspired me to make my own radio show and play some of the music I’m passionate about.”

Peel’s commitment to featuring new artists on his programme, and the subsequent boost that gave to many careers, said much about the power of radio, Mr Neal said. Blip In The System would provide a similar gateway for up-and-coming Dunedin bands, and Mr Neal would welcome suggestions from listeners about acts he should check out.

“New Zealand music history is something I’m still learning about, and that’s one of the fascinating things about moving somewhere else in the world. It really broadens your horizons.”

The show title recognised that most people were in some way part of many social structures, and that “it’s lovely when that gets a little transposed or interrupted.”

“In whatever way, you’re part of a system you have to be part of. I hope to get you out of that at the end of the working week by offering some new sounds.”

Blip In The System airs Fridays at 6pm on OAR 105.4FM and 1575AM, and live and podcast from www.oar.org.nz.

Click here for the podcast

Loving the Lifestyle on the Taieri

You would be hard pressed to find a man more proud to be living on the Taieri Plain than Regan Horrell, who has channelled has passion for Mosgiel lifestyle into a weekly radio programme.

Otago Access Radio show The Plain Life finds Regan behind the mic every Tuesday afternoon, talking with Taieri residents, sportspeople and officials about events and issues of the day.

A background in journalism had stood Regan in good stead for the interview segments on the programme, most of which are live-to-air and others of which are recorded at shops, businesses and meeting places on the Taieri.

“I’m a people person so while making radio is challenging, exciting and a little bit terrifying, it’s an absolute buzz and I’m really enjoying it,” he said.

“It’s a platform for giving the community a voice. People are already coming up to me and saying, you need to talk with this person, they’ll be really great.”

Mosgiel was a welcoming community that had suffered the loss of some important businesses but had much to offer.

“There are a lot of people choosing to live on the Taieri for personal and lifestyle reasons, and the population is growing. The Dunedin City Council’s own plan identifies it as an area for growth and development.

“But there is something of an ‘us and them’ mentality with people who talk about living all the way over the hill.”

Programmes to date had included interviews with Mosgiel soccer stalwart Steven Brennsell and Taieri Community Facilities Trust chair Irene Mosley, and discussion about the future of the Festival of the Plain.

Regan, who wrote and recorded a song Loving The Lifestyle about his home territory, said local musicians would also feature on the programme.

“And not just country music – there are some amazing musicians out there, from high school students to buskers.”

The Plain Life airs Tuesdays at 5pm on OAR 105.4FM and 1575AM, and live and podcast from www.oar.org.nz and iTunes.

Jeff Harford
Community Liaison – OARFM