Tag Archives: Radio

2015 ➤ Seven’s easy stages: from jelly parties to saviour of the rock scene

TeamRock , radio, interview, Seven Webster, RockComm, Pete Bailey

Seven Webster and Pete Bailey: Face to face interview about a life in music

◼ STRICTLY SPEAKING we don’t allow “rockists” onto this blog, since our idea of 80s yoof culture was defined by the dance music and fashion-forward styles emanating from UK clubland. And what 80s pure pop did was to banish 80s rock from the weekly charts. But Shapers of the 80s is very happy to make one big exception for probably the nicest guy on the entire UK music scene even though he does all his business down at the denim-clad, can’t-dance, beer-belly end of the music spectrum. His parents with the surname Webster gave him the unforgettable first name of Seven, and in the 30 years since he spouted one hilarious soundbite after another when we met in a posey little Numanoid London club, he has learned the ropes as musician and manager and built his own influential company into a thriving business.

Tomorrow, his outfit 7pm Management launches a new annual rock music conference at Rich Mix Cultural Foundation in Shoreditch. RockComm London describes itself as “the first UK-based international rock music conference aimed at bringing together all sectors of the community for positive discussion aimed at stimulating business and growth”. It hopes to unite everyone from labels, publishers, managers, distributors, agents, promoters, manufacturers, digital aggregators, the lot.

Seven says: “With so many great rock music based companies from across the world wanting to be involved, we’ve extended the event to give everyone time to network, which is the conference’s primary objective.”

There are people actively signing rock music
at moment: it’s a very buoyant time for rock

RockComm launches with a full day of networking which will showcase some of rock’s tastiest new bands. “The emphasis will be on quality over quantity.” The conference itself occupies Tuesday 9 June, as an appetiser for the UK’s biggest rock music event, Download Festival, and leading up to both the Kerrang and Golden Gods award ceremonies.

It is more than ironic that Seven is attempting to reconcile the many differences that define the music industry within a week of one of the most influential managers from the 1960s, Simon Napier-Bell (Yardbirds, Bolan, George Michael), partying in Soho to promote the paperback edition of his latest book, Ta-Ra-Ra-Boom-De-Ay. In this painstaking slice of history through the past 200 years of popular music he decides that nothing has changed in a business based on “greed, corruption, self-interest and fun”. Today recorded music remains in tricky balance between art and marketing where traditional record companies are squeezing a dying revenue stream and the US government still prosecutes them for payola offences running into millions of dollars.

Seven is one of a seemingly small band of brothers who is determined to assert his creative ideals. He draws on a lifelong love of music – “it’s my heart and soul” – and believes rock music is in a very buoyant state today, with people actively signing rock acts and wielding what he believes is “a cumulative fist”. His own reputation is as an international rock festival booker (Hard Rock Hell and Hammerfest) and worldwide artist manager of Skindred. His partner in 7pm and in RockComm is Steve Wolfe, a former Universal Records director of A&R.

As a taster of his ideology, Seven gave this hands-up interview to Pete Bailey at TeamRock national DAB and online radio. He talks about being the manager of Skindred, The Qemists and Dido, his brother-in-Law Mick Wayne (RIP) and former guitarist with David Bowie and the Pink Fairies, new bands and brands making waves and monetising their social media…

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During this half-hour stroll through his life-story, Seven reminds us of when he played guitar live at the Lyceum during the Batcave era in a goth band called Geschlecht Akt (German for Sex Act). “We weren’t great,” he says. Make up your own mind here by sampling their track Libido Twist from the Foreplay 12-incher (Criminal Damage Records, 1984) at YouTube.

Seven’s next band One actually signed to Chrysalis for £65k. Seven took his turn, as you did in the 80s, fronting a clubnight called Pigeon-Toed Orange Peel, then edited a magazine, as you did in the 80s, called The Buzz to help launch other bands, as you did in the 80s, which led into management and promoting new acts at the Marquee. So not too much standing still, then. Seven’s advice for the ambitious newcomer? “Don’t emulate, innovate. Take your time and put a good team around you.”

Just to make him squirm a bit, here’s the snap of Seven propping up a fruit machine the night we met in 1983 at a post-Romantic clubnight in Mayfair called the Padded Cell. Though it was fronted by a couple of wannabe 70s Numanoids, he quipped about the exceedingly time-warped crowd that night: “So many people here have stepped straight out of their nappies into bondage gear.” Not him, of course. So what was he doing among this bunch of late arrivals on the synth scene? “I just hate staying in,” he said. “I’ll go to ice-cream and jelly parties, anything.” Which was enough to get his pic into my nightlife review in The Face. The rest is history.

Seven Webster,Padded Cell, The Buzz magazine,  music management

A quiet master of the telling quip: Seven Webster at the Padded Cell in 1983. Photograph by Shapersofthe80s

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2013 ➤ Bobby Womack’s last interview with Old School Robbie

radio, soul music,Bobby Womack,Robbie Vincent, Jazz FM,interview

Jan 2013: soul legend Bobby Womack meets UK deejay Robbie Vincent at Jazz FM

➢ At Facebook, the legendary UK soul deejay Robbie Vincent writes: We have lost a real Soul Brother in Bobby Womack, one of the greatest. We go back a long time and he used to call me Old School Robbie. Respect to an amazing and talented musician and a real gentleman. At this time I wish I was on air to pay tribute… Delighted to say you can hear again my last interview with Bobby Womack at Mixcloud. Thanks to Mike Vitti for his help in making it possible for you to share words and music from our Soul Brother. He was in fine form too.

➢ When Robbie met Bobby… Robbie Vincent’s Essential Rhythms interview with the legendary Bobby Womack on Jazz FM in January 2013, in three parts – James Brown, hiding from the tax man, pretending to be blind, Sam Cooke, Wilson Picket, great music, this thing has got the lot.

➢ Soul legend Bobby Womack dead at 70 – Rolling Stone obituary: Womack was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2009. ‘My very first thought was — I wish I could call Sam Cooke and share this moment with him,’ Womack said. ‘This is just about as exciting to me as being able to see Barack Obama become the first black President of the United States of America.

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➤ Vincent the master of hot cuts denied a farewell by Jazz FM

Robbie Vincent, radio, deejay, Jazz FM, jazz-funk, music,Radio London

40 years a deejay: Robbie Vincent, father and son

❚ SHOCK NEWS TODAY: Robbie Vincent, the pioneering jazz-funk radio deejay of the 70s and 80s, is to leave Jazz FM after five years. His prerecorded weekly show this Sunday lunchtime will be his last and his flagship three-hour slot will be taken over by Jeff Young. Vincent broke the news this morning with a brief post at Facebook which said: “Sad news, this Sunday will be my last show on Jazz FM. I had hoped to do a final special show to thank you all for your loyal support but the station has decided that is not possible.”

Three hours ago Vincent posted a link to a news story at the industry website Radio Today which reports:

Robbie Vincent has been told he can’t record a final show on Jazz FM after he told station bosses he has decided to leave the station. Robbie has told Radio Today he’s leaving because he fears a ‘radio armageddon’ is on its way. “There will be news next week of further downgrading at the station,” he said. “Jazz FM has been such a difficult place to work at recently with it being so cash strapped. I offered to record a final show but management have declined my offer.” A spokesperson for Jazz FM confirmed Robbie wasn’t given a ‘final’ show saying “this is generally accepted practice” … / Continued at Radio Today

Since then Vincent has added a further comment at Facebook: “Perhaps when you read that it is ‘normal practice’ not to allow final programmes you will understand what high standards of staff care operate at Jazz FM. Ralph Tee and Steve Quirk were not ejected into space. These excellent broadcasters left with grace and good natured final programmes. The way it should be. Just a thought.”

The veteran presenter with Radio 1, Radio London, Kiss and LBC has hosted more than 200 of his Essential Rhythms shows since the re-launch of Jazz FM in October 2008. Station Manager, Nick Pitts, said today: “When I first started working at Jazz FM Robbie was one of the people I was looking forward to working with most. We are sorry that he has decided to leave and wish him luck and success in his future projects.”

UPDATE SUNDAY DEC 1 AS HIS SHOW ENDS…

I did invite ideas for the last programme but as JazzFM chose not to allow me to say farewell to my dear loyal listeners you will have noticed all reference to next week had been taken out. Not to worry, it’s James Torment time on Jazz FM now. Lots of news in the next couple of days to share with you. Hope you enjoyed the show.

➢ 35 years as master of hot cuts – Shapersofthe80s tells how Robbie Vincent influenced the shape of British musical taste

Roy Ayers,Robbie Vincent, radio, Jazz FM, jazz-funk, music,

At Jazz FM earlier this year: Robbie Vincent with his guest, legendary jazz composer and vibes player Roy Ayers

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1666 ➤ Pepys reveals a courtly fashion in the ashes of the Great Fire of London

Great Fire of London , Museum of London , Samuel Pepys

The Great Fire of London 1666, looking west from a boat near Tower Wharf. The painting depicts Old London Bridge, Old St Paul’s and the Tower of London. (Dutch School, probably 17th century, Museum of London prints)

◼ THE DIARY OF SAMUEL PEPYS might have been written for radio. Today’s eye-witness drama on BBC Radio 4 had plain Mr Pepys reliving the Great Fire of London which destroyed 75% of the City in September 1666, while confirming the essence of a great diary: that the events pictured and people’s voices are so vivid you needn’t think twice about believing them – even the apparent sincerity of the dandiest of all English kings, Charles II, rolling up his sleeves and “pulling together” among the citizen fire fighters in the street.

Samuel Pepys

The obsessive diarist: Portrait of Samuel Pepys 1666, by John Hayls (National Portrait Gallery, London)

His humble employee, the civil servant Mr Pepys, was careful not to remind readers that His Maj was obliged to give his royal permission first before property-owners’ homes could be torn down to halt the march of the flames (the common practice in those days), a nuance which resulted in the Lord Mayor of London, Sir Thomas Bloodworth, emerging as the dithering fall guy in the history books. After all, the fire did start in the shop of the king’s own baker, Thomas Farynor, in Pudding Lane.

A more amusing footnote to history was revealed by today’s drama and this was the king’s perfectly serious response once the fire had been defeated. On October 8 Mr Pepys wrote in his diary: “The king hath yesterday in Council declared his resolution of setting a fashion for clothes, after so much is lost. It will be a vest, and it is to teach the nobility thrift, and will do good.”

A week later, Mr Pepys reports: “The king begins to put on his vest, and I did see several persons of the House of Lords and Commons too, great courtiers, who are in it; being a long cassocke close to the body, of black cloth, and pinked with white silke under it, and a coat over it, and the legs ruffled with black riband like a pigeon’s leg; it is a very fine and handsome garment. It is a fashion, the king says; he will never change.”

➢ Pepys: Fire of London – the terrific Radio 4 drama
is repeated 3 Sept 2016 and then on BBC iPlayer for the next week

Within a month news came to the English court that Louis XIV, the king of France, had put all his footmen and servants in this same dress as a livery. “Vests were put on at first by the King to make Englishmen look unlike Frenchmen; but at the first laughing at it, all ran back to the dress of French gentlemen.” All of which made Pepys “mightie merry, it being an ingenious kind of affront”, adding for appearance’s sake, “and yet makes me angry”.

Of course Charles changed his dress many times after his solemn assumption of a lifelong garment. The 17th century was a restless, trying time in men’s dress. “They had lost the doublet, and had not found the skirted coat, and stood ready to take a covering from any nation of the earth,” wrote the costume historian Alice Morse Earle.

Charles II , Nell Gwyn

Could this be the black vest as royal fashion statement? Charles II and Nell Gwyn, painted by Edward Matthew Ward, 1854 (detail, V&A collection)

The famous vest is said to be represented in a portrait of Lord Arlington, by Sir Peter Lely, but it’s hard to find much resemblance to Pepys’ description, or indeed any other contemporary portraits to capture this contribution to royal fashion. What we do find however is a 19th-century painting by Edward Matthew Ward, of Charles courting his mistress Nell Gwyn in an unusually all-black ensemble, a very sober expression of Charles’ innate flamboyance as the leader of fashion in his Restoration court. Can this be the black memorial vest?

More usual royal swagging and drapery in this portrait, Charles II of England by Simon Verelst (The Royal Collection)

Typically the king favoured swagging and drapery in his daywear: Charles II of England by Simon Verelst (The Royal Collection)

The timing of Ward’s painting is right. As an actress – a profession the king had legalised for women – Nell was very much in favour with the Merry Monarch before and after the Great Fire, and gave birth to two sons by the king in 1670 and 1671 (among at least twelve illegitimate children that he acknowledged by various mistresses).

Compared with the king’s usual love of ornament, Ward’s rare depiction of simplicity in black may indeed be the monarch’s gesture of sympathy toward the losses inflicted by the Great Fire. Pepys reports that the cost in lost rent from the houses burnt was £600,000 per year, which would represent at least £115 million in today’s money.

Great Fire of London, map

Colours show the progress of the Great Fire of London: it began on the night of September 2, 1666, on Pudding Lane, in the shop of Thomas Farynor, baker to King Charles II. It raged for four days, destroyed three-quarters of the City’s wooden buildings, and spread even beyond the medieval walls to the west. (Museum of London)

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➤ Playlists to keep us foot-tapping into May

Basement Jaxx ,video,Back 2 The Wild

Back 2 The Wild: Click on pic to run video in a new window

➢ Bedazzling music video for the new Basement Jaxx single Back 2 The Wild is directed by Mat Maitland at Big Active & Natalia Stuyk. Salient points at Popjustice:

  1. Basement Jaxx are Felix Buxton and Simon Ratcliffe and they hail from London, England.
  2. They’ve collaborated with “everyone” from Kele Le Roc to JC Chasez to Dizzee Rascal to Robyn.
  3. If a song of theirs came on in a club it would not be inappropriate to have a bit of a dance.

➢ Double whammy: view the Wild video in super-high quality and visit their own online playlist at jaxxplayer

Dazed Digital ,May,Playlist ,Jessie Ware
➢ Dazed Digital has a vibey May playlist alongside its main feature post-punk stars, Savages. It says:
We’ve got a whole lot of Jeremih from his Cassie mixape collab to Shlohmo, new Gold Panda, Co La’s experimental single on Software, the first release from legendary London establishment Fabric’s Houndstooth label as well as an exclusive stream from Pedestrian’s new EP and more from our recently featured avant-garde electronic duo Diamond Version. Not to mention Jessie Ware.

Electricity Club,Kraftwerk, Mi-Soul, radio, Rusty Egan

Electricity Club Showman Rusty Egan: any kind of music so long as it’s electro

➢ Rusty Egan presents The Electricity Club Show every Friday 00:00 till 02:00 BST … Either take this picturesque catch-up route via the Electricity Club which champions the current electropop scene:

Eins-zwei-drei-vier… the fourth programme in the series Egan Presents The Electricity Club on Mi-Soul Radio can now be heard on catchup. The show starts with Kraftwerk and the other featured artists are fine examples of the Düsseldorf foursome’s legacy. These acts include Felix Da Housecat, Tiga & Zyntherius, Afrika Bambaataa, The Knife, Omd, Junkie Xl Featuring Dave Gahan, Mgmt, Simple Minds, Sin Cos Tan, Daft Punk, Inertia And The Presets.

➢ Or tune in live to Egan playing the best in electronic music at Mi-Soul on Fridays 00:00 till 02:00 BST

Mi-Soul is a soul music broadcast platform, providing everything soul everywhere – online, on mobile app and in due course on FM and digital, and any other future platform yet to be invented. Launched by the team responsible for creating Kiss FM in the 1990s, Mi-Soul continues to be supported by many of the original DJ team, augmented by high-profile presenters in every genre. Mi-Soul occupies a self-contained wing in the in the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust’s iconic building in Deptford, which was designed by the award-winning architect David Adjaye, and opened in 2008.

RUSTY’S SUMMER IN THE MED

❏ Rusty Egan says: “If you are in Cannes for the film festival I will be there on the Croisette at “Canvas” on the beach opposite Carlton Cannes hotel May 17–19 … then in Ibiza at Nassau Beach Bar with Steve Norman from Spandau Ballet on sax and percussion, from May to Sept every other Friday … I have been very busy writing and recording new music under the title Welcome To The Dancefloor and will be ready to release some stuff very soon. Visit Soundcloud to sample some.”

♫ Rusty Egan’s Playlist at the Blitz

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