Monday, 2 April 2012

March/April 2012 Airplay

Last Month saw a really pleasing burst of radio activity at national level for West Midlands acts. Time for a few facts and figures. 

Impressive music is emerging from the West Midlands. Some of it is starting to get equally impressive recognition at National radio. 

This is a big deal. Scoring airplay at Radio 2, the country's most listened-to station, even in off-peak shows, means more than scoring airplay on any other station in the country. It means that hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of people, will have heard your song, and that it will have been presented, sympathetically, to an unusually receptive audience. It's a great trick if you can pull it off, and it is definitely not easy - just ask anyone who's tried. 

Local acts are breaking out. When you gather it all together, it begins to look good: we're talking about millions of listens at national level. Of course, I have no way to ensure that this info is comprehensive; there's probably a lot more to celebrate.

Star performers in March:

The Musgraves: Last of Me single, with 6 plays in the past month at BBC Radio 2

Also shining brightly: 

Destroyers: Hole in the Universe single. Transition Records 
Mike Harding Show, BBC Radio 2, 28 March
It’s also worth noting that the Destroyers logged two sell-out shows last week to alarmingly enthusiastic crowds in Birmingham and London. And if you play the video, do note the comment, from Taysidethistles, up near the top.

Urban Folk Quartet: Jaleo Bus/Up In The Air. Taken from 'Off Beaten Tracks' CD 
Mike Harding Show,
BBC Radio 2, 28 March

Dan Whitehouse: My Heart Doesn’t Age, It Just Gets Older single, Tiger Dan records.
Alex Lester, 21 March; Steve Lamacq, 3 March, BBC Radio 2; also playlisted at Q Radio (National Digital)   

  Sam Redmore: Is This Love Remix 
Craig Charles, BBC 6 Music, 17 March.

Thanks to the excellent Compare My Radio website, we also know that
Ruby Turner scored more play at BBC Radio 2 with Lord I Thank You - thank you for the update comment, PF - in March. 

Nightingales: Best of British Luck / The Burster, new CD tracks
Marc Riley, BBC 6 Music: 8th/13th/19th/22nd/28th March

Chris Tye and Wes Finch 
Honourable mentions in Guardian reader playlist, 21 March

So, so far, so good, but I've almost certainly missed some stuff out. Researching this in detail is time-consuming; getting play details out of all the key specialist shows isn't the easiest thing in the world. If you're not on the above list, and you’ve scored some national play, please drop me a note so that I can update the post. 

There are some interesting issues to consider: 

How did these guys score national airplay? 

In particular, what steps did each act take to bring their work to national exposure? 

There are a number of routes, but it’s heartening to note that national DJs are going out of their way to explore new music from the West Midlands. 

Now, this can’t be the whole picture, and it goes without saying that Kerrang, BBC Introducing at WM, CWR, Hereford and Worcester, Shropshire and Stoke are all playing their part, as are WCR-FM, Bridge FM, Scratch Radio and other community operations. And, as I have repeatedly suggested, judicious local plays for the right local artists can bring unique benefits to both station and artist.

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