Sunday, 25 November 2018

URY 1350AM: Autumn 2003 - The Station That Respects The Dead

October, November and December 2003.  The country is still reeling from the Iraq War fallout and the opposition are in disarray.  On television, Dirty Den has risen from the dead and it's just been announced that Doctor Who will shortly be doing the same.  On the radio Sara Cox is about to leave the Radio 1 Breakfast Show and Chris Moyles has been announced as the next host.  In the charts the Black Eyed Peas have had their first hit and The Darkness are limbering up to fail to hit the Christmas number 1 slot.

More important than any of that was my fourth term at the University of York, controversially following on from my first, second and third.  I'd been on University Radio York since January 2003 and regular readers will know of my discovery of masses of cassettes of various bits of output, which have formed the basis of my compilations of each term's output.
Freshers' Week flyer
I'd hate to say these recordings are in any way representative, and certainly not the best bits - indeed this term seems to mark the point where my clips of other people's shows begins to decline - but, as I always point out, it's quite possible this stuff doesn't exist anywhere else.  Any after listening to it, you might wonder why I bothered keeping it.
Freshers' Week 2003 schedule
A reminder that the quality of these clips vary hugely due to mostly being recorded on C90s from medium wave. However for the first time during this compilation there's also some AM audio logger, as when we were given access I'd generally choose to download it in that format.  It just seemed...right.
Largely illegible URY Breakfast flyer. "No cheesy crap" - advice not passed onto the presenters
So here we go with 43 minutes of student radio from Autumn 2003.  After a long summer off the air I remember being incredibly excited about getting back in the studio and particularly about my breakfast show debut.  Enjoy!
My presenter contract
00:11 URY Breakfast with James Brookes (04/10/03)
URY returns after 14 long weeks off air.  A special Freshers' Week schedule operated although James was as ever in position on Saturday breakfast.
01:38 Weekend Early Breakfast with Jonathan Bufton (05/10/03)
7am and 8am openers from my return to the air, in my summer term Saturday and Sunday early slots for one final week.  Listen out for a remixed URY News jingle which launched that week and the first time I used the Pearl and Dean theme which eventually opened all my shows, including (naturally) my Alumni Takeover show fifteen years later.
03:11 URY Freshers' Week Breakfast (09/10/03)
Some of the special breakfast show that ran all week, here from the morning after "Fresh" featuring Eurovision 2003 no-hit-wonders Jemini and 90s legend Pat Sharp.  With James Wickham, James Dickin, Simon Taghioff and Lizzie Whitebread.
05:50 URY Live from Freshers' Fair (11/10/03)
James Brookes is live from the Exhibition Centre, interviewing Station Manager James Dickin and keeping fingers crossed people would sign up.  I on the YSTV stall a couple of metres to the right.
08:25 URY Breakfast with Michael Brothwell (12/10/03)
Michael's first Sunday breakfast show - a slot he was made for, and indeed over the next two years Sunday's Freshly Brewed became something of an institution.  He was quite good at spotting future stars, here bigging up the debut record from someone called Amy Winehouse.
09:48 B&Q advert
Voiced by Adam Leith, and running throughout this term.  Considering we all lived in rented furnished accommodation, I imagine B&Q's appeal to students was limited.
10:38 URY Breakfast with Adam and Jonathan (16/10/03)
My first breakfast show proper, which Adam Bell and I mainly spend talking on top of each other.  Here's some incisive chat about the toilets in the just-opened Roger Kirk Centre.  We did get better.
12:14 Soldier of Hell with Spencer Vale (07/10/03)
Despite the graduation of the Soldiers the previous term when they graduated, the singular Solider (here feeling very old at 23) was back.
13:32 The Source at Six Special (29/10/03)
URY's news programme stayed on air to cover the no confidence vote in Iain Duncan Smith live.  Campus Conservative Iain Lindley - a nice guy who was the go-to-Tory for campus media as he was always happy to come on and chat - is interviewed by Jameses Doughty and Gallagher.  Here he correctly predicts Michael Howard will be the next leader, and incorrectly thinks his popularity isn't an issue.  Apologies for the particularly grotty audio quality.
15:52 URY Breakfast with Adam and Jonathan (30/10/03)
The following morning, Adam and I indulge in some "satirical comedy" around the same issue.  Watch out Rory Bremner.
16:20 URY Breakfast with Sam and Simon (11/11/03)
It's the 85th anniversary of the end of World War One, and Sam and Simon observe two minutes silence in their own inimitable fashion.  You can hear the disdain for the Student Broadcast Network sustaining service throughout this, which although giving us a lot of funding was often pretty shoddy.  Now into their final year as a going concern, they even forget to do the Armistice Day silence.  Sam (or is it Simon) links out of their (edited down by me) silence with a compelling new slogan for URY.
20:54 URY Breakfast with Adam and Jonathan (06/11/03)
When I was parachuted into Adam's breakfast show I suggested a feature parodying Challenge Anneka called (yes, you guessed it) Challenge Adam.  Most of my features were based around an old TV theme tune and this was no exception.  Adam gamely went along with it and here, with help from Owen Murphy and James Gallagher, he's sent to sing at a porter in Langwith.  Just to date it even more, listen out for the Bo Selecta audio at the start.  Followed by me closing the show with another old theme tune and an accidental whopping double entendre which got me onto the URY Quotes Board.
25:08 Sunday Early Breakfast with Jonathan Bufton (16/11/03)
Although Michael and I were both placed on the breakfast show this term we were still quite fond of our early slots, and so he took on Saturday Early Breakfast whilst I kept the sabbath.  The appeal wore off quite rapidly with colder weather and a longer walk onto campus, and you can definitely hear that in our voices here as Michael guests on my perennial "week in news" feature.  What was that I was saying about old theme tunes?  True to form this started as the Lottery of News, became the Wheel of News and finally here was Play Your News Right.  Listen out for "news" of the URY AGM.
27:36 URY Breakfast with Jonathan and Tom (20/11/03)
Taken from a week when Tom Hughes was standing in for Adam, a few clips from where "Challenge Tom" became "Challenge Jon and Tom", with new Station Manager Owen Murphy taking control to resolve the bickering by setting me the ultimate challenge: talking to women.
32:37 James Wickham (10/12/03)
Some technical problems are resolved by Terry Withers followed by one of Mr Wickham's jingles.
34:06 & 41:25 Christmas jingles 
Made for use during the final fortnight of this term.
34:26 The Block (11/12/03)
A big selling point of URY this term was the station's very own soap opera, The Block, set in the fictional Vanbrugh D block (geddit?).  A lot of effort went into it and it was actually quite good, although as heard here during this short edit of the Christmas special it got surreal quite quickly.  We used to play it out during the breakfast show which meant as well as being able to listen to it we got to put our feet up for a bit - 25 minutes in this case.  Look out for my shameless theft of an old 1FM news jingle at the start...
41:43 URY Breakfast with James Brookes (13/12/03)
The last show of the year, and Santa Brookes is here with his little helper to see the station off the air for the final time in 2003.
The Block flyer

Coming next: fire up your Top Up TV box, it's Spring 2004.

Sunday, 29 July 2018

URY 1350AM: Summer 2003 - What's Korfball?

This is my third compilation of audio memories from University Radio York fifteen years ago, and we've reached the end of my first year, and the long hot summer of 2003.

If you've missed round 1 and round 2 then let me fill you in.  In my student days I presented on the University of York's student radio station URY, and recently I've found the tapes.  As well as my own, there's plenty of random unlabelled stuff that I recorded for reasons unknown, but thanks to my odd devotion to C90 a lot of material that was presumably otherwise lost forever lives on, admittedly as fuzzy medium wave recordings.

The desk in 2003.  Photo courtesy of Simon Taghioff

So, without further ado here is 42 minutes of student radio from April, May and June 2003 - the good, the (often) bad and the (hopefully not) ugly, featuring game show scandals, student politics, Roses, a playlist rebellion, a surprising amount of Craig David and very bad karaoke. In what I think was a first, the previous term's schedule was used for week 1, rather than the station being largely off air until week 2 whilst the new schedule was arranged.   Due to the very late Easter that year, the term oddly began on Wednesday 23rd April, and so URY sprang back into life the day before.

00:05 The J Team take a "radio jog" around campus (22/04/03)
01:52 May Contain Nuts with Jonathan Bufton and a ever-so-slightly tongue in cheek tribute to S Club 7, who had announced they were splitting two days previously (23/04/03)
03:26 Stop Broadcasting Now with Simon Taghioff stops broadcasting (for now), with a nicely edited package that makes us sound quite funny at times (25/04/03)
05:15 Sunday Early Breakfast with yours truly, Michael Brothwell and Simon tackling the Who Wants To Be A Millionaire coughing scandal in our own inimitable way (which is basically embryonic Nation's Favourite material).  And yes, that is the Weakest Link bed, it was the closest I could get... (27/04/03)
07:17 and the transmitter is sounding even more fuzzy than usual leading to an on air apology.  Anyone know who the presenter is? (30/04/03)
07:56 Sourcenight with James Doughty and guest Iain Lindley look at the shortage of campus accommodation for final year students, featuring a slightly astonishing statement from the uni.  URY's own Adam Bell was one of those who missed out, and ended up taking the remaining room in our shared house as a result (02/05/03)
10:56 Weekend Early Breakfast with Jonathan Bufton - yes you read that correctly.  This term Michael and I conquered earlies between us, after we snapped up vacant slots so that I held weekends and Michael owned weekdays.  It seemed like a good idea at the time.  But living on campus and it being summer meant the early starts weren't too painful, and we actually had a lot of fun with the vast amounts of airtime we had to play with, "Shame Academy" (with added Taghioff) being a case in point... (04/05/03)
13:07 Complain! This was on the adverts mini disc but I don't remember ever having to play it.  Maybe we were obliged to air it once a term?  Anyway, here are the defunct watchdogs that you could complain to if we stepped out of line.
13:59 Roses 2003 and a selection of output from the weekend when Lancaster came to York to, er, play sport.  Our output was also transmitted on 87.7 Bailrigg FM and we had special jingles, all of which was quite exciting even though I had zero interest in sport.  Here we have a preview of the weekend (what's Korfball?) and Owen Murphy and Simon Taghioff run through Friday's action (what's Korfball?) No actual sport, just talking about it, which was basically what you got most of the weekend.  Spoiler: York won. (08-09/05/03)
16:57 Roses Early Breakfast and Breakfast - for the simulcast a 24 hour schedule was organised which meant my early start became an hour earlier.  Features James Brookes complimenting this achievement and an SBN promo for the Student Radio Chart. (10-11/05/03)
20:19 A monologue on student ambivalence.  I have no clue who this is, but it's quite...something.  Any ideas? (11/05/03)
22:05 URY Breakfast with my good self standing in for Wickham and Alice.  My first proper try-out at the Breakfast Show which I was very excited about indeed.  It also meant I was on air for a total of ten hours that week, a record I (thankfully) never broke (16/05/03)
23:03 Soldiers of Hell with Spencer Vale, where it appears to be about 1995 (20/05/03)
23:55 URY Breakfast with Sam & Simon attempting to remove a track from the URY playlist by hiding the CD and crossing it out from the chart sheet, all of which sounds prehistoric now.  No idea who the caller was (21/05/03)
25:22 Sourcenight features Louise Wheeler on the apathy towards Union General Meetings (23/05/03)
27:44 Oxfam Week advert with Adam Bell and James Dickin.  Quite a unique effort compared to the usual ads we had to play out (24/05/03)
28:57 Weekend Early Breakfast/Breakfast handover where I finally confront the nicest man in radio about being called mad each week (24/05/03)
29:30 James Alexander really really wants us to pass the YUSU budget so he can go to Ikon, Toffs and Ziggys in quick succession again (02/06/03)
30:31 URY Breakfast with Jameses Wickham and Gallagher, and the debrief from the previous night's URY social (06/06/03)
31:30 Adam Leith (who appears to be presenting The Best of Pages from Ceefax) has trouble with the news not appearing.  Play-and-record jingle fans, it's the full News In (08/06/03).
32:24 URY Breakfast has a tricky start as Robbie Dale enters the studio moments before the three beeps.  He's particularly unlucky here as SBN elect not to put out stacks of ads and promos after the news bulletin.  Robbie would often arrive with seconds to spare and still be effortlessly better and cooler than I had been directly before him (08/06/03)
33:43 Epiclectic reminds me that this summer URY had someone in on work experience!  No doubt highly illegal these days, but somehow the station managed to keep Idris occupied for a fortnight (11/06/03)
34:09 Weekend Early Breakfast breaks the news that URY has new CD players (and my god we were ready for them) and airs a brain fade moment from when I covered Michael's show a few days previously (15/06/03)
34:54 URY Breakfast with...well.  Robbie overslept a couple of weeks running at the end of the term because he clearly had more exciting things to do the night before than I did, so Michael and I took control (and the piss).  If you listen carefully you'll note all the early mornings have paid off and we've been told we're on Breakfast from the Autumn (15/06/03)
36:07 The Hype Guide to What's On which for a while replaced the DJ-read guide during the breakfast show.  I love the jaunty samba music in the background as the Islamic Society's meeting in the Prayer Room and a Roman Polanski film is promoted (16/06/03)
37:48 James Scott and "Kevin Bowman" who after his op sounds surprisingly similar to Gill Rickson... (23/06/03)
38:56 Soldiers of Hell comes to an end after four years...until it came back the following term, that is (24/06/03)
41:00 URY Breakfast and who else but James Brookes gets the honour of switching the station off for the summer as the 2002/3 academic year comes to a close.  Listen carefully and you'll notice this is from the new webstream, as I'd been kicked out of my campus room and returned home the previous day (28/06/03)
Hardcore early noughties kit.  Photo courtesy of Simon Taghioff

Coming next: Autumn 2003.  Make sure you've updated your Real Player.

Saturday, 3 March 2018

URY 1350AM: Spring 2003 - Life In The Funny Lane

This is my second compilation of University Radio York output, this time featuring highlights from Spring 2003 - my second term at uni, and my first on air on URY (cringe).

As with last time, it's all from cassettes that have been sat in my parents' loft for over a decade, all recorded from medium wave, so adjust your audio expectations accordingly.  Unless someone else was pressing play-and-record at the time it's unlikely this audio exists anywhere else, so hopefully it provides a unique window into student radio in the early noughties.

I originally had no intention of presenting on the radio station, instead thinking I would help out editing things behind the scenes.  However, after an utterly tedious two hour session helping make a thirty second McCoys crisps commercial, and encouragement from my housemates (more of them later), I decided to have a go.  At URY you had to have a training session - usually in the studio late at night in one of the on air slots the Student Broadcast Network insisted they have - followed by a "demo" to prove you had the minimal technical expertise required.  I can remember for my demo I bought all the tabloids from the student union shop to mine for stories to talk about (as if anyone would give a toss what I was saying), eventually settling on a bizarre story about a Countdown fan playing the show's theme at their funeral.  Towards the end of the term this clearly gripping recording gave me the green light, and I was allowed to go on air from January 2003.

On air in January 2003 (photo courtesy of Simon Taghioff)

The schedule was pretty crowded at this point so newbies were generally given an hour slot, so I was awarded 4-5pm on Wednesdays.  However a few of us - including my housemates - expressed an interest in upping URY's airtime by also filling some more "off peak" slots.  So I made my debut in the primetime slot of Sunday 7-9am, which of course on student radio was christened "Early Breakfast".  Between us that term, URY went on air at 7am, seven days a week, and at the weekend stayed on air until 3am.

Despite the early alarm, I absolutely loved it.  From putting the station on air in the morning to having hours and hours to muck about, make mistakes and talk nonsense, I was so excited about going on air each week.  It was also a big term for the station, as for the first time it could be heard around the world on the website.  For around a year previously it had been available on the campus network (so basically in computer rooms), but now it could be heard literally anywhere - and in stereo too, not fuzzy old medium wave.

Also in this compilation - the debate over differential rents, two very different special guests, the buildup to the second Iraq War, talk of Heslington East and a central venue (it'll never happen), more early morning and late night broadcasting, coverage of that year's Student Union elections, and Red Nose Day.  Happy memories of simpler times.  Enjoy.

00:06 The Ultimate Student Chart 2003 promo that was the call-to-arms towards the end of the Autumn 2002 term for...
00:49 The Ultimate Student Chart 2003: Top Ten Cheesy Tunes with Buzz and Lizzie starting with the definitive "technical difficulty" that we all had at least once, which was go on air before switching the on air output from SBN to Studio 1... (11/01/03)
02:06 The Ultimate Student Chart 2003 with James Brookes and Pam Wells.  As heard here James is in his second stint on URY "training as a maths teacher", which he's now been doing for real for many years, and of course he's still on URY in 2018... (11/01/03)
05:30 Sunday Early Breakfast with Jonathan Bufton.  That's me, and this is my first link, at 7.03am on a Sunday morning.  Could be better, could be worse, but at least I hit the bloody intro spot on! Not that I'd been practising... (12/01/03)
06:09 Soldiers of Hell with Spencer Vale, specifically Bargain C*nt with David Dickheadson.  2003 in a nutshell, there (14/01/03)
07:58 No idea who this is, but it's another new presenter clearly struggling as they try to hit the top of the hour.  He correctly identifies that as with Alan Partridge the last thing you want is an awkward gap whilst trying to hit the news at the top of the hour... (16/01/03)
09:07 The Source at Six with Verity Wilde and Nick da Costa.  This is all I have but shows how Iraq dominated the headlines that term (16/01/03)
09:52 Freshly Brewed at Early Breakfast with my housemate Michael Brothwell.  The new webstream meant we did (very occasionally) get exciting emails from around the world.  Notice also the slight tension towards SBN's output, which we all regarded as total shite (17/01/03)
11:28 Sourcenight reporting on differential rents between different accommodation, something that was still a hot topic for many at this point.  Of course, nothing changed (17/01/03)
13:30 Stop Broadcasting Now with my housemate Simon Taghioff.  Yes, the acronym was intentional.  The filled the late slot after 1am on Friday nights, and here Simon tackles the truly abominable York Star newspaper that we'd been receiving in Edens Court (24/01/03)
15:10 James Gallagher versus James Brookes on a Saturday afternoon (25/01/03)
16:39 York Hire Ware advert, voiced by Phil Stewart, which always used to annoy me when it referred to "scuff links".  Sadly York Hire Wear closed down in summer 2017 (Spring 2003)
17:01 Tim Bateson with special DJ guests Friday Night Posse and a debate on vinyl versus CD.  This discussion will be somewhat out of date within a few years... (26/02/03)
19:55 The Festering Skunk with Michael Brothwell and special guest Dr Maden Pirie of the Adam Smith Institute.  Quite a coup for Michael although I have to take the credit for the phone flashing so early in the show... (28/02/03)
21:14 SU Elections 2003 Question Night for the Student Union elections, which entirely by coincidence starts with the eventual president, Chris Jones, whose interview I've included in full (02/03/03)
27:30 Epiclectic with Simon Tagioff and yours truly, whose mobile embarrassingly goes off as soon as we go on air, immortalising my naff 2003 ringtone forever (05/03/03)
28:50 SU Elections 2003 Warmup with James Wickham and Owen Murphy as they build up the excitement for the big night (07/03/03)
29:44 SU Elections 2003 Results Night with James Doughty, James Gallagher and Simon Taghioff.  Here we have the intro, a technical cockup after Tatu that James G links out of superbly, the policies of the eventual president Chris Jones, highlights of the week's coverage and a nasty technical cockup.  Worth listening to for James G's comment on Doorsafe alone (07/03/03)
37:56 Freshly Brewed with Michael Brothwell and myself on Red Nose Day 2003 - and the last day of the Spring Term 2003 - reviewing the term's news to the sounds of that year's Comic Relief single (14/03/03).

Next up - Summer 2003.  I bet you can't wait.