Ska-ing The West Country Show

Boots and Braces; My Newfound Adventures in Radioland!


It’s been a funny ol’ week, but I suppose doing Devizine keeps me out trouble. Tends to open all manner of doors, you see; I’ve lots of interesting stuff to dig myself into, things I cannot mention until they come to fruition, don’t want to jinx them. Needless to say, I’m excited about all these prospects. One, which got underway in the matter of last week was when Ollie Greene, aka Ya Freshness of The Big Boss Band, put me in touch with Geoff Longbar.

Geoff runs Boot Boy Radio, an internet station dedicated primarily to ska, rock steady and reggae. While I’ve an eclectic taste in music, my love of this genre, from its Jamaican roots, the English reinvention as Two-Tone, to the modern international scene known as third generation ska, is paramount.

So, well up for the experience of hosting a radio show from the boots to the braces, I set about creating a pilot. Radio is a funny old thing I often ponder, while I confess, I shy to the spotlight, broadcasting in this manner is surely more akin to talking to oneself; I can do that, often it’s the only way to insure intelligent conversation!

Considering this aforementioned shyness, I decided if I’m going to attempt this it’d have to be the only way I know how; hidden behind a character. Therefore, I dreamt up the kind of well-spoken voice which would be the most unlikely to have any appreciation of ska and reggae, you know, for the joke of it. Perhaps influenced by Peter Cook’s character in the punk/new wave show of the 1970s, Revolver. If you’re old enough to recall, he introduced the acts under the guise of the aristocratic ballroom proprietor, often with reproachful comments towards the acts. While most of the adolescent punk audience got the joke, a few didn’t and inhospitably lashed out.

Click here to tune into Boot Boy Radio

This immediately gave concern, would Geoff, and the listeners accept this unorthodox angle? For if I don’t have the freedom to do whatever I want to do, then I simply don’t. A motto which caved a previous opportunity to host a show on local radio. Nervously then I sent the file Friday morning, and on milkman hours I took my mid-morning nap.

Not only had a positive response been returned, but with it the news I was on tonight at 10pm, as would be the rota. I hadn’t expected it all to sprint like that, and now, I’m the DJ of a show called Ska-ing the West Country, so please tune in every Friday. If you cannot make it, a podcast becomes available the very next morning, least it did the first time.

In the show, sprinkled with my unamusing clips, you’ll find a selection of the finest ska, reggae and rock steady, but I’m not ruling out playing tunes which vaguely relate. So, anything mod-rock, soul, blues, will be slid in, and offering other Caribbean styles from mento to soca; perhaps the latter will have to wait until it’s a bit warmer! I also have the advantage of mentioning devizine, plus any local bands and acts which suit the criteria, and will run through related local events straight off the Devizine calendar.

I’m delighted Geoff has allowed me the freedom to do this how I’d like to, and I was immediately welcomed into an international “family” of ska aficionados. I’d like to thank them all for their messages and comments of approval, seems to have gone down a storm. Only now, I need to bash on with a second show rather hastily; I’m like Ken Bruce on a sugar-rush.

So, mek sure you tune into Boot Boy radio rude boys and girls, anytime, especially on Friday nights from 10pm! And, I’ll add links to the podcasts below.


Ska-ing The Westcountry Show 1st Show, 8th Feb 2019; click to download podcast