Friday, 17 March 2017

Radio Review: 17 March

Louis keeps an ear out for Brian Matthew’s successor

Written by Louis Barfe
Only one thing stops me saying that Tony Blackburn is in his rightful place as Brian Matthew’s successor on Radio 2’s Sounds of the Sixties. It’s that SOTs is no longer in its Louis-Barfe-colour-176rightful place, having been moved from 8am on a Saturday to 6am to accommodate Dermot O’Leary.

I’m sure bosses will argue that scheduling matters less now with iPlayer, but not everybody is online. Given the nostalgic nature of the show, I suspect many of what Brian Matthew used to call the ‘avids’ will be resolutely analogue listeners. If I were cynical, I’d conclude that the suits were trying to kill SOTs.

I hope they don’t succeed. Our old mate’s departure was emotional, Matthew being clearly moved as he did his final announcement. I nearly went too as the show closed with the long-serving theme, Foot Tapper by the Shadows, in full.

Toe Knee Black Burn has ditched Foot Tapper (fair enough), but it’s a shame he hasn’t revived his own 1960s theme, Beefeaters by John Dankworth and his orchestra. Also, his talkover bed sounds wrong and is more like 1970s funk. He did, however, open the first show with Flowers in the Rain by the Move, the record with which he opened Radio 1.

Pleasingly, SOTs is now live, and Blackburn fields tweets and emails. I'm taking a long view on whether the level of joyous obscurities is maintained – it should and must be. The mix of favourites, B-sides and one-flop wonders was what made the show. Thankfully, I trust Phil ‘The Collector’ swern to maintain standards, and happily, he’s an on-air presence in the ‘Collector’s Colossal Collection’ feature.

Also, if Brian Matthew’s final announcement is to be believed, he’ll be back with some specials in the near-future. Good – it’s the least Radio 2 can do after the shabby way he was treated.

Louis on Twitter: @LFBarfe or email: 

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