Friday, 19 February 2016

Radio Review: 19 February

On-air love for Earth, Wind & Fire’s Maurice White

Written by Louis Barfe
Louis-Barfe-colour-176It seems that anybody who's anybody in the violin world favours a Stradivarius, but are these rare and valuable instruments the only serious choice? This was one of the questions asked by Verity Sharp in The Instrument Makers, a welcome entrant to the 11am documentary slot on Radio 4 last week. Clerkenwell violin maker Andreas Hudelmayer argued that technological advances mean that a good modern instrument would probably be better made than a Strad. Of course, for those who want their factory-fresh violin to look the part, Hudelmayer offers to scuff and scratch it lovingly so it appears 300 years old.

Meanwhile, on BBC 6Music, the city of Bristol and its musical heritage is an ongoing theme, and the other Sunday Tom Robinson was casting around for requests. In among the obvious, modern choices of Portishead and Massive Attack, it was a joy to see so many people on Twitter asking Robinson to play some Acker Bilk.

He obliged, not with ‘Strangler On The Shore’ (sic – that’s how Acker always introduced it), but rather neatly with That’s My Home. I can’t think of too many other places on the dial where Acker would lead seamlessly into the Bristol reggae band Black Roots.

Through that same week, sadness at the death of Earth, Wind & Fire founder Maurice White was tempered by the amount of on-air love for the man and his music. On his 6Music Funk and Soul Show (Saturdays, 6pm), Craig Charles played the band’s 1976 album Spirit in its entirety, then Trevor Nelson devoted his weekly hour on Radio 2 (Wednesdays, 11pm) to White’s memory. Until Nelson mentioned it, I had no idea that White had played the drums on Minnie Riperton’s Les Fleurs. Inform, educate and entertain. Purest Reithianism at work there.

Louis on Twitter: @LFBarfe or email: 

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