Archive for the Radio Category

The overdue burial

Posted in Favourite Publications, Radio, TV, Words on April 21, 2013 by Johnnie

new lifeIn the grand scheme of things, embarking on a Facebook ‘friend’ cull is no big deal. Things change, people move on, acquaintances are fleeting and you’re essentially doing others a favour by ever-so-slightly lightening their burdens. You know the people who don’t ‘like’ anything you say, you know the people who probably ‘hid’ your updates some years ago. Basically, the people who can’t be arsed with you.

All you’re admitting is that, perhaps like your own sad, failed pop career or other youthful crush, clinging on to the past and trying breath life into its sagging, rotting cadaver is a pointless and tragic exercise. You need to move on, break the chains, and rejoice in hearing the Looney Tunes-style whistle as this particularly uncomfortable baggage falls off its cliff edge and moments later makes a satisfyingly distant thud. Continue reading

2002 – A Hella Good year for music?

Posted in Music, Pointless Nostalgia, Radio on March 5, 2012 by Johnnie

This week, BBC 6 music is a decade old, a fine landmark for a station which almost didn’t make it this far. Thanks to the efforts of listeners and well-wishers, it was saved from the chop, and thank heavens. The station’s birthday celebrations have kicked off in earnest this week and, as these things tend to do, made me look back at the year that was.

2002 was a year that promised so much. Without trying to be melodramatic, I think of it as the year that saved music.

The period from 1998-2001 was, in my humble but strong opinion, the absolute worst time for popular music since it began. I look back at the conveyor belt of rubbish that came along, and break out in cold shudders. Of course there was decent stuff in amongst it, but if you consider that it was an era where supposedly cool people turned to David Gray, Macy Gray and Travis, while Red Hot Chili Peppers became one of the biggest bands in the world, it all looked relentlessly dire. Groups like Muse, The Strokes and even The Hives were touted as greatness when, in fact, it all sounded like laughable mediocrity to these ears. Continue reading

It’s WAR on The Kiosk next Saturday…

Posted in Favourite Publications, Geeks, Radio on December 4, 2010 by Johnnie

At 11am on Saturday 11th December 2010 on Phantom 105.2 – It’s WAR as teams representing these two venerable publications lock horns in The Kiosk Quiz of the Year.

It promises to be a great competition – not only for the teams but for a lucky Kiosk listener. We have a great prize for one listener who correctly predicts the winner of the quiz: a €200 gift voucher from EASONS – The perfect place for all your gifts this Christmas. See the bottom of this post for more details.

Team Ticket vs Team Day & Night

“We’re going to MURDER them. And then laugh. Out loud. And point our fingers at them. And laugh again.” – Jim Carroll

“Jim who? He’ll be Off the Record after this.” – John Meagher

Jim Carroll vs. John Meagher

Sinéad Gleeson vs. Nialler9

Lauren Murphy vs. Eamon Sweeney

Continue reading

An AOR nightmare

Posted in Music, New Stuff, Radio on September 2, 2010 by Johnnie

What a horrible dream I just had.  It’s entirely implausible, but I’ll try to make it live for you.

I dreamed someone had invented a radio station based on Radio Fab FM, only they hadn’t realised Smashie and Nicey were a comedic send-up.  A bizarre, insular world of mullets and beer bellies dictated the rock playlist, with a stated policy of playing ‘real music’ by ‘real bands’ – like Spinal Tap and Bad News, no doubt.

The station’s bright young things were so ‘new’ and so ‘radical’ that they actually played The New Radicals, and even occasionally allowed themselves a sneaky Kings of Leon opus.  They then had triple plays consisting of John Mellencamp’s Jack And Diane, followed by Bruce Hornsby and the Range’s The Way It Is, rounded off by Mike and the Mechanics with The Living YearsContinue reading

Strange phenomena

Posted in Books, Music, Radio on August 5, 2010 by Johnnie

It’s quarter of a century since Kate Bush released her landmark single, ‘Running Up That Hill’.  That’s scary.  I can’t quite believe it’s been that long, but it’s true.  I was 16 when it came out, and listening to it today, it still sounds box-fresh.  In 1985, Kate Bush was a solid fixture in my life and had been for as long as I had loved music.

We are celebrating the anniversary this weekend on Phantom 105.2’s The Kiosk, with Nadine interviewing Graeme Thomson, author of new biography Under The Ivy: The Life & Music of Kate Bush.  I’ve been looking forward to this book.  Kate Bush is one of popular music’s most fascinating artists on practically every level.  There’s an otherworldliness to her work and background, something distinctly strange and just out of reach about her – and something I’ve never truly wanted to understand in case it breaks the spell.

I’ve been under her spell since I was 9.  My first single purchase was ‘Wuthering Heights’ in 1978.  A first music purchase is a significant moment in anyone’s life, of course, but buying a 7″ single was odd for me because I didn’t own a record player.  It was also the only single I owned until 1980.  I wasn’t the sort of child who asked for pocket money either, so a bit of saving (and a lot of copper) went into getting it.  Continue reading

Trust me, I’m the Doctor

Posted in Music, Radio on March 30, 2010 by Johnnie

On Saturday, I was ‘crowned’ The Kiosk’s “Dr Beat” for the month of March, at the expense of my fab colleagues Nadine O’Regan and February’s title holder Derek Byrne.  Our latest ‘patient’, the very lovely Aveen Holland, selected my track, St Vincent’s Laughing With A Mouth Of Blood, as her personal favourite from the specially-compiled 18-track mix CD we made for her (see track listing after the “jump”).

An especially magnanimous Derek has already promised to reclaim his crown in April but Nadine, as yet without a win, is more determined than ever to get off the mark next time.  I may use the title “Dr Beat” in all correspondence for the next month.  This is only the third time I have won anything in my life – I won tickets to see an open air showing of Errol Flynn’s Robin Hood at Crystal Palace in 1990 and recently won a Daily Mail caption competition.  So, yes, I’m a wee bit chuffed. Continue reading

Dr Beat comes to The Kiosk

Posted in Music, New Stuff, Radio on February 26, 2010 by Johnnie

Coming to The Kiosk on Phantom 105.2 this weekend is the first in our new, monthly music makeover series, Dr Beat.  Named after the Gloria Estefan and Miami Sound Machine classic, we’re giving one Phantom listener per month the chance to revitalise their jaded record collection.

Our first ‘patient’ is Jo Gohmann, and she has received a special 18-track mix CD (tracklisting below), compiled by Team Kiosk’s ‘doctors’, Nadine O’Regan, Derek Byrne and myself, Johnnie Craig.

Jo will be on The Kiosk this Saturday to tell us how she got on with the CD and if we have managed to revolutionise her musical tastes – and she will also reveal her favourite track, thereby awarding one member of Team Kiosk with the coveted Doctor Beat crown for one month.

If you, or anyone you know, needs the Doctor Beat treatment, email us,

Continue reading