No, not a century of broadcasts – Jon, George and Brum Radio aren’t that old – but 100 shows notched up by Coughing Pigeon’s dynamic duo on Friday 22 January. Read below Jon and George’s reflections on Coughing Pigeon to date – and what may come post-pandemic.
Looking back to this article from almost two years ago, it’s remarkable how much of it has stayed the same, and has changed, and that we’ve managed to stick to our show’s aims!
We were about three months in when we did that Q+A, having done our first show in November 2018. We’ve been disciplined with our aim of playing a wide variety of genres and we’ve kept to our promise to keep it mostly about the music, but given the turbulent times that we’ve been living through, there are occasional references to world events and people that have got to us!
Never knowingly playing the same track twice
We’re quite different to many radio shows in that you’ll never hear the same track twice (with a few exceptions). The repetition on commercial radio drives us crazy and we’re happy to have no agenda other than that we love the tunes we play. It takes a lot of effort to prepare an hour each of lesser-known stuff every week that flows and isn’t repeated from before, but we wouldn’t want it any other way. We like to feel that you can go back and listen again to any show and not think, “Oh, I heard this last time, I’m going to fast forward!”
There have been a couple of times we’ve missed that the other has played a track and repeated something – the offender is quickly mocked! The exception was Edition 50 – and 100 (more below). There are also a few shows that have been attacked by the gremlins of cyberspace or subject to presenter incompetence. Some tracks from those have been played on subsequent shows for those who missed them live.
How the Pandemic has affected the show
There was a short period when we broadcasted old shows and a few two hour solo shows, but we’ve been determined to hold on to our coveted Friday evening slot. We’ve changed how we organise the shows and swapped round less frequently to make sure we conformed to social distancing guidelines. Our promotion of local gigs has been missing over the past 12 months, and we feel like more of the newer music we’ve been playing recently has been crafted outside of the ‘four or five pals in a room’ dynamic – the pandemic means there’s been a greater prevalence of people creating alone.
We miss not being able to play a track on the show and then at a venue soon after, to see if our excitement is met by something more than muffled indifference!
What will Coughing Pigeon Edition 100 be like?
The majority of the show will be tracks that we’ve played between editions 51-99. We’ll focus on either ‘new’ music or recently reissued ‘old’ music. Many artists are struggling at the moment, so we want to shine a light on musicians you can support now by buying a track or two of theirs. To this end we’ll be playing mostly tracks that are available direct from artists or label on Bandcamp – a great platform that has given a boost to struggling artists.
The future of the show and DJ’ing in public again!
We continue to be as excited as ever about putting together music for the show. The journey of musical discovery is never ending – there are always great things from the past to discover and brand new things every week. Knowing you’ll never find all the great music out there is a comfort rather than a distraction!
We miss playing music in public and it’s great to have an outlet with the show. It’ll be interesting to see if people are more open minded when the bars and venues open again or if there will be a craving for the familiar!.
We’d also be lying if we said we didn’t massively miss being in the middle of a dancefloor moving in unity, of course!
We’re proud that 100 shows in, we live up to the ‘sounds from across the spectrum…’ strapline and listeners should expect that the same diversity will continue. As John Peel said of The Fall, “always different, always the same”. It’s great when we see a list of countries that people are tuned in from – music is one of the best ways to break down barriers and for different types of people to understand one another. The thought that there are at least a few people around the world for whom a weekly dose of Coughing Pigeon is a positive in their lives is good enough for us!
Coughing Pigeon’s 100th show can be heard between 18:00 and 20:00 UK time (6pm-8pm) on Friday 22nd January, and future episodes are on every week in that slot. And you can listen again right here.