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Adam Walton playlist and show info: Saturday 9 June 2012

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Adam Walton Adam Walton | 16:19 UK time, Wednesday, 13 June 2012

This week's show is now available via the BBC iPlayer. Please visit the link below any time between now and the start of the next programme.

Once upon a time, not all that long ago, an esteemed music journalist mailed me asking why the artist he was then representing, something noodly and sub-Gong from west Wales, weren't getting airplay on my show when Future Of The Left were?

His band (he wasn't in them, just acting as their advocate) were, he said, selling tens of thousands of albums worldwide, yet barely merited a mention on my show. Future Of The Left, on the other hand, sold an awful lot fewer albums, yet I'd genuflect all over them, and would probably lavish airplay on them breaking wind, if they'd let me.

I hadn't really seen things from his perspective before. I did the right thing and questioned myself rigourously, doing the whole good cop/bad cop thing:

"There's nothing wrong with unquestioningly fawning over a band, Adam - I can call you Adam, can't I? Would you like a cigarette? Just tell us all about it and we can go home..."

"You pathetic slaaaag, Walton! If you climbed any further inside their backsides the BBC'd have to install a studio up there so you could do your crummy, sycophantic bumlick of a show without ever having to listen to anything else. ADMIT IT OR I'LL BELT YOUR FACE OFF!"

It's OK - I'm part psychopathic Gemini.

So, I listened to his band/then I listened to Future Of The Left's album of that time - Travels With Myself And Another - and I realised I was indubitably right, and I've slept soundly (over this, at least) ever since.

The journalist in question - let's call him Colin because it is, indeed, his name - isn't going to like this week's programme much, I fear.

It centres on an in-depth interview about Future Of The Left's phenomenal new album The Plot Against Common Sense.

It is a phenomenal album. It's phenomenal that they managed to record it and get it released at all, after line-up changes; three years' worth of perfunctory, unromantic struggle; three years of steadfast refusal to compromise; three years of temping in anaesthetising jobs; three years of occasionally wondering whether it was all worth it, and - no doubt - whether it would be easier if they went a bit sub-Gong and moved to west Wales.

Mostly it's phenomenal because that three years of frustration has 15 shades of holy hell beaten out of it on this album. 15 (well, 16, without wishing to spoil the ending) songs of defiance, vitriolic resignation, hard-earned wisdom, barbed tunes and lyrical genius. Dedicating an hour of this show to that album, and the excellent people who've made it, is the least I could do.

So, I paid to go to Belgium to see them as a birthday present to myself and interviewed them to death on the ferry back home.

It's a band interview. We hear from all members of the band. Jack says "funk" and it is ace.

Contrast in this week's show comes from a shimmering and utterly beautiful live set from Richard James. Dare I say it's even better than his recent album Pictures In The Morning? There's just something magical about the atmosphere of the recording. Truly wonderful. I do hope you enjoy it.

Elsewhere, Alan Holmes treats us to something on the verge of being forgotten from north Wales, from The Kaseo Kid. And Ben Hayes trots in tweedily with musical inspiration from elsewhere.

Please send demos/new releases/recommendations/law-suits etc to themysterytour@gmail.com. A high quality mp3 or download link is preferred, please.

Many thanks/diolch o galon. I hope you enjoy the ride - well, the ferry journey.

Future Of The Left - 'Goals In Slow Motion'
Cardiff

VESTALS, THE - 'Perfect Pain'
Cardiff

CATE LE BON - 'Falcon Eyed'
Penboyr

MOWBIRD - 'Thank You, You Are Revolting'
Wrexham

SEX HANDS - 'Gay Marriage'
Dwygfylchi/Llanfairfechan/Conwy

IRMA VEP - 'What's That In Your Mouth? ( Album Version )'
Llanfairfechan

Future Of The Left - 'European Interview 2012 Pt. 1'
Cardiff

Future Of The Left - 'Beneath The Waves An Ocean'
Cardiff

Future Of The Left - 'European Interview 2012 Pt. 2'
Cardiff

Future Of The Left - 'I Am The Least Of Your Problems ( Album Version )'
Cardiff

Future Of The Left - 'European Interview 2012 Pt. 3'
Cardiff

Future Of The Left - 'Cosmo's Ladder [ Album Version ]'
Cardiff

HALF MAN HALF BISCUIT - 'Depressed Beyond Tablets'
Birkenhead

ALAN HOLMES - 'Spoken Contribution'
Bangor

KASEO KID, THE - 'Trendy Nightspots'
Bangor

MARTIN CARR - 'I Will Build A Road'
Cardiff

GULP - 'Game Love'
Cardiff

RICHARD JAMES - 'All Gone [ Live At Crackling Vinyl ]'
Croes - Y - Ceiliog

RICHARD JAMES - 'Baby Blue [ Live At Crackling Vinyl ]'
Croes - Y - Ceiliog

RICHARD JAMES - 'Say It Ain't No Lie [ Live At Crackling Vinyl ]'
Croes - Y - Ceiliog

RICHARD JAMES - 'Cariad Y Wawr [ Live At Crackling Vinyl ]'
Croes - Y - Ceiliog

RICHARD JAMES - 'Down To My Heart [ Live At Crackling Vinyl ]'
Croes - Y - Ceiliog

RICHARD JAMES - 'Shake My Heart [ Live At Crackling Vinyl ]'
Croes - Y - Ceiliog

RICHARD JAMES - 'Familiar Roads [ Live At Crackling Vinyl ]'
Croes - Y - Ceiliog

RICHARD JAMES - 'Sinners And Movers [ Live At Crackling Vinyl ]'
Croes - Y - Ceiliog

RICHARD JAMES - 'Yes My Love Died [ Live At Crackling Vinyl ]'
Croes - Y - Ceiliog

EUROS CHILDS - 'Spin That Girl Around [ Single Version ]'
Pembrokeshire

Future Of The Left - 'European Interview 2012 Pt. 4'
Cardiff

Future Of The Left - 'Sorry Dad, I Was Late For The Riots'
Cardiff

Future Of The Left - 'European Interview 2012 Pt. 5'
Cardiff

Future Of The Left - 'Podcast Extract'
Cardiff

Future Of The Left - 'European Interview 2012 Pt. 6'
Cardiff

Future Of The Left - 'Notes On Achieving Orbit [ Radio Edit ]'
Cardiff

BEN HAYES - 'Spoken Contribution'
Ruthin

PANABRITE - 'Station'
Seattle/Welsh Label

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Hi Adam,

    I'm pleased that our conversation was cause for thought. My point wasn't that you should feature one artist or the other, it was that, as a representative of Welsh music that it was inappropriate for you to choose to selectively ignore Welsh artists based on your own taste. That you are such an 'heart on your sleeve fan' is fantastic and an endearing aspect of your personality and you should feature the bands you love as you see fit. You should also, though, be prepared to play bands that you don't 'like'. As a broadcasting bastion in the Land of Our Fathers, with that rarest of all things afforded contemporary broadcasters, the ability to set your own playlists, you have 'the power' to extend the reach and influence of Welsh artists. Because of this, I would suggest that you have a duty to be supportive to artists whose work you don't enjoy, if their endeavours are culturally and commercially 'successful' and bring benefit to Wales and it's music community.

    I reiterate that in my opinion you are a great broadcaster and your show is vital for Wales' music community and I thank you for your honest discourse.

    Diolch

    Colin

  • Comment number 2.

    Hello Colin,

    You're inferring that I don't understand the responsibility incumbent in this position - I do.

    Fundamentally someone, somewhere has to make editorial decisions about what does / doesn't get played on the show. I have 3 hours a week to provide the best platform I can for new Welsh music. I play what I think is most interesting; that's not always synonymous with what I like the most.

    I thought the artist in question - I believe you produced / co-produced at least some of that particular album... but I could be wrong* - were nothing more than mediocre (I did, however, play a track from their last album). They hadn't submitted any music I deemed more worthy of support / airplay than the tracks that were featured during that period.

    If I played tracks purely on the basis of sales - which I believe was part of your original argument for the band you were advocating - the whole foundation of the show would shift. The show's remit is to support the most interesting, new Welsh music that gets submitted to me. 'Most interesting' is subjective, of course, and it's my job to make those decisions... and they're not made lightly, and I'd like to think that they're made purely on the basis of the each individual track.

    Putting a playlist together - any playlist - is entirely the process of 'selectively choosing Welsh artists'... not always, but for the most part, based on my own broad tastes. There really is no other way to do it.

    Your qualifications about music that is "culturally and commercially 'successful'" are exactly the kind of considerations that come into play when music that isn't, personally, to my taste gets airplay.

    I was being facetious bringing our conversation from back then up in this context, and I am sorry - and embarrassed - for doing that. The general argument that I'm making for Future of the Left is - broadly - similar to the one you were making for the other band. We both felt / feel strongly that the music we respect and value should get more support / attention than is currently the case. I listen to other music shows and wonder why some of the artists I admire the most don't get as much airplay as I think they deserve. If I'm listening to 6Music, then it's a demarcated playlist chosen by committee, with individual presenters' choices included [so, subjective]. If it's a web station, the playlist is usually entirely the domain of the presenter concerned.

    That's how radio is 'made'. It's how you would have operated as a journalist, I'm sure - OK, not a publicly funded one, and that is -- if I'm right -- the key point here.

    I'm publicly funded to make an interesting radio show. I'm not publicly funded to provide democratic representation to every band / musician in Wales. The ideal falls somewhat in-between, of course. But it's still more of a subjective exercise than an objective and scientific filtration process. Either that, or we have passionless radio via plastic funnels.

    I'm appreciative of the positive things you've written about me / the show. I respect your work and your point of view. I wouldn't have carried that particular 'conversation' around with me for so long if I didn't.

    Thankfully, my show isn't the only outlet for Welsh music on radio. I try to direct artists elsewhere, where possible, if I can't accommodate them in my show.

    Soon, hopefully, Radio Wales will have a publicly accessible music policy that includes details of what each show supports / is looking for, and where / how artists should submit their music.

    Radio Wales plays more Welsh music now than ever before. And its support is only going to increase over the coming years. I'd hope that the audience can trust those of us who make the decisions as to what gets played / and what doesn't get played, to choose our music with passion, integrity and fairness. That's certainly my aim / modus operandi. I hope I'm not failing in those areas.

    [current show stats for this year: 810 unique songs/ 989 Total. 509 Artists in 27 shows since 1st, Jan '12 (~songs per show:37, unique artists per show:19) Welsh:95%]

    Thanks for your fair reply,

    Adam

 

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