Remembering Stuart Cable
I met Stuart Cable on a number of occasions over the years. The first time was when the band I was in supported Stereophonics at the Filling Station in Newport in 1996.
Even in those very early days of the band, his effusive, friendly charisma counteracted the more introspective nature of his bandmates. It made for a really interesting dynamic. His natural friendliness put me at my ease on a daunting night. Although we didn't share any more than a few minutes of talk with each other he made a massively positive impression.
The next time I met Stuart was when I went to interview Stereophonics at the Tivoli in Buckley round about the time Words Gets Around was released. The whole band were always friendly and but it was the spark in Stuart's eyes when he got on the subject of the classic rock that had influenced him and the band that most impressed me. That man loved Creedence, AC/DC, Sabbath, Deep Purple et al more than anyone else I've ever met. It was like a light shining out of him.
It's a great testament to him as a broadcaster that his enthusiasm shone out of every second of his Radio Wales rock show. Such a great shame that he hasn't had the chance to fulfill his potential as a broadcaster. In a matter of weeks, he'd already managed to become a great advocate for new Welsh rock music. He'll be greatly missed by the bands he'd already helped, and it's a great loss to those he now won't have a chance to.
Most recently Stuart played a massive part in Wales Music Day, Radio Wales' inaugural, day long celebration of Welsh music on St David's Day. Stuart co-presented the afternoon show with Roy Noble. He did a great job interviewing and enthusing about the new Welsh artists featured on that show - Georgia Ruth and Paper Aeroplanes. There was nothing affected about his enthusiasm for, and interest in, the music he was hearing. I know he made a very positive impression on those artists.
Stuart Cable, clearly, had a lot of experience of trawling around radio stations with the Stereophonics. He'll have endured - with great civility, I'm sure - countless radio presenters getting the name of the band wrong, or simply going through the motions with the questions that they asked him... he never did that. As a fellow music broadcaster that commands my absolute respect, for what that is worth.
And he was such a great ambassador for the Valleys. I'm from rural northeast Wales. Other Valleys icons - generally from the worlds of rugby or boxing - seemed as if they lived a million miles away from me and were part of a different culture. Stuart didn't though. His language was music and he spoke it as passionately and eloquently as anyone.
A sad day indeed.