Wednesday, August 20, 2008

South London Pirates

Pirate radio is one of the often neglected benefits of living in London. There's far too much talk and not enough music on most of the official stations, and a narrow range of music. Outside of London there's even less choice. Over the years, pirate radio has led me to the odd party and turned me on to new music - I can vividly remember the first time I heard jungle, lying in Brockwell Park with my radio. Nowadays many of the pirates have websites where you can download podcasts of their programmes anywhere in the world, but you can't beat coming across something unexpected while fiddling around with the radio.

The pirates are still in a healthy state in South London. On Monday, driving between Sydenham and New Cross I picked up the following stations:
  • Metrolove (92.2 fm) - soul, r'nb, hip hop, ragga - back on air despite being raided recently. According to this week's Mercury (13/8), it had been broadcasting from a garage behind the Jasmine House Estate , Wickham Rd in Brockley until Ofcom raided it on 7 August, taking away £5,000 of equipment including a sound system due for use at Notting Hill Carnival
  • Unknown fm (90.6 fm) has been going for 10 years, with a diet of every kind of house music. And unlike some pirates which seem to exist mainly to promote events and club night, the focus really is on the music.
  • Rinse fm (100.4 fm) has been broadcasting for 14 years and is one of the best places to keep up with the latest mutations in London dance music (grime, dubstep, funky etc.)
  • Selectuk (99.4 fm) - more house and garage.
  • Xtreme (101.8 fm) - soulful house.
  • Freeze (92.7 fm).
  • Live fm (101.5 fm) .

I also came across a non-pirate I hadn't heard before, South London Radio (107.3 fm). It proclaims itself as the station for 'Lewisham, Bromley, Croydon and the surrounding areas' . Lots of classic 80s and 90s soul/funk when I was listening (Loose Ends -Hangin' on a String, Incognito - Don't you worry about a thing), plus local news on the hour - they covered the White Hart lap dancing row.


Anonymous said...

Check out South City Radio, broadcasting live at the moment.

Anonymous said...

But you cannot beat listening to radio Luxemberg through your pillow
(the reception going in and out....not the result of waves as I believied in my Youth)

And who can forget Radio Moscow and Radio Tirana

oh happy days

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know anyone in pirate radio and be possible to interview and film for a college project?