tweety stuff @ronanfromcork
first published in @The Evening Echo 2014-12-11
104… for many people who lived in Cork in the 1990s those were the most important numbers you needed on your radio to find out about Cork’s clubbing and music scene, the pirate radio station Radio Friendly was a conduit to tunes from the exotic sounding names like Zico, Torque, Escobar playing the records that you wanted to know the names of.
Radio Friendly closed in 2001 but there will be a reunion held this St Stephens Day in 6ix on Bridge Street, Andrea/Miss Ken D who co-founded the station with Mr. P (Colm Moore), spoke from her current home in Poland about what sparked the reunion, “while I’ve fulfilled a lifelong ambition to have children, my oldest son is 6 and my youngest is nearly two, I’ve also got the ole music buzz back. My mother was hounding me to get my thousands of records out of her attic, for the last 7 years I didn’t have access to them as they were in the boarded up attic while the house was rented out. Going through them all again was emotional. I found so much stuff I had forgotten about. I really wanted to catch up with all the people from that time.”
She reflected upon the foundations of Radio Friendly,”the early 90’s was a bit punk. Cork was after a huge crisis with Irish Steel going and Dunlop. The city was full of second shops and music was all we had… it was so important. Also there was a huge sense of underground music… the movement of indie to dance. Before we set up Radio Friendly I was more into indie music honestly I had only been to Sweat in Sir Henrys a couple of times, Freakscene were more my thing. Mr P had lots of mix tapes from Sunshine FM and Power FM in Dublin, Radio Friendly was much more about getting many types of underground music to the Cork heads than any particular night or type of music. I got to know most of the DJs we had on after, not before. the station opened.”
While the 12 hour reunion party in Six is confirmed, the exact line up and running order is still being nailed down, as Andrea continued, “people like Torque, Colm O Riordain aka Love Hertz, Colm K, Carlos, Mucca, Zico, Keith Synnott and Ross Curley are all confirmed but we are still pulling people together. There are a lot who want to play some records but we will manage to give everybody a slot, just like we did on the radio station.”
Giving everyone an opportunity was a mainstay of Radio Friendly, the roster of people who cut their teeth on Radio Friendly is a long and varied list such as Stevie G, the Evening Echo columnist and Red FM presenter. Others out at that station include Dave Mac who used to host a show on Radio Friendly, and Colm Moore who is one of the producers of The Neil Prendeville Show.
Andrea does spare a thought for those who won’t be able to make the reunion, “John Broz and Alan Ahearne, who were both regulars on the station have both passed away and will be in our thoughts, and loads others are spread all over the world, Neil Rush is in China, DJ Source and Colin D are in Australia and so on. There are also people we just simply can’t track down.”
While this reunion promises to be a great time, Andrea doesn’t think it means Radio Friendly could exist now, “I don’t think you could do the same thing again. Radio, the broadcast kind, is amazing. It’s a beautiful medium. nothing can replace it. Then it was trust the DJ or “in the DJ we trust”, take us on a journey. I was talking to a guy here in Poland about how easy digital DJ equipment is to buy, compared to buying Technics Turntables and Vinyl. He laughed and said “yeah thats the problem… everyone is a DJ and no one trusts the DJ!” On Radio Friendly the DJ was trusted and they took you on a journey and you followed, followed them to club nights which led to meeting like minds and all sorts of things. Now the internet means patience is not necessary and the lifespan of a tune is so short. We waited months and years to get our hands on a tune and also some DJs had tunes we could not get and the only way to gleam the gems was to listen to the radio.”
The Radio Friendly Reunion takes place in 6ix on Bridge Street on St Stephens Day from 2pm to 2am. The whole event will be broadcast online, go to www.facebook.com/pages/Radiofriendly for more information