Russell On The Radio\

It was not quite an arranged marriage, but it was certainly a marriage-made-in-heaven! David quickly identified that I needed to crash Bob and Roberta Smith’s radio show (he is one artist = Patrick Brill) on Resonance FM. There is already quite a party on Tuesday nights with Paul Hedge (who runs Hales Gallery – as designed by Hawkins\Brown) and Jane Wilbraham (an artist and collaborator with David for Purfleet One Float Carnival).

David ‘Matchmaker’ Bickle sold hard on my vast (and obscure) record collection and insisted that I had to help them out. So we duly assembled in the Kings Arms for a quick couple of sharpeners to get us in the right mood to compete on who could supply the most obscure records on the flimsiest excuse. We were joined by George (the only person younger than 40-odd and with lots of hair) who could actually control the mixing desk.

At this stage I was worried that I would not get much chance to play all of my chosen records (I bought about 40 LPs) as there would be too many people competing for air time. To my relief George and Bob (as Patrick is called) bought no records. As the show's compere, his role it to complain at the choice of records and talk about art openings or gossip about the art world.

As Jane and Paul shared a modest record bag (they had even typed their choices out), this meant that I could get to choose every other record. Usually Bob talks over all the records, even the noisy ones, but after a hard day fighting with all his students and half the art department he was at a low ebb (he made the mistake of only having a coke in the pub!).

The programme was (very) loosely themed on 'Psyche' and we quickly shifted gear starting out with some Funkadelic (Seth and Paul would be very pleased). I managed to contribute Mad Professor 'Psychedelic Dub', Jimi Hendrix 'Voodoo Chile', Soft Machine 'He did it again' and 'Drop', a terrible Donovan track (sorry), Cure 'Pornography', Miles Davis 'Percy X' where he plays organ with his elbows, etc. etc.

I managed to play a request for Jim Ross (a mate from the train) who actually listened - swelling the listenership with Jim and Morag and the kids listening to four. He suggested a little bit of Ivor Cutler's very surreal Scottish poetry 'A Man Needs a Woman'.

The best track of the evening was Hawkwind's 'The Aubergine that ate Rangoon' - which Jim tells me is a tribute to 'The Eggplant that Ate Chicago' - it was truly psychedelic. Towards the end of the show I tried out some beat poetry from Allen Ginsberg which George mixed over Soft Machine and The Move to wonderful affect.

In an hour we barely scratched the surface, even though Bob was pretty restrained (he is the one with his head in his hands passed out on the mixing desk in the photographs). Usually it is impossible to get any music underway at all!

So I had a great time, although I am a bit exhausted today, having gone home to Norfolk on the 2315 train.

Thanks to Bob, George, Jane and Paul….and of course David for setting it all up.

Next music themes will be country rock, dub reggae or maybe electronic.

Pictures are attached and apparently you can download all this nonsense from iplayer!

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