Wednesday, September 06, 2006

son of peel / lindsay west

I've just finished listening to the first of the two podcasts which Tom Ravenscroft - John Peel's son - has completed for 4Radio, the new podcast radio station from Channel 4. Far from being a novelty item, I was tremendously impressed with the 30 minute show, which draws tracks exclusively from Channel 4's Slash Music service, meaning that all of the artists are either unsigned or operating outside of the conventional music industry. Tom's debut as a DJ - he has worked previously as a music journalist - might very well have been one of two things; a naked attempt to follow in his father's footsteps (which I've contrived to make sound rather offensive, where in fact he has every right to that ambition if he holds it) or an unfortunate reminder of just how good Peel was, as - inevitably - his son is unable to match his astoundingly high standards.

But the show never feels contrived or driven by the market, and the fact that Tom's delivery, like his father's, is even, genial and enthusiastic suggests that had he chosen to take his show to Radio 1 he would surely have been given a warm welcome. There's no replacing Peel, but, just as the loss of Charlie Gillett from BBC London Live creates a huge chap which can never be totally filled, we do need an eclectic, accessible music programme which does at least some of the things which Peel did so well. To this end, Ravenscroft's debut presses all the right buttons; he's calm, likeable and doesn't talk over the records, and in thirty minutes he plays indie rock, tech-house, dub reggae, some odd, gleeful glitchy indie which might have been my first exposure to 'new rave' and a particularly beautiful bit of folk music by Lyndsay West which featured the lyrics:

"Day began getting dimmer
And we began to talk
about getting dinner.

We talked about how clothes
were getting thinner and thinner
on the people that were passing in the lamplight's glimmer.

Oh-o, we held our coats closer.
We held our coats closer."

She's great, and so's Tom's show; both come highly recommended. You can tune in here.


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