Ear of the Tiger is a monthly show on the Flipside/Lache FM. Here I chat to the three men behind the show and the role played by community radio in Chester.
“Carrots! Do you want to buy some carrots!” Dan Schott, musical blogger and raconteur (age unknown) stands behind the restricted till area in Edens of Handbridge, home of bohemian Veg monger Kevin Brackenbury.. “ I feel like I’m in charge of an Empire here!” he says. Together with the elusive social media guru Ben Hultum the three men make up the Ear of the Tiger team.
Kevin begins: “I met Ben … it was @shitchester that was the catalyst for it.. I met the guy that runs that at a writers group, and from there, became more involved with the twitter account , and from there I found somebody who clearly shared the same sense of humour as me. For months me and Ben were tweeting things, he came in the shop, think he stayed for about 4-5 hours actually..From then on he’s become a good mate. The responsibility comes down to @Shitchester. I would never have met these people… . We attended a superb photo exhibition of @Shitchester‘s photographs. For the first time ever I met Dan.. we were sat, the three of us on the floor, drinking wine at about ten o clock at night, talking music and stuff. Couple of weeks later Daniel came and said “i’ve got an idea lads!” and Daniel explained his great idea:”
Schott: “To be fair, carrying on from the exhibition, there was a picture taken at the exhibition, I think by you (@SC ) , the three of us sitting on the floor together… the next day I looked at it and I thought, we look like three people that belong together in some way, shape or form.. It was an iconic picture”
“We had our first coffee in Mad Hatters tea room” explains the ever relaxed Brackenbury. “We started talking about it and it went from there really. We discovered that a) we all like each other b) we dont need to apologise about anything, we’re all quite light hearted, we dont take it seriously .
Schott: “the concept was basically stolen from Radio Caroline. Im a big fan of shows like Have I got news for you, I like fighting talk on five live. I like panel shows. The original concept is nothing like what it is now, because everbodys added to it, youve got the whole social media thing. The idea of doing a show was to give Lache FM content to be honest, Chris asked me if I wanted to do a local music show, I looked at their schedule, saw that there was a lot going on so I decided to do somethhing a bit different.
Kev: “People have said to me, why are you doing a radio show? Well because if somebody asks do you want to do a radio show, the answers got to be yes. You’re out there playing the music you like, with two good mates, its a no brainer for me, I love it”
“Basically Daniel sits down with a roll of paper and he decides to write down as many genres as he could in ten minutes. He came up with about 100, ranging from the best ironing music , to the best track to get your groove onto, which again was open to interpretation. We’ve got here, in front of us a little box, its actually Twinings lemon green tea box and in there are hundreds of little pieces of scrap paper. (he pulls one out ) “best punk rock track”, and it goes from there. A week before the show goes out we pick three bits of paper from the tea box and we ping em out on facebook. We’ve got 20-30 comments on there about people wanting to express their choices for the categories for the next week
Each guest then goes into a musical duel with Dan , with each explaining their choice for each category. Kevin judges and decides who has the coveted “Ear of the Tiger”
Schott : “When the show first started, our pilot only had the three of us, me, Kev and Ben. It worked so well between the three of us, we shifted Ben to social media and started having a guest every month. We had Jamie Hall, with his awful bag of music.. “
Kevin :”we’ve had some really interesting guests, Becky (Sowray) was fantastic, she’s a writer, she’s a band manager, shes an organiser, a great woman..
Schott : ” she’s mid tempo…”
Brackenbury continues ” Next week we’ve got Me and Deboe on, the following one we’ve got Tom Scargill from Chemistry Lane. We may have Elvis! Mike Jones is a potential guest, he’s indicated that he likes the show, Gavin Matthews has also stated its his second favourite show in Chester. We just think its a group of friends sharing music, thats what music is all about, we thank Chris for all his help, and for everyone listeining in . The FM show was fantastic, to listen to @Shitchester playing in my car, I just thought it was mindblowing, it just shows how far we’ve come as a group of people I think. We are there, people know us in Chester, we do have a real crew of people, on twitter, facebook, music, its poetry. Everyones involved and everyone likes each other I think
Schott: “Two thirds of the show is radio and one thirds is definetely social media.. thats where theres a lot of engagement.”
“it can tire us out a bit” says Kev “ I know me and Ben have talked about the demise of it, cutting it short, or finishing at some point or taking some time off. It is quite tiring , that 2 hour show was absolutely shattering for me.
“id like to mention that the only person that seems to make mistakes on the show is the station manager Chris Sutton!” Schott jokes
“We’re immaculate apart from the Gary Glitter incident! Dont mention Gary Glitter!” says Bracko in response ” It does appear that we wanted it to be a bit like zoo radio, a bit Chris Moylesy… but, the listeners would be quite amazed at what goes on in the background. A couple of weeks leading up to the radio show, we do actually do a lot of work, and some of the things that appear, are stuff that we’ve done in the background. We’re constantly messaging ideas about whats going on , the moment we take it seriously is the moment we take the joy out of doing it …
“One of the things we do as a bolt on is the spoof album covers… just for a bit of fun, also to get people involved.. we had males and we did a spoof of the Kraftwerk album… no one got War or the worlds! We did the Queen one.. the core of it all, the three of us getting on so well, that made it for me….We’re all together and its still got legs, we’ve got some fantastic guests lined up”
The next Ear of the Tiger goes out on Tuesday 26th May featuring Me and Deboe. Listen online at lachefm.org.uk, or via the the Lache FM app for apple device/ tune in radio app for android. Previous editions of the show area available on mixcloud
Contact Lache FM on twitter if you’d like to be involved in community radio.
Ben Hultum declined to be interviewed for this feature.