Greg is “Moanin” again…

by Greg Dale

This week, amidst a whirlwind of excitement around the inimitable legend that is Jon Savage and the launch of his radio station The Eye, I decided to set myself a fictitious task.

Imagine Greg, in your wildest dreams, that, due to your friendship with the new head honcho at a global radio station, you receive a call in the middle night, that goes something like this –

Greg, I have an opening on Sunday night at 2am, it’s a late spot and very few people listen, and I know you have a baby and its late and everything, but I still need a show to happen, so, if you would be okay with it, I mean I know it’s a big favour, but would you be able to um, do a two hour show with complete freedom, whatever you want to play, stuff from your vinyl collection….err, would you be up for it…?

Ha! This dream is right up there for me with one that involves a younger Liv Tyler, a bathtub and enough champagne to fill it. So after waking up, and actually chatting to said head honcho and realizing by the regular conversation and failure to start going into the details of my big debut that it was in fact just a dream of the champagne and bathtub variety, I decided that regardless, I should probably get myself prepared because hey, who knows.

So I snuck out to the record cabinet in my pyjamas (very late night DJ attire), parked my coffee down next to me, and started my first imaginary late night vinyl record show playlist, and let me say this, I have a new respect for those guys, the John Peel’s of our world, because as a music junky it sho’ ain’t easy to pick. In fact it is damn near impossible.

The trouble starts right at the beginning with creating your fictitious title. I won’t embarrass myself with mentioning any of the ones that were scrapped, the one I decided on will do that all by itself.

Step two is deciding your focus…for real. Do I play random songs, from Bowie’s Laughing Gnome (because I love it), to Anouar Brahem , something off The Astounding Eyes of Rita ….(OK, that was one of my show title options. See.) Or do I create a playlist based on periods, genres, a timeline, an era, a word, a colour, a phrase? The possibilities are endless, and obviously deeply important. At this point I’m hoping that you as the reader are starting to dig deep and recall ideas you once had for your own radio show…Great driving music, road-trip songs, stuff I once made out to, tracks I faced the wall while dancing to, tunes I dug when my hair was still long, that kind of thing.

And then finally, after selecting a title and a theme, the real work begins. Where do I start, and following that all important first track, what do I play for the next two hours , and how do I prepare enough to prevent myself live on air from being the guy at the party who changes every track after 15 seconds?

And so without further ado, this is my official written fantasy radio show, I don’t mind the late hours, and I’ve learnt to live with the reality that Liv has moved on.

Moanin’ at Midnight – with your host Greg Dale

OPENING: David Bowie – Warzsawa

Charles Mingus – Moanin’

Roots Manuva – Motion 5000 / Strange Behaviour

Junior Kimbrough – Meet me in the city

Plum and Cherry – Cherry

Charlie Feathers – Ain’t Hardly So

Bob Dylan – If dogs run free

Lee Scratch Perry – Something off Many Moods of The Upsetters

Dr John – Black John The Conqueror

Ali Farka Toure – Yer Sabou Yerkoy

Fela Kuti w/Ginger Baker – Let’s Start

Dollar Brand – Blues for B

CLOSING : Alice Coltrane – Journey in Satchidinanda


Happy listening, good night, this is Greg Dale on The Eye and thanks for joining me.


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