Radio goNORTH Archive 2014 Producers' Highlights Calum Wells
Hi, I’m Calum Wells, and I have done a fair amount of stuff for someone who left school just one year ago. I have done bird surveys with the RSPB, made my own content for a community radio station and been on a weekend-spanning survival course, in which I ate whatever I could pull off rocks and slept in a hole in the ground. Out of all the things I have done since I left school, the two week long Radio goNORTH course was the most intense, rewarding and generally awesome.
I made radio packages in a fraction of the time I did for the community station. I was given a microphone and let loose on the general public. I arranged for bands to turn up for live performances on our shows and then re-arranged when they were late. I frequently shouted at a bar full of people that the mics were going live in one minute. The whole experience was terrifying, frustrating and completely amazing.
The first day of the course, I conquered my near-insurmountable writer’s block and wrote an introductory piece about yours truly, inbetween getting interviewed, doing editing and a pigeon flying through the window and causing chaos, quite a trial by fire, at least by my standards.
The second day we thought up ideas for a package to go on air during our broadcasts. Gavin and I, who I had been partnered with, got together an idea revolving around slogans, which we then had to pitch to the team. We passed scrutiny, then were sent out to interview random members of the public, which went surprisingly well. We managed to split the work between us and make some real progress, completing the package really quickly, well in time for the deadline.
On the first day of broadcast, I spent the entire time in a massive adrenaline rush. After a shaky start I got into the rhythm of front announcing songs, yelling how much time there was left of each track, and opening and closing mics as and when necessary. Our first live band arrived for a sound check super early, which was reassuring, and they turned out to be generally great people, obliging me to go to their live performance at the Market Bar later in the week, which turned out to be a good move.
The second broadcast was insane. The band turned up late, so we had to re-arrange everything to fit a different timetable, and chaos nearly ensued. Strangely enough, I ended up enjoying up this one better, and the interview with Allie Shaw and Olaf went by really well, with me managing to keep both interviewees audible without being too loud.
On the last day of broadcast we did our longest intro link yet, managed to bring a song that was far too loud down to an acceptable level, and interviewed folk who had worked on the film Fifty Kisses. My best piece of work, a package on a computer game called The Ship also went out in this broadcast, which was nerve-racking but was well received by my trainers. The broadcast culminated in a live session with two different artists, Angus Munroe and Hector Bizerk, both performing their own material before collaborating on a version of The Pet Shop Boys’ single “It’s a Sin” – which was incredibly bizarre and absolutely hilarious. Thus ended my time broadcasting for Radio goNORTH, with three days of live broadcasting under my belt, and a strange urge to perform a celebratory musical number on the stairs of the Mercure Hotel.