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What’s it like being a DJ?


Away from Crossfire Radio in my normal day job this is a question I get asked quite a lot, a few people are surprised that I co-own the station and present a show. The honest answer is its great fun but a lot of work as well, I have to post the request line each week and then legally source any music I don’t already have. Once that done it’s a case of putting it into a playlist so that the show flows pretty evenly from one track to the next, most weeks I spend a good two to three hours prepping for the show. As we post pictures of the artists or bands in our forum throughout the show I need to ensure I have some decent quality pictures as well. We all have our own ways of preparing a show but as long as the end result is good we leave each person to their own ways.

I am normally in the studio thirty minutes before the show starts doing final checks and getting ready to switch off our auto-play server at the last minute before I go live on air, after nearly five years I have this down to a fine art and I don’t think the listeners even notice it most weeks. I am a bag of nerves just before show time, but once it gets going I calm down quickly. The start of the show gets very hectic with forum members all saying hello, trying to reply and remembering to sort out the next few tracks keeps me on my toes for at least the first fifteen minutes.

Here at Crossfire Radio we don’t shy away from playing long songs and although I usually leave these tracks till the end as show closers if I have several of them I will fit them in wherever. When the show Is over It takes about 30 minutes to tidy up and do whatever else needs doing, as I said it is time consuming but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Another common question is “Do you like every track you play?”

The easy answer to this is no, there are a few bands I really don’t like and unless I get asked to play something by them I wouldn’t think to include it in the show. One thing about doing a request show is you get introduced to a lot of new music, some of it is good and some not so good. One band that I was asked to play a few tracks by recently was Kobra and the Lotus, I had never heard any of their material before and I have to admit I really like a lot of their stuff. Hardcore Superstar are another band I have recently discovered but due to explicit lyrics I have to be very careful what tracks I play, we tend to follow OfCom rules regarding the content of the music.

We are often contacted by new unsigned bands asking us to play their material and so long as it is suitable we oblige, the bands give us a plug as well so it is a perfect situation for all involved.

My colleague and co-owner Darren once said this is as much as you can have with your clothes on, I have to agree with him as the fun of presenting the show makes it all worthwhile.


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