It’s 1995, I’m about to complete my first year of Broadcasting Studies at Falmouth College of Arts in Cornwall. I’d struggled to get a job there, so my brother in law had set me up at Nimbus records in Cwmbran. In my naivety, I assumed I’d be talent managing bands and within time, would become the Chief Executive of the organisation. Wrong. What I’d be doing is sitting in a huge production room with around 50 others putting together CD albums. Starting with a clear case, the ‘back insert’ would be followed by a tray (usually black) followed by a front insert or booklet.
The two big titles going through our production line were the Command and Conquer video games and the legendary Oasis album What’s the Story, Morning Glory. This was the closest I ever got to meeting Liam, Noel and co.
The disc itself would go in last. So as not to mark the disc, the equivalent of condoms had to be worn on your fingers, much to the amusement of the ladies who enjoyed making suggestive comments to us younger (ok inexperienced) lads. I worked 12 hour nights for around 6 days a week. I’d finish at 7 and get the bus back home. I’d fall asleep at 9am and then dream of packing CDs for a few hours before getting up and doing it all over again. Despite being seasonal, I really liked this job. I made a good few friends and it paid my way through university.
In my last blog, I mentioned that there were similarities between drinking in Newport and drinking in Falmouth. The bad news was the licensed hours were identical. Aside from that, we had Heights 2000, they had Insomniacs, we had Ritzy’s, they had (have) Club International, we had TJ’s, they had the Pirate. The Quayside and the Cork and Bottle were the starting points for our regular Wednesday and Saturday nights out. Who said students were poor.
There was another option… Shades. A place where no student should according to rumours around the university campus. (adopts Cornish/Pirate accent), ‘Them locals be down there’. Meant to be a warning, our boy Gerwyn saw it as more of a challenge. This was easy as Gerwyn was a ‘bit of a lad’, Me and Dan we happy to learn the ways of ‘ladism’. Gerwyn got it together with a beautiful local called Kate. Kate had an equally beautiful sister, Sam and an equally beautiful friend, Kirsty. Friends for life.
In my first year at University I had a brilliant social circle. My Broadcasting buddies were just like my team of friends back in Newport. We would have daft, silly supportive moments. With the guys in the house and the ‘lads’ from Journalism came a greater challenge. Blokes communicated mainly through sport. With my dads love of Rugby Union (once being a coach for Steward and Lloyds) and my slight interest in Everton, I had not exactly a fighting chance but and at least an opening line of communication. My inability to recall precise details of anything in my life would continue to be my achilles heel. February came around… 5 nations rugby! Myself and Dan popped around the corner from the guesthouse he was living in to his local which had free pasties at half time. England were the dominant force at that time with Wales being beaten every single year. I spotted that if England lost at anything suddenly the local would denounce their Englishness and become Celtic, or at least Cornish. As a proud Welshman I found this ability to swap your nationality with ease amusing.
My alter-ego, DJ Lamsie was still having too much ‘down time’. Apart from the occasional disco in the student bar/refectory not much else happened. In terms of radio I took every opportunity to take to narrow Broadcasting Studies down to radio and audio.
The big change came in terms of Radio 1. Steve Wright had decided to leave and the hunt was on for a new breakfast show DJ. The commute between Falmouth and London would have been too much, so imagine my relief when they offered it to Chris Evans. Radio 1 even decided to not call me. Probably knew I was busy. To add to my radio anorak moments, I taped the last every Steve Wright in the morning and the first Chris Evans breakfast show. I still have them to this day.
So what are my five big tunes that sum up 1995?
The Floorfiller: Not necessarily my favourite, but one that I’ve used (or seen used) to pack a dancefloor.
Livin’ Joy – ‘Dreamer’
I still love this tune (and play this tune) to this very day and as a result I’m going to resort to a cliché. It’s a timeless classic.
Could have easily been, The Original - I Love You Baby, Strike - U Sure Do, Corona - Baby, Baby or De’LacyHideaway.
The Twister: This is a song from that year which I normally wouldn’t have fallen in love with, but I did.
Bobby Brown – Two Can Play That Game.
Could have easily been, Ini Kamozie – Here Comes The Hotstepper, Pulp – Common People, Blur – Country House, Freakpower – Turn On, Tune In, Cop Out or Love City Groove – Love City Groove.
The Clubber: The one song that wanted to get me onto the dancefloor.
Oasis – Wonderwall
Now that’s shocked you. Imagine it; Its 12:50am on a Thursday Morning. I’m in Insomniacs with a group of mainly lads made up of Broadcasting Studies and Journalism studies mates. Don’t look back in anger plays first and then this one ends the night. Amazing. Confession… It’s also one of a handful of tracks I’ll attempt to sing on karaoke.
Could have easily been, Outhere Brothers – Don’t Stop (Wiggle Wiggle), Alex Party – Don’t Give Me Your Life, Nightcrawlers – Push The Feeling On or Grace – Not Over Yet.
The Coolest: This is the tune that I felt was the coolest yet mainstream song of the year.
Coolio featuring LV – Gangsta’s Paradise.
Could have easily been, TLC – Waterfalls, Edwyn Collins – A Girl Like You, The Bucketheads – The Bomb (These Sounds Fall Into My Mind), Billie Ray Martin – Your Loving Arms or Montell Jordan – This Is How We Do It.
The Radio Tune: The one that take me back to listening to the radio or playing it on my show wherever that has been.
Everything But The Girl – Missing.
The one that reminds Amy of me. I couldn’t stop playing this in house. I probably drove her crazy with it. Maybe she didn’t notice as she was driving me crazy with Patrick Swayze films. Falmouth was becoming my home and as I headed back to Newport for term breaks, and walked around, I almost convinced myself that I no longer belonged in my town of birth. Pure madness.
Could have easily been, Shaggy – Boombastic, Diana King – Shy Guy, Seal – Kiss From a Rose or Human League – Tell Me When.
That’s almost it from 1995. At the end of each blog I’d like to thank some people who made the year very special for me. Lots of love to my year two housemates, Gerwyn, Amy and Dan. Our Falmouth ladies, Kate, Sam and Kirsty. Also, a thank you to all those kind people at Nimbus who helped me get through all those 12 hour night shifts.
I’d also like to thank the team at Atlantica Café Bar on Market Street for sponsoring this series of blogs. Check out their new Karaoke nights on Wednesday and Thursday with Rob Steed.
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