01 August 2009

Radio Gold

I posted a slide show on Facebook yesterday from a holiday Mrsslippy and I enjoyed with friends way back in 2003, as I was feeling nostalgic.

Amongst the comments from fellow holiday goers, was one from Stoxie purporting to be nostalgic for 'Radio Squeaky Voice'.

Do I look like I do requests? If I were a DJ maybe I might. But maybe I was once a DJ, and Stoxies comment, whether a request or not, has got me reminiscing about that once great show.

Radio Squeaky Voice (RSV) was at it's heyday in the early '80s. Recorded at one of the most hi-tech bedrooms audio studios in Cringleford, it really was the cutting edge of broadcasting, with Nick owning a cassette recorder that not only had tape to tape facilities, but could also record at two different speeds!

Recording at the slow setting could double the length of a standard tape, meaning a C120 cassette could potentially hold four hours of music, or five whole albums! Take that Apple with your poxy ipods!

The only drawback was that anything recorded at that speed could only really be played back on Nicks new fangled portable stereo thing. Sticking it in a standard Sony Walkman it would play back in its uncompressed format, and would be sped up and useless.

What made RSV so groundbreaking was the way it's DJ's used this change in speed to record segueways, intros and malicious gossip news, that once played back at normal speed would disguise their voices and protect their anonymity from litigation adoring fans.

While modern DJs and wannabees (yes Moyles, I'm talking to you) use computer gadgetry and jiggery pokery to alter their voices, RSV relied on the raw skills and talents that the DJs were blessed with.

This meant taaallk-iiing.....veeerryy...slooow-llly...aaand...deeeeply....iiinn-toooo...theeeee..miiiiiike.

And then just play it back.

Because it's far, far easier to extend a vowel than a consonant, if you got the pitch right it didn't really sound sped up, it just sounded like three people with the weirdest fucking speech impediments.

That is unless a DJ got a bit over excited. Stoxie was prone to such things, and as his section went on, his voice got higher and faster, making the playback copy almost unintelligible (appropriately). Accompanied by the now also sped up giggling of the co-hosts, it was raw, radical and outrageous.

We called it a radio show, but unfortunately we lacked any transmission equipment, so I guess you'd call it a pre internet podcast. If released today, I'm sure it would put Ricky Gervais, or Adam and Joes feeble attempts at 'comedy' to shame.

Sadly I don't think anyone will get the chance to hear it. I believe Norwich Library were holding copies in their archives, but they were destroyed in the fire of 1994.

The British Library, or the BBC might still have copies, but don't hold your breath. I fear they are lost to the annals of time.

We will never hear their likes again....unless you guys are up for a 25th Anniversary comeback tour?

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