EXCLUSIVE – Trevor Dann in Conversation… Smokey Robinson

Spring cleaning some audio folders the other day I came across an interview I did in 2006 with the legendary Smokey Robinson.

It was recorded for promotional use to support the release of a CD Best Of and I’m not sure whether it was ever broadcast in the UK. Our Jamie says it’s very interesting so we thought we’d post it here. My favourite bit is where we discuss Pete Townshend and the use of the word ‘substitute’. Let us know what you think.

Radio 4’s Building Bridges A Thank You

Last Saturday (27 April 2013), we were delighted that the TDC produced “Building Bridges – The Art of the Middle 8” was broadcast on BBC Radio 4.

We would just like to take this opportunity to thank all of the contributors for helping us create a fantastic and fascinating show that really captivated the public.

So, first order of thanks goes to host, Midge Ure,  for masterfully leading ceremonies.  Musical contributors, Boo Hewerdine, Justin Currie and Neil Cowley for bringing the middle 8s to life.  Last, but by no means least, musicologist Helen Caddick and journalist David Hepworth.

It is also a real privilege to report that Building Bridges was the first programme in Radio 4’s history to carry a Spotify playlist:

Most importantly, the biggest round of thanks really go to you for taking the time to listen and share the show.  This led to Building Bridges featuring on the Most Popular section of the BBC iPlayer
We shall leave the final word to you all – please don’t forget that you can still listen to Building Bridges – The Art of the Middle 8 until 11am on Saturday 4 May.

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Real Record Store Day 2013

On Record Store Day, Saturday 20 April 2013, independent musicians created a pop-up record store at a disused florist on Hackney Road in Hoxton to play music, sell vinyl and eat cake.

Through a series of interviews with music fans, Andy Scratch  explores what RSD ’13 means to people and asks if vinyl still has a place in the 21st Century.

This special podcast was written and produced by TDC’s Jamie Tayler.  The music comes courtesy of The Tuesday Club. Their album, exclusively available on white vinyl, is available now.

EXCLUSIVE Building Bridges The Art of the Middle 8 – Neil Cowley on Lazy Mozart

We’ve finished our documentary for Radio 4 about Middle 8s and we’re very pleased with it.

Unfortunately we couldn’t include everything, so I thought I’d share this gem from the cutting room floor. Neil Cowley, who plays piano on Adele’s monster album as well as fronting his own jazz trio, tells us a jolly story about the notoriously lazy Mozart and how his cleaner used to get him up in the morning.

Building Bridges – The Art of the Middle 8 is scheduled for tx on Saturday April 27th at 1030 am.

Midge Ure presents and the show includes contributions from Boo Hewerdine (who invents a new Middle 8 for a Bee Gees song which doesn’t have one), Justin Currie who unravels Always The Last To Know, musicologist Helen Caddick and journalist David Hepworth.

Reflecting on Radiodays Europe 2013

Berliner Congress Center

Radio conferences can be a bit gruelling. I know because I’ve organised a few. Some of the best planned sessions can be ruined by people talking too much, dull powerpoint slides, failing microphones. You’ve been there too right? So it’s a pleasure to report that RadioDays Europe 2013 in Berlin was a technical triumph. As far as I could tell everyone who could hear the speakers, the sessions started and finished on time, the exhibitions were interesting, the food was palatable (though not as extensive or as tasty as the smorgasbord at RDE 2011 in Copenhagen) and the atmosphere was genial and creative.


More importantly, there was a refreshing absence of the showing off which has come to characterise the

UK Radio Festival. In an effort to avoid ‘airing the industry’s dirty linen in public’, a phrase used repeatedly by a senior UK radio exec, the Festival has become an expensive bland-out, like watching a tired old rock band going through the motions on their reunion tour. But RDE delegates like to debate. They’ve moved beyond the old public v private sector arguments and they want to learn from each other and discuss future co-operations like the Eurochip for smartphones.

Berlin - Robert Krulwich

My favourite session was Robert Krulwich’s talk about Radiolab, his programme for NPR. It’s a truly innovative concept which plays with sound in a radical and exciting way and he delivered an inspiring call-to-arms about the value of experimentation in radio. With 4.5 million podcast subscribers worldwide, he should know what he’s talking about.

You can hear our conversation here:

I also enjoyed Susan Marjetti from CBC Toronto making the business case for diversity. If your programme team doesn’t look and sound like your audience then you need to do something about it and her show proved it by going from 6th to 1st in its market and staying there. The Radio Today Programme I recorded in Berlin is available here. It features both Robert and Susan as well as many other impactful speakers. Here’s to RDE Dublin 2014.

Brandenburg Gate