Nick is a lying snake, a wiley little fellow who dodges the subject of delivering on the promised free T-shirt at every turn, he is a slippery gypsy and not to be trusted!

They’re a funny breed in Devon and more than a few of them should be given a very wide berth!

This however does not apply to Nick, an absolute legend in Exeter who wields an ungodly knowledge over Britpop and his show Britpop Revival is hands down the best radio show for “Cool Britannia” I’ve ever heard.

If you can get past his voice which resembles Steven Wright on Valium and make an effort to tune into his weekly show at 6pm to 8pm on Phonic 106.8 FM you’ll find even the most dull voice cannot silence the juggernaut that is Britpop!

 

We recently spoke to Nick and for all our insults I feel genuinely embarrassed how little I know about Britpop in comparison to this great man, so take 2 minutes out and read about the absolute LEGEND that is Nick or as we here like to call him,”Where the fuck is my free fucking T-shirt Nick?!” 

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How old are you Nick?

Younger than Noel, older than Liam

Where do you live?

Exeter.

Do you have a “proper” job when not hosting the Britpop Revival show?

Yes, although we try and bring a professional approach to the show it is very much done for fun. I work for the NHS.

How did you get into radio?

I first went in to Phonic FM as a guest on a show. That enabled me to see how a community radio station operates and I asked to be kept informed if that had any show slots open up. Initially the show was on once a month on a Sunday afternoon but moved to its regular weekly Wednesday evening slot about 6 years ago.oasa

“Common People was kept off the number one spot by Robson & Jerome!”

Why Britpop?

Britpop Revival wasn't originally intended to be a radio show. I'd been part of a popular local covers band that had broken up and I was looking for a new project. I thought that the time was right for a band playing Britpop music, the last great guitar genre that really connected with the people and the times. After a couple of rehearsals the band fizzled out but the facebook page that I set up to ask people what songs we should play was growing like crazy. This was in 2011. That became a community and so when I had the chance to host my own show I knew exactly what I wanted to do.

Why do you think Americans never took to Britpop like they did the swinging sixties?

Some songs made it across but it didn't take off in a big way. Perhaps more than any other genre the lyrical content was quite specific in it's Britishness which I think would have been hard to connect to in quite the same way coming from another culture. However I think it is also about the time. 94-97, was the end of a very long Tory administration and the sense of change, and a new generation stepping up, was almost palpable. If you are a young person listening to Britpop for the first time today, you can appreciate the songs but without the context of the times it's a different experience.

How long do you spend putting the show together each week?

It takes about 2-3 hours to put the show together, and a large part of that is lyric-checking! Being an FM station we are governed by the regulator OFCOM so have to be careful for bad language. There is also a few further hours across the week responding to messages, listening to submissions from new bands etc.

“Shed Seven never got the credit they deserved”

What years do the song choices have to be between?

We don't have any hard rules on this but it would be very unusual for us to play something that wasn't from the 90s, other than our 'new band of the week' feature and new music from 90s bands. Most tracks are from the 'peak' period, 94-97, but we go right across the decade. Fortunately there was so much guitar music back then that we don't run out of options. We do play the big hits but a greatest hits show every week would quickly get boring so we dive into album tracks and B-sides and have unearthed so many long-forgotten bands that we can always manage a few 'first plays' on every show.ne

Do you get freedom to play what you want (within reason) from the station?

Literally the only restrictions are for bad language, otherwise I can play what I want within the show. Having built our audience around Britpop it's unlikely that I will sneak in some Latvian Death Metal but never say never.

Do you get nervous before an interviews?

Phone interviews are much easier logistically and having done quite a few now, are pretty relaxed. They tend to be quite short and I try to give the interviewee some open questions to let them take it in whatever direction they want. Face to face can be a bit more daunting because you have to deal with tour managers and schedules etc. and it needs more preparation because you are often one of several people waiting to interview them. If I ever find myself interviewing a Gallagher I'm pretty sure I'll be nervous!

Do you think Liam Gallagher copied Ian Browns stage presence/Style?

No. I think Liam has always just done Liam.

“There are lots of albums that were scheduled for release in 1998 that never saw the light of day”

What was the “peak” Britpop year?

That's a tough one because there was so much good music being produced over broadly a five year period. If I had to go for one though I think I would pick 1994. That was when we started to realise that this was more than just good indie music and was starting to capture the mood of the nation. That would grow over the next couple of years but 94 was when it stepped up a gear. And just look at the records that were released!p01gqy73

When did Britpop really end creatively?

It was a gradual rise and fall. The cliche is that Britpop ended with Be Here Now but that was more the start of the end than the end. (Also I think that Be Here Now has been largely rehabilitated). By 1998 though record companies had sensed a change in sentiment, pure pop (Spice Girls etc) was becoming more popular, bands like Blur were producing records that didn't sound like Britpop, and they started drastically reducing the number of guitar bands on their roster. There are lots of albums that were scheduled for release in 1998 that never saw the light of day.

Why did Suede or Pulp never get a number 1?

It was just chance really, they both sold a huge number of singles. Common People was kept off the number one spot by Robson & Jerome! That was the best selling single of 1995 but I bet nobody has played it in the last 20 years. Suede may have never got the top spot but they had five top ten singles off Coming Up, which is an amazing feat.Supernova Heights 920x584

Do you think looking back that Britpop/Cool Britannia was sexist?

It certainly didn't seem that way at the time but the music and media industries don't have a great track record here. It was noticeable though how many women were in guitar bands in the 90s, and in fact we have done whole 2 hour shows featuring only female artists. It doesn't feel like we have had that level of participation since.Britpop Anthems Promo 1 Flat

Most overrated song or album?

There are albums and artists that I play less than others but as I'm still trying to get some of those artists to appear on the show I don't think I'm going to name them! However, most underrated album might be more interesting! Our listeners are incredibly knowledgeable and send in the most amazing suggestions - most week's we will be playing tracks by bands that you haven't heard of, and they'll be good! I think that The Candyskins were criminally overlooked, check out any of their albums. Also I don't think Shed Seven got the credit they deserved, their comeback album Instant Pleasures is fantastic. However for a single underrated album I'd suggest HMS Fable by Shack. If you ask me next week though I'll probably change my mind.

Oasis or Blur?

Oasis are the most played band of the show. They wrote songs that are now just part of the fabric of British life. Blur were the more interesting musically though. I'm not going to choose!rs 9937 20130312 suede 624x420 1363117931

Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us Nick, do you want to give a shout out to anyone?

I'd like to say a quick thank you to Gary (who runs our Facebook page), Statto (who live tweets obscure stats during the show, and sometimes co-presents) and all our Patron supporters and listeners.

Now....let’s talk about that free shirt shall we Nick?!

 

Be sure to check out the Britpop Revival Show Here & Tune In Every Wednesday 6-8pm On 106.8 Phonic FM

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Britpop Revival Show

And Be To Pester Nick For Your FREE T-Shirt!