Hello from Mike

Hello everybody… and welcome to Mike’s Music Sh….oh, hang on a minute. This is the blog isn’t it. Sorry, force of habit. 

So how did I get here? Well, that’s a very good question and probably includes alcohol, some measure of post-war freedom and a great lack of foresight on the part of my parents. But that’s another story, for another time perhaps. For now, I will just say that one fine day more recently our illustrious leader Roy said, “Hey Mike, Why don’t you write something for the Blog?” I replied in a grovelling tone, “Yes, of course Sir”. Basically, because I knew we were both getting on a bit and I was hoping one (or both) of us would probably forget the conversation. Unfortunately, he didn’t, so here we are. Don’t worry, I will not bore you with my life history. None of us want that. I will instead confine my first blog entry to OTBR matters. 

In essence, my OTBR experience started (as far as I can recall) in the summer of 2019 when I was standing in a local ale house watching my nephew’s band play. As their set continued a nice man called Mick politely offered me a seat next to him and his good lady wife. As I had been on my feet for a while, I accepted his kind offer and over a few pints in the next hour or two we listened to ‘The Crows’, a fine band if ever there was one (OK, a shameless plug but the drummer is my nephew, so “Ner, ner, ner, ner, ner”) and discovered we both had a great interest in music. Mick had worked with Roy for eons and they had now set up OTBR – and I had loved all types of music since I was a toddler back in the dark ages. At some point, I casually mentioned I was looking for something sensible to fill my spare time and, at another point, Mick casually mentioned they were looking for some new DJ’s. At a third point, through the alcoholic haze it dawned on both of us there might be some common ground here. This was, I think, the prompt for Mick to suggest we meet again, together with Roy. I was happy at this suggestion as I indeed had some spare time on my hands having recently moved back to this beautiful part of the world. Plus, I had gained a little experience of such things having once been a pub/club/Wine Bar DJ at various times way back in the annuls of UK history. Suffice it to say music is something that is close to both our hearts. 

Before I knew what was happening I was meeting with Mick and Roy and we were, once more, sitting in the local ale house talking music. The upshot of all this talking (and alcohol) was my arrival at OTBR and the birth of ‘Mike’s Music Show’. Well, to be truthful, I think Mick’s Pink Floyd T-Shirt also had an influence on the matter. I’m afraid Roy’s T-Shirt is now but a haze somewhere in my brain that I can no longer access. But it may return one day. My brain (like other’s of my age) sometimes works like that. I’m sure it was something really classy anyway (he said quickly trying to redeem himself). 

Briefly, I have to say it has been an enjoyable journey thus far. Having chosen such an eventful time to commence my radio life has been a challenge in many ways. And yet, the perceived indomitable sense of “We will keep going come what may” from the OTBR family rubs off on you very quickly. And I have to say it has been an enjoyable journey so far. Having chosen such an eventful year to commence my radio life has been a challenge in many ways… what? I’ve already said that. Ah, sorry. Did I tell you about my brain? It’s the first sign of madness you know. Well, actually, that’s not true. The first sign of Madness is Suggs walking up your drive! Boom, Boom.

Mike's Music Show - Thursday at 9pm

OK, for those of you that may be new to OTBR, Mike’s Music Show is broadcast on a Thursday evening at 9.00PM and repeated on Fridays and Sundays. Just check the weekly schedule for timings of all shows. And, like the other OTBR shows, Mike’s Music Show is purely dedicated to playing good music. Full stop. I care not about age or specific genre. So if you tune in, you may well hear anything from 50’s Rock n Roll, to last week’s latest single by whoever. Anything from Luther Vandross to Yes, from Tony Bennett to Iron Maiden. If it’s good music, and I have it, I’ll play it. All of which (I hope) gives fair consideration to the subjective nature of the business. I’ve long since realised that where music is concerned, the wonderful thing is…. it doesn’t matter whether you are old or young; whether the artist is current or not; whether the song was created in 1960 or 2021… It’s the quality of the music and how it makes you feel that counts!

For the record, (get it?) my show has been likened to Ken Bruce meets The Old Grey Whistle Test meets Top Of The Pops hosted by a mad professor. To be honest, that’s probably a fairly accurate assessment. Well, the mad professor bit anyway. I dream of walking in the other exulted circles. On the plus side, I do like to throw in plenty of info and musical stats and the odd guest has been known to arrive unannounced. Odd being the operative word. Oh, and I do tell the occasional silly joke (snigger). What more can you ask for? Yet, as with all things in life, you won’t know if you like it unless you try it! So, please tune in to Mike’s Music Show if and when you have the time. Or indeed any of the other splendid weekly OTBR shows for that matter. I sincerely hope you won’t be disappointed either way. 

Until the next time, remember…… The reason U2 have not found what they are looking for is… the streets have no names!   🙂

Be nice to each other.


Hibernation almost over

It’s almost six o’clock (otherwise known as gin time so this will be quick) and the sun is just disappearing. Whisper it, but spring is in the air. For years now, I’ve tended to go into semi-hibernation over the winter. Dark, cold and miserable, and the weather is just the same. This year seems to have been the same but times ten. Of course, the reason is obvious – lockdown and the daily reports piling up the bad news.

Lockdown has certainly thrown up the challenges for Over The Bridge Radio. Just before all this started, we celebrated our first birthday. It was starting to feel like we knew what we were doing (although it didn’t always sound like it) and the number of presenters was gradually increasing. We assumed the growth would continue, attracting more sponsors and creating more live content. Then fate said ‘Hang on a minute…’.

When the restrictions were put in place, the majority of shows switched to home recording – not without its challenges but manageable. Things relaxed a little over the summer, allowing some of us to get back in the studio. It was going OK until the night the landlords decided to ‘fog’ the building without warning us. The clue is in the name. The process involved creating a thick fog of air-bound anti-virus-gunk. Not only did it set off the fire alarms mid-show but it frightened the life out of me and Mick. The man in the full protective clothing and breathing apparatus assured us it was harmless (!) before scurrying off to phone his boss about the presence of two irate, fogged-up radio presenters.

No doubt that is the sort of tale that we will look back at fondly in the pub in years to come. The pub – remember that? In fact, that was the second anniversary that cropped up last week. It has been a full year since I last entered a restaurant or bar! As my dad worked in pubs often when I was a kid, I suspect this is the first time in my life that I have gone a full year and not been in a pub. It won’t happen again.

Anyway, the point is, there is light at the end of the tunnel. As a benefit of old-age, I got my first vaccination last week. It won’t be long until the government announce that we are allowed back in the studio and we can get on with the original plan of building the kind of radio station you want to hear. Jenny and Mike may well get the chance to do their shows live rather than pre-recorded; fresh faced new talent will come through the doors and be shown the mysteries of how the studio works, before sharing their passion for the music they love. After all, it’s all about the music.

Catch up with Indie Kid Jenny every Thursday at 7pm and Mike’s Music Show at 9pm (repeated on Friday at 11pm). If you really want the full experience, all of the mid-week shows are repeated, back-to-back every Sunday. Give it a listen, what’s the worst that could happen? Better still, get involved as a presenter or sponsor- contact us via Facebook.

Mike’s Music Show – Thursday At 9pm Friday at 11pm and Sunday at 9pm

Right, it’s gin o’clock…