The lifeblood of a local radio station is being able to meet the audience. Many listeners think of you as a friend or neighbour even if you have never met. That’s one of the reasons, from a radio perspective at least, the last few months have been particularly challenging. On Cambridge Breakfast, Lucy and myself have missed the interaction of having a guest with us live in the studio, the phrase ‘on the line is …’ becoming all too familiar.
But we don’t want to spend all of our time in the studio. Cambridge 105 History has a rich history of covering live music events. From the Cambridge Band Competition, through to the Cambridge Folk Festival, and concerts from the likes of We Are Sound. So as lockdown slowly eases we’re making some tentative steps to see what we can achieve.
Lucy and I have missed the interaction of having a guest
Social distancing is of course at the front of our minds and that means we can’t do everything that we might want to. Last month (September) we made our first outside broadcast, Neil Whiteside taking his afternoon show to the Town and Gown Pub & Theatre, the new arts venue that has opened on the site of the former arts cinema, and more recently, Baroosh.
We’d always planned to pay a visit to Town and Gown when they opened, but like everything else curtain up was put on hold for a few months and even now the 100-strong capacity of the theatre area will have to be reduced to account for social distancing. It means reduced audiences for the likes of Mr. B The Gentleman Rhymer and Bingo at Tiffanies with Audrey Heartburn. And yes, it is what you think.
The performers will be pleased to be out on stage after months of being confined to Facebook streams, some of which we broadcast as part of our Live at Home series, which is now being repeated on Wednesday evenings at 11pm.
Later in October we hope to make a second outing, government advice permitting. This time we’re heading to The Plough in Shepreth, which has run a series of outdoor gigs featuring some of our favourite local talent. Performers including SJ Mortimer, Fred’s House and The Barefoot Doctors have taken to the stage in recent weeks and we’re hoping that some of them will be able to join us for a week of live and recorded shows from The Plough in October.
It’s a chance for presenters of our specialist music shows, Strummers & Dreamers with Les Ray, The Rock Show with Neil Jones and New Music Generator to see both bands and listeners once more, from a social distance at least.
Julian Clover & Lucy Milazzo present Cambridge Breakfast on Cambridge 105 Radio, weekdays from 7am. Tune in to catch editor Nicola’s monthly what’s-on round-up