MY INSPIRATION: Indie Football Show | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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First Choice Radio is home to The Indie Football Show with Richard Stephenson, which does exactly what it says on the tin, combining his love of indie music with his passion for football. Airing every Saturday from 1pm-3pm, it aims to promote local bands alongside the bigger names of the indie world as well as encouraging football fans to get themselves along to their local non-league grounds. Here, Richard tells us a little more about his twin passions…

“Ever since my student days, I’ve loved indie music and going to gigs. I would listen to Radio 1’s evening session with Mark Goodier, and later Joe Wiley and Steve Lamacq, lapping up new music. Living in London at the time, I took every chance to see my new heroes live, in venues that were steeped in history. Hearing the likes of the Cure, House of Love, The Wonder Stuff and The Mission on the radio only heightened my excitement when I got to see them on stage. Pouring over their lyrics so that I could sing along was, for me, an essential part of being a fan.

“It was the same for being a football fan. I went for the camaraderie of being in a crowd. Although chanting replaced singing, it still amounted to the same thrill: going to a gig or a football match was about feeling a sense of belonging: amongst a group of like-minded individuals.

“I wanted to transfer that feeling to my radio show: singing along to the indie hits whilst being introduced to local bands so that my listeners could experience that same feeling I had, and still have to this day.

“During lockdown I began commentating on Whitley Bay FC’s home games for fans who couldn’t make it to the games because of Covid. The Baywatch TV channel was picked up by First Choice Radio thanks mainly because of its irreverent style.

“Not taking myself too seriously is also an important aspect of the show. There are so many amazing characters at gigs and football matches who have their own quirks and idiosyncrasies: they are breeding ground for colourful characters. I wanted to show the listeners the lighter side of both my passions. Bizarre facts about bands and their lyrics add so much colour which brings them to life. I also love it when fans bring their experiences and passions onto the show. I love being a fan, of a band or a football team and I hope this comes across in the radio show.”

The Indie Football Show is on First Choice Radio (on DAB and online at) every Saturday from 1pm-3pm. Fans and  bands are welcome to get involved by contacting the station.


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