Grate Expectations

Radio 1 is trying to reduce the average age of it’s listeners. Aiming for a target audience age of between 15 and 29. which means that my partner and me, combined age, erm, cough….70 in September, have to stop listening.

They want a greater percentage of young people rather than just increasing the numbers of young folk (and R1 has already increased its total amount of young listeners,  just the ‘oldie’ numbers have increased by more).

Radio is, like, so important.
If a song is played on the radio, it will find an audience. The bigger the station, the larger the audience. With a bit of airplay, a song can then creep into the incidental music of some of your favourite daytime TV programmes like Homes Under The Hammer. Inside your noggin, in your squishy brain, neurones are going crazy making connections and before you know it you are humming Your Sex Is On Fire while having afternoon tea with the vicar.

Powerful stuff.

In the shop, our new favourite young band is PAWS*. A Glasgow based 3 piece that really kick out those 3 chord jams. For raw power alone they kick 50 shades of brown out of everything that has made it into the top 40 for the past 10 years. They were first signed to Edinburgh labels, Gerry Loves Records and Song,by Toad and are now with big indie label Fat Cat.

They grate. They really grate. Prickly as the sea urchin you stood on in New Aberdour, and as dirty as Joe Gargery’s shed.
Who needs a guitar solo?
We need passion and delivery. Throw in a few decent songs and we’re cookin’.

PAWS are Matt, Josh and Phillip

PAWS are Matt, Josh and Phillip

Phillip in’t afraid to let little bits of frothy spittle arc from his teeth when he sings and he sings and shouts and plays like he means it. Every time. And this is a hard-gigging band.

Kurt Cobain’s T-shirt said ‘Grunge is Dead’ but it seems it’s not deid at all. It moved to Glasgow, woke up, scratched its arse and named itself PAWS.

Listening to Radio 1, I was gardening on Monday before the rain and while watering the rocket and basil (I am now searingly middle class), I heard something familiar. That’s Jellyfish by PAWS! And it was. It was turned up and it was an exciting 3 minutes. Those jammy hardworking layabouts! For they are all those things. I am sure Phillip sleeps in his clothes. “I’d like to play that again” says radio bloke “but I won’t, I don’t want to spoil it, I’ll play it again tomorrow.”  The band have momentum and a real chance.

So, they won’t get rid of us oldies by playing the dirty-young energetic high charged racket makers PAWS!
The ‘new punk’ of The Vaccines and the ‘new folk’ of the Mumfos are not new at all. Grunge? Nirvana? The peeps who grew up with Kurt and Co are now in their 30s and 40s. Original Punks are 55+. Oldskool hip hop fans 40. Original Madonna fans 40. Dance/techno/electronic music fans 40+. Androgenous glam rockers 60. Hippies 65. Folkies as old as the hills.

Tastes are generally becoming more eclectic and this is really positive culturally. Hopefully Radio 1 won’t chase the age down as it could fill the radio with the dirge designed for teenyboppers and for todays teenagers to rebel, they must listen to uni-directional manufactured pop. It’s the only genre us old folk frown upon.


PAWS are headlining the Electric Circus tonight with Lady North supporting. We have Local labels and PAWS on records in the shop too.

*PAWS played a gig for us for Record Store Day. The police were almost called because of the noise. Such larks!

I spoke with young Pip after the gig. He passed me a handful of cassette tapes and asked if I’d sell them in VoxBox. “Well you’ll have to sign them first” says I. Says he, “Erm, what .. why, you know, they’re not PAWS, they’re bands on my label”. “Ahem” says I. “Your label? You have a label?… Well OK then, we’ll give them a go.”

He had handed me some of The Cath Tapes.

Near legendary super-limited edition recordings by wee bands with original artwork and everything handwritten and mysterious and numbered and wrapped up in an enigma.
More on them next week.

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VoxBox Music became the newest record shop in the world on May 21st 2011. We buy and sell vinyl and other formats of music. We are independent and sell mostly pre-owned records although we are slowly branching into new vinyl too.

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