Friday, April 29, 2005

ThuApr28 Textless

No texts tonight. They come in on a computer and I don't know my new computer-generated password. Well, I have it now, but I didn't during the show. If you texted in, tough titty. I mentioned it like, a million times. The Big Game worked out fine and a good chap by the name of Mark Phillips from Clonmel won our prizes.
Tom Cruise is going out with Katie Holmes? What the f...?

Two words: Kathryn Thomas.



We were talking about her for a while. She's on the cover of VIP mag this month. Have you noticed, Irish telly has loads of good looking girls though:

Claire Byrne from TV3

YOWZA!

Lucy Kennedy from the Ex-Factor


Grainne Seoige - obviously


and Sharon Ní Bheolain


BUT from the lads side of the Irish TV fence, we have this:



What's that about? To be fair to him, Wee Ray is the only one flying the flag for the Irish male. Well done, Darcy - we salute you!

Top Texts: None

Most Requested Song: By calls alone, it was The Game ft 50 Cent - Hate it or Love it

Blast! Extra: What we talked about off the air:
  • Our mate Mary who was in college with us, who used to work in AA Roadwatch. She's getting on grand.
  • The new PS2 game, God of War - it's a cracker.
  • A barbeque in my back garden this weekend?
  • How the new Blast! Extra feature on the website is a bit shit.

Have a good weekend - talk Sunday night at 10

Ray

Thursday, April 28, 2005

WedApr27 A Weird Show

A weird one tonight - The Big Game went horribly wrong - the "time up" sound never went and I nearly had to ask a question. Balls. Our winner was Laura in Tuam. We seriously need to get some good prizes for the box of shite - I'll work on that for next week. Tricky Dick is still looking for your questions. Email him and don't forget your name and where you're from. Brosnan's gonna do Bond - AGAIN! This pisses me off. Yes, he's from Navan, but he's the only Navan man I know (2 others) who pouts like a lady when he's having his photo taken. PLUS he's ancient. PLUS he wants our fav lady Kiera Knightly in the sack with him for the flick. Perv Alert! We had a lot of people texting about how sexy the bitch is after I put up those pics of him yesterday. Ladies love Cool Jay - Pee. He's only two foot tall by the way.

Top Texts:
  1. Ray jp is so sexy he is a fox could u play the killers new sony tel jp i said hi
  2. Hey ray i tink ur way finer den de biatch hes not shit on u can u plz play nelly and kelly dilemma 4 me plz my dog died today :'( from depressed rachel
  3. I've been on the website. jp definetly has a face for radio. . .
  4. Wat's green and smells like bacon? kermits fingers from paddy in kerry
Blast! Extra: The stuff that we talked about when the microphones were off - because it's even more boring than what we did when they were on.
  • Wee Darcy doing the Rose of Tralee and who's better looking: him or Tubridy. (It was 50/50).
  • JP's headache - he gets more of them than my girlfriend does.
  • What we're doing for Oxegen this year - IF we get tickets.
  • Nasty texters who only want to get their text read out. I fall for it every time. But no more.
  • That ad with me on it and how daft I sound.

Most Requested Song: Ciara - 1,2 Step

Toodles

Ray

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

WedApr27 Career Guidance Counsellor Foley

Áine emailed (as well as many others) asking how to get into radio, how I got started, and what experience you need on your CV to get working on the radio. I don't know why people are always sending me these emails - maybe it sounds like if that feckin' eejit can do it, so can you. And you'd be right.

I really shouldn't be giving advice - since you'll probably take my job in a couple of weeks, but I'm a nice guy beneath it all. PLUS there are so many shite DJ's on the radio, to hear someone new and talented would be a refreshing change. So many people (particularly around Leaving Cert age) do email me all the time looking for advice that I just want to have this written so I can direct them straight here. So here's my advice, as unhelpful and irrelevant as it may be.

Firstly, I probably come across as an arsehole, writing up my entire CV and "how great I am" for all and sundry to read, but if you want to think that it's your business. Just know that I'm aware you may think that and believe me, it's not what I'm going for. It's for you if you're interested in that sort of thing. Although I am great.


Secondly, I don't know if there's a definitive guide to getting a job on the radio, but if there is, what follows is not it. Everyone ends up here from a different background, and this is just the details of how I got to my current job. So without further ado...

When I was sixteen (1996/97), I was a huge fan of Dusty Rhodes and Tony Fenton on 2FM - when I was home in my room doing homework I'd listen every night. I remember when Dusty started on 2FM everyone in school was talking about how great he was, and how he'd left Atlantic 252 to go to 2FM - which apparently was big gossip at the time. Hey, we were young.

I'm from Mayo, but rarely listened to the local radio station, which was based in another town, a good bit away from where I lived. It just wasn't my cup of tea. I didn't really think radio was something I'd like to do as a job at all. In fact, I'd always planned on being a journalist - hopefully working for the Irish Times. Anyway, 2FM ran one of their regular "DJ For A Day" competitions, and I thought I'd give it a lash for the craic. You had to buy an issue of Hot Press, fill in the application form, make up a tape of you doing a bit of DJing (talking, not mixing), and then post it off. I had done quite of bit of drama and speech & drama stuff before that, so I was well able to do a tape up.

So I got through the first round of the competition, appeared on the Hotline (fantastic!), and as time went on in the competition, I got more into it - listening to the radio more as someone in the competition than just a listener. Anyway, I didn't get any further in the competition as it turned out. The main reason I feel I lost was because I was shite, and my voice hadn't yet broken. I had a hard time convincing anyone I was anything other than a 12-year-old girl. The deserving winner was in fact Ruth Scott, who's now working for 2FM.

Anyway, I went on to apply for the journalism course in DIT (that was still what I wanted to do) and moved to Dublin in September 1998. In first year in college, I was blown away by what was on the radio in Dublin - I'd never heard anything like it! FM104, 98FM and several pirate stations like Pulse and Freedom opened my ears to all that could be done on the radio, and I was beginning to come around to the idea of working at it. There was one DJ in particular, called Greg Merriman on the Dublin station FM104, who totally amazed me with a style of radio that sounded completely original and totally take-the-piss. His "Openline" between 1 and 2am was certainly an inspiration for some of what I do now. I remember I used to tape the show for my brother who still lived in Mayo at the time. Yes, it was that good.

Oh, I should also mention that I met this short, blonde-haired lad in first year in college. We didn’t really get on that well – still don’t – but JP was to become my best mate through college and up to now. I’ll go into detail about my course, etc at the end of this, if you’re interested in what course might suit you better.

Through college, I applied for work experience at FM104, where I did a week of bits and bobs (usual hanging-around work experience stuff) and met some DJ's I liked listening to, like Rick O'Shea, who was on in the afternoon there, and Steve K, who did the evening "Funny Farm" show, who I thought was brilliant. I also met a girl called Lisa who worked as researcher on the night-time talk show there, The Adrian Kennedy Phoneshow. Once a month, they used to do these Jerry Springer-style live shows, broadcasting with a live audience and Lisa asked me if I'd be interested in helping out on these. It just involved holding the microphone for the audience. Not very exciting, but at least I got to see how it was all done. I wasn't at that for very long, but it was an interesting, educational experience.

While I was in college, we had a fully-equipped radio studio at our disposal to "work" in, and I'd spend a good few evenings in there, mucking about. I still have a few tapes of that stuff, and it's absolutely cringeworthy, but it was all a learning curve – it still is, if you ever listen to the Blast. One of my lecturers, Pat Hannon, did some work for East Coast FM, (or East Coast Radio as it was at the time), which is the local station for County Wicklow. It's main studios are in Bray, a 45-minute train journey from Dublin. They were looking for a cheap (ie free) body who could use the equipment, and play out songs. The weekend early-morning DJ just needed someone around to keep things running smoothly, take calls and basically assist in the show. So, every Saturday morning, I'd get up at half-past five and make my way out to Bray, where I'd again just hang around, learn stuff, and meet people. The getting up bit was the worst of that, so it didn’t last long. I would've started it in early 1999 and kept it up until that summer, when I had to get a paying job. I was a cinema usher/cleaner/server person in Virgin cinema, now Cineworld on Parnell Street in Dublin.

That was the summer between first and second year (1999), and up to then, I’d spent a lot of time begging a guy called Mark McCabe to give me a job on what was the coolest pirate radio station in Dublin at the time, Pulse FM. But in order to avoid actually putting me on the radio, he shut the station down and went on to release the Irish dancefloor hit of the decade, Maniac 2000. The bastard.

The dance station that arose in the place of Pulse FM that summer was Essential Galaxy (ESG) FM, and that September/October, I managed to convince the manager there, James Davids to put me and a couple of my mates from the cinema on the radio every Saturday afternoon, for the extremely cheesy-titled “Ray Foley And The Allstars” (blush). That was a lot of fun – we didn’t have a clue what we were doing, but we did a pretty okay job of it. I was on-air with the lovely Anna O’Byrne, and the hugely talented Emmet Quinn, and the three of us continued to work at the cinema together while we did the radio on Saturdays.

While all this was going on, one of my college housemates, Ed had been working for Today FM, and they were looking for people who’d work a couple of hours three evenings a week in their research department. Nothing too difficult or even interesting, but I got to have a look around Today FM while I was there.

I eventually finished with the cinema, Today FM and ESG around May 2000, when I put together a tape for 98FM’s news department. I received a callback for interview from the Deputy Head of News at the time, Teena Gates. Remember, I was still in college technically, studying journalism, so I thought I’d be capable of delivering radio news convincingly. I got the job, and as it turns out, I was pretty okay at it. News was never something I was hugely passionate about, but I found when a big story was breaking, or something significant needed coverage, the buzz was amazing. Unfortunately, big stories wouldn’t occur every day, and my ambition to be a presenter was still my priority.

That summer, (2000) I failed my second-year exams. And then I failed the repeats, which meant I’d have to repeat again the following summer – and a year off college. My parents killed me, but I was delighted: more time to hang around radio stations!

So, while working in 98FM news, I became good friends with fellow newsperson Dermot Whelan, and talk show presenter, Niall Boylan. Niall was working on an innovative nighttime talk format, which aired on Sunday nights, with several contributors and presenters, with fun topics mixed with serious issues. The working title was “AfterDark”. Niall would also fill-in for 98FM’s full-time talk presenter at the time, Chris Barry.

Around this time, I started listening to internet radio, particularly BBC Radio 1 in the UK. Mark & Lard and especially Chris Moyles made me think how cool it’d be to have some funny shows like that in Ireland.


With his similar drive for something original and entertaining, on his Sunday-night show Niall gave Dermot and I a blank canvas to try out comedy sketches and ideas you wouldn’t hear anywhere else: we took the piss out of news, DJ’s, other stations, even Niall himself, and although some of the stuff didn’t always work, some of it thankfully did. It was from doing this work with Niall and Dermot that I moved from news to work on the nightly show, presented at the time by Chris, in September 2000.

The Chris Barry Show was an institution on night-time radio in Dublin and had been for years. In the short time I worked with them, I learned a lot from Chris and his producer Niall Power, plus Chris allowed me to co-present with him for the last hour of his show each night, which taught me a lot in terms of working with someone else in a presenting capacity.

Continuing my round-the-building tour of 98FM jobs, in late December I was given the opportunity to do some fill-in work as a DJ on overnights, which I was delighted to do. I had been listening to my favorite DJ on 98FM, Brian McColl, and just wished I could have a go at what he did. No, I wasn’t as good – though it was an honour.

Around the same time, the Programme Director, John Taylor offered me a two-month stint covering for the producer of the 98FM breakfast show, “The Morning Crew with Jim and Deb”. The producer would be on holidays in New Zealand while I filled-in. The show was a big ratings winner in Dublin at the time, presented by two hugely talented people who sounded great on-air together. I was terrified. Of course, there was no need for it: Jim McCabe and Debbie Allen were very good to me, and although I clearly didn’t have a breeze of what I was doing bar answering the phones, they gave me some idea of what was expected from a good breakfast show producer – something I’d never be.

Shortly after this, as the work dried up in 98FM, I worked part-time and filling-in on Limericks' local radio station, Live 95FM. They were just moving into a cool new place from their studios on O'Connell Street (one for the anoraks here) and I broadcast the last show from their old premises, one the next day from a temporary premises in Mary I, and one of the first shows in their new place. Exciting stuff. Well, if you're a radio nerd.

Anyway, not long after that I took my college repeats and passed – thank God, and went back to college while starting a new job in what was Dublin’s newest radio station: Lite FM (now Q102).

One of the guys I worked in 98FM news with, the very talented Paraic Gallagher, had landed himself the role of Dublin reporter for Lite FM, and said it was a great place to work. He suggested I get in touch with the Head of News, Eileen Brophy, which I did in September 2001, and she offered me work as a newsreader. While there, I spent much more time in the newsroom, and worked with one of the soundest radio people I know: Mike Moloney. Remember “Moloney After Midnight”? Well, that’s him. Mike taught me a lot about how sounding like a real, genuine person is probably more important than sounding like a “DeeJay!” and he always gave me support and encouragement to have a go at the presenting thing. It was never something I especially wanted to do at Lite (which played slow music for older people) so I went back to pirate radio.

In the time I had been working in 98FM and Lite, the old pirate station I had worked on, ESG was no more: it had grown into Energy 94FM, still headed by the same guy, James Davids. So I asked James if I could work on both Lite FM and Energy. James made the point that my boss in Lite might not be too happy to hear me on a pirate radio station, so I offered to change my name to… wait for it… Brian Hayes. The name choice was actually beyond my control: the “Big Voice Guy” who did all the jingles for the station had done a jingle for someone with a first name Brian, and a surname Hayes, and the production whizz at Energy, Lar Wright, stuck the two together – making me Brian Hayes! For some reason a lot of people in radio use fake names: it’s not really something I would have done if I had a choice, but it was fun while it lasted, which wasn’t long, as I sent a tape of “Brian” doing his thing to a new station.

In March 2002, now in third-year in college (and my fourth in Dublin) I met with a guy called Liam Thompson, who up to then had been a manager in 2FM and 98FM, though we had never met in 98. He had just been appointed Programme Director of a new radio station for Dublin which was soon to launch, called SPIN 1038. SPIN was to be a youth-orientated service, the first of its kind, playing pop and dance music for young Dubliners. We had a long, detailed discussion about radio and stuff, and got on quite well. Liam had an idea for “a breakfast show at night” featuring two presenters, a good laugh, and plenty of music. The station’s actual breakfast show would also be a new idea: no DJ – just back-to-back music, called “Breakfast No Waffle”. Anyway, Liam was wondering if I‘d be interested in doing this “breakfast show at night” – it would be called “The Zoo Crew” (blush, again) and co-presenting with me would be a girl I had briefly worked with back on Energy, Clionadh O’Leary.

The show started in April 2002, and I duly failed my third-year exams that May, meaning another year off ‘til fourth year. I would go back to college while still in SPIN, in September 2003.

For two years “The Zoo Crew” was a great show to work on, and Liam totally let me do whatever I wanted – something you don’t generally get in other stations. I got to meet some of the coolest people in the world, and work from such locations as Witnness/Oxegen and… a bowling alley. The team that started up the radio station from day one are great people, who I’m happy to say are still some of my best mates today – including JP. SPIN certainly helped by being piss-up central for two years. All around the same time, Marty Miller (Q102), Nikki Hayes (2FM) and myself were all picked up by other stations who saw what a special thing SPIN had going. All great fun.

Anyway, enough bleary-eyed reminiscing: around March 2004, the show was one of the strongest shows on the station and subsequent figures showed it out-performing the big stations in Dublin at that hour – something I was very proud of as presenter/producer of the show by the end – but I’d felt like a change of scene, so I sent out a tape, to which Today FM replied, and offered me a job!

I started on “The Blast” in May 2004 – the same week as my final college exams, with JP starting as “my bitch” shortly after that. He still loves being called that, even after all this time.

What I’d say about applying for a course is: if you can, try out something other than a media-related course. Personally, I don’t feel I left college with anything that really helped me in my chosen line of work. That’s not to say it’s a bad course: it’s a journalism course for people who want to work as newspaper journalists, and it lasts four years. But if you want to do something like what I did, which was basically move to Dublin to work in radio stations and use college as the excuse to be there, then try an arts course or something else you’re interested in. Having a good grounding in something other than “media” will stand to you far more in broadcasting, be it business, law, technology or whatever – go and learn something else and bring that to the radio thing you want to do.

If you’re still determined to do something learning radio, then do something short, like a year or two-long, which will give you a sense of whether you like it or not, or if you’re actually any good at it. Believe me, at eighteen, there is nothing worse than ending up in a course you know you’re going to hate for the next four years. One college that keeps cropping up as highly recommended is Ballyfermot, which has a few course options to choose from. I don’t know the details – you’ll have to suss that out for yourself.

I’d also recommend something in dramatics, even on a local level – that’ll help you to be more confident and use your voice to communicate effectively. I know it sounds obvious, but there are so many people who think they can do radio, and when it comes down to it, they don’t sound like they have the balls to go through with it.

And that’s it! As you can probably see, common themes for me have been sending tapes to people and getting to know how to do as many things as possible in a radio station, like research, production, newsreading and of course, being a deejay! If you live near a station, get in touch with them, and get started! Hope that helps – now please, don’t take my job.

If you want any more advice –
email at the usual address.

Ray

TuesApr26 Blast Off! The website is LIVE!

See what I did there? I used the name of the show to express how the website has been launched. Comedy genius. Yeah.

On the show last night 26th April.

Most requested song: The Game ft 50 Cent - Hate it or Love it.

Big Game winner - Brendan Doherty from Curry, County Sligo. Sound bloke too.

Text selection: Three of last night's texts
  1. Hey ray&bitch..jus been on ur site..def want pics of jp ok..oh nd u kinda look lyk ur wearin eyeliner n the smaller pic but hey it suits u dude! I wasn't wearing eyeliner - at least not that day, but I agree, me eyes do look weird in the smaller picture.
  2. ben murphy co.clare. can i have a bobble head bitch? ha ha !
  3. Ray u asshole u never read out my texts please play hulk hogans theme music thnks frm dave Hey Dave - I don't like reading texts from people who always say "you never read out my texts" in their texts messages. Send something worth reading.

In the show: Tom Dunne was live in the Roisin Dubh in Galway. It went ten minutes over time and we started late. The cheeky bastard. Sharon Shannon was on the stage at the time and he couldn't tell her to stick her fiddle where the sun don't shine, because it's not a fiddle, it's an accordion. Doh! It was really good though. JP's trying out a new stance this week. I think it's too confrontational and means bugger all on the radio, but check it out for yourself further on down. Several ladies (and some blokes) have been looking for pics of the bitch too, so enjoy.

Good luck.

Ray


Pic: JP's new stance: four fingers and one thumb. It's gonna be the next big thing. Posted by Hello

Pic: JP Pretending to work Posted by Hello

Pic: The work experience kid was amazed by the flashing light of the camera... Posted by Hello

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Blast! Music - 25th April

Music… Makes the People… Come together…

Listen up, people. Here are a few of the songs we’re playing this week.

If there’s something we should be playing, email us and we’ll try to set that right by next week. Equally, if you’ve got an issue with something we’ve added, stop picking your nose and email.

We’ll update you on the music every Monday.

  1. 50 Cent – Candy Shop
  2. Akon – Lonely
  3. Amerie – 1 Thing
  4. Basement Jaxx – Oh My Gosh
  5. Black Eyed Peas – Don’t Phunk With My Heart
  6. Bodyrockers – I Like The Way
  7. Chemical Bros – Believe
  8. Ciara – 1,2 Step
  9. Destiny’s Child – Girl
  10. Eminem – Mockingbird
  11. Faith Evans – Again
  12. Freeloaders – So Much Love to Give
  13. Gorillaz – Feel Good Inc
  14. Gwen Stefani – Hollaback Girl
  15. Killers – Smile Like You Mean It
  16. Mario – Let Me Love You
  17. Max Graham vs Yes! – Owner of a Lonely Heart
  18. Phantom Planet – California
  19. Snoop & Justin – Signs
  20. Studio B – I See Girls
  21. The Game ft 50 Cent – Hate it or Love it
  22. Will Smith – Switch

Others you might hear if you text enough:

  1. Gadjo – Too Many Times
  2. Freemasons – Love on my Mind
  3. Mitchell Bros – Harvey Nicks (this features Mike Skinner of The Streets fame)

As you know, the number is 0854 100 102. Text during the show and we’ll see how things turn out next week.

Foley out.

MonApril25 - Our First Pictures

The second entry. I thought blogging would be a right pain, but I'm finding it's quite enjoyable writing a load of crap that no-one reads.

I'm trying to put pictures onto the blog to see if I'll be able to do it in the future. I have a really cheeeeezy one of myself that I'm trying to load, so here goes...


Cheezey DJ shot of me should appear above. I hope this frickin' works...
Posted by Hello

Wahey Bosco! We done it! I'll try and get a really naff one of JP in the next week or so - people are always wondering what the bitch looks like.

Back to the brief - On tonight's show, we were talking about that brilliant website,
www.ratemyteachers.ie that's the URL if you want it. My school is St Muredach's College in Ballina, Co Mayo. JP's is St Mary's in Dundalk, Co. Louth.Check it out to see if your, ahem, "favourite" teacher is listed...

We're looking for Tricky Dick questions. If you have any conundrums
click here to email them to me and don't forget your name and where you're from.

Still to come: Blast! Blog Rules and Music... Makes the People...

Cheers

Ray

Monday, April 25, 2005

Me? Blogging? With My Reputation?

I'm not a blogging type of DJ. Let's get that straight from the off, so don't judge me yet.

I think radio presenters who like to go on the internet and waffle on about their lives are so up their own arses for assuming that the rest of us who hear their shows actually care about what they had for breakfast that morning or what television show they like best. Incidentally, fried eggs and Desperate Housewives. See? You don't give a crap.

However, here I am in all my ego-tastic glory to put the Blast! on the interweb. Why? Because we're going to do some stuff on the show that can tie in with some stuff we put here, plus JP's a lazy arse and it'll give him something to do.

This blog is not about our breakfast or about our favourite programmes. It's not about what we think about world politics or about our opinions on the state of the economy. It's just about the show, and if we do something on the show that you might want to know more about or if there's something happening on the show that you need to know will be happening, you'll find out here first. Provided JP gets up off his arse and posts it. We'll keep our fingers crossed on that one.

Still to come on the Blast! Blog: Our First Pictures and The Rules of the Blog

Peace out, Holmes

Ray