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August, 2009:

My Favourite Radio Stations

My new favourite radio station is Nation FM , of South Wales.

I was a big fan of Absolute Radio , formerly Virgin Radio, but unfortunately it only broadcasts on the AM band unless you have DAB Digital Radio or live in London.

Absolute is by far the more professional of the two, with more programs and top DJ’s such as Christian O’Connell and Geoff Lloyd (hilarious!). Absolute frequently runs promotions, sponsors live festivals and gigs, and has a professional community-based website. Nation on the other hand is a much more low key affair – but if you listen to the radio for the music it could suit your needs.

The music across both stations varies. Absolute focuses on classic Rock with some modern songs thrown in. Nation’s remit is “Rock, Metal and Alternative” which means lots of guitar-heavy bands – both new and old. I love it!

My musical tastes tend to vary between the two – such as David Bowie and other classic Rock artists (Absolute is best for this) and The Libertines and Arctic Monkeys for my indie/alternative fix (Nation wins here). So if you a fan of the likes of Green Day, White Stripes, Blink 182, Foo Fighters, Lost Prophets, Franz Ferdinand etc – with a nod to the classics from groups such as Blondie, Kiss, Bowie, The Sex Pistols, Motley Crue, Fun Loving Criminals, Manic Street Preachers and Oasis then Nation is your destination.

If, as is likely, you don’t live in South Wales you’ll find the mainly local ads bemusing but fun if you like to hear from around the world. Both these stations areĀ  commercial but Absolute is nationwide and Nation is not.

You can hear the streaming radio feed from Nation here .

Absolute Radio has an extremely comprehensive selection of formats including Windows Media Player. Ogg Vorbis, Realplayer and iTunes – as well as a webpage based player and a “Miniamp” you can see below (doesn’t seem to work in Firefox). Absolute Radio also broadcast on DAB, AM, FM (in London) and on Sky and Virgin Media Cable. They also have sister stations including Absolute Classic Rock and Absolute Extreme. You can see all the formats here

PS. We have a fine musical tradition in Wales. From the classic singers such as the Male Voice Choirs, Charlotte Church and Aled Jones through to legends such as Tom Jones, Shirley Bassey, Badfinger, MAN, The Alarm, and Bonnie Tyler. Then it’s onto the modern chart toppers such as The Stereophonics, Manic Street Preachers, The Automatic, Super Furry Animals, Duffy and Lostprophets. Throw in some others such as Catatonia, Bullet For My Valentine, Feeder, Funeral For A Friend, and of course the biggest selling artist of the 80’s… one Shakin’ Stevens! Yes – Welsh Music is alive and well.