At the beginning of February we welcomed the launch of Glasgow’s highly anticipated independent radio station, Clyde Built Radio. To commemorate the big day, the station paired with Dr. Martens to host some of the city’s finest talents, live on air, and on stage. All in aid of The Unity Charity.
Nestled in the humble Barras Markets, the new station aims to provide a platform for local musical talent to be heard across the globe. Afterall, a good ear for music is not something that the city of Glasgow lacks.
‘Bring Glasgow’s Music To The World’ is Clyde Built Radio’s latest campaign which saw the network partner up with Dr. Martens. The campaign draws on the station’s home-grown ethics of showcasing all those who have shaped Glasgow’s thriving music scene. Channeling the success of everyone from record labels and shops, clubs to artists. If you’ve made noise past or present, this campaign is for you.
On a wider scale, the celebrations also coincide with Dr. Martens ‘Tough As You’ campaign. The project aims to acknowledge the immense determination of independent artists overcoming obstacles in their career.
At the debut event both partners called on some fierce talent to join at Barrowlands 2. With the likes of Sub Club, Vaj Power and Mr TC taking care of business on the airwaves. Rihanna-endorsed industrial soul duo, LAPS (aka Ladies As Pimps), Lady Neptune and DJ Grim Lusk (aka Murray Collier) catered to the evening’s live finale.
All donations on the day went to Scottish charity, The Unity Charity. These wonderful people help to support vulnerable and disadvantaged people in local communities on the west of Scotland. If they are not sold out yet, you can still donate by purchasing a limited edition Clyde Built Radio poster. Designed by Raissa Pardini who was hand-picked by Dr. Martens. Pop into Sauchiehall Street’s Dr. Martens store to see if you can snap one up.
So far, so good, right? This sounds like a promising venture for Glasgow’s creatives but it’s no mean feat to bring something like this together. So who’s behind it all? Heading up this entire community-based ensemble is Andrew Thomson and his trusty team.
Andrew has a wealth of first-hand experience working in music as an internationally renowned DJ. As well as the founding member of record label Huntleys & Palmers. He’s even made regular appearances on London’s well-respected radio show, Rinse FM.
I had the chance to catch up with the station head to get the full low-down on the launch of Clyde Built Radio and much more. Here’s what he had to say:
First of all, tell us how the official launch event went on the 1st of February and what the public reaction has been like to the new station.
‘’It went great! Really nice and slightly surreal to start seeing an idea become reality. I’ve been involved in music for quite a long time now and gotten used to the idea of working on and discussing an event or release which is then over in a matter of hours (or out in the world) and then move on to the next thing. But this is a first for me which involves building a structure with the aim to stick around, so it’s taking a bit of getting used to the idea of it not being over. The show(s) goes on so to speak.. ‘’
‘’The party was really fun and we enjoyed the experience of working with Dr.Martens who were really open for us to present a line up that would represent the city well. It was great to see so many friends in one place.’’
You’ve said before that the inspiration behind starting up Clyde Built Radio came from similar intimate-style shows already established across Europe, which were lacking in Scotland. How do you think that the city of Glasgow will not only take to this concept, but further develop it?
‘’Two of the main motivations have been to build a platform for the artists and DJ’s in the city and provide a more neutral meeting point for the scene itself and it’s been encouraging to see different members of the scene collide with each other – sometimes in the first instance. The second day of broadcasting had a really talented new DJ called DJ Michael play and Optimo who were playing after him, invited him to play their next party. So it’s beginning to work! It also seems that different DJ’s are listening back to each others shows and asking for track ID’s and showing an interest in each other that wouldn’t have existed prior to us getting going. ‘’
‘’We were determined to open a space with a social component and it’s been lovely to see people dropping by for a nosey with their kids, dogs and connecting with friends who might not necessarily go out to clubs anymore. I’d expect that to continue over time and will hopefully integrate people in the city who might be in a different stage in life, but still value good music.’’
Tell us a little bit about your team behind the station and how they’ve helped to bring it all together?
‘’Setting something up like this requires a lot of work behind the scenes with the technical side of things, but also on a day to day level – managing the schedule and overseeing the shows, the archive and someone to be in the studio on the day. So I knew for a long time that it would be impossible to do alone.’’
‘’I also travel frequently for gigs and was looking for people to help realise this idea on a local level. It all started to come together when I moved in with Claudia (and Matt) – who filled me with confidence that this could be put into action and together we’ve been through several disappointments and false starts over the past year, which has ultimately led us to being in the right place that we’re at now.’’
‘’Besides Claudia and myself; we’d still need more hands on deck and Janekke, Rose, Amy and Matt have been contributing to us getting going to this point and I’m sure will be massively helpful in the months ahead. Special mention to Connor who has been a big support on simplifying the technical side of things and allowed us to tackle the elements we had no experience in.’’
What are the plans for Clyde Built Radio in the rest of 2020?
‘’It’s early day to get into specifics, but we will be holding fundraising events over the months ahead. We need to cover our rent somehow, but it also makes sense to cultivate the social aspect we’re creating through the station. Come along and support!’’
Not being able to make it to the launch event was gutting. From first contact this was a project I was completely intrigued by and supportive of. However, I was lucky enough to be sorted out with an exclusive Dr. Martens mix curated by Clyde Built Radio for the event.
In the first few moments we are enticed by the underlying urban drum beat that becomes the foundation of the mix. As the mix progresses we delve further into jungle and even verge on dubstep territory. There’s a real South London, streetwise and, most importantly, authentic feel to this mix. Tapping into the Huntleys and Palmers roster, we hear from artists such as Shawlands Arcade, 100 % Feedback ft. vocalist Pegger Ranking, PDL, Iso-Yso and more. Before being lead out but a melodic, low-tempo piece from Maveen.
Top Track: Lo Kindre – ‘This Might Be The First’
Instantly Side B is a completely juxtaposing soundscape to what we’ve just heard. Think: deep minimal house meets 90’s French electro. The melodic drums and breakbeats can still be heard throughout, much like Side A,but in a much more toned down and muted manner. With obscure samples, raw vocal clips, this mix goes full on experimental/alternative and plays on your darkest imagination. The track list is another showcase of the talented network under the Huntleys and Palmers name including the likes of Mark Vernon, Still House Plants, Leatherette, Chumo and more.
Top Track: Dip Friso – ‘Payslip Suite’
This truly is an exciting addition to the creative community and yet again solidifies Glasgow as the epicentre of up and coming Scottish music. We can’t wait to watch this platform grow.
If you wish to show your support or find out more information then head to then check out the official Clyde Built Radio website.