First, there was Club Fandango, the gig. Then came Label Fandango, the record company. Now, with searing inevitably, comes Radio Fandango, the radio station, not least because Radio Fandango is the best name for a radio station, ever.
While we may not be - quite literally - sailing forth into the North Sea from Harwich harbour to bob along with the likes of Caroline and Luxembourg, Radio Fandango will be endeavouring to embody that playful, slightly seasicky, spirit of the pirate stations from 50 frothy years ago. And we have a shouty sea-shanty jingle to match.
To that end, Radio Fandango will combine the best in new music with interviews, live sessions and podcasts to entertain and inspire new bands and music lovers across the country. Therefore, we are promising to Support The Support Bands as they are confronted by collapsing record sales, venue closures, cold-hearted major labels, and - crucially - a radio world lost in a whirl of pop obsession. If it's grim up north, it's grime everywhere else.
There has scarcely been a worse time to be in a new band. There has, therefore, rarely been a better time to start a radio station.
There will be no genres, no pigeons holes and no algorithms. Radio Fandango will be curated by humans. At its core Radio Fandango will be uncovering tomorrow's leftfield heroes today, picking out the perkiest, punkiest, new acts and giving them the most pure of fresh airtime, in other words, Supporting The Support Bands.
Better still, Radio Fandango will select one artist each week to feature in the Radio Fandango Artist Of The Week podcast, giving them added exposure with an interview, daily airplay and live session. Radio fandango is also aiming to agitate, educate and possibly even be a bit organised. There will be informative industry interviews and advice for the young of heart via The School Of Fandango and the Indie Insider podcasts.
Radio Fandango will also play from a cherishable treasure trove of underground indie music from the last 25 years. The station's foundations are built upon the 400-odd singles fierce panda records has released since 1994 (i.e.The Maccabees, Idlewild, The Walkmen, The Raveonettes, Art Brut) and the gazillion-odd live shows from Club Fandango promotions (e.g. Fontaines DC, Arctic Monkeys, Bloc Party, Kaiser Chiefs, Death Cab For Cutie, The Kills and quite possibly The Killers).
Then there will be fab shows like Feeling Gloomy, Boys In The Band, and Songs From A Padded Envelope, and a selection of the best sitcom-podcasts out there including the fantastic Brian & Roger, Wooden Overcoats, Twilight World of Ultimate Smoothness and Golden Ears.
And once we the other side of COVID there will be live acoustic sets from our Soho studio. And, so God help all of us, there will be full band sessions whereby some bunch of cheery up-and-coming lovelies are zipped up into Snorkel Studios in Forest Hill to record four tracks in one single, possibly slightly sinful, afternoon.
So welcome to Radio Fandango, a discovery platform for new music and podcasts curated by humans. Have a look around and tune in for a while. It is by no means finished, there are lots more shows and podcasts and bells and whistles to be added so think of it as very much a work in progress. Rome wasn’t built in a day all that. And please let us know any feedback, thoughts, ideas, constructive criticisms so we can improve.
Lastly we hope you enjoy the video for our Radio Fandango 'Support The Support Bands' song. We channelled our inner Jacque Cousteau shining a light on the weird and wonderful bottom-feeders that live in darkness at the bottom of the ocean. The video is an AFM Production, the animation is courtesy of Matt Law, and the song was recorded at Snorkel Studios & engineered by Nainesh Shah. The chorus doubles up as the Radio Fandango jingle, and the lyrics double up as a mission statement. And just like not chewing a fruit pastel, it's impossible not to sing along. But be warned, like all good jingles, it's very catchy and gets stuck in your head. Forever.
It goes something like this…
RADIO. FANDANGO. RADIO. FANDANGO.
Supporting the support bands for 25 years, bringing new music to your ears.
So now it's time we launched a station, to help new bands across the nation.
RADIO FANDANGO. RADIO F-F-FANDANGO
Coz venues are closing down fast. And bands could become a thing of the past.
That's why we’ve erected a radio mast. And built a ship that’s going to last….
RADIO. FANDANGO. RADIO. F-F-FANDANGO
Simon Cowell - he’s to blame. Just coz something’s successful, doesn’t mean it good.
When will the majors understand? You got to support the support bands!
Chorus to fade...
RADIO. FANDANGO. RADIO. F-F-FANDANGO.
RADIO. FANDANGO. RADIO. F-F-FANDANGO.
If you have any questions or thoughts or feedback or ideas or constructive criticism please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are interested in sending your music, podcasts or audition tapes please read submissions guide above first and then email us at email@example.com
Calling all bands, podcasters and DJ's...
If you'd like to hear your music on Radio Fandango or run a podcast series you'd like us to feature, or want to curate/DJ a show, then please send your tunes, podcast or audition tape to firstname.lastname@example.org.
But before you do that please read these handy submission hints and tips:
- Send us a listening link so we can hear your submission e.g. Soundcloud link (private or public).
- Send us an MP3 download link so if we feel your submission is suitable and we have space to feature it we can. (The Radio Fandango server currently only accepts MP3's)
- Get your personality across with a short and sweet email, nothing too formal e.g. no Dear Sir and Madam
- Include a brief bio if you are an artist / DJ or a brief synopsis if you're a podcast creator
- We'd love to have some artwork to use on the site so please send over track artwork or artist press shot or podcast artwork.
- Only send us music and podcasts that are finished and of a good enough quality for us to feature on the station.
- Please note that due to the number of submissions we receive we can't feature everything on the station or reply to all emails but if we like what you're doing we'll be in touch!
- Get creative and have fun!FAQ
How can I listen to Radio Fandango?
Tune in at www.radiofandango.co.uk
Is Radio Fandango an analogue, digital or internet radio station?
We are an internet radio station. You can find us at www.radiofandango.co.uk. But you already knew that coz you're here. Duh!
Is it live broadcasting?
Yes we broadcast live on the Radio Fandango player but the shows are currently pre-recorded. We hope to introduce live shows soon.
Can we listen to shows on demand?
Yes all shows can also be listened to on demand on the individual show pages.
Where are you located?
We are in lubbly jubbly London Town.
Do you broadcast outside the UK?
Not yet, but we aim to broadcast globally soon.
Is there a Radio Fandango app?
Not yet, we are in the process of raising money to pay the designers and developers to create a Radio Fandango app. If you would like to help support this or sponsor some of the other things we need to grow the station, program shows, and support bands, please visit our support page here.
Do you have a music policy?
There is strictly no music policy. Primarily we are an indie radio station meaning we play new independent music, which can embrace everything from dream pop to alt-rock to dance to electronica to folk to lovely, lovely indie-schmindie. It doesn't matter how old you are, where you are from, sexual orientation or if you like to curl up on the floor whenever you hear a hoover (just me?). We're not bothered about stats or how many likes you've got. We not that keen on genres or pigeon holes and we definitely don't like algorithms. As long as the music has attitude and soul, and we like it, we will play it.
Who are some of the bands you are playing?
You can see all the artists we are currently playing on This Weeks Playlist, which is updated every week.
How can I support the support bands?
Please visit our support page for details.
Can I sponsor the station or a show?
Yes, please visit our support page for details.
How can my band get played on Radio Fandango?
Please send us your music and a brief bio but please read the submissions guide first to give you the best chance.
Can I become a DJ on Radio Fandango?
Yes. We are currently auditioning for DJ's so please send us an audition tape and tell us bit about yourself and if we like what we hear then we will be in touch. Please see submissions guide.
I've got a cool podcast. Can you broadcast it on Radio Fandango.
Quite possibly. Please send us your podcast and if we like what we hear, we will be in touch about broadcasting and creating its own show page so people can listen on demand. Please see submissions guide.
Are all your shows produced in house?
Not all of them. Some shows are produced in house and others we license in from other producers, creators and podcasters.
What is Club Fandango?
Club Fandango is the name for our live nights. It has been running since 2001, and over 20 years Fandango has promoted over 5000 shows featuring 15000 bands / 50000 musicians to an audience over 1 million gig-goers. You can find out more on the club fandango website.
What is Label Fandango?
Label Fandango is the name for record label distributed through INgrooves. It has been running since 2006 and there are now 5.5 million streams per year for new artists on the Label Fandango catalogue. You can browse the full roster on the Label Fandango page on the club fandango website.
What is the School of Fandango?
School Of Fandango is a new podcast for new and emerging bands and solo artists to help them get from the bedroom to playing their first gig to releasing their first record to building a team and an audience, and maybe one day having a hit! Please check out the School Of Fandango show page for when it is on or to listen to episodes on demand.
How do you discover bands?
From your submissions mainly so get in touch, digital platform playlists, managers and agents, tips down the pub (ah the pub...) and course gigs (ah gigs, remember them!)
Are there any job vacancies at Radio Fandango?
There are currently no vacancies but keep an eye on the socials and sign up to the newsletter as this can change.
Do you do Fandango internships?
Yes we run Radio Fandango internships. If you are interested please contact email@example.com
Can I become a Radio Fandango volunteer?
You sure can. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
How do you finance Radio Fandango?
We gratefully received an Arts Council Project Grant and have other sources of income from ticket sales, streaming, merchandise, sponsorship, but we need to raise more to realise the ambitions for Radio Fandango. Please visit our support page if you would like to help us support the support bands.
Why the blazes are you setting up a radio station?
Good question. And there are probably two reasons. The first reason is that Radio Fandango is the best name for a radio station, ever.
And the second reason is because we love new independent music.
And we love guitars, and we love bands, and we love songs, and we love albums, and we love gigs.
And we love the miserable charm of smelly old music venues.
And we love the pong of bleach fighting a losing battle with the stench of mould and rats and the thirty-year-old beer-soaked carpet that smells like the Gorillas Cage at London Zoo.
And we love the unfeasibly grumpy landlord knowing another night of a thumping bass drum is the only thing between him and financial ruin.
And we love the ghosts and phantoms of gigs and bands past in the air—the only evidence of their previous existence in the faded posters that cover nicotine-stained walls, like something from The Shining.
And we love the innocent endeavour of three bands playing their songs, knowing if they get it right, they could possibly, maybe change their lives forever - knowing one of their songs could become a hit and that hit could become a timeless classic.
And we love the power of gigs to transform these desolate and slightly spooky venues into magical places, where audiences can be transported, where the music can move the head, the heart and the hips. Sometimes all three at the same time.
And we love the dreams of bands that can be made or broken like shards of glass in that thirty-year-old beer-soaked carpet at the end of the night.
We love all these things.
And no doubt you do too.
But their very existence is now under serious threat.
Things were already bad at grassroots back in 2019. A lack of investment in new talent from the majors, commercial radio stations ignoring new artists if the stats weren’t good enough, and small venues under attack from property developers, gastro pubs, and the triple fried chip cooked in goose fat (delicious though these potato wedges may be).
And then COVID came along...
And now there is the very real prospect that small venues and bands and gigs could become a thing of the past.
But meanwhile, at certain levels, the UK music industry is in rude health with huge profits made from streaming for Major labels, superstar artists and rights holders. They never had it so good. That's nice, but is any of this money trickling down to support the grassroots?
Without the small pubs and venues and promoters that support new bands, where will tomorrow's Glastonbury headliners comes from? Or maybe that's just the way the cookie crumbles and it doesn't matter coz we can keep regurgitating the back catalogue and last years headliners? And hey, look the Rolling Stones are still going so we can keep this show on the road for a while yet no probs. And we never had it so good on the streaming front....
But maybe there is huge pool of talent out there, kids who want to write new songs and play gigs and express themselves, but find that the local venue has closed down and the idea of a gig in London or getting played on the radio an impossible dream. Kids who don't want to sing cover versions and show off their ability to scale several octaves on talent completions on Saturday night TV.
So maybe the second reason for setting up Radio Fandango is to shine a light on these kids, with names like Ian Curtis and Amy Winehouse and Robert Smith and Polly Harvey and Nicolas Cave and highlight to those in power that grassroots music is precious and needs rescuing, saving, and supporting. Not just for the pleasure, new music brings to people but because new music has been the country's proud export to the world. And the once it's gone, it's gone.NEWSLETTER
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Anoint My Head - How I Failed to Make it as a Britpop Indie Rockstar is a new music memoir and follow the Pointy Birds as they try to make it on the London toilet circuit in the early 90's pre the explosion of Britpop. It is written by our very own head honcho at Radio Fandango Andy Macleod. It is available as a paperback, ebook and audiobook and will be serialised on Radio Fandango next month.
‘Bland and inoffensive with a seriously over-acting singer’ NME
‘Captures the time and the aspirations of a young band brilliantly. A great eye-opener into the absurd thought process of what it might take to headline Glastonbury!' Steve Lamacq BBC 6 Music
‘You'll read this book in one or two sittings - it's pure pleasure. All the fun of youthful dreams and the poignancy of disappointment - plus a remarkable A-list cameo. Magnificent.’ Phil Harrison Time Out / Guardian
‘Hilarious warts-and-all story of a Britpop band whose big ambitions did not meet their talents’ Dan Carrier Camden New Journal
'Very good read. I read the book over the weekend. Some really good memories I had forgotten about. Great days. I hope it goes on to sell millions!' Saul Galpen Nude Records
'Super-evocative, proustian and a wonderful walk down memory lane’ Mark Bowen Wichita Recordings
'This heartwarmingly tatty 'Withnail & I'-tinged glance back at a time before innocent indie dreams were stolen by digital streams is a must read for every lockdowned soul pining for just one more chance to see another bunch of over-ambitious sonic terrorists preening themselves in an under-ventilated gigging sweatpit.' Simon Williams fierce panda records