Theblackflag is as up to date as you can be with how to communicate and ‘reach out’ to the public. The actual website (that’s what you’re on in case you’re wondering!), a twitter account, a Facebook page and a never ending thirst for taking the alternative culture to the masses drives Theblackflag forward like an unstoppable blogging, tweeting and posting juggernaut. I, however, am not. I don’t understand how the internet ‘works’, I don’t ‘download’ music and if you ask me to tweet a photo I’ll be grabbing a brass rubbing kit and finding the nearest bird (the flying kind, pervert!).
So imagine my surprise when The Black Flag asked me to review something called a ‘podcast’. After spending an hour in my garden looking for this I was informed it is, as all good things appear to be now, to be found on the World Wide Web. It’s basically an online radio show, sometimes highlights from a longer show or sometimes – as in this case – it’s a way to get a non-mainstream radio show in its entirety ‘out there’ to the public.
Sanctuary Xposed is a podcast presented by Sanctuary Music Limited and is presented by DJ Presley and D’Lear. Sanctuary Xposed podcast covers a variety of alternative music, ranging from the well-known acts to those that are just starting out on the road to ‘stardom’.
I listened to the June edition and at 1 hour 24mins it certainly isn’t a short podcast but I found setting the time aside to listen to it more than worthwhile. The conversation flowed effortlessly between the two presenters and what I liked most of all was that they were not afraid to say whether they liked or disliked the music they were playing. Their approach is something of a novel one, in so much as they do not listen to the songs selected for the show prior to going live so their on air reaction is their genuine one. This really comes across and gives the listener a nice insight into what the presenters like/dislike.
The conversation veered nicely from the expected (for an alternative music show), Metallica playing the whole of the Black album at festivals this year – in reverse no less –to the slightly less expected, ‘Gayologist’ John Travolta! There were also a couple of comedy skits thrown in for good measure. Def Leppard at home is pretty much as you might imagine it. Camp David (Alan Partridge anyone?) is a piece about a gay man who this week was talking about an encounter with Jonny Depp. For this listener both of these are not needed. I think the shows content of interaction between presenters and new music is enough to fill the time slot nicely without having to resort to this type of ‘eurotrash’ humour.
Onto the music! The range of music played, I have to admit, was pretty startling. I have found previously that so called alternative radio shows/websites actually only ever focus on their own personal preferences. So if the presenter is a massive fan of a certain band or artist, you end up with a show that is almost entirely dedicated to them with a few slightly ‘left field’ choices thrown into to try to appease the producer/editor. However, Sanctuary Xposed played songs ranging from indie rock to punk reggae to almost dance/trance music to metal harcore. It’s great to find a mix as varied as this. It invariably means that the listeners will find something that they like (and dislike!) and probably, more often than not, introduce them to a new band. And this listener had that very same result! A song called ‘Rusty Nails’ by an artist called Moderat was played and having never of it before I will certainly be investigating it further (probably back on the World Wide Web!).
As mentioned above, the fact the presenters do not pre-listen to the music means that they give their honest opinions on the tracks played, which they certainly did on this show. Their thoughts on an act called Carving the giant’s track ‘mega hench’ mirrored those of mine – not for me – but they were not as judgemental as to dismiss it entirely – ‘each to their own’ would be a phrase I would expect to hear from them.
They played about 10 songs in total and with the mixture of views and opinions the time flew by. Sanctuary Xposed seem to do monthly podcasts and having been given the opportunity to review one I shall certainly be listening to them again in the future. One thing I would like to see though is to have the artist/track displayed during the podcasts, trying to capture the artist and track title on a blackboard with chalk isn’t easy…..
Words: Brian McKay