Birds of a feather meet on Twitter together? Nevermore so than when digging deep into my youth and trying to get back that fabulous feel of college radio that propelled me into my love of alternative music, and post-punk, I stumbled upon a fantastic resource account on Twitter, @ScotsPostPunk. Fabulous music tastes, a lot of Scottish post-punk, funk, Ska, post-punk music, and managed mayhem. I had always had a hard time accessing this kind of music on vinyl here on the US west coast in the late 70s and early eighties, so glad to revisit it with Mike and his followers. Be careful, he’s the pied piper of the internet airwaves.
After getting to know Mike a bit over some months and chatting with him during one of his shows, I told him my sorry tale of trying to get to Scotland in 1982 to buy some vinyl when I was a kid on my first trip to the UK, and getting thwarted by a huge wind storm (train shut down). He surprised me with some extra copies he had of some independent Scottish music in the post and has helped encourage my fiendish addiction to vinyl since. Don’t ask about the last vinyl purchase! He blames the cat. I think we vinyl fiends tend to bond, especially when our partners and spouses just shake their heads at the obsession. “What, another color vinyl record??? Oh, is that Joy Division?” Hide the shipping box, now.
Mike has a fabulous radio show on Strangerradio.com called UNAMERICAN Broadcasting that just had its 50th by-weekly radio program. To celebrate, Mike put together 100 songs, which he had to split over two episodes. I asked him to tell us about his musical passions and how he got this show, featuring his vast collection of attic vinyl. And hopefully, his wee cat Monkey Man may start spinning along with. Now there’s a radio mascot, because cats don’t just hit drums.
Interview With Mike Hunt UNAMERICAN Radio
Name: Scottish Post-Punk
Catch UNAMERICAN Radio Show on Strangerradio.com
What possessed you to create the SP-P social media feeds?
I set up the Facebook presence after a conversation with a friend who knew I was behind several other artist-related official/semi-official/official pages (Josef K, Fast Product, Orange Juice, Paul Quinn, Bourgie Bourgie, etc) and suggested that if anyone should set up a Scottish Post-Punk page, it was me!
You just had your 50th show of UNAMERICAN Radio, did you think you’d get to this many shows?
No, I thought there was 10 shows in me. After the second hour-long show I upped it to two hours and often go over that!
And…how long did it take to put the what became a two-part show together, for episodes 50 and 51?
On paper, it took less than an hour to list probably 60 acts I wanted to play. That gradually rose to 72. It took another hour, or so, to choose what tracks to play. Another couple of hours to pull it together and record and then had to split it down the middle. So the next show is almost good to go!
What are some future projects you may be developing?
I have a semi-secret pet project for Josef K that (probably) won’t happen; I’m involved with Scars Author! Author! album reissue and a top-top secret one I can’t tell anyone about (only 10 people know about it)!
What has been your greatest challenge in keeping your Twitter/FB full of great content?
Just when I feel the well’s drying up I come across some great new content, or “meet” someone who has a treasure trove of memories and photos. It looks like I can continue to annoy followers for some time to come.
Have you met any of your music heroes as a result of your publishing?
I’ve met Malcolm Ross of Josef K, Dave Carson & Mike Barclay (Boots For Dancing), Paul Research (Scars/Voicex), Russell Burn of Fire Engines/Win – all of them lovely people!
Any great followers you were astounded checked you out?
Chuffed that Paul Haig, Lloyd Cole, Ian Rankin, The Bluebells (Ken & Bobby), Boy George, Grahame Skinner, Cornershop, Steve Diggle, Monochrome Set (and others) all follow my feed.
What was the hardest article to get data for and why was it so important?
I tend to publish whatever is available, or takes my mood and have no set agenda for content, other than for updates where I may have some involvement.
Anything you can tell us about your daily routine to stay sane in our current global lockdown? How have your music habits been affected?
I’m lucky to be able to do my day job from home via the magic of Internet connectivity. We start our day by going for a 6AM walk – anything between 2 and 4 miles, then get ready for the day – my 30 second commute to my office is a particular joy! I listen to vinyl occasionally, but am mostly playing music from my computer (locally ripped albums, Internet radio – strangerradio.com obviously – and streaming services). Playing old favourites or new (to me) artists has been an uplifting experience. Luckily Mrs. Hunt and I are fairly anti-social, so have adapted really well to this new normal.
If someone approached you to do a live show, like at local college radio, would you do it? Perhaps partner up with a young broadcasting student?
I’d be happy to – not sure that I have the presenter skills though! The musical taste (in my view) and knowledge (to an extent) maybe…
What blogs or Zines are you obsessed with right now?
Enjoying punkgirldiaries.com Twitter and old style ‘zine. @razurcutsmag (also on Twitter) have an old style paper magazine and is a good read.
Where can people discover your media or publication?
The Blogger and DJ as Consumer
The first record bought?
Neither of them cool…
45 rpm: Rolf Harris – Two Little Boys
33rpm: Geoff Love and His Orchestra play Big War Movie Themes
How did you listen to new music when you were young?
A mono Philips cassette player – tapes bought mail order from The Britannia Music Club. That’s when I got all trendy, hip, and groovy…
First gig you went to? Who were you with and what did you wear? Did you pick up gear (Badges, teeshirt, posters, setlist, still have ticket stub?)
Genesis (with Peter Gabriel) playing the entire The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway album at Usher Hall, Edinburgh in April 1975. I went with my older brother. I bought a t-shirt and programme – still have the programme, but not the ticket stub.
Favorite bands or artists in your youth?
Early Genesis, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Stones, Who, David Bowie, Lou Reed, Roxy Music, Nazareth, Average White Band, Stevie Wonder
What are your favorite new artists?
What Twitter or other social media accounts are you hooked on lately?
Same as blogs above, really. There are some Twitter feeds/Facebook pages that engage periodically.
Favorite music venues?
Nite Club, Valentino’s, Clouds/Coasters, Astoria, Tiffany’s, Odeon (all closed); Playhouse, Queen’s Hall (all Edinburgh); Apollo (Glasgow); Marquee (London)
Music venues you are dying to go to?
CBGB’s; Harlem Apollo; Max’s Kansas City
What would be your fantasy gig if space and time continuum allowed?
Prince, Marvin Gaye, James Brown, Stevie Wonder (backed by Parliament/Funkadelic) at the Harlem Apollo, please. Or Frank Sinatra at the Sands.