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BBC Folk

February 13, 2007

For a very short time, the BBC runs a 'listen again' service for net users. The service is free and some of the material is truly gorgeous. Stuff is often up for only a week after broadcast (the weekly folk programme is broadcast on Wednesdays (I think) so the British Folk Awards listen again, may be taken off today! It’s two hours long and features performances from the Pentangle and Carthy and Swarbrick, among others. It’ll play on Media Player and Realplayer (I think).

Additionally, there’s a welter of Ewan McColl‘s Radio ballads of the 1950s up at the moment, they can be a bit hard going, but yield surprising gems which are often thought of as traditional standards nowadays, but were written for the BEEB back in the 50s.

Far be it from me to tout one radio service on the blog of another, but the BBC’s output is so small compared to FA’s I don’t think they’ll mind all that much. should get you to the main page, then follow the prompts to Radio 2. It can be a bit clunky, but we’re British – nothing works properly – we like it that way.

Posted by Huw Pryce at February 13, 2007 7:19 PM


I agree but take a better look at the BBC Radio Player, there are
over 106 Programs listed for playback under Folk/Country from
all the UK. This doesn't even hit their Jazz & other programming. Great place to get lost & sample.

Posted by: James Carter at February 13, 2007 11:01 PM

Thanks James - It's worth mentioning the talk stuff on BBC7, Vintage British comedy and current satire.

Posted by: Huw Pryce at February 14, 2007 5:14 AM

I also like the stories which are read aloud there somewhere. I'm a bit helter skelter in my search and discovery methods, rarely remembering where I'd saved the address. Thanks Huw.

Posted by: JoLynn Braswell at February 14, 2007 7:41 AM

All the new listening options on the web make me wish for a PC option similar to my iPod FM transmitter. It would be nice to start the stream on FA from my laptop and transmit to the house sound system via FM. I wonder if a device like that already exists?

Posted by: Doug Sligh at February 14, 2007 8:14 AM

I should have looked before I posted. The Dell website has one listed for $19.95. Perfect!

Posted by: Doug Sligh at February 14, 2007 8:18 AM

I bought a HiFast USB transmitter on Ebay last year - I can now listen to FA and BBC Radio 7 in the bath! Mine cost about $8.00 in your money and it came all the way from Canada!

BBC web services are constantly being reviewed in case they mess up the free market in broadcasting and webcasting. The moment they get too successful in a given area, the money people close them down. Make the most of it while its there is my advice.

Posted by: Huw Pryce at February 14, 2007 8:50 AM

I first saw music streamed from a computer to speakers in Sam Bush's tour bus (how long have I waited to say that?). I listen to Hugh Stevens' Best of Unsigned from BBC1 as a podcast. There is so much great material available (including Chris' Folk Alley AlleyCast, which is a great way to listen to a bunch of stuff while working out at the gym).

Posted by: Ann VerWiebe at February 19, 2007 10:21 AM

One BBC show I can heartily recommend is the Iain Anderson Show every weekday night on BBC Radio Scotland from 10.30 - 12.30. Iain plays superb eclectic music from the leading singer - songwriters past and present.

Posted by: Tom Fairnie at February 25, 2007 10:17 AM

Singing the Fishing was fabulous ! Listen to the new show on the shipbuilding industry, great stuff. Good work Rifleman Hagman.

Posted by: Ed Weglein at February 25, 2007 9:51 PM

That would be the frankly marvellous Mr Tams. He's all through the UK folk scene of the last 30 years like letters through a stick of rock. Nice bloke too.

Posted by: Huw Pryce at February 27, 2007 10:24 AM

"Like letters through a stick of rock?" Huw, buddy, could you break that down for me?

Posted by: Jack Swain at February 27, 2007 11:46 AM


Rock is candy - seaside candy. it comes in pink and white sticks about a foot long and most resorts have their name written through each stick they sell. This is done by making big fat candy letters to spell the name of the resort (Brighton, Blackpool, or if you're really unlucky Aberystwyth), these are built into a foot-wide cake of white and pink candy, which is then rollered down to an inch thick and cut into foot long 'sticks'.
In Aberystwyth Mon Amor, Brainbocs - the schoolboy villan works a summer job at the rock factory. When he's laid off without full compensation, the factory finds it has made a huge batch of rock with the intergral legend "I've pxxxed in this rock".

Posted by: Huw Pryce at February 27, 2007 3:08 PM

Ahh hah! So Huw, how many places laid you off?

Posted by: Jack Swain at February 27, 2007 3:18 PM

I've had more jobs than fleas on a dog Jack. I've even worked for the BBC!

Posted by: Huw Pryce at February 27, 2007 3:30 PM

Bob Harris interviews the Avett Brothers on BBC listen again (Radio 2) for the next week.

Posted by: Huw Pryce at March 1, 2007 7:58 PM

A current Joni Mitchell interview is available on Listen Again R2 this week.

Posted by: Huw Pryce at March 22, 2007 8:45 AM

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