New Music

Merseyside’s PMS becomes UK’s longest-running alternative music show

Merseyside’s PMS becomes UK’s longest-running alternative music show

BBC Radio Merseyside’s Popular Music Show  (PMS) has turned 40 years old, making it the longest-running alternative music show on UK radio.

First broadcast on June 10th 1977, the show has developed a national and international following and is renowned for the depth and diversity of its music programming and its support for local music,  Listeners are used to hearing a huge diversity of alternative music, from folk, ambient and world music, through to post-rock, rare retro-classics, reggae, electronica and the unconventional.

To celebrate its birthday, “PMS” has broadcast 40 specially commissioned pieces of music from a range of local and locally-associated musicians.

The commissions, “40 for 40”, draw upon the wide range of music being produced in the North West, from singer-songwriters to studio-based sound-artists, from well-known names such as China Crisis and Peter Coyle (who first came to prominence with The Lotus Eaters), to rising stars of digital production including Germanager, Isocore and Lo-Five.  There have also been contributions from veteran dub wordsmith Eugene Lange, and from the programme’s international associates such as The Bee’s Niece (Norway), with commissions from Berlin and South America yet to come.

PMS has also commissioned a piano piece “40 Times” from Liverpool composer Jonathan Raisin and Philip Jeck, which premiered at the Liverpool Philharmonic’s Music Room.

The show’s long-serving presenter and producer (since 1982) Roger Hill explains the reasons for the programme’s success over the last 40 years. “We have kept our ears alive to the best sounds, wherever they came from, especially local music, and diversity is an attractive prospect in fast-moving times. And we have maintained a good relationship with our radio station which is rightly proud of our achievements over the years.”

Kevin McManus, Curator of the British Music Experience in Liverpool has commented: “The “PMS” show is an essential and much loved long standing feature  of the Liverpool music landscape. Almost 30 years ago I interviewed Roger for an NME piece on long running radio shows that championed independent music. The show has thankfully just kept on keeping on and Liverpool music is all the better for it “

To listen to PMS’ weekly broadcasts, tune in to BBC Radio Merseyside live on Sundays at midnight or catch up whenever you like on the BBC iPlayer.

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Ally Goodman

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