Bloody Dutch Radio

(If you choose to take part in this experiment, we can not be held responsible for any mental problems that occur – simply because if you actually do complete this experiment there is something seriously wrong with your head and therefore should be put down like a knackered old stallion.)

Many of you, no doubt, possess bicycles. And, I am equally sure that, whilst in the course of one of your bicycle journeys, you have come into contact with various bill boards, or bus stop advertisements; (usually of a size too big, sadly, to be ignored), promoting some radio station or other. In my experience, (and, doubtless yours), they take the visual shape of either an over exposed, clumsily profiled (usually leering), porcine, floppy haired not so young shaver, OR some chap with simian features; (why do they always have faces that remind me of a praying mantis?), wearing, almost as a de rigeur uniform, a small shirt with ludicrously small breast pockets, and bug eyed tinted shades (as worn by Bonio). And why always men? Oh sorry, I forgot, Veronica, with their retro, "pretty lass sells anything" take on adverts...

 

Actually there is another derivation, namely the odious "lifestyle moments" campaign, run by that representation of Venality, Filth and Crushing Boredom on this Earth; Sky Radio. These show "beautiful moments" freeze-framed from the Life of the Dutiful & Perfect People. Very Leni Riefenstahl, very Zhdanov; very totalitarian in case you were wondering. Anyway, before I turn purple with rage at the thought of wasting my leisure hours critically discussing Dutch radio adverts, allow me to turn purple with rage at the contents (play lists et al), of these stations.  Allow me by way of a pre-amble, take you on a trip down memory lane....

 

I vividly recall my first taste of Dutch radio as it was my very first day "in de fabriek". There I was, about to assume my proletarian duties, when the breathless croak of Paul Young was heard through the factory speakers. And not only Paul Young. I was treated to Queen, Phil Collins, (either with his Genesis buddies or nakedly unashamedly solo; really it doesn't matter which), Bon Jovi, and, most heinously, Chris de Burgh. Littered amongst these pillars of jumper rock, came surprising moments of long forgotten torture; a Colonel Abrahams 12' remix, maybe, or Rick Astley; Wham's more obscure singles, Nik Kershaw, Cutting Crew.... I could go on, but I shouldn't.

 

For about two hours I actually enjoyed the show. Not only could I not understand the djs, (a situation that actually helps, I find, as the whole set up sounds alien and somehow inviting), but more naively, I thought the programme was either a camp revivalist '80s show, or a piss take. Then, it was time for my first coffee break. Five years on I am sad to say that I am all the wiser.

 

I mean; working, as I do, in a factory, (an environment, if you don't already know, that is bereft of all artistic succour), little things help you get through the day. Chief amongst these should be the radio, as talking to Dutch farmers about bulbs can only go so far in my experience. And when the said radio (and I lump all stations in for the crime I am about to describe), PERSISTS in playing Pat Benatar's "Love is a Battlefield" you realize, like the wracked, parched man in the desert suffering under the burning sun; that the oasis you thought you saw on the horizon is revealed to be nothing but an empty tin can, and that there really is no hope.

 

Indeed, we should thank Dutch radio, for repeated listening to Pat Benatar can concentrate the mind something wonderful. IF we were to think of music by a sister art, such as sculpture, we could, say, equate Can with Epstein, Guided By Voices with Donatello, The Velvets with Michaelangelo. With this yardstick to guide us, we can safely assume that Pat Benatar is in the garden gnome section of your local garden centre. Indeed, not a plaster of Paris garden gnome; heaven forbid, but an inferior, characterless plastic gnome, or a plastic grey squirrel, with inserted "realistic" eyes. Or a plastic beagle puppy, one that you can fill with sand and leave on your doorstep. (I presume the sand is  to prevent the plastic beagle from blowing away in a sudden gust of wind).

 

And another (or further), thing. Dutch commercial radio is (if I may be allowed to fly my kite higher), the anodine, featureless, out of town garden centre that is a home to these plastic vulgarities. Indeed, it is proud of them, brushing them off and displaying them at regular intervals. Oh God....

 

You see what this stuff has done to my head. One tiny devilish figure is constantly whispering in my ear; "go on, surrender, it doesn't matter anymore; you're too old for hip music; accept the inevitable decline"; I have a tiny piece of me that COULD humm happily to Sky radio's "sharing all the good times" jingles (WHAT good times? Cleaning hyacinth dust does not equate to a good time in ANY language). I COULD wake up to my coffee and ham kaas broodje and then clean out a pig sty (like they do in Friesland or Drenthe), whilst whistling merrily to "Another One Bites The Dust" and laughing at Adam Curry's jokes, but I won't, you hear me? NEVER! NEVER! NEVER!

 

Words : Richard Foster Illustration : Mark Frudd

EDITOR'S NOTE.

For those of you that live in lands that are above sea level, surely you must be thinking that this is a pointless rant, well yes it is, but we here at Incendiary are well traveled. So much so our passports resemble stamp albums, battered, worn and filled with a wide variation of coloured inks. And yet nowhere, but NOWHERE dear friends, have we been subjected to airwave torture anywhere near as evil as the piped processed offal that pollutes these sunken shores.

 

Don't believe us? Try this. Make a cd that follows these simple rules. It should start with Shaniah, then Mariah will follow – insert a Paul Young 80's classic, then bring forth a bit of Britney, and keep the mood flowing with a lovely Whitney warble. For sheer confusion, insert a Dutch pizza advert, and prepare yourself for some of Phil Collins emotional screeching and follow it with Bohemian Rhapsody, but cut it off after 4 minutes, right around the time they start singing about Beelzebub.

 

That should all take about 30 minutes. Press repeat.

 

(If you choose to take part in this experiment, we can not be held responsible for any mental problems that occur – simply because if you actually do complete this experiment there is something seriously wrong with your head and therefore should be put down like a knackered old stallion.)