Edwyn Collins, Radio DJ; A Week in Radio:


THESE days, what with digital technology and podcasting, anyone can have their own radio show. I’m pleased that Edwyn Collins and Grace Maxwell now have theirs.

The former Orange Juice frontman and wife Grace made their sweetly shambolic debut last Monday on Boogaloo Radio – “the world’s first 24hr radio station broadcasting from a pub,” it says on the website (boogalooradio.com). Actually, in their case, they were playing tunes not from the beer garden of said London pub but from their home up in Helmsdale.

Most of the musical choices were Edwyn’s, apart from the odd country tune that Grace managed to squeeze in. The result was a mostly comfortingly familiar selection of Bowie and Iggy Pop and The Animals with the odd outlier (Wick’s Neon Waltz made an appearance. Worth investigating).

Music from the 1980s, which makes up so much of the music output on so many radio stations even now, was noticeable for its absence.

That was clearly a deliberate choice. “I like sixties,” Edwyn said at one point. “Seventies are cool. But eighties … Hmm … Apart from Orange Juice, of course.”

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Really, though, what made the programme was the cajoling, joshing back and forth between husband and wife. Grace has long been Edwyn’s enabler since he suffered a stroke and two brain haemorrhages back in 2006 and she does a fine balancing act here between stepping in to finish a link and stepping back to give Edwyn room to finish his thoughts when the words won’t come due to his dysphasia.

What they sound like during the links is an old married couple, bickering and teasing each other while remembering times past, both of them obviously still in love with music and each other. Given everything that they’ve gone through, that surely constitutes a happy ending.

Listen Out For: Lauren Laverne, 6 Music, Thursday, 7.30am. Jackie Kay talks about her love of Bessie Smith.


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