Adam Walton is the British radio disc jockey who has presented shows on BBC Radio Wales since 1993, but obviously we at Hullvibe know him more as the resident DJ at Telford’s Warehouse in Chester and his Mold indie band “The Immediate”! Adam Walton has also written a music book: “On Making Music by Adam Walton”. The book is a brilliant self-help guide for any musician looking to grow.
BBC Radio Wales
Walton began presenting a show on BBC Radio Wales called Revolution from October 1994 to 1998. It was broadcast on week nights from the BBC studios in Mold and several artistes appeared in session on the show including Ride (band), Melys, Julian Cope, Throwing Muses, Catatonia and Frank Black.
The show was then relaunched as The Musical Mystery Tour and schedule changes moved its one hour format, 4 nights a week to a Sunday night.
In 2007, Adam decided to dedicate the show entirely to new Welsh based music, a format he still employs today. On 7 January 2011 the show moved to Saturday nights (10pm-1am then later from 9pm-midnight). With a dedication to Welsh artistes, the show hosted weekly per-recorded sessions for countless underground acts, and Adam was often lauded as a champion of such music.The show has regular guests and contributors, including Neil Crud, Hue Williams, Lara Catrin and Ben Hayes (Soundhog). Budget constraints have prevented regular sessions since 2012 and despite cuts and changes the show continues to promote Welsh based music, which is what we know more for now.
The show does occasionally organise events or broadcast from events, such as Focus Wales festival in Wrexham and Festival N°6.
Walton’s Records Music Quiz
In May and June 2005, Adam hosted a show called Walton’s Records, a music quiz programme broadcast from various ‘venues’ in Wales. The format had two teams, captained by Andrea Lewis (of indie band The Darling Buds) and Hue Williams (of indie band The Pooh Sticks).
Adam Walton also presented a Saturday morning show called Science Cafe on BBC Radio Wales (up to at least 2012), featuring and interviewing people from the world of science, such as British astronaut Tim Peake. He was also behind a tech show on the station called Mousemat (c2013).
Since 2017 Adam Walton has occasionally stood in for Janice Long on her BBC Radio Wales weekday evening show, as well as being the show’s producer.
In 1998 Adam launched Whipcord Records and released 7″ singles by Out and Big Leaves. He resurrected the label in 2016 as an outlet for his own material. He is also a resident DJ at Telford’s Warehouse, Chester, the venue hosts regular bands, which Adam occasionally gets involved with promoting them; notably Coldplay before they were famous
Ear Buzz Weekly Column
In the late 1990s and into the 2000s, Adam contributed a weekly column to the newspaper Daily Post (North Wales) called Ear Buzz that covered local music topics of the day. The column was later relaunched from a more ‘personal life’ point of view before fizzling out. He also hosted his own website covering reviews, show playlists and information.
1994 saw the launch of Adam’s book On Making Music, a guide for bands and artistes on how to make music and how get it out into the public domain. As Adam said, “It saddens me that music-makers in 2014 are making the exact same mistakes I was making in 1994, and this is my attempt to offer advice that will help them to avoid those pitfalls, and also to inspire them.”
Adam Walton’s Blog – Best Parts
Then, United beat us this afternoon, and it has all evaporated, as surely as if it were ether droplets spilt on the surface of the sun.
Still, it will be the only thing the jammy Mancs get to celebrate all season, so good luck to ’em. Their winning goal was a bloody good goal. Sometimes you just have to put your hand up and say,
Rio Ferdinand is a stinking drugs cheat and he should never have been allowed to kick a football in anger again!
but that would just be bitter, and I’m not a bitter man.
So, Telfords went well on Friday. Apart from the smart arse in the toilets who was grinning a punch me in the face grin whilst patronising me for not being a proper DJ. I didn’t have time to argue with him. There was a very short record on and I need a wee. I imagine his argument had something to do with my reluctance to beat match cock awful and predictable 120 bpm dance music together in a seamless and soulless 16bars in, 16 bars out loop.
I don’t want to be a DJ, anyway.
I am a jukebox with hiccups.
It would appear that I’m not persona non grata in Telfords following the Christmas do after all. Phew! Looks like some of the others [hello Rob Robinson!] were my match in the boisterous and pissed out their heads department too.
Still have a hole in my soul, though.
I went for a revitalizing walk down the Shropshire Union Canal this morning. Jo had taken Ava up to see her friend Caroline and I was left to my own devices. I walked for what felt like miles, mired in the mist and cold, and looking like a bit of a prick.
When Jo saw me when I got back she took one look at me and asked me if I’d been to a bad taste party. Apparently wearing two items of striped clothing at the same time, when those stripes are of different, and clashing, colour combinations, is a no no.
I was going for a walk.
Did get some funny looks, though. I’ll mix and match next time.
I took photos of some of the impressive, industrial architecture just off the canal. I imagine that much of it dates back to late Victorian times. There’s the little bridge of sighs over to the prison, just below [ish] Northgate Street; the Steam Mill, now surrounded by hoards of luxury flats with their noses stuck in the air; the Water Tower in Boughton, in the shadow of which my dad grew up, and the lead tower, which was one of the highest of its kind in the world.
It’s amazing what men can do when they put their mind to it.
It’s a shame Djibril Cisse couldn’t get his knee over a ball. I hope he’s embarrassed.
By far the most impressive landmark I walked past, though, was the Bridge Inn in Vicar’s Cross. That’s where I did my first gig as a singer. They had a noise meter that made a light flash and the PA cut out.
I set it off three times in the first song.
In retrospect, I think that that was an omen.
I hope you’re all well.
Here’s to a better week for all of us ;0)
Big Chief Shitting Bull
Grrr! and brrr!
Grrr! at my silly, glass back. 6 hours hunched over a DJ booth hath rendered my spine as flexible as a stale breadstick.
Brrr! at the chill winter draught that’s blowing on my neck that I can’t get out the way of because of the aforementioned breadstick back.
Last night in Telfords was good fun. You can see the playlists — should you be at a very loose end — on my Pet Sounds page:
The playlists are in the blog section. There’s no band next week, so if you have any ideas for boss tunage I can, er, drop, please leave them as comments on the petsoundsuk page.
I say “good fun”, but for the duration of the pre-band set I think it was only me enjoying myself. I decided to dedicate the pre-band set to great American songs — some of my favourites — because the band, the Loving Cup, are purveyors of what we used to call country rock but now call Americana.
I could trot out a dribble of hackneyed Britpop, corporate ‘indie’ and ‘alternative dance’ and everyone would dance and there would be a queue out of the door every Friday and all and sundry would smile at me as they walked past the DJ booth and offer to buy me drinks. Well, I do do that after the bands, but before the bands I rather pompously regard as an opportunity to educate the masses in ace music. Sanctimonious twit, aren’t I?
As it is, I [still] get people [well, one person] storming the DJ booth and demanding, “What’s this shit? Play something new!”
That shit was Ray Charles’ What’d I Say.
There are plenty of tales like that in the back pages of this blog.
The best thing about last night was the fact that a tonne of former staff returned to Telfords for a night out. The Mighty Karima was there, still sporting more attitude and charisma than the entire top 40. Neil Cult 45 Dropped in to by Dylanish. And on the subject of Dylan: Angela Who Always Used To Ask For Bob Dylan’s Hurricane was there [although slightly non-plussed that I played it for her — maybe her musical tastes have moved on in the intervening four years]. Telis the Greek was there. Naz a Black Belt In Puking After Alcohol returned. It was mighty fun.
Funky Jesus! What is going on on telly? Celine Dion is air guitar-ing! It’s like watching Prince Charles disco dance. And I should be in Bangor watching Johnny Horizontal, Threatmantics & Kentucky AFC. Bastard breadstick back.
This is supposed to be a mail-out for tomorrow night’s show. Sorry for the flannel.
Last week’s recipient of the Demo of the Week, Georgia Ruth Williams has had a very interesting week. I can’t mention why, but the fact that a tiny amount of that interestingness is loosely associated with being played on the show makes me very happy.
But my taste is rapacious and never sated. I want more music, please. Please send high quality .mp3’s to:
Tomorrow night’s show features our first four-weekly look at Welsh Hip Hop in the company of Lews Tewns. Soundhog will be in bragging about Bangor, no doubt. Bethan Elfyn will tell us all about her show this Wednesday night on Radio 1.
Please get your gig info / music-related bobbins / & other assorted gak to the e-mail address above as soon as possible.
Over a hundred… I reckon.
Over a hundred, what?
Over a hundred bands, that I’ve stuck on in Telfords Warehouse in Chester.
And you’re stating that fact why, exactly?
Because – all things considered – and taking into account that the crowd had been reduced somewhat by my shit DJ’ing [more news of that later!] and graduating students who had been on expensive piss all day, paid for by – understandably – proud parents, Viva Machine might be the best of the bunch.
Certainly in terms of such uncool muso terms as ‘tightness’, ‘musicianship’ and ‘composition’.
the Automatic brought an excitement and now-ness that no one has surpassed. Mclusky had the “What the fuck is that?” quotient well up to the max. Akira the Don – similarly – looked, and sounded, like he had been beamed in from some place far far away, and a damn sight more interesting and colourful, than Chester. Suns of Thunder exploded more eardrums; the Pipettes exploded more crotches’ Murry the Hump broke more hearts; Genod Droog put on the best performance, and the Spencer McGarry Season had the best songs — but there was an altogetherness, an 8 / 10 across-the-board quality about Viva Machine that made them the most jaw-dropping.
But, even as I write that, I realise that it’s an observation borne out of the recentness of the gig. I had even forgotten about the Hot Puppies and Glow, and I have decided not to be a slave to unfounded hyperbole.
So, Viva Machine were fucking ace. Harmonies tighter than airport security and an inventive vitality made me feel knackered and nostalgic.
And, those of the audience that could be bothered to witness the brilliance on stage, rather than talking into their beers, appreciated that brilliance.
Quite how so many people managed to stay ignorant and oblivious to the aceness on stage angers me. One girl, who’s a regular, and badgers me for bollocks, supposedly alternative shit every week – you know, like the Killers – spent Viva Machine’s set bawling loudly into her mate’s ear. Then, the minute their set has finished, she’s up at the DJ booth asking for the Automatic and Razorlight.
No doubt, when Viva Machine get their deserved reward and conquer Britain’s fickle music papers with their sheer force of ability, she will be up at the booth badgering me for them, blissfully unaware that months’ previously she had talked all the way through their set and ignored them.
Her loss, my ulcer.
Jez liked them too. ‘Close to the Edge’-era Yes, he said, and he was right. Viva Machine are faster and a lot less self-indulgent, but that is an excellent comparison.
I didn’t get a chance to talk to the band, much.
Got to Telfords too late after an afternoon banging my head against a brick record box.
I need a DJ’ing break, and Jez has been good enough to give me one.
I feel inspirationally bereft and vulnerable to people’s criticism. When you’re as bullish as I am when I DJ – essentially ignoring requests and the compulsion to play crowd-pleasers so that the dance floor stays full – you have to have the force of will and sense of enjoyment to repel the detractors.
If you play stuff that people don’t know, and play it apologetically, without looking people in the eye when they sidle up to the DJ booth, you get found out and the dancefloor soon clears.
I’ve not been in any mood to compromise, recently, and – for the nights to be a success – you need to do it occasionally. I’ve become too heads down.
So, I’ve got December off. All of it. Woo hoo!
I’ll be back in January with new choons and a bit of deck practice in my back pocket.
One of the jobs that I do had to give. I love everything I do with a great passion and I’m very aware how lucky I am to get paid to do what I do — but the best part of 6 months’ worth of 70 – 80 hour weeks, with a performance of some sort expected 6 nights of the week, meant that something had to be sacrificed – temporarily – for the sake of some rest.
December is party season, anyway, and I’m sure that those visitors to Telfords over Christmas, for their company dos, will far better appreciate someone whose prepared to play some festive cheese, rather than having to stare at my Scrooge-like mug all night.
My mood, then, is dark and self-pitying.
I daydream of a brisk walk on a Winter blue hillside, a pub with a roaring fire and seafood on the menu, a stereo I can sit down and listen to without having to flick from track to track, and a bit of time with my wife and my daughter.
Now that would be a damn fine Christmas present.
Oh! What a Glorious Thing [Caving It In The Evening]
That’s how Soundhog wanted it. He’d prefer to be portrayed like a juvenile delinquent on reality TV than in his full, ginger glory.
It’s hard to share the same frame as Akira’s full-on beam, though. He’s handsome enough to get me thinking about the veracity of a tattoo on my neck.
I might start lower down.
With a toe, maybe.
So, Akira the Don came, got seen, and did a fair bit of conquering.
I’ve been trying to get Adam [a godly name, I think] up to Telfords for a couple of years and – bar his cameo at the bravecaptain gig back in May – it finally happened. As with all good things you yearn and work for, my enjoyment was somewhat diluted by my determination to make sure it went well. I hardly ever sit back and enjoy the gigs that I stick on for what they are. It’s impossible, really; but Akira, Jeres and John [on projections] well matched my expectations and managed to dispel any misgivings that I had that Akira’s foil at the Anglesey outside broadcast, the very wonderful Mary, hadn’t made the journey up to Chester.
The finest compliment I can pay Akira is that he is very much him. An odd, ungrammatical sentence, I know. I mean that he is as charismatic, idiosyncratic, approachable, engaging and engaged as you would expect from his blog, his mixtapes, and his music. There is no artifice – or sense of letdown – when you meet him. How tiring it must be to be judged like that, to wear an albatross of your own feathering around your neck.
Akira is up to the task, though.
Musically, we got a tantalising half-hour [ish] of the most accessible of Akira’s tunes, kicking off with Clones, rattling into the gloriously, perverse, thoroughly 21st century protest singalong “Thanks For All the AIDS”; then came “Bankers”, which bemused the crowd no end, possibly because a good proportion of them work for MBNA, Bank of Scotland, or one of the other financial institutions that are based in Chester. How deliciously perverse was it that Akira managed got them [well, us, I did it too] to proclaim are membership of the brotherhood of WANKERS!
“Oh! What a Glorious Thing” sounded like the Top 5 hit it should have been. “Back in the Day” was the only slight disappointment… it got lost a little in the hubbub and the mire. That’s just because it’s my favourite song – at the moment – on Akira’s debut album.
Then, give or take a song and a number of engaging between song banters between Akira and Jeres, they were gone.
I DJ’d, and DJ’d, and DJ’d until I thought my ears would cave in. It started off badly. I couldn’t have matched one beat to the other if Ava’s life had depended on it. But, by the end, it didn’t matter. Some good stuff happened and people danced and fought and kissed and pissed off home without as much as a “thanks for all the fades”.
Akira proclaimed me “the best DJ in the world”, but – by that stage – I think he’d had a few whisky and gingers, god bless him.
I can’t leave without purging myself of the ‘very bad thing’ that I did last night.
It was the worst and most shameful thing I have done ever. A real Lead Balloon moment.
There was a little kerfuffle at the start of the night because the bouncers wouldn’t let Akira’s little brother and his posse in. Apparently, Telfords is 21+ on a Friday and Saturday night. News to me. And Ben Redwood.
They let them in [thankfully – and wonderful colour and company they provided too, far better behaved than some of the pissed up grown-ups in there].
Anyway, I was very sensitive that the bouncers [who are ace, professional and accommodating, honestly] didn’t have reason to regret the decision or have an excuse to persecute me afterwards for twisting their arms.
I saw a young folk stumbling through the crowd looking pissed as Christmas. He could hardly walk, dragging and shuffling across the floor towards me as if he’d just injected himself with a crate of Absinthe.
He hauled himself up on the DJ booth.
I was nervous that he would get Zef and the rest of them chucked out.
“Bloody kids!” I thought, “can’t handle their drinks!”
So, I leaned over and said, with – I swear – his best intentions at the forefront of my mind,
“Mate, if you stumble round like that, pissed out your head, the bouncers are going to kick you out!”
“I’m disabled,” he said, and limped off.