History & Culture

Ice FM, mid 90s

Ice FM was a radio station that was set up by some monkey, Club promoter friends of ours called the Nice Boys, in the mid 90s.

Our buddy Paul Skevington, who runs the Bar in town called 'No. 28' was one of it's founders. It was such a lark..!

Looks well technical - actually made out of cheese, batter & elastic bands.

The idea was to have like a trial license & then hopefully, be granted a proper radio license to be a real station.

That didn’t come to pass in the end, so it was really just a load of different Newcastle Djs who got together & had a crack at doing a proper, professional (You sure..?) radio station.

Radio studio
Looks a bit like us... Same colour, modelling our Ice fm studio tan, in the mid 90s

Breakfast is Served

Somehow we got roped into doing the Breakfast Show, which meant going on air from 8 am to 10 am every day, irrespective of how hungover you were from playing Clubs the night before. Although it was total sleep deprivation city, Ice FM was completely mad & really, really funny.

Our show was puerile, very trivial & infantile (Really..?!) You go a little bit mad doing solo radio, as it’s like having a chat with somebody, who isn’t there. So we would drag in people who worked at the Club & interview them, in a ludicrous & suggestive manner & we would pretend that lots of folks were ringing in, when in fact hardly anybody ever did.

Red phone reciever
Billy no mates...

One thing it was good for though, was to tape all your best records….

(Editor’s note: That long ago..?!)

Yup it was & it turns out it’s true what they say, that if you are trying to communicate properly, it is best to speak half as fast as you usually would.

The entire Ice FM station seemed like it was probably made of elastic bands..?

The Ice FM station transmitter - elastic bands

Often we would arrive at the studio, which was in a hotel room in the middle of town & find gangs of mad people, having what at first glance appeared to be some kind of Hippie séance, filling the studio, having been in there all night.

You had to play (pirate based) advert cartridges as well & they would never work…

Skull and crossbones
Oooh arrrr! Me Hearties...!!

So every half hour you’d find yourself saying “Here are the adverts” & there would be complete silence…

It was as if the whole station was held together with super glue.

Boombox radio
Your radio...

The Genius Trent Ad

We got together with our chum Mick Henderson, who had access to a studio & recorded an advert for the Trent that we played on there.

We were lucky enough to have Sam Pryor, Richard Pryor’s niece (Yes that Richard Pryor), who was studying over here from the USA, working with us on our team at the Trent at the time.

So we used her fab accent & rapping skills & an instrumental version of ‘Genius of Love’ by the Tom Tom Club, to make the advert.

Vintage radio
Your Ma's radio...

It was really, really cool, so we’ll try & dig out the old tapes we have of it & get it posted up here.

Antique radio
Your Nan's radio...

Despite it’s shortcomings, Ice FM was a hilarious laugh & looking back on it, it’s one of the funniest jobs that we ever had, even though we did it for free.

We cannot recall another period in our lives when we have laughed so much & that’s what life’s about readers..!

Bush brand radio
Your little sister's bush...

Ice FM was on a couple of times for about a month each stretch.

Spookiness

Our favourite ever show was Halloween, when our Ugandan Brother Tabu…

(Father of top Newcastle MC Louis Zico)

…came in & we spent the entire show, making scary animal noises & ghostly screeches, spinning tunes & generally trying to say the word ‘Spooky’ as many times as we possibly could in a two hour period.

Tabu, Tom and a carved pumpkin
Getting spooky at Halloween, with a big pumpkin & Tabu.

It is true, that those simple, little, everyday things in life – make it all worthwhile.

Ice Fm was completely bananas.

Ice FM logo
The little Polar Bear was the ice FM logo.

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