Since lockdown began my daily routine has changed quite a bit, but I like to start each day at 7am by taking the dog for her walk.
Bella, a 10-year-old slightly stubborn bearded collie always chooses our route, while I take the opportunity to immerse myself into another world with a podcast. I am fairly new to podcasts, so I was interested to find out what my friends and colleagues in the music business were listening to during their own isolation.
I think my request resonated with quite a few people, as I got a lot of responses and the findings surprised me. Not only did they come back with incredibly varied podcast suggestions, but also favourite albums, audio books and workouts for these strange times. More about my favourite pods at the end of the blog.
So in alphabetical order….here’s PART 1 of the recommendations I got back from my friends and colleagues in the music industry.
Stuart Bailie – Music journalist, photographer & author
I’m mostly listening to photography podcasts. I mostly walk in the evening around East Belfast, taking pictures around the Connswater River and Orangefield Park as the evening sun slants down.
A Small Voice: Conversations with Photographers
A Photographic Life
I sometimes listen to the Blindboy Podcast.
For my evening walks I’ve been listening to the new Malojian album, the upcoming Joshua Burnside record, Paul Buchanan and the wonderful Michael O’Shea. I’ve become slightly obsessed with Paul Simon’s ‘Songs from the Capeman’ and ‘Adios Hermanos‘ is my lockdown theme.
Peter Bradbury – Head of Music – Sky TV Ltd
I don’t listen to many podcasts, but this week …
Awesome album most listened at the moment – Blaze Foley – Sitting by the Road, what a voice.
On BBC Sounds there is a cool series from Robert Winston from 2013 on the Science of Music.
As a Forest fan, ‘Reservoir Red Dogs’ podcast with the excellent Matt Forde.
Full of wild conversational tangents, ridiculous running jokes, countless sub-podcasts about completely irrelevant topics—and sometimes they discuss the band R.E.M. as well. (See also: the show’s predecessor, U Talkin’ U2 To Me?)
Phoning It In
On more than one occasion, improv comedy pod Phoning It In has made me weep with laughter. Is there really any higher praise than that? \
Hosts Dave Hanratty and Craig Fitzpatrick offer refreshing, educated, often hilarious musical discussion, and the recent addition of a ‘Top 5’ segment at the end of each episode has only made the show stronger. (Film-based offshoot No Popcorn is also well worth a listen.)
The Nialler9 Podcast
Another weekly music pod, this time courtesy of hosts Niall Byrne and Andrea Cleary. The music coverage is eloquent and informed, of course, but this show is particularly valuable right now for its regular ‘Reasons to be Cheerful’ section.
I think it’s fair to say that most football punditry is banal shite, but Football Weekly strikes a fine balance between meaningful insight and entertaining chatter—even now when there’s no ongoing football to discuss.
Like a cosy duvet and a hot cup of tea on a cold, wet evening. Wrap yourself in the nostalgic warmth of Juvenalia, where guests discuss a beloved piece of pop culture from their youth.
Desert Island Discs
Desert Island Discs is a neat concept, capturing the familiar idea that our favourite records soundtrack our lives. Celebrity guests bring fascinating musical insight (Thom Yorke) and real emotional vulnerability (Ian Wright).
A weekly offering, Longform features interviews with a wide range of nonfiction writers. The quality can vary depending on the guest, but some personal highlights include episodes with Patricia Lockwood and Emily Nussbaum.
Produced by the New York Times Magazine, this is a brilliant, timely examination of the legacy of slavery, and its impact on the United States of America right up to the modern day.
What Am Politics?
Hosts Steve & Richie crack open cans and discuss politics with a comedic, easygoing slant. If you want a taster, go for the mammoth two-parter on the life of Teddy Roosevelt.
When I haven’t been obsessing with the news more than usual of late, I dip in and out of a few.
Music wise I like Song Exploder, also Phil Taggart’s Slacker Podcast, Hit Parade and I like the locally made Mad Notions podcast.
I also like The Guilty Feminist podcast and Wired The Podcast and Blindboy.
It’s not a podcast but the Tim Burgess Twitter listening party has kept me really occupied, I love all the chat from the artists about each song and the fan interactions. It’s the best thing to come out of lockdown!
I go for a half hr run every day, and usually use that time to have a break from music as I’m listening to stuff all day for work.
I like nonsense-based football podcasts – That Peter Crouch Podcast, and Athletico Mince with Bob Mortimer and Andy Dawson. I miss stupid pub chat and football, so these are nice escapes to both of those distant worlds!
Other go-tos are the Thanks For Trying Podcast with rapper/producer The Last Skeptik, The High Low with Dolly Alderton and Pandora Sykes (sometimes they can be irritating, but they talk about articles, books and poetry by really interesting women), and Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo’s Film Review Podcast.
In normal life, my fave gym workout podcast is always Group Therapy by trance producers Above and Beyond.
Catherine Grimes –Senior Music Strategy Manager, BBC Studios
Music wise … a lot of punk / new wave potentially for re-records for a BBC Studios Drama – so listening to some great BBC Introducing artists potentially for that – like Walt Disco, Porridge Radio, Queen Zee, Lavz , Lucia & the Best Boys.
And some Irish stuff generally… David Keenan from Dundalk. A genius … listen to his Isolation Tapes on Bandcamp. Or follow him on Instagram. Also the Ocelots, Lemoncello, Fionn Regan, Nell Mescal, Cochur White (N.Irish) . Normal People: amazing soundtrack…