I wander in to the deserted studios of BBC Radio Merseyside at midnight on a Sunday to witness the broadcast of a show called PMS. A silver-haired security-guard lets me in “it’s an acquired taste this one” he says.
Beginning as a punk show in 1977 and now approaching its thirtieth year, the sounds played have changed much over the years but it’s managed to retain that punk spirit-pushing boundaries and playing good music with little pretension.
Presenter Roger Hill took over the show in 1982 and in his time has overseen many timeslot and name changes-the meaning of its current moniker depends on who you ask-but it has survived and achieved the accolade of being the longest running alternative show on local radio.
They play list has moved from its origins through all the musical styles of the last couple of decades to today’s diverse selection which Roger explains varies from “Welsh Rap to Tibetan folk”.
Now through the magic of internet streaming PMS has moved out from the local arena and developed a committed international audience, drawn by its constantly challenging play list. Co-presenter Joe Shooman explains: “We have become an unusual breakfast show for a few in L.A.”
Continuing to push boundaries, sonic artist Alexandre Decoupigny recently recorded the first half hour of the show live, remixed it and sent it back to be played at the end of the programme-a radio first
Joe sums up PMS: “Two hours a week we do our best to offer up the most exciting and varied sounds that the world has to offer”.
By Kenn Taylor