As of Thursday 20th December, the BBC Wiltshire Introducing session, hosted by Marie Lennon and William Walder on BBC Radio Wiltshire, will cease to exist. With the local music session being amalgamated into a 2 hour “Regional Introducing” session, covering the Bristol, Bath, Somerset, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire areas.
Obviously this will come at huge cost of our own identity, especially since the new hosts will be the current Bristol Introducing session DJ’s, being broadcast from, Bristol. Not to mention each other effected area, having the same experience.
The obvious problem will be first and for most, the ability to showcase our individual area’s acts. Marie and Will already have enough music for their weekly session – so how on earth is one dedicated session for the whole South-west area going to equally represent each of its components? There will obviously be a drop in each area’s coverage.
Not only that, being based in Bristol, how do we expect their DJ’s and representatives to care about the fabric of the South-west’s tiny scenes? About Devizes, Trowbridge, Melksham and to a lesser extent, Salisbury? And would it be beneficial for promoters like me to be broadcasting my gigs to people in Gloucester? When, my target audience is… IN WILTSHIRE!?!
Long term, clearly there is going to be issues regarding the “In Session” bands. Again, Will and Marie and Wiltshire Introducing is a cornerstone to giving bands, soloists and various acts their first experiences of Radio and of recording live sessions. Will a Bristol based Introducing session offer the same role to our young, up and coming acts? Clearly not to the same extent.
This is sad, sad news, one that deeply bothers me. I remember being interviewed by Daniel Garret and his “Underground Session” which preceded Will and Marie – and I have fond memories of being invited into their studio for interviews and loads of telephone chats about the state of the Wiltshire scene, meeting great acts like Luke De-Sciscio in their studio, and listening to crazy great live sessions from Crash & The Coots and Sailors among others.
Marie and William, you part us as nothing short of heroes, who have dedicated the best part of 4 years to the cause and support of many great nights and events. We salute you, and with a tear in my eye I wave goodbye.
Marie Lennon + William Walder (Marilliam!)
You can listen to Marie and Will’s final show on Thursday 20th December at 7pm.
You can join Will and Marie for a good bye drink at The Victoria, old town, Swindon on Wednesday 19th December – Not 100% sure if it’s a gig or a party with bands, or just a drink, but I’ll be there, with bells on.