shadowplayboys ShadowPlay is a London-based fanzine dogsbodied by Alex Lawson. This site hosts ShadowPlay podcasts including Desert Isolation Discs and the archive of Shoreditch Radio show, The Anoraks.

March 31, 2016  

Nick Helm is a man so rock'n'roll the discipline is not even big enough for him. 

A fine musician - in fact his latest album, Nick Helm is Fucking Amazing is out this month - he's also made his name as a comedian and actor, providing heavy entertainment to the masses. His star has shone brightest in hit comedy Uncle, in which he plays a layabout musician trying to make it big and he discusses how nerves could've killed the whole show off. 

Ahead of his All Killer Some Filler live show at the Kentish Town Forum in London, I quizzed him on the music he couldn't live without. A massive film buff, Nick tells of his love of Kevin Cosner and what his most dubious video shop rental was as we meet at the Pleasance Theatre. 

January 17, 2016  

Whether it's tinkling the ivories or tapping the keyboard, James Heather is a master in his endeavours. By day, he promotes some of Britain's most innovative artists as head of communications at record label Ninja Tune. By night he works on his own fantastic compositions. 

It's a pleasure to turn the spotlight around on the man who has spent the last 14 years bigging up the likes of Bonobo, Cinematic Orchestra, Kate Tempest, Wiley and Young Fathers to talk about his own life. We discuss the secret to promotion, the joys of touring, his football fever, being posted on lookout for the threat of Somali pirates and overcoming a life threatening accident. 

We also pontificate over his own music - originally inspired by listening to Beethoven under the bed covers.

It can be found on Soundcloud and Bandcamp.

December 14, 2015  
Broadcaster Ruth Barnes is a certified selector. After a career spent largely in music radio – she knows how to pick a tracklist. With an all-female playlist on her Amazing Radio show The Other Woman and through work with everyone from BBC 6Music to Resonance FM, Ruth has adeptly curated choice cuts for years.

She’s achieved an absolute shedload – working as a continuity announcer for BBC One and Two, voicing long reads for the Guardian and Economist and creating documentaries for Radio 4. She’s also worked hard to further the cause of women in the male-dominated radio industry.

Over a pint of Guinness, she talks women in radio, her most interesting interviewees and what she wants to do next. And all with a special guest – her daughter Roisin! Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or Acast or stream it here.
November 16, 2015  

As the frontman of caketronica starlets Yunioshi, Mr Rob Garner has toured everywhere from festivals in Canada and Iceland to local gigs when he's been living in Nottingham or London, where he's from. 

A designer by day and an axe wielder by night, he's also played in other bands including Spaceships are Cool and the ridiculously weird Revenge of Calculon.

 I was very happy to host him on the podcast as his love of music has massively influenced me and his eclectic choices don't disappoint! (Extra bonus: Some rather special guests) 

September 13, 2015  

Gordon 'Mac' McNamee has played a crucial role in the way the UK has consumed soulful music - from reggae to house - over the last four decades. As founder of Kiss FM, he helped bring black music to London's rapidly evolving 80s club scene. He took the pirate station on to FM and continued to manage it when taken over by Emap. 

Now at the helm of new station Mi Soul - which has just landed on DAB radio - Mac retains the relentless passion and unique humour which trademarked his most triumphant years. A true gent and a gleeful music fan, this is one to give a spin. Feel free to stream it or even better, download and subscribe as a podcast. 

August 2, 2015  

Simon Read is one of a kind: comfortable sipping Sidecars and talking shop or banging in the goals on a pre-season European footy tour. Known as The People's Champion, he's a fire fighter of personal finance - solving the problems of his readers in The Independent and Evening Standard.

The sunglasses-touting journalist boasts a lengthy career in national newspapers and has also appeared on a raft of radio and TV programmes as an expert guest. An ardent Chelsea supporter, Southender-turned west Londoner and, above all, a massive music fan, sit back and enjoy his endless anecdotes. Download and subscribe to the podcast or stream it below. 

July 18, 2015  

As author of Fanzines: The DIY Revolution, Teal Triggs has been on the Desert Isolation Discs wish list for some time. Her study of publishing's finest form is an excellent examination of their loudmouth birth (titles included Crap Hound and Beer Can Fanzine) and cultural influence. The American living in London has enjoyed a lengthy career first as a photographer and then an academic, teaching graphic design. 

Meeting up at the Royal Academy of Arts in Kensington, Teal talks me through the eight songs still in her suitcase, explains why she's not a typical Texan and reveals which zine she couldn't live without. 

March 16, 2015  
Mr Tom Whalley is used to making difficult choices where music is concerned. As producer of The Huey Show, fronted by Huey Morgan of the Fun Lovin' Criminals, on BBC Radio 6 Music, Nottingham's finest flatcap wearer is a master selector. The London resident is also known for lecturing in radio at the University of Westminster, his record label Hello Thor and tutoring for Reprezent 107.3FM. 

Here Tom, as a Desert Isolation Discs' guest, talks us through the eight tunes he couldn't live without, explains the allure of lycra wearing and handles some surprise interruptions. Stream the show via Mixcloud or subscribe to the podcast by typing 'shadowplayboys' or pasting this feed into iTunes.
February 22, 2015  

The Hats of Liz O'Keefe is a musical that has never been written. But it if had, it would've doubtless have gone a little like this. This show has the variety to switch from Trilby chic to peak cap capriciousness. Which of course means nothing, but  here, Liz in typically colourful manner discusses the records that influenced her and, more importantly, made her dance around. Liz is a fresh produce journalist supreme, a trained chef and recipe developer. A Worcester native, she now lives in leafy north London.

With only one slight snag, we got drunk. Yes, contained within is a combination of carefully considered musical chat and a couple of cheeky boozehounds sampling the delights of Kilburn. The result is either a charming collection of banter or, um, two annoying drunkards.

February 8, 2015  
Jerry Thackray, or rather his pen name Everett True, is a name synonymous with quality music journalism and rock'n'roll spirit. The Chelmsford-born music journalist's life is a stream of experiences with guitar music's biggest names from Alan McGee to Kurt Cobain. He has written for the NME, Melody Maker and the Guardian.

Here, he picks the eight tunes he couldn't live without when thrust into the lonesome desert and talks me through his early years, the changing face of music journalism, why he was sacked from NME and his relationship with Nirvana. Stream the show below or download is as a podcast by typing shadowplayboys.

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