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.

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.
June 1, 2014  

One half of the podcasting world's most amusing, esoteric and silly duo, Helen Zaltzman is our guest. Her question and answer podcast, launched in 2007 and presented in tandem with Olly Mann, has won an armful of gongs, a world full of followers and imparted important knowledge in response to teasers such as why do round pizzas come in square boxes.

Here Helen tells me tales of her podcasting royalty family - which she shares with The Bugle's Andy Zaltzman - how she's answers that mountain of questions and what tube makes her punch the air. Stream the show here or download it as podcast and subscribe to Desert Isolation Discs.

May 11, 2014  

Angela Penhaligon, aka country-folktronica songstress Piney Gir, is my latest guest on Desert Isolation Discs as she tells me the eight tunes she couldn't live without in a desert.

Piney is an acclaimed artist who has released five albums, toured the globe including playing Glastonbury festival and was a member of both Vic Twenty and The Schla La Las.  More info and guests at  

March 24, 2014  

Mr James Lambert tells me the eight songs he'd save from the wreckage if stranded in the desert after a freak extreme air ironing accident. 

A sports and music fanatic and one half of Sheffield's finest radio duo, the ShadowPlayboys, Lambert lets us into his world to talk attitudes to punk music and the glory of Sheffield and Nottingham.

March 11, 2014  

Barcelona-based record label head honcho and talented marketer Anders Knight is my latest guest on Desert Isolation Discs. He became the lynchpin in the arts and culture scene of Nottingham when based there through his excellent stewardship of craft night Jumpers for Goalposts as co-host of the Pretty Dandy Flea markets and enticing us to watch great films at the Broadway cinema. 

His record label Hello Thor - co-founded with fellow friends of the blog Tom Whalley and Nick Lawford in 2008 - is host to a raft of exhilarating acts including Fists, We Show Up on Radar and Anxieteam. More info and guests at:

February 11, 2014  
It is an absolute pleasure to welcome a very special guest to Desert Isolation Discs… my mother! Part of the reason I began recording these missives was as an excuse to quiz mum on her choices. She is an avid listener to a certain similar show and has also hosted DiD parties. 

Here, Heather tells us which eight songs she couldn't do without when stranded in a desert and talks about her life, family and founding her own successful business, Hellish Designs. More details and full songs here -
February 11, 2014  

As vanity projects go, recording your own Desert Isolation Discs podcast is right up there. But nonetheless, here's your blogging host Alex Lawson's eight tunes he would save from the wreckage after a freak sky diving accident. Tom Bonnett manfully steps in as host. More details and full songs here -

December 31, 2013  

Anoraks presenter and long-time ShadowPlay collaborator Tom Bonnett is our guest on Desert Isolation Discs - a podcast presented by Alex Lawson. Tom he tells us which eight tracks he would save from the wreckage when stranded in the desert after a freak hang gliding accident.


A journalist, DJ and broadcaster, Tom allows us into his world from the Cambridge hip-hop scene to the machinations of the media through an interview with song clips. More details and full songs here -

September 9, 2013  

Anoraks Tom Bonnett and Alex Lawson discuss the beauty of the tape ahead of Cassette Store Day. Alex explains why a handmade cover and a curated collection of songs can make a couple of magnetic reels in a plastic case come to life and why tapes may be making a comeback. For a blog on Cassette Store Day, visit


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