On The Wire  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

On The Wire is a radio programme broadcasting on BBC Radio Lancashire. It is presented by Steve Barker. The show was first broadcast on 16 September 1984. In the 1980s the show was broadcasted on Sunday afternoons 2-5pm. On the Wire's first guest was Adrian Sherwood and Keith le Blanc. Adrian Sherwood and Dub Syndicate provide the show's theme music. The guests on the second week of the show were Depeche Mode.

On the Wire was one of the first shows in the UK to play hip-hop, House music and Techno music. It gave the first radio plays in the UK for Derrick May and Kevin Saunderson and the radio premier of 808 State "Pacific State" and A Guy Called Gerald "Voodoo Ray". Andy ‘Madhatter’ Holmes and Pete Haigh have provided since 1986 the once-a-month Funkology show. Michael "Fenny" Fenton has a weekly slot on the show where he plays music from the local music scene.

At the beginning of the 1990's On the Wire was under threat from the BBC, but at the last minute the show was saved by the BBC board, with the show being described as a ‘unique BBC product’. Brian "Planet" Jackson and John Peel were key figures in saving the programme. When the programme was saved it moved to a new slot on Thursday evenings, and then to its current slot on Saturday evenings.

Guests on the show have included Lee Perry, Mark E Smith, Half Man Half Biscuit, Kelly Joe Phelps, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Jeb Loy Nichols and Blood and Fire. Highlight shows include: An Xmas party at the Ritz in Manchester including Sherwood with Gary Clail, 808 State, A Guy Called Gerald, Little Annie and Neneh Cherry; putting on The Fall free at Clitheroe Castle and the three hour dub special shows.

Since 2003 Steve Barker contributes from Beijing with the invaluable help of Christiaan Virant, American exile and co-founder of the China-based nu electronic unit FM3.

Engineers on the show have included Mikey Martin, Jethro known on the net as ‘Culf’, and current engineer Jim Ingham.

The forerunner to On the Wire was called Spin Off and it was broadcast on BBC Radio Blackburn (later BBC Radio Lancashire) on a Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6pm to 7pm. The programme was presented by Steve Barker and produced by Ian Cook (Education Producer).

November 2008 show

Steinski – I'm wild about that thing – Illegal Art
Steinski – Solid air junk mood mix –Illegal Art
The Bug with Ricky Ranking – Flying – Ninja Tune
The Bug with Cha Cha – Poison dart (no f*ck2db) – dubplate
Dokkebi Q – Hardcore cherry bonbon – 3QREQ
Virus Syndicate with David Lewis – For the music – Contagious
Zomby – Test me for a reason – Hyperdub
Kode9 vs LD – Bad – Hyperdub
George Coleman – Cool it right – Mississippi
Ignatz – The Water – K-raa-k
Chang Loo – Sixteen tons – mp3
Todd Snider – Ponce of the flaming peace queer – Aimless Records
Blown Glass Typewriter – Mountains – Apestaartje
Sixto Silgado, Paito Y Los Gaiteros De Punta Brava - Merengue Faroto - Rough Guide
Franco - Esengo ya mokili - Sterns Music Africa
Mikey Dread / Singers + Players - Autobiography - On U Sound
Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers -Roadrunner 1 - Castle Communications
Big Youth - Big Youth Special - Virgin
Orchestre Poly-Rhthmo de Cotonou - Mi Ni Non Kpo - Analog Africa
Waitless - I surrendaa (eu me entregou) - Poo Productions
Witchdoktors - Common Prayer (for a working Man) - Tribal Vibes
Okie Rosette - Sing the Hotel - Montreme Records
PSI - Clo - crafu Byw
Kieran Hebden and Steve Reid - Arrival - Domino




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "On The Wire" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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