The Origin of Radio Joy


Like most voyages doomed we sailed a crooked vessel.
Found adrift and listing slightly in the cold waters off of Humberside in 2008.
The Drunken Boat was the archetypical ghost ship.
She was built out of an Arthur Rimbaud poem in France.
And weighed in at a good 100 ton of misfortune.
Let me tell you this…
Being a good 103 feet of rust bucket eyesore she was no dainty lady of the sea.
In fact she would drag you right down with her if you dared suggest such a thing.
We didn’t just insult her crudely we had the temerity to spit noise in her eye.
She liked the cut of our jib.
And we lived to tell the tale and broadcast another day.
Her first captain was not so lucky.
He died shortly after the ship was put to sea on her first voyage.
Emphysemia compounded by pneumonia and other related illnesses.
With the good Captain’s death she quickly gained a reputation as a ship cursed by bad luck.
A boat ever willing to sail straight into any sea bound misadventure that would come her way.
How many times she changed hands is unknown.
But the deaths of so many crew members could be felt painfully immersed in the panelling and floorboards.
Three times the Drunken Boat hit rock, three times it survived.
Always lurching never quite drowning fraught with superstition’s paranoia’s and fear’s.
We had found the vessel rusted and forgotten in a marine breakers yard at the wrong end of the Scottish coastline.
We purchased it for a song.
It was in a state… any fool could see that.
But we didn’t care, in fact it suited us fools fine.
We were after inhabiting the kind of premises that would allow us to transmit the noises we wanted to make.
The Band Of Holy Joy were uppermost in our minds, but we very much wanted to broadcast other sounds and frequencies too.
We were very much inspired by resonancefm and other European art based stations.
Whilst lacking totally their technical finesse professional attitude and artistic ambition.
Devoid of integrity and losers in principle. It was a black and tattered flag we barely flew.
We plundered the likes of ubuweb mercilessly.
And were relentless in our use-abuse of shortwave.
We had our obsessions, our desires, our perceptions, our hates, all curdled and ready to be spat.
We wanted to avoid most of the world and its established mainstream regions.
The boat was perfect for traversing such lonely terrains.
A sinking was always on the cards, failure a perfectly viable option.

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