KNOWLEDGE IS `POWER'
KNOWLEDGE IS `POWER'
Speeding down a busy road I'm on my way to meeting the second half of the partnership that makes
up `Power FM'. The first half, Brian Chamberlain is already in the car with me, looking back and
smiling says I hope this isn't going to take too long , he seems a little nervous, I don't think
interviews are his favourite pastime!
Pulling into a driveway, its a normal November evening, the rain hasn't stopped since yesterday and
Brian Keogh greets us in a shop on the Southside. Its a rare occasion to get the two Brians together,
both are very busy, they laugh and both look anxious, so the interview begins.
Aidan Kelly Why and when did the station begin?
Brian Keogh Its two years now since we started , we weren't called Power at that stage, we were
called `Kiss' around the time that Paul left to go on holidays (Paul owns the building where the
station is housed, and is also a mutual friend). We originally started the (laughing) whole thing as a
kind of joke......... Brian Chamberlain interrupts and disputes that it began one night when he
approached Brian one night!
BC No, no hear listen, do you remember when I went down to your shop and said well, will we or
BK. Yeah I do, and I thought you were mad, He came into the shop one day and said I'm going to
start up a radio station. I looked at him and said Yeah.. right.....!ä I did, I thought he was like the
mad professor, there I was busy at the cash register and he throws this at me, I thought he was mad.
I ask Brian Chamberlain
BC We did it for the buzz, just for the buzz, set up and get it running, that's all reallyä
Lighting a cigarette he seems cool about the stations origins, modest!
What kind of music did you guys start with?
BC At the start we did a cross section of everything.......
BK. Yeah, mainly music with mass appeal to it, not necessarily commercial but kind of rave
orientated. But definitely not commercial, even so we were different to other stations as we were the
first to actually mix live on air.
BC Yeah nobody else was mixing at the time and I think we set a standard in that way. WE were
the only pirate with Technics. Definitely! we started that mixing thing off.... Pioneers? maybe?
What degree do you think pirate radio has influenced that dance music scene in Dublin?
BK. Oh God yes, well as I seen in another interview in one of the papers about 3 or 4 weeks ago, the
writer put it very well, he said the likes of De'Lacy going from Power FM 98.7 all the way down to
98.1 Radio 2FM like that shows there is a direct link that the more we play tracks the more people
like them and the better the chance for them to break into the market. Hear it here first!
BC There is a direct relationship between underground and breaking into commercial, take for
instance ÎScooter' those guys never got the support of the major stations till pirates started to play
their stuff and get it known. Then they cop'd on, definitely Club FM made Scooter.
Any other radio stations influence the way you thought?
BC What about Girls FM London ?
BK. No not really, only recently we heard of them, we're choosy about our DJs and we know what is
and isn't. Girls FM are deeper into their stuff, we'll be there at some stage, just a matter of time,
we're maturing, progressing
BC Victor Simonelli, when he was over.
BK. Yeah, way ahead, I'm hearing stuff now that he was doing back then.
BC and `Pipa' from D.I.Y. although we nearly had Sasha but we were closed down the day he was
supposed to come over to us
Do you think radio is better than clubs even though you get no physical feedback?
BC Ah yeah, but we could be reaching an infinite number of people, we're reaching so many more
than any club and we can experiment..
BK There's nothing as good as a club and the peoples reactions, but we try to think of the peoples
we're reaching! The freedom, there's music you can't play in a club and we can play it on radio...
there's the difference.
BC We can do what we want, play what we want, y'know
Is there fear in dance music? an immaturity?
BC The whole scene is immature isn't it?
BK. Its still only fresh. It hasn't taken off yet and there's a whole load of people who haven't
listened to our station yet. I'd say in 2 years or so our station will have a massive following unlike
now. It'll just grow up! they'll become more choosy.
BC There are a whole group of people who used to go out to clubs years ago that are probably
listening to us now rather than the people who have just joined up in the scene, there's loads who
know and loads who don't, look at `Kiss FM' in London now compared to what it was.
What's next, where's the music going?
BK. We're going deeper, we see ourselves as starting something new everytime and maybe get more
live work, we're doing OK but we need more finance, its a tight situation moneywise. We're relying
on generous donations from wealthy businessmen. But we're happy enough now!
Can you remember what was the first track played on the radio?
BC It wasn't a case of here's the first record, it just sort of came together.....no start just
BK My God I can't remember back that far, I had loads of records to choose from.
BC It would have been around the time of `Nightcrawlers'........
BK No no it was a bit before that, I think, that was one of our big tunes, we kind of launched that
one but we started just before that.......and Nikolai as well ... without Liam Dollard playing that no -
one would have heard it till much later.
BC Yeah it always kinda starts with us.... we play tunes regularly and somehow break them.... then
Abbey Discs stock it.. loads of it , and the tune is big..... like we're the only station playing `Ultra
Flava' and now the shops are selling it. People hear it and they want it.
Brian Keogh laughs suddenly and catches me by surprise.
BK I just hope we don't get raided...... no seriously I'd like to do more gigs
BC Yeah we're running on a tight budget hopefully gigs will come our way. But there aren't
enough venues and the authorities are scaring people saying Dance = Drugs = Death That's
BK. People think that we're still associated with Grouch's. That's gone but yeah gigs would be
good, I guess when you're doing an underground thing people don't get it you don't get gigs.
There's a moments silence and much ground covered, Brian Chamberlain breaks the peace
BC Well Brian, is there anything you want to ask yourself? eh?
BK Why am I here? (laughing)
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