Soundwave FM - Richard Norris
For the last few years many of us have become very fond of the sound of Lewes’ own radio station, Rocket Radio, broadcasting an FM feed in the Bonfire period. This weekend, starting at 8am on Friday and finishing at midnight on Sunday, we can enjoy another burst of locally produced radio in the form of Soundwave FM, organised as part of the LDC music festival. There will be some familiar voices behind the microphone, and some less familiar ones, too, including somebody with quite some experience in the DJ arena.
“There are similarities to Rocket,” says Lewes-based Richard Norris, the world-famous mixer, producer, journalist, DJ and musician, and a member of the recently reformed techno band The Grid, who will be hosting a couple of shows over the weekend. “But there are differences, too. Soundwave FM will be amplifying gigs from young local talent. The majority of the music we’ll be hearing is new music. There will be a lot of live music.”
You might remember Richard if you watched Top of the Pops in the early-to-mid nineties. The Grid, an avant-garde electronic band, had ten UK hit singles in that period, including the million-selling Swamp Thing, a banjo riff played over house beats which became an anthem in clubs all over the world.
I meet Richard in his house in central Lewes, in a small studio. We are surrounded by the tricks of his trade: stacks of vinyl, different sized decks, interestingly proportioned musical instruments. Richard has played Reading, T in the Park and Phoenix, and regularly DJ’s in clubs like the Ocean Rooms in Brighton and The End in London, but this hasn’t diminished his enthusiasm for his current project. “I’ll be doing two shows,” he says.