Book Review: Good Morning Nantwich by Phill JupitusPosted: July 13, 2013
I’m a big fan of Phill Jupitus. I’ve watched Never Mind the Buzzcocks since I was in my teens, and he’s been a regular on another show I love, Qi. I just love his raw enthusiasm for music and sense of humour and his podcasts with Phil Wilding, Phill and Phil’s Perfect Ten, were laugh out loud funny.
On that podcast there were frequent allusions to their time working together at BBC’s 6 Music station and an impression that things had soured there, however, it was never elaborated and so when I found out that Jupitus had written a book about the five years he spent as the breakfast show host on the station I thought I’d check it out. Of course, I had to wait until I stumbled across a reduced copy in a HMV sale before I got round to it.
The book is in loose chronological order, and deals with far more than just Jupitus’ time at 6 Music. It’s almost a love letter to radio as Jupitus discusses his relationship with music and radio since his youth, his affection for broadcasting legends John Peel and Terry Wogan, his issues with modern radio and his own experiences behind the mic.
It’s all written in a clever, funny and open way which makes it a very entertaining read. Jupitus writes scathingly about listening to a godawful show on a local commercial station, but there’s a sense that this is not anger for anger’s sake, but rather genuine irritation with the witless, cynical and by the numbers show that he listens to.
This irritation is a large part of why Jupitus’ relationship with 6 Music would suffer, with Jupitus coming in with lofty dreams and idealism of playing whatever he wanted and crafting a show that was like sitting around chatting and listening to tunes with your mates. Jupitus rails against the bureaucracy and restrictions placed upon him by the corporation, but never shies away from owning up to his own failings and errors. He seems aware that his attitude towards the show was at times lacking, and there seems to be genuine regret and guilt over some of the way things were handled.
But you definitely side with Jupitus, it’s his book after all, and as such an engaging and likable writer you can’t help but root for the dude and find yourself irritated by the mistakes made.
The book is filled with little anecdotes and stories about the people Jupitus met making the show, and there’s an all star supporting cast of musicians, comedians and celebrities. Jupitus relates the story with ease and humour, and suggests that aside from the early morning starts and some of the frustrations he experienced he did enjoy his time as a DJ.
All in all it’s a rather interesting insight into the world of broadcasting and the launch of a new station into a market built on audience’s ingrained habits.
Another thing about this book is that thanks to end of chapter playlists and frequent mentions you emerge from it with an extensive list of songs and bands to look into.
Verdict: Funny and engaging, the book is a bit of a gem. It’s interesting, and Jupitus touches on things like marketing, demographics and technology, but it’s written with a light touch that makes it a charming read. Filled with laugh out loud anecdotes and some genuinely fascinating bits of information. 7/10.
Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.