Miskatonic University Press

Stuart Maconie's Freak Zone

bbc radio

Recently I discovered the BBC Radio 6 Music show Stuart Maconie’s Freak Zone, hosted by Stuart Maconie. I’d heard him on Radio Four’s Round Britain Quiz for quite a while (fantastic quizzing there, with Val McDermid and the recently added Frankie Fanko, whom I saw on BBC TV’s Only Connect) but just this year poked around some more and found the show. I loved it from the first one I listened to. It’s described as “adventures in underground and experimental music,” which is what it is, a mix of old prog, new electronic, nonstandard jazz and much else; each week there’s a featured album, for which some history is given and from which several tracks are played.

I liked it so much I emailed in last month to say so. Tonight I was listening to the Experimental Explorations with Herbie Hancock show (29 May 2022) and was amazed and delighted to hear this in the listener emails section, a little over an hour in:

And William Denton, subject “New listener in Canada,” “I’ve heard you on RBQ” (that’s Round Britain Quiz, you don’t need to worry about that, that’s a very cerebral quiz on Radio Four which you should listen to, but hey, let’s not get detained by that right now), “I’ve been listening to you on that for quite a while but I’ve just started following Freak Zone. I like it enormously.” Ohh, this is the email we want! I hate those abusive emails we get. “I’ve enjoyed a few favourites, a few things I knew but hadn’t listened to in a while, and a whole lot of great stuff. I’ll be a regular from now on. Thank you. All best wishes from Toronto,” says Bill, but I was really taken by Bill’s little CV at the end of his email: “Librarian, artist and licensed private investigator.” Bill, you’ve got to tell us more about your working week, ‘cause that is a Sunday night ITV series waiting to happen, isn’t it? Anyway, thanks Bill.

He didn’t quote this, but I want to make sure it’s not overlooked: “Many thanks to you and BBC Radio for providing such great shows to the world.”