Phonic FM - A Sound Alternative

Phonic FM
Bradninch Place
Gandy Street




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Phonic FM is Exeter’s sound alternative — a community radio station for the city and beyond, broadcasting on 106.8FM and online since 2008.

Strangely Strange but Oddly Normal

Playing rock and pop with a strong 70s emphasis along with folk, blues and jazz influences.

Playing rock and pop with a strong 70s emphasis along with folk, blues and jazz influences.

Show name: Strangely Strange but Oddly Normal

Presenters name: Mark Armitage

Show time and day: Sunday’s from 4pm to 6pm every four weeks.

What type of music can we expect to hear on your show?
Music with routes in the late 60s and 70s that could be considered more thoughtful or interesting even the dreaded ‘prog’ such as King Crimson, less well known 70s albums e.g. Mellow Candle and new material that seems more in that spirit of experimentation or discovery e.g. British Sea Power.

Why do you like this music?
The music is often less constrained and more adventurous given the recording technology of the time. The records often sound more natural and less compressed than many modern recordings particularly analogue recordings on vinyl. There’s sometimes a wider range of instruments to be heard, flute, cello and saxophone and who can resist the sound of a mellotron.

What is the format of your show?
I aim to share the show with friends who are not regular presenters but are enthusiastic about music. I’d also like to interview people on air about things connected with the show.

Why should we listen to your show?

I don’t think any one should listen to this show but any one who wants to, will be very welcome.

How did your show come about?

A friend secured a Vibraphonic FM slot a few years ago and kindly invited me to share his show. It was great.

When Phonic FM started, I put in a proposal for a show and was fortunate to be offered a regular opening

What goes on behind the scenes in the studio?

Trying to stay calm and lucid while juggling CDs and vinyl live on air. And developing a serious thirst for a post show pint as the studio is extremely hot.

What has been your best on air moment?
Presenting on my own for the first time, thinking it hadn’t been a total disaster and a friend picking up on the show in Sussex and emailing me a running commentary.

What has been your worst/ most embarrassing on air moment?
When we were on Vibraphonic, some ‘mates’ from the pub in Ide emailed in pretending they were two girls from Winconsin, listening on the internet. We were rather falsely flattered and gave the fictional duo considerable attention, live on air.

Who is your favourite artist?

Neil Young – he’s written so many great songs, he’s a great guitarist and never seems to take the easy option even though he’s issued some duffers.

My Aunt is also an inspiration as someone who has dedicated her life to playing and promoting jazz and still works productively in her 90s.

What is your all time favourite album?
Atom Heart Mother – it doesn’t quite work and Pink Floyd seem to have disowned it a bit but I think it was very ambitious given the time and recording technology and still sounds different from their other work and most other things.


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