The Stars Align: EH-FM radio station launches in Edinburgh
With regular programming set to start broadcasting out of Edinburgh's Summerhall on 17 July, we speak to EH-FM about what we can expect from the city's new multimedia radio platform
Towards the end of May, we spent a fair bit of time down at Leith Theatre for Hidden Door festival and what a lovely surprise it was to stumble upon a brand new multimedia radio platform for Edinburgh, EH-FM. There’s always been a lot going on across Scotland’s literal and digital airwaves, but a new posse are in town and they’re advocating for a “healthy supportive community” to encourage diversity, creativity and inclusivity. We'll drink to that!
“It’s often too easy to rant about rather than act upon issues such as diversity and gender equality in music,” one of the station’s founders Kenza Marland tells us via email, “but EH-FM is aiming to do something practical about those problems. We want EH-FM to become an inclusive platform for creativity in the city. It seemed, with the likes of Sub City in Glasgow and NTS in London, there was a gap in Edinburgh for a focal point for the music and arts scene – we’re hoping EH-FM can fill that gap! We want to champion the arts in a time when it seems they are somewhat under threat – whether that be by the closure of live music venues or the reduction of vital funding.”
Marland, who recently completed her MA in Journalism, runs EH-FM alongside Matt Belcher, aka Percy Main, who runs the Lionoil Industries label; Andrea Montalto – “one of Edinburgh’s finest DJs and diggers” – who runs Paradise Palms’ record shop; and Jamie Pettinger, “a militantly organised comms wizard at Edinburgh International Festival, classical musician and keen record collector.”
Officially launched on 29 June with an afternoon outdoor broadcast from hip coffee roasters Williams & Johnson culminating in a Sneaky Pete's knees-up, EH-FM first emerged down in Leith at the back end of May; an Instagram feed appeared complete with bold turquoise branding fuelled by a genuine sense of excitement around their apparent mystery: Who are they? What are they up to? Are they a new club night? Are they a radio station doing outside broadcasts?
“We’ve always planned to keep EH-FM as mobile as possible,” Marland explains when we ask what their future plans are for transmissions, “and use our weekends to do broadcasts on location around the city. It seemed a great way to ensure we are the ‘community’ radio station we’ve set out to be.
“We’ll bring ourselves to local businesses and interesting events, teaming up with Edinburgh’s entrepreneurs and artists. What could be an easier way to get people involved and interested than broadcasting with them or from their space?” And since their soft launch at Hidden Door, they’ve continued to do just that, broadcasting online from Williams & Johnson at Custom Lane as well as from Candlemaker Row's independent retailer Pieute.
Already, EH-FM feels very different to what Edinburgh's had before, its closest counterpart probably being the University of Edinburgh’s student-run station Fresh Air. So far their broadcasts have featured an impressive cross-section from the city’s DJ circuit including Proc Fiskal, FRANk, Jacuzzi General, Kate Harahan, Nikki Kent and Kris Wasabi along with the station’s founders. “Student-run stations are often fantastic platforms for new and aspiring DJs and broadcasters,” says Marland. “We are hoping to jump up a small step and use our experience to provide a programme of consistent quality.”
It's refreshing to see the focus on local DJs and club promoters for EH-FM – with scheduling in mind, what can listeners expect? “We’ve had interest from over 40 DJs and have close to 30 confirmed shows at the moment, which has been a great response,” says Marland. “These include the wonderful Miss World, Nick Stewart, Heaters, Jenni, Headset, Allsorts, Paradise Vinyl, Cam Mason of Soulsville, Kate Harahan, Kris Wasabi… the list could go on. We want to work on broadcasting some more live acts as well as developing a more interview-focused, talk show which would aim to include some interesting and wonderful guests! At the moment though, we’re really focusing on the stars in our community.”
Starting from Tuesday 17 July, EH-FM will be broadcasting regularly from their Summerhall studio – their first week of programming looks like this:
12.00-14.00 – The EH-FM Family
14.00-16.00 – Tuesday Gonzalez
16.00-18.00 – Club Mediterraneo
18.00-20.00 – Other Thumpers
12.00-14.00 – LUNCH with Nikki Kent
14.00-16.00 – Music For a Single Plant
16.00-18.00 – Muscle & Hate with Giles Walker
12.00-14.00 – Best Intent
14.00-16.00 – Jacuzzi Journal (a show of secrets)
16.00-18.00 – Miss World on the Rocks
14.00-16.00 – Soulsville
16.00- 18.00 – Percy Main Social Club
18.00-20.00 – The Quiet Hour
Listen to EH-FM here; if you're interested in getting involved with EH-FM drop them an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.