Tuning in…

We like to wake up to the radio in the morning, and be gently brought back to life with some witty banter and a fair degree of current affairs and other information. It’s like a pre-caffeine hit, for those who need one. For me, a non-coffee drinker, the radio wake up is my caffeine hit. For some time the choice of radio station has been quite difficult, and as a compromise in recent times we have more or less settled on National Radio during the week, and Radio Live on weekends. Recent changes to both mean that this year is not looking good for wake up time.

For starters, the likelihood of actually waking up when National Radio comes on is not always a given. The gentle and almost soporophic delivery can actually keep us asleep, and often it’s the 7am pips that have us bolting out of bed in a blind panic at now being quite late. Still, on the occasions that we do actually wake up, the station is informative and detailed in its interviewing and news bulletins. But we do actually need to wake up, so this choice is perhaps not the most successful either, and who knows who will replace the articulate and interesting Guyon Espiner?

On weekends it’s a completely different story, and nothing will drive me from my bed faster than the Saturday morning host’s pseudo-posh nasal twang and her inability to actually listen to her interview subjects.

Up until this last weekend our wake up on these days has been to Radio Live and and the engaging and useful home and garden programming on both days. This all changed when this station merged with another which resulted in a move to the AM band. The quality on this channel is now so appalling that this option has been abandoned too. Radio Live’s response to complaints on this is to direct listeners to the Rova app or to go online and stream the station.

This is not going to happen on my bedside clock/radio that helpfully beams the time on to the ceiling in the middle of the night, which saves me from having to peer over the sleeping hump of His Lordship, or get sidetracked by my phone when insomnia hits and all I want is to know the time. And I sincerely doubt that I am going to fart about with my phone in the car when I have a perfectly good car audio system. And if I’m really honest, Radio Live on weekdays hasn’t really been the same since Marcus Lush left. I’m not a fan of the simulcast morning show. So I am somewhat stuck for a new choice.

So where to next? Today we tried Radio Hauraki to wake up to which we have always enjoyed when in the car in the mornings. The hosts are funny and engaging, as they always have been throughout the years. But we are already awake at these times, and ready to be enlivened. However, today I was blasted from my peaceful slumber by David Bowie, and while I like David Bowie very much, I’m probably not so keen at 6:30am when rowsing from a deep sleep. Still it could have been worse. It might have been the shrieking AC/DC which sounds like interrupting a home invasion.

I will never listen to the incredibly annoying Mike what’s-his-name, so ZB is out of the question, and I hate inane and stupid commercial hosts where the music is slightly gentler but the banter is annoyingly banal and the hosts are syrupy sweet.

I guess what I am looking for is a wake up listening experience that is informative and engaging (humour is always good), not too jangly if there is music involved, but lively enough to wake us up and keep us awake. Timbre of voice is important (no honking nasal twangs, thanks), and delivery needs to be somewhat upbeat.

Am I asking for the impossible? His Lordship gamely goes in whichever direction I swerve. I think his preference is for something rocky, but also important to him is my demeanour in the morning, and a violent awakening is not the way to ensure that this will result in a sweet and sunny disposition. I remain open to any suggestions from anyone who cares to share. Until then we will continue to twiddle the dial, so to speak.

old radio

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