Alas, I would get to be entertained by Terrence Oblong no longer, as I was finally called into the interview room.
The interview panel consisted of Carl and a girl I had slept with once after a Vaccines gig. I couldn’t remember her name, but luckily Carl had briefed me that I’d be interviewed by his girlfriend Kelly – it’s bad form to forget the name of someone you slept with - fine if they never told you in the first place, but bad form to forget it.
“Kelly! Lovely to see you again,” I said. “Nice to see the station’s in the hands of a genuine music fan.”
I would deal with the whole ‘I’ve slept with the love of Carl’s life’ issue when I really had to, which with any luck would be never.
“Luke. I can’t believe you quit a career as a music journalist to go to Independent University. What luck for the station though, a man with better connections in music than Tony Wilson.”
“What, you accusing me of lying? Yes I have better connections in the music industry than a dead man. Not much better, but vaguely superior. And as for being a music journalist, I have had no less than three letters published in the NME and have my own personal blog dedicated to music, which has no less than 17 regular followers.”
“Wow, I just don’t understand though, with your dedicated love of the truth above all else why you’re applying to be a DJ not a journalist. No statement made that isn’t 100% accurate and verifiable.”
Carl was weaving his head side to side to watch us as we spoke, as if the concept of people knowing each other had never crossed his feeble little mind.
“You know each other?”
“We met at a Vaccines gig,” Kelly said.
“It was the Vaccines or an evening slitting my wrists,” I said. “Bum choice I know, but you live and learn.”
“But you’re from completely different parts of …”
“The same tiny little island,” I finished the sentence for him.
Between us we told Carl a detailed account of how we met at an Exeter University gig via two mutual friends, one of whom I had gone down to visit. In this fictitious account of our encounter we had met very briefly, chatted briefly during a gig and had not slept together, not so much as a stray hand or tongue. Obviously we didn’t say we hadn’t slept together, that would have aroused his suspicions, we just simply failed to describe …
We failed to describe what had actually happened.
“Let me tell you about Independent Radio,” Kelly said, cleverly changing the subject I thought. “Independent Radio is the university’s student radio station, and is not to be confused with any other station anywhere else in the world that may happen to have the same name and a hyenaesqe pack of lawyers.”
“Hyenaesque,” I said, approvingly, “not a word that gets used nearly enough as it deserves.”
Kelly continued, oblivious to my interruption, very much as she had during sex if memory serves.
“The output of the radio is broadcast to the student cafeteria and bar and to the three halls of residence on campus, using old fashioned wires and sellotape.”
Carl interrupted, “The quality of the sound is more sellotape than wire.”
Kelly ignored him. “We also broadcast the shows on YouTube. Every show is filmed and added online.”
“So I’ll be a veejay as well as a DJ?”
“It’s not a term we encourage,” Kelly said with a frown. “The news team would love us to drop the music entirely and become a campus video news site, but some of us just like to play music.”
“Yeah, it makes perfect sense. That’s the one thing missing from Youtube, the opportunity to hear music.”
Kelly pulled a face. I recognised it, last time I’d seen it, it had said ‘do you want to fuck or not?’ This time it read ‘do you want to be a DJ or not?’ Handy, the face of a million messages.
The next section of the interview was the trial. Not sitting in a dock being ogled by an old cunt in a wig, but equally daunting. Playing my music in the ‘rehearsal’ studio under the studious eyes of Carl and Kelly.
I played the Pixies Down to the Well, Frank Turner’s Recovery and The Flaming Lips The Sun Blows Up Today. In-between tracks I said some words and generally wowed the world.
“Can I be honest?” Kelly said. “That was technically shit. You got the volumes wrong, cut the second track short and talked too long over the last track.”
I mouthed a “thank you” /” fuck you” I’m not sure which, I can’t lip-read.
“However,” she said with a smile, “I liked your banter, the selection of music was good and you came across as knowledgeable. With training I think you’ll be a good DJ. You’ve passed. Congratulations.”
“If you think that was bad you should hear everyone else,” Carl added, thus shattering Kelly’s pretence that this ‘radio station’ was anything other than a group of kids fucking about with music.