So here’s an interesting one. I’m indebted to the Argus for bringing us the most bizarre radio story so far this year.

There’s a radio station in France, so far up its own derriere, that Brighton hipsters have been re-radiating it illegally. Ofcom raided the transmitter, not unreasonably, but it came back for a bit before falling silent a second time. We listened in to see what compelling mix inspired such brazen lawlessness.

FIP logo

Respirez, vous êtes sur FIP, as they say in France. That’s ‘Breathe, you’re on FIP.’ Or maybe Baise, l’Ofcom sont confisque votre émetteur.

WHO    FIP (France Inter Paris)

WHEN   1811 Local, Tuesday 7 January 2014

I’m the Man that Will Find You/Connan Mockasin

Crunch and Roll French link over Jazz Hands/Frootful

5 Minutes/Sound Provider

I’m Sittin’ on Top of the World/Les Paul and Mary Ford

French link over Paan Man Boogie/Kitty Daisy & Lewis. Something about news. Working with photographic collages tomorrow. Something something something .. aver FIP.

Show Biz Kids/Rickie Lee Jones

SUMMARY

The fact that this station commands such loyalty by chin-stroking Brightonians is to be commended I suppose. But it seems a lot of trouble to go to in order to be able to hear an uninterrupted stream of world, jazz, chanson and eclectic tunes in Kemp Town rather than, say, Toby Anstis playing Take That coming down a pipe from Leicester Square via Portslade.

And even if you don’t want to give it some Heart, there’s always Radio Reverb for the eclectic, and Juice for overgrown clubbers. Or as Nick Packham from Hove likes to describe them, “all ego driven DJs playing the same music and endless adverts. That’s the difference that FIP makes. There’s a wide mix of music from jazz to hiphop, to Latin to classical and minimal interruptions. The ‘Fipettes’ provide local information and traffic updates ad hoc and of course there’s also the news at ten minutes to the hour.”

“It’s just a cool station to listen to and very Brighton.”

How much post-modern irony can you load into the two words, ‘very Brighton’? I love that Nick admits to the paper he doesn’t even understand French. Buy a SONOS Nick and you can still hear the such glorious randomness that makes no sense to you!

Yet, there is something wonderfully Gallic about this thrown-together mix of largely English language music and mellifluous presentation. It sounds like chill‘s garlic-breathed French exchange pal, the radio equivalent of that shrug they do. Nous ferons actualite à dix pour jouer du jazz et aléatoire. Et alors?

Give it some FIP and see what the fuss is about.

Leave a Reply