Max started his lunchtime show at Soho Radio at the start of 2020, emerging from his dozen years as a regular presenter of BBC Radio 3’s night time classic show Late Junction. When he got the call from this adventurous and ambitious station, he embraced the opportunity and embarked on what has turned out to be the start of a whole new chapter of his radio adventures: a weekly live Friday lunchtime show from the heart of Soho.
It has a unique and totally addictive feel, featuring long form interviews and freeform conversations with an astonishing variety of guests and sonics for the musically curious. Even Lockdown hasn’t stopped the show in its tracks. With the consummate technical support of Soho Radio, he has been broadcasting live from his home studio in Oxford, with guests coming in courtesy of all kinds of comms platforms, often bringing exclusive versions of their music to the show…some from their archives and home studios, others recorded at Soho Radio’s studios .
From the getgo, the Late Lunch Show has welcomed a vibing and varied roster of guests, an essential element that adds to its ‘mustlistenability’. Over the year+ that we have been up and running, we’ve featured over 100 guests. They come from a criss cross of areas in the world of the arts and include:
Alex Ho, Errollyn Wallen from from the world of contemporary classical music; musical icons like Nitin Sawney and Richard Dawson; exploratory composers and musicians like Jennifer Walshe and Gazelle Twin; award winning poet, Roger Robinson; from theatre companies like the Sh!t Theatre duo and Charlotte Mooney from Ockham’s Razor; stars of the incandescent and stellar London Jazz scene like Cassie Kinoshie (Seed Ensemble & Kooroko) and Sarathy Korwar (totally ubiquitous!!); guests from the Folk Music of these islands, another music scene currently having a wondrous revival/reinvention, including Eliza Carthy, Peggy Seeger and Sam Lee; music journalists like John Doran & Luke Turner (from The Quietus etc.) and Jane Cornwell (Jazzwise, Songlines, London Evening Standard etc); roots music virtuosos have included Mosi Conde kora playing griot from Guinea and Syrian kanun virtuoso, Maya Youssef. We also have covered events and festivals like the Arts Foundation Awards for exploratory musicians, won by Klein this year, and the EFG London Jazz Festival.
The lockdowns prevented us from featuring live sessions from guests on a regular basis, but we will be slowly getting back into recording sessions for the show once again.
Inspired by my years presenting Late Junction, we’ve built a series in which each programme redefines what eclectic can mean on the radio. Our audience is musically curious, multi age ranged, our guestlist and playlist is deliberately inclusive, our conversations are about music, life, lockdown, political considerations and whatever is going down as the weeks go by. The 3 hour duration of the show enables us to play longer pieces of music, have long form discussions, and listen to more tracks from our guests’ new releases.
I have also chosen to dispense with the idea of a conventional playlist, cut and dried and decided upon ahead of the show. Instead I approach it as I approached club gigs over the years: so bring along a box of records (or CD’s, downloads on memory sticks etc) and play/segue/sequence them as seems right to me and the audience across the session. That makes the process much more improvisational and injects the mixing and sequencing, and even the links, with a creativity, a buzz that comes from being wrapped right into the moment. Hopefully that ambiance affects the whole show and its audience.