This site is a huge
resource of information about London's land based pirate radio stations.
The site is mostly concerned with the older pirate radio stations (i.e. those
that began broadcasting between 1989-2000).
It's a place to remember the old pirates and to exchange recordings,
stories, images and information.
August 25th 2011 (Updated
with News & Flex FM info)
‘Kiss FM’ Book Reveals Inside
Story Of London Pirate Radio Station’s Success
The inside story behind the success of KISS FM, the former London pirate
radio station, is revealed for the first time by Grant Goddard in his
new book ‘KISS FM: From Radical Radio To Big Business’ published 1 July
2011 by Radio Books.
The subtitle of the book is ‘The Inside Story Of A London Pirate Radio
Station’s Path To Success.’
Digital Switchover in 2015?
On July 8th Ed Vaizey, the
culture minister, will give a speech to the Intellect Consumer
Electronics Conference to confirm that the Coalition is to go ahead with
the so-called “digital switchover”. Labour set a target date of 2015 for
the change but many consider this to be too soon as it will mean
millions of existing FM radios in cars and homes will become instantly
Unlike the digital switchover to TV which started in 2008 offering a
huge increase in the number of available free to view channels there
seem to be very few benefits to entice consumers to digital radio.
Upgrading to digital TV for most meant simply purchasing a low cost
digital box to bolt into the existing setup however for the vast
majority of FM radios this approach is either impossible or impractical.
Click here for further reading at the excellent
Rinse FM 100.4 Awarded
We are extremely pleased to see that
the campaigning and hard work that has gone into Rinse FM looks set to pay off
as they prepare to hit the London airwaves for the first time as a legal
station. Established in 1994 and originally based on 100.3FM Rinse has proved
itself as one of London's best radio stations catering for Dubstep, Grime,
Funky, Garage & Drum & Bass.
Two of the things that help to differentiate Rinse from other London pirates are
it's continued commitment to breaking artists and new musical genres and it's
huge online presence backed up by a slick website, professional branding, iPhone
app & podcasts etc.
Rinse has been collecting
support via an online campaign since 2007 and it remains to be seen how they
will survive whilst meeting the legal requirements that come with the licence.
Ironically one of the last pirates to be granted a long term FM licence in
London is Kiss FM which broadcasts just a few clicks away on 100 FM. When
Kiss launched with it's licence back in 1990 it had the financial backing of
EMAP which enabled it to run a high budget advertising campaign. Rinse currently
doesn't have such support and will also be somewhat restricted by the 25 Watts
ERP community licence regulation but we have little doubt this will hold them
An official launch date or frequency are yet to be announced although there is
already some speculation that the frequency could be 106.8 (currently used by
Brian Belle Fortune author
of the excellent "All Crews Must Big Up" (later updated as "All Crews") lists
the ten pirates he considers had the greatest influence on the Jungle/D&B
Click here to read the article.
Cat Face investigates a
pirate station in his neighbourhood!
Pirate Radio Documentary
This is an excellent new
video that tells the story of pirate radio, filming from secret urban studios
that transmit music from concrete tower blocks to the city, and meeting with
DJs, station managers, rappers and MCs. There are featured meetings with DJ Scratcha from RINSE FM, MC Flirt from the old
school KOOL FM, J2k, Jammer, and Logan Sama. The
video shows how they stay underground and away from the authorities, while still
setting the new music standard across London.
The video also sails to
the source, where it all started – massive concrete and steel forts that sit at
the mouth of the Thames River. Meeting the people who pioneered the spirit of
pirate, and played the music that London wanted to hear. They set the standard,
and when the authorities shut them down, pirate sounds went into the urban
London Pirates Survey 2009 - Survey Results
Over 600 people completed the London Pirates survey for 2009
and we are pleased to finally announce the results.
Please click here to see the results.
It's clearly been a great year for several of London's
stations with stations like Flex making a massive comeback and Ice Cold making
significant improvements. Our previous winner back in 2007 was Point Blank by a
fairly significant margin and it's good to see that they are still going very
strongly this year. Despite having dropped down a little it seems that some
other stations are now upping their game to compete by delivering new levels of
sound quality and professionalism. The longevity and perseverance of Kool FM
also shows that they are still clearly big in the game when it comes to
Combining points from all categories gives us this years overall winner Flex,
second place goes to Ice Cold and third place goes to Point Blank.
T-Shirts with 25% discount
in 2010 January sale! Future Freak are offering
25% off on all lines of merchandise for the month of January so there's no
better time to buy a London Pirates T-Shirt or Hoody!
Future Freak garments are extremely high quality and can be individually
customised using a massive number of colour combinations to suit your own style.
Click here for more info!
Dream FM and Touchdown FM looking to
make comebacks in 2009!
Two big stations from the
early 90's are looking to make a return to the airwaves. It's looking likely
that the new Dream will be an Internet only based station whilst Touchdown could
be both FM and Internet. Launch dates for both stations are yet to be confirmed
but we'll be keeping a close eye on developments. Both stations have set up
Facebook groups where you can get involved or simply show your support...
Flex FM Update
We recently published a notice about
Flex FM's return, they are broadcasting online and 99.7 FM in London. Here is a
selection of Redline & Feedback D&B shows recorded from their Friday sets...
Simon Dee, the first ever
voice of Radio Caroline sadly passed away on Saturday 29th August 2009.
Kool FM celebrates it's 17th birthday!
Kool London 17th Birthday
Saturday 6th December 2008
NEW CLASSIC DON
FM RADIO SHOW:
With DJ Renegade and MCs Nasty, Stevie A, Otek, C-Wig, & Bouncer (1994).
With just three hours to go before
the end of Don's month-long Restricted Service License, the studio was
jam packed with the Don FM family, with some of the highest listener
figures Don had ever seen.
They were determined to go out
in style! (This
recording also contains part of the Alvin Dee set that followed after).
Don is now back on air once
again on 92.9 FM and streaming online at
01) Original Nuttah (remix) - U.K. Apache & Shy FX
02) Johnny Jungle - Pascal & Kings Of The Jungle Remixes
03) It's your turn? (remix) - ID Needed
04) Digable Bass - DJ Rap
05) The Navigator - Aphrodite
06) The License - DJ Krome And Mr Time
07) I Can't Understand - MI5 a.k.a. DJ Crystl
08) Yeah Man (remix) - Dream Team - Joker Records
09) Hitman (remix) - Marvelous Caine
10) Unidentified White Label Promo
11) The Rumble (Mad Ragga John remix) - DJ Nut Nut
12) Unidentified White Label Promo
13) Streetfightin' Soul Boy - Potential Bad Boy & Chatter B
14) Dub Plate - DJ Renegade
PIRATE RADIO TOOLBAR is the place where you can find all of London's
pirates and the worlds finest webcasters all in one place direct inside
your browser like a radio. _
Just like the LondonPirates
site the pirate radio toolbar is run by pirate radio enthusiasts for the
love of radio and good music!
To find out more about the toolbar and to help it continue growing
please subscribe to their facebook group by clicking
PANIC!!! THE PIRATE RADIO TOOLBAR IS NOT SPYWARE!_
Featuring: 87.7 Uks Finest
87.7 Hightz FM
87.7 Desire FM
87.9 Shine FM
88.1 Frequency FM
88.2 Rude FM
88.4 Centreforce FM
88.6 House FM
88.7 Sunrise FM
89.4 Sweet FM
89.6 Deep FM
90.2 Point blank FM
91.6 Lightning FM
91.8 Passion FM
92.4 De ja vu
92.7 Freeze FM
92.8 Klash FM
92.9 Klimax FM
92.9 Don FM
93.8 Vibes FM
94.0 Touch FM
94.3 Obsession FM
94.6 Kool FM
95.1 Origin FM
95.6 Fresh FM
97.8 Cyndicut FM
98.3 Rise One
99.2 Dream uk
100.0 Kiss FM (ex pirate)
100.2 True FM
100.4 Rinse FM
100.8 Mixology FM
101.3 Juice FM
101.3 Eruption FM
101.4 Telford Town Radio
102.0 Chillin FM
103.0 Ice Cold Radio
104.7 Sub jam FM
106.6 Passion Radio Bristol
106.5 Force FM
108.8 Unknown FM
LONDON PIRATE RADIO SURVEY
The votes have been cast and the results
have been counted!
Over 500 people took part
in our independent survey to find out which stations made the best of 2007.
To find the overall top 10 positions,
the votes in all categories were totalled together to produce a combined score.
As you can see the clear winner is
Point Blank! The fact that Point Blank is so far ahead of the rest could be put
partly down to the way they have attracted voters through web promotion, however
for them to be in this position they must have a significant following so we
can't take this away from them - hopefully next year more stations will do the
same and we will have a more even playing field.
We feel that this is a
very well deserved win for a station that is clearly doing an extremely
impressive job at the moment. In terms of signal coverage, sound quality,
consistency and general professionalism Point Blank is on top of the game right
now. If we had to fault them at all it would be the lack of a decent website
where listeners can interact (maybe a forum or chat room would be a nice
addition in 2008?) .
There are several other
stations who made a marked impression in the survey, it's nice to see that both
Don and Centreforce are doing so well since making there recent return to the
airwaves. Passion and Don have a joint second place score of 105 points followed
by Kool FM in third.
Top 10 London Pirates (of
the 46 listed in the survey)
As well as finding the
best stations, the questions in the survey were aimed to find out which areas of
London have the most pirate radio listeners and which musical genres are
currently the most popular (although due to the high number of Point Blank
voters this has been skewed towards House and West London so you might want to
bear that in mind!).
There's now a new website
offering classic pirate radio sets for free download and a chance to
vote for your favourite stations from years gone by, check out the all
This month LondonPirates.co.uk
are celebrating our first birthday! We'd like to take this opportunity
to say thanks for all your messages of support and contributions towards
Also celebrating an anniversary this month is Point Blank FM who are now
into their 13th year of broadcasting in London.
PIRATE RADIO: AN
Feederz sets out to dispel some common misconceptions and reveal the truth about
pirate radio in Great Britain.
Click here to read the article.
This year marks the anniversary of an
act that was passed to close down pirate radio stations that broadcast from
ships moored off Britain's coastlines such as Radio Caroline and Radio London.
Using AM transmitters with 10-50 Kilo Watts of power meant that their signals
could be heard throughout most of central Europe. Almost all of the pirates at
the time ceased to broadcast, the two ships of Radio Caroline (North &
South) made a defiant move to Holland where they continued to broadcast into
1969. The Act which was passed on August 14th 1967 marked the end of an era in
pirate radio broadcasting and in 1990 Radio Caroline (founded by Ronan O'Rahilly) was forced to cease broadcasting from the sea (although to this day
it still broadcasts via satellite radio and the Internet!).
How do offshore pirates compare
to land based pirates?
Maybe it's simply because of their age, but for some reason the offshore pirates
of old tend to be seen in a more favourable and romantic light than the land
based pirates of today. However the main driving force behind both forms of
pirate radio is exactly the same.
That is to deliver free and groundbreaking music to their audiences with a
minimum of regulation or interruption. The reason pirates have moved in
land is two fold, firstly there is no longer free water where stations can
broadcast outside of the UK's territorial limits and secondly the move away from
AM to FM which means that the transmitter covers significantly less range and
therefore needs to be situated much closer to the listeners.
Although times have moved
on and the music has changed considerably the demand for free broadcasting and
listening still remains. The pirates of old created names such as Tony
Blackburn, John Peel, Kenny Everett, and Dave Lee Travis whilst the land based
pirates of today have brought us names such as Norman Jay, So Solid Crew, MC
Skibadee and Ms Dynamite.
Two of London's biggest ever
stations have returned. The almighty Don FM, Flex FM and the early pioneering Centreforce
have returned to the London airwaves.
We're extremely excited about these
new developments and will return soon with more information about the
histories behind these big names and their plans for the future.
have joined forces with the long running Flex FM to
form the United Pirates Of London and look set to be back with a bang
bringing something very special to the FM dial once again (perhaps this is the
kick up the arse some of the more complacent/stagnant stations needed).
Livestreams are currently in a test transmission phase and they have even
created a dedicated toolbar to add to your browser (click here to download it:
The FM frequency
is still unconfirmed at the time of writing this so we suggest to keep an eye on
their forum for more information at
www.donfm.info. As soon as the frequency is made
official we will update you right here!
- *UPDATE* - the
new frequency is 104.2FM
was one of the very first land based pirates to regularly play house and other
forms of dance music, established in 1988 on 88.3 it has now returned to 88.4.
Although the lifespan of the original Centreforce was relatively short, the fact
that they were doing something so different so early on made them stand out.
This helped them to establish a name that has stood the test of time. Another
station broadcasting in this early era was Sunrise - both were followed shortly
afterwards in the early nineties by the likes of Fantasy, Dance, Kool, Trance,
Touchdown and Don.
We'll be keeping
a close eye on both of these stations and will be looking forward to see how
many of the original DJ names make a return to the dial alongside the newer
talents. Good Luck Guys!
Pirate radio headz
can now reprazent by wearing the official London Pirates
merchandise. Choose from a selection of high quality garments including
T-Shirts, Hoodies and Record Bags (available courtesy of Future Freak) Double
T-Shirts start from just £12 plus £2 p&p.
To order yours now simply
follow the link below to the Future Freak website, then choose your garment
type, size and colours.
The first Don FM and Touchdown clips are now available to download
simply click through to the
Audio page. This is just the tip of the iceberg for the audio
clips that will become available over the next few months.
Click Here to see the Kool FM
video feat. Eastman and Profile
Kool FM recently celebrated it's 15th birthday and
OMFG! Who was there?
What a wicked night it was :
) We spent plenty of time in the oldskool room
listening to Jinx & Funky Flirt but the D&B in the
main room was also absolutely firing all night long.
Out to the full crew who reprezented and made it a
night to remember.
DON FM RECORDINGS! One of
the main things that LondonPirates will offer is the
ability to share and download past recordings of
Pirate stations broadcasting between 1989-2000. We
are currently in the process of organising and
uploading recordings from one of London's premier
stations from 1994-1997 Don FM.
Click Here for a
preview of what's to come.
Established in South London by Nasty V and Ezee D
Don's main frequency of transmission was 105.7.
Don's popularity grew so quickly that in 1994 it was
to become the first ever Jungle station to acquire a
28 day legal Restricted Service Licence (RSL).
Unfortunately the exorbitant cost of licensing in
the UK and the restriction in not being able to run
an RSL back to back meant that Don was unable to
continue broadcasting legally. After spending some
time campaigning on AM Richard Branson's Virgin
Radio succeeded in obtaining a long term licence on
105.8 in 1995. Don returned after it's RSL
broadcasting on 107.9. Don eventually passed on but
Ezee D and some of the other crew turned their
attention to it's younger sibling station Flex FM
103.6 but that is where this story ends and another
TO ALL OF THE OLD DON FM CREW!
Be Don Or Be
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