Next Up An Interview with Radio Presenter, Drummer & DJ Tommy Clark.
Tommy is well known for his fantastic radio shows which showcase the best unknown, unsigned bands and artists from around the world. He is a man with a wealth of knowledge of music and a true inspiration when it comes to fundraising and promoting mens mental health. He streams daily live videos on his personal Facebook page which offer support for those who may be struggling and always has comforting and motivational messages to share. He has been a huge supporter of Mods Of Your Generation from almost the beginning and is always on the sidelines ready to support others projects, music and events in anyway he can. We find out more about him in a short but insightful interview, make sure to check out his radio shows.
Tell us about growing up, the mod scene and the music you listened to?
I was born, brought up and still live on the Ayrshire Coast of Scotland. My father was a huge music fan and remember from a very young age listening to him playing his albums with sitting close to the speaker. His music ranged from 60’s mod pop to prog rock and then through to the Scottish rock and pop titans of the 80’s
My Formative years were in the early to mid 80’s so I was very influenced by post punk and mod revival music. I was invited to join a punk covers band (The Pits) when I was 13 and the other members in the band were a couple of years older so they really helped shape my musical taste at the time. We covered the Sex Pistols, Stiff Little Fingers but also touched on Madness and The Jam. I remember at one time even covering The Beastie Boys which wasn’t really that far away from what we were playing.
Although this punk/post punk/ new wave music was filling my head clothes wise I was dressing in the fashions of the time which with polo shirts and harringtons could be classed very loosely as Mod. It was then I started really taking a look at what I was wearing but as the 80’s dragged on I tended to look more to the football terracing than the stage for my influences
What inspired you to get into Radio Presenting and when did you first start?
I kinda fell into radio presenting as I was always a mix taper putting my favourite tracks together on what now would be called playlists I guess. Tapes become CD’s then I found an online site called Spreaker. That started me putting together mod playlists and I was contacted just under 10 years ago to be a presenter on a new Online Radio station starting in Ayrshire called Mesi radio. This started my love of The Third Class Ticket Radio Show.
As time progressed I grew the show and new bands had started to get in touch with me to play their new song on the show. I thought why not as my time in originals bands I had found it very difficult to have our songs played. This has grown so much that I no longer play anything but new and grass roots music on
Tell us about some of your radio shows and what listeners can expect when tuning in?
As I said above I play new and grass roots music on my shows. I currently have a one hour show called The Third Class Ticket Radio show that airs on a few online stations but also goes out as a podcast version on most of the streaming sites too. I also have a 2 hour FM show called Next Up with Tommy Clark on Pulse Community Radio every Wednesday night from 10pm. I am in a very privileged position that I receive new music from right across the globe. I have a fantastic network of promoters and fellow musicians who send me music they think would work on the show. For example on last weeks show I had bands as far away as Australia, Brazil, California, Croatia and of course some from close to home as well. Another show I am very proud of it Super Sounds of the Sixties on Ayrshire Online Radio. This show airs every Sunday from 4pm and I spin vinyl records form the sixties and each week I pick a featured artist and love to play the occasional b side or obscure track that folks might not normally hear on the radio.
You are a drummer in a few bands. Tell us about the bands and when you first started drumming?
I started Drumming when I was either 11 or 12 ( at my age my memory is a bit sketchy) as I was determined to be the next Stewart Copeland. I still Love drumming as much as I did now and as well as drumming in the bands ill tell you about I love to teach drums to kids too. At the moment I am the drummer in The Kinks Experience (a tribute to the best band of the 60’s) and The Bandits (a modish covers band). But the past few years have not allowed me to do much with either band. Roll on to 2022 to get back at it.
You are a huge supporter of new music, your various shows provide a platform for many new artists and bands to get their music heard. Why has it become important to you to give them that opportunity?
For me grass roots music is the life blood of the whole music industry. Imagine being one of the 23 people who saw U2 play in Glasgow for the first time, or seeing Oasis in King Tuts. I love the saying that ‘Your favourite band was a local band once’. I spent years in the local band scene doing pay to play gigs or trying to put on gigs just to get noticed so If I can play a track on my show and give a gig a shout out then Ill do everything in power to do so. Sadly due to the amount of commitments I have I don’t always get to see as much live music as I would like so I use my social media and radio outlays to promote it as much as I can. I have been so lucky in the past 9 ½ years to watch small bands who I gave their first airplay grow to being more recognised in the music industry. I’m so proud to see these guys and girls doing so well.
Best Live band you have seen?
The Kinks Experience…… just kidding.
Ive been fortunate recently to be involved in a lot of support DJ gigs to bands who are up in my area touring. And to see such legends of the mod revival scene in smaller venues and to be the support to them has allowed me to just how good these bands are. So to answer your question its quite difficult to nail this one down but ill try. Secret Affair & Bad Manners have been highlights for me but also I have seen the who in an arena and Paul Weller in a theatre so they must be quite high up there too.
I have to say though that there are some fantastic new acts that a must to see live as well like The Dunts, French Boutik, Pretty Cartel, Spyres, & Dogtooth are all bands who have taken my breath away in live shows.
Anything planned for the future?
For the future I plan to continue to do what I’m doing albeit to an ever increasing audience if I’m lucky. I hope to get back to doing some band interviews/session again on the shows and its always good to do some of that. Oh and a summer load of tribute festivals would be great too.
Check out his Radio shows/ Band below
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