Newest Review: ... such as Led Zeppelin, The Who, Jimi Hendrix regularly featuring. More modern 'classics' are also played throughout the day with hits ... more
Music for the Nation! (or South Wales at least)
Nation Radio Wales
Member Name: tomart9
Nation Radio Wales
Advantages: Good Quality Range of Alternative Rock
Disadvantages: Cheesy Repetitive Advertising
Nation Radio is a radio station for the South Wales area; the station plays primarily alternative rock. Nation Radio has had a bit of a chequered history since its creation in June 2008. Taking over the licence of XFM South Wales, the station is required to play alternative music as well as a certain percentage of new alternative music. However, soon after the launch many mainstream songs were being played, and the station began to move away from the fairly successful, but perhaps little known, XFM format in South Wales. Thankfully Ofcom stepped in and Nation Radio has moved back to its alternative rock roots. However, the station has managed to find a balance of new and old music to acquire larger listening audiences than XFM South Wales could.
Firstly the best way to learn about a radio station is to give it a listen, so here is where you can:
Frequency - 106.8-107.3
DAB Digital Radio
Website - http://www.nationwales.com/
During the day the station plays new rock and classic rock. A regular feature throughout the day is Rock Classics, with songs from artists such as Led Zeppelin, The Who, Jimi Hendrix regularly featuring. More modern 'classics' are also played throughout the day with hits from the 90s from bands like the Nirvana, Greenday and Blink 182, as well as many more being common place. Then naturally the more modern mainstream alternative rock, bands like Razorlight, Kings of Leon and Biffy Clyro the obvious ones to expect.
The station has a few specific shows, which play more specific songs. Airplay concentrates on unsigned acts mainly from South Wales but also the rest of the UK too. This segment is really great for giving unsigned bands a chance, and I have been to see a few local bands play as a result. I believe this show is played on a Sunday afternoon and replayed Wednesday Evenings; however the website does not appear to list actual show times so I shall have to get back and update this as soon as I can confirm this exactly.
There is also a show played on Friday and Saturday evenings named Anthems. This is as you'd expect with alternative rock 'anthems' played to get you ready for your night out. Songs such as Mr Brightside by the Killers, and Sex On Fire by the Kings of Leon are what you would expect to hear in this show.
In terms of the music played, it is hard to rival if you are a fan of alternative rock, with the station having a pretty good following outside of the local area as a result. The only station I occasionally listen to instead would be XFM London.
Unfortunately Nation Radio did not have the money to spend on DJs as its predecessor XFM South Wales had, so the big name DJs were axed straight away. Most of the DJs do a good job however, they aren't perhaps the most riveting but they discussion is generally kept to a minimum on the majority of shows so it does not detract away from the station.
There are two main DJs who do talk more however, but by no means to the extent Radio 1 DJs tend to talk. These DJs are Welshy and Allan Lake. Personally I quite enjoy Welshy, he has quite a sarcastic dry sense of humour and tends to just do little sketches once an hour or so, however I can see this getting old fast for some listeners. Likewise I'm not a fan of Allan Lake at all; however some of my friends quite enjoy his style. Though he does talk quite a lot, sometimes to the extend I change station for a song and on switching back he is still running a phone in or other feature.
Here is my main dislike about the station, though it is slowly improving as the station grows more popular. The commercials played are generally your typical cheesy radio adverts. There is currently a slightly worrying and growing trend for Gavin and Stacey like impressions in the adverts themselves, which do no favours for the Welsh Stereotype whatsoever.
A feature I love about the station is the archived playlists, if you here a song you want to know the name of (as generally 3 or 4 songs are played between DJs talking, and there are no DJs after 10pm until the breakfast show), you are able to look it up on the website by searching the specific day and time for up to a week.
In conclusion if you're a fan of Alternative Rock I would recommend giving this station a listen, especially the Airplay segment to hear new up-and-coming bands. The stations playlist contains only 16 songs compared to around 50 songs for Radio 1 which shows the mix of songs they play.
Summary: Definitely Worth a try.