Author Archives: Paul Golder

Billericay Town FC: Glenn Tamplin announces plans for next season

Billericay Town FC owner and joint manager Glenn Tamplin has highlighted his plans for the 2017/18 season


Speaking to Billericay Fan TV, Glenn said:

“We’ve already spoken to five National Conference players – they’re all coming. We’re speaking to two others, so we’ll have at least seven new players that are better than the seven I’m releasing.

“I believe the side we have next year will be disgustingly good. ”

Glenn also said that by the start of next season there will be two new pitches and three new stands at the club.

The club have lined up pre-season friendly matches against West Ham United, Southend United, QPR (possibly), Ilford and Waltham Abbey.

The club have also announced new Season Ticket prices for the 2017-18 season.

Fans buying a season ticket before 31 May 2017 will receive an early bird discount.

Adults: £200 (£180 before 31st May)
Over 65’s & Students: £143 (£129)
Under 18’s: £59 (£38)
Under 12’s: £38 (£25)

To apply visit

TwitCount Button

Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch partners with National Theatre to celebrate young performers

The Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch is thrilled to be hosting four fantastic productions performed by youth theatre companies as part of the National Theatre’s annual Connections festival on 7 & 8 May. For just £5 theatregoers will be able to immerse themselves in two pieces of original theatre in one evening.

NT Connections Festival 2017 - Queen's Theatre Hornchurch

The National Theatre Connections festival is a celebration of young people, theatre-making and the importance of access to the arts. Each year 10 new plays are commissioned for young people to perform, bringing together some of the most exciting writers with the theatre-makers of tomorrow.

On Sunday 7 May, audiences will see two thrilling productions, Zero For The Young Dudes! performed by Green Shoes and The School Film presented by Outloud Productions. Zero For the Young Dudes! is a dark and meaty play that follows inmates living in a bizarre summer camp, plotting a revolution. Whilst The School Film tells the story of young viewers absorbing the adventures of characters in a 1940s film, but all is not as it seems.

The drama continues on Monday 8 May with Ormiston Rivers Academy performing The Monstrum, a gothic melodrama about the terrifying onset of adolescence. Tomorrow’s Talent will set audiences laughing with Status Update, which is a funny story of the things teenagers learn, believe and have sussed out; everything from ridiculous myths to hard truths.

With 29 local festivals taking place across the country, the Queen’s Theatre is delighted to be partnering with the festival for the second year running and welcoming audiences to see an unforgettable feast of new writing.

The NT Connections Festival runs at the Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch on Sunday 7 May and Monday 8 May and starts at 7.30pm. Tickets are £5 and can be purchased by calling the Box Office on 01708 443333, online at or in person from the theatre.

TwitCount Button

Cultura Brazil – show 140

Click below to listen to the show again:

Cultura Brazil is Phoenix FM’s show for the Brazilian community in Essex, London and beyond, presented by Ezequiel Cassol.

In this week’s show:

‐ Singer Seu Jorge at the Royal Albert Hall
‐ Cine Clube Brasil on display at the Brazilian Embassy
‐ Singer Ivan Lins in London

You can hear the show every Saturday evening at 2100 UK time.

TwitCount Button

Enjoy a soothing afternoon of jazz with The Andrew Linham Quartet

Join Andrew Linham and guests for a sublime afternoon of jazz standards and original material on Friday 28 April at the Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch.

Andrew Linham - Queen's Theatre Hornchurch

Andrew Linham is an award-winning saxophonist and composer and currently works with some of the top London musicians in a variety of different ensembles. From playing balkan space jazz on clarinet with MIMIKA to straight ahead swing on baritone with London City Big Band, Andrew is a busy working musician performing in many varied and exciting settings.

This time, the talented musician will be joined by Darren McCarthy (Double Bass), Rob Brockway (Piano) and Dan Paton (Drums). The dynamic ensemble continues to impress audiences with their collection of original compositions and hip-swinging jazz rhythms.

Since 2007 Andrew’s quartet have taken their melodies all across the country and in 2012 they released their critically acclaimed album Abandoned Silence.

Andrew has a long standing affinity with the Queen’s Theatre since his youth and continues to be actively involved in a wide variety of roles from Musical Director to Composer and Sound Designer. He is currently working on a new fast-paced adaptation of the family favourite The Wind in the Willows as the Composer. The show has been written especially to mark the 25th anniversary of the theatre’s youth company, QYouth. It runs at the theatre from 8-9 July.

The Andrew Linham Quartet performs at the Queen’s Theatre on Friday 28 April at 2.30pm. Simply kick back, relax and welcome in the May Bank Holiday weekend with glorious jazz. Tickets are £6. To book, call the Box Office on 01708 443333 or visit

TwitCount Button

Match report: Billericay Town 3 Canvey Island 1

The biggest home attendance in years – 1,970 – watched the Blues win a hard-fought game 3-1 against local rivals Canvey Island.


Billericay dominated the early stages, with Jake Robinson, Danny Fitzsimons and Billy Bricknell all going close.

A clumsy push on Bricknell after 25 minutes led to a penalty, which the Blues’ top scorer duly converted.

Both sides had chances but the score remained 1-0 at half time. Players from Billericay Town’s various Colts teams had an opportunity to play on the pitch at the break.


The Gulls had more chances in the second half with George Sykes finishing well on 55 minutes to equalise.

Bricknell restored the lead 12 minutes later after being fed through by Fitzsimons.

Canvey defended stoutly but Robinson broke clear in the 90th minute and lobbed the keeper, Conor Gough, from 20 yards to seal a 3-1 win.

Other results confirmed that Billericay Town would not reach this season’s play-offs but the club look in good form and will be early favourites for next season’s Ryman League. The Blues climb to 9th and will finish higher with victory at Needham Market in the last game of the season on Saturday.

TwitCount Button

Cultura Brazil – show 139

Click below to listen to the show again:

Cultura Brazil is Phoenix FM’s show for the Brazilian community in Essex, London and beyond, presented by Ezequiel Cassol.

In this week’s show:

‐ Eliane Elias returns to London
‐ Caetano Veloso and Teresa Cristina at the Barbican Center
‐ Alex Senna expoe at Unit 5 Gallery

You can hear the show every Saturday evening at 2100 UK time.

TwitCount Button

Hundreds turn out for the first Essex Big Weekend

The first ever Essex Big Weekend went off with a bang this month!


Hundreds of people embraced the good weather on 1st and 2nd April and celebrated the county’s fantastic tourism industry, by visiting a huge range of attractions and sharing their memories on social media.

49 tourism businesses donated thousands of tickets and experiences to Essex Big Weekend, and there were over 86,000 applications for the free tickets in the online ballot. Two tickets per household were allocated by ballot to the lucky winners (some family tickets were available).

Attractions went out of their way to extend a warm welcome to ticket holders over the weekend, and lucky winners shared their pictures on Twitter and facebook for the chance to win some big prizes in the Essex Big Weekend ‘selfie’ competition.

Visit Essex Chairman Peter Murphy said: “We could not have asked for better weather – or a better welcome – for the first ever Essex Big Weekend. All the participating attractions got into the spirit of the weekend, and shared some lovely feedback from customers about the whole experience.

This event was designed to help re-ignite people’s passion for Essex by showing them just how much there is to see and do on their doorstep, and I’m pleased to say following initial feedback received, it seems to have done just that.”

Carol Jolly Visit Essex’s Marketing and PR Manager said “Our social media platforms were full of great posts and photos from the weekend, both from ticket holders and attractions. This is certainly an event that we hope will take place on an annual basis – roll on 2018!”

During the weekend, both the Chairman Peter Murphy and the Visit Essex Team, visited several participating attractions to show their support for local tourism.

The ‘selfie/photo’ competition was particularly difficult to judge, since all the photos posted were amazing. However, nine winners were chosen and have won prizes to Lifehouse Spa, Orsett Hall, Audley End Miniature Railway, Barleylands Farm, Old MacDonald’s Farm, Dedham Vale Vineyard, the Princes Theatre Clacton, and a Wilkins & Sons hamper of goodies. Essex resident Michelle Porter, one of the winners said ’Our family had such a fantastic day out at RHS Garden Hyde Hall, it was our first visit, and the staff were helpful and friendly. The whole Big Weekend was a fabulous idea, and it gave us a chance to explore a new place we wouldn’t have thought of visiting before’.

During the build-up, the @VisitEssex Twitter and facebook accounts saw over 100% increase in followers and during the weekend alone, the Visit Essex website had 20,000 page views.

Organised by Visit Essex, the Essex Big Weekend event aims to boost tourism and support leisure businesses by giving Essex residents the chance to discover – or rediscover – a huge range of attractions and activities across the county for free for one ‘big weekend’.

The Beach Huts at Promenade Park Maldon & Pirates Bay Golf, proved to be the most popular offers during the ballot, and entry to Colchester Zoo was second. Tickets to Audley End House & Gardens, Rope Runners, RHS Hyde Hall and the use of the spa facilities at the Lifehouse Hotel & Spa completed the top six and their combined applications drew in 37,500 bids.

Other tickets included entry to heritage sites, gardens, parks, museums, sports and leisure e facilities, and food and drink experiences.

Essex County Council and Visit Essex worked in partnership with destination management specialists Go To Places to deliver the first of many successful Big Weekend events in Essex.

Essex Big Weekend also formed part of the national celebrations for English Tourism Week 2017.

TwitCount Button

Pharmacy opening times this Easter

Traffic on the roads at Easter is challenging and it can be just the same in A&E – so why not be smart and beat the queues in South West Essex this Easter Bank Holiday weekend (14 – 17 April 2017).


Patients can save time in the waiting room by visiting their pharmacist for quick, confidential advice on a range of common illnesses.

Dr Alistair Lipp, Medical Director at NHS England Midlands and East (East) said:

“Your local pharmacy can help you with more than you might think. Pharmacists offer expert, confidential advice and treatment for many minor health problems.

“As most GP surgeries will be closed on Friday and Monday, we would like to encourage patients to order any medication they need in plenty of time so they have a good supply during the bank holiday.”

Pharmacy opening hours in Essex over the bank holidays can be found on along with information on walk-in centres, urgent care centres or minor injuries units.

Patients can type in their postcode on the website to find their nearest services.

Easter Bank Holiday pharmacy opening times for Basildon, Brentwood, Billericay and Pitsea are in the table below:


Easter Bank Holiday Pharmacy Opening Times



Basildon Your Local Boots Pharmacy 25 Town Square SS14 1BA 08:30 – 17:30
Basildon Tesco Instore Pharmacy Mayflower Retail Park, Gardiners Link SS14 3HZ 08:00 – 20:00
Basildon Asda stores Ltd Heron Retail Park, Miles Grey Road SS14 3AF 09:00 – 18:00
Pitsea Your Local Boots Pharmacy 8 Northlands Pavement SS13 3DU 10:00 – 21:00
Pitsea Tesco Instore Pharmacy Off Station Lane SS13 3JU 08:00 – 21:00
Wickford Your Local Boots Pharmacy 16 Willowdale Centre SS12 0RA 08:30 – 18:00
Basildon Noak Bridge Pharmacy Limited 147 Coppice Lane, Laindon SS15 4JS 11:30 – 15:30
Basildon Your Local Boots Pharmacy 25 Town Square    
Basildon Tesco Instore Pharmacy Mayflower Retail Park, Gardiners Link    
Basildon Asda stores Ltd Heron Retail Park, Miles Grey Road    
Pitsea Your Local Boots Pharmacy 8 Northlands Pavement SS13 3DU 10:00 – 16:00
Pitsea Tesco Instore Pharmacy Off Station Lane SS13 3JU 09:00 – 18:00
Wickford Your Local Boots Pharmacy 16 Willowdale Centre SS12 0RA 10:00 – 16:00
TwitCount Button

Lochlan Bearman kicks off the new season at Brands Hatch

15 year old Phoenix FM-sponsored driver Lochlan Bearman kicked off his 2017 race campaign at the famous Brands Hatch circuit in Kent.

Lochlan Apr 2017

Running with the established Jamsport team for the first time, Bearman was consistently one of the fastest in every practice session. “The car was working very well, and I was using old tyres so I knew there was more to come”, said Bearman.

In qualifying the top 5 were covered by 0.1 second, with Bearman in 4th place. Coming into Race 1 Bearman was confident of being able to compete for the win and got a good start completing lap 1 in 4th place but in a train of the first 5 cars. However all was not well. From lap 2 I was struggling to get the car off the corners as I had too much grip. Gradually the front 3 began to pull away and Bearman eventually succumbed to 5th place and was running in 5th. I was trying to cool the front tyres and hope that I could mount a challenge in the second half of the race but 6th place was keeping the pressure. Unfortunately the 6th place driver made an optimistic move going into Clearways corners and collected Bearman spinning them both out and taking himself out on the spot. Bearman recovered and eventually finished in 9th position.

Finishing 9th meant Bearman in the No36 car would start Race 2 from 9th on the grid. The team worked hard to repair the damage and get him to the grid on time. Again Bearman made a good start making 1 position before the first corner and another at Druids corner. He then had a battle with 6th place who was defending hard and eventually made a clever pass by using the undercut to pass into Druids. Bearman then set about catching 5th position. For a few laps the gain was small but then as his car began to work better he caught the car in front. They then had a multi lap battle that had the crowd and commentator thrilled as the two drivers ran side by side through corners lap after lap. Eventually Bearman made a brave and determined move braking super late and passing down the inside at Paddock bend. Once past Bearman in the Phoenix FM car pulled away and although his pace was faster than those in front the battle for 5th had slowed them down too much to be able to mount a challenge for 4th.

Lochlan said, “To be honest I’m disappointed. I really came expecting to compete for the win and be on the podium. If we had started race 2 from 5th then I think that would have been achievable. However, we shown we can be fast so I will take the positives and now focus on the next race at Cadwell Park on the 7th of May.”

For more information visit

TwitCount Button

7 springtime tips for people with asthma

Fresh breezes, sunny spells, April showers and springtime blossom can be a problematic time of year for people with asthma.

Asthma (YROT00627-375)

Sudden changes in the weather can make asthmatic symptoms worse but NHS Basildon and Brentwood Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has seven tips that
help lessen the symptoms and reduce the risk of attacks.

Dr Ken Wrixon, the CCG’s respiratory lead, is reminding people with asthma to make sure they have enough of any prescribed steroids, reliever and preventer inhalers, as well as cough and cold remedies.

Colds and flu can make their asthma symptoms worse which can increase the risk of an asthma attack.

People with asthma and those caring for them are advised to:

1) Check you have a reasonable stocks of all prescribed asthma medications. This does not mean stockpiling your prescription items but you should have a spare preventer and reliever inhalers and enough steroid medications if you take these. Avoid running out so that you are prepared in the event of an attack and to help control your symptoms longer term. And if you don’t have to use your inhalers very often don’t forget to check that they are in date.

2) Keep your medicine cabinet stocked with over the counter medication. Cough and cold remedies should always be at hand as colds and flu can have a severe impact on asthmatics. Be sure to avoid any medications that might not be suitable for people with the condition. Ask your local pharmacist for advice

3) Keep warm. The weather might be brighter and warmer than previous months, but it can still be chilly so make sure you wrap up when outside. A snood, gaiter or a cosy scarf is still a must-have accessory in springtime.

4) Exercise indoors if it’s particularly cold or if pollen levels are high. Regular exercise keeps us all healthy and can reduce asthma symptoms, but it’s best to avoid exercising outdoors in very cold weather and when pollen levels are high, especially if these are triggers for your asthma.

5) Check your filters. Heating systems and car air filters help keep the air you breathe cleaner and reduce dust in the atmosphere. These should be changed regularly to avoid them becoming clogged and ineffective.

6) Keep dust at bay. Regular cleaning and dusting at home will keep dust levels low and avoid the particles entering your lungs and causing inflammation which can lead to asthma attacks. Bed sheets and duvet covers are also prone to dust and mites, so it’s a good idea to wash these in a hot wash once a week. You might need someone to help you with cleaning, if dust is a trigger for your asthma.

7) Have an asthma action plan/review your plan. You can download asthma action plans for adults and children at and fill these in with your GP or asthma nurse. An action plan will help you to monitor and stay on top of your symptoms and know when to seek help for your condition. You should review your plan with your GP or asthma nurse at least once a year.

Dr Wrixon, from the Deal Tree Surgery in Doddinghurst, said: “Although the worst of the cold weather is hopefully behind us, springtime can be particularly problematic for asthmatics as changes in the weather and a sudden increase of pollen in the air can make life difficult. It’s important to try to manage your symptoms as much as possible to avoid an asthma attack and taking medicines as prescribed by your doctor is important in aiding people with asthma to do this.”

For more advice see the NHS Choices website.

TwitCount Button

Cultura Brazil – show 138

Click below to listen to the show again:

Cultura Brazil is Phoenix FM’s show for the Brazilian community in Essex, London and beyond, presented by Ezequiel Cassol.

In this week’s show:

‐ Singer Seu Jorge plays David Bowie at the Royal Albert Hall

You can hear the show every Saturday evening at 2100 UK time.

TwitCount Button

Cultura Brazil – show 137

Click below to listen to the show again:

Cultura Brazil is Phoenix FM’s show for the Brazilian community in Essex, London and beyond, presented by Ezequiel Cassol.

In this week’s show:

‐ Sculptor Waltercio Caldas exhibits in London for the first time
‐ Singer Antonio Zambujo plays Chico Buarque in London

You can hear the show every Saturday evening at 2100 UK time.

TwitCount Button

Match report: Billericay Town 0 Dulwich Hamlet 2

Billericay Dulwich

Dulwich avenged their 3-0 home defeat at the weekend by coming away with all three points in this crucial clash at the New Lodge.

A massive crowd of 1,302 – the highest at Billericay for 12 years – weren’t able to watch the Blues climb into the playoff places for the first time this season.

Billericay enjoyed some early chances with O’Hara firing over and Ellul’s header going wide.

However it was Dulwich who took the lead with Ibra Sekajja’s header after 21 minutes.

The Blues continued to press with Bricknell having a goal disallowed for a foul on the goalkeeper, and Swaine going close with a header.

Dulwich doubled their lead on 33 minutes from an Ashley Carew free kick which took a deflection before going in.

Both teams had chances in the second half, with Ellul having another good chance and Swaine hitting the bar for Billericay, but they were unable to claw their way back into the game.

Dulwich now climb into the final playoff slot with two games in hand on most of their rivals, with Billericay four points adrift.

With five games to go, including matches against promotion rivals Leiston and Enfield, the Blues’ promotion push is far from over.


Billericay Town: Julian, Eyong, Lawrence, Konchesky, Swaine, Ellul, O’Hara, Johnson, Bricknell, Cunnington, Robinson.

Subs: Sprague, Krasniqi, Fitzsimons, McLeod, Taaffe

Dulwich Hamlet: Edwards, Weatherstone, Green, Kargbo, Drage, Chambers, Ming, Beaney, Tomlin, Carew, Sekajja.

Subs: Clunis, Akinyemi, Erskine, Dumaka, Taylor

TwitCount Button

Phoenix FM 10th birthday: Jordan Gray

Jordan Gray came down to the Holiday Inn to chat to presenters Bob Simpson and Keith Rogers and play a few songs live, including new single Platinum.

There was also some news about a rather significant change of direction in her career … but to find out, you’ll have to watch it all again.

Jordan’s been a great supporter of the station over the last few years and it was great to get her down once again. You can find out more of her latest news on her official website.

TwitCount Button

Cultura Brazil – show 136

Click below to listen to the show again:

Cultura Brazil is Phoenix FM’s show for the Brazilian community in Essex, London and beyond, presented by Ezequiel Cassol.

In this week’s show:

‐ Singer Eliane Elias returns to London
‐ Caetano Veloso and Tereza Cristina together on the same stage in London

You can hear the show every Saturday evening at 2100 UK time.

TwitCount Button

WE ARE 10!

Phoenix FM is 10 years old! Although we started been broadcasting short term/temporary licences since 1996, we were officially licenced by Ofcom in March 2007. We turned on our Brentwood transmitter and it hasn’t gone off since!

To celebrate we held our first ever outside broadcast from the Holiday Inn in London Road, Brentwood, with special guests popping in throughout the day.

Highlights included:

And here’s some photos:

2017-03-25 002 Mike Porter

Mike Porter kicks off the first “outside broadcast” show at 10am

2017-03-25 003 Mike Porter, Tony Smith and Mike Jones

Tony Smith and Mike Jones drop in with Mike

2017-03-25 005 Mike Porter, Nigel Fitzmaurice and Antonia Jones

Antonia Jones chats on air with Mike having just finished the breakfast show at our Brentwood Centre studios. Nigel Fitzmaurice is here too

2017-03-25 011 Lydia Lucy

Lydia Lucy sang live in our new studio …

2017-03-25 011 Group photo with Lydia Lucy

… and posed for a group photo with some of the assembled Phoenix FM presenters and listeners

2017-03-25 012 Alan Johnson, Brian from Hollands Wine Bar

Alan Johnson chats live on air with Brian Kinnear from Hollands Wine Bar

2017-03-25 013 Alan with Steve Robertson and Aaron Heanue

Alan Johnson chats to Between The Lines presenters Steve Robertson and Aaron Heanue

2017-03-25 016 Katy Forkings and Steve Robertson

Steve Robertson with 16 year old Katy Forkings from Chelmsford who also played live in the studio today

2017-03-25 017 Laura Try with Chris Hood

Endurance rower Laura Try met up with Chris Hood to chat on air about her amazing rowing marathon

TwitCount Button

Billericay Town Fans’ Forum – new signings, new badge

Phoenix FM are at tonight’s Billericay Town fans forum.


There’s a bumper turnout tonight for the second forum since Glenn Tamplin took over the club at the end of last year, with over 200 fans in attendance.

New signings

Owner Glenn Tamplin confirmed the signing of Jamie O’Hara and Jake Robinson, the latter from Hemel Hempstead where he has socred 27 goals this season.

Jamie came out briefly to greet the fans to a big cheer!

GT announced to another big cheer that as a result of this, Billericay Town were trending in the top 5 on Twitter today!

Ground improvements

The club has submitted plans to the council for a full size astroturf pitch and gym/bar area behind the main ground, which will have seating on all sides.

Billericay Town’s wages are up to £20K per week and the club is aiming to have 1,500+ people per week to sustain this.

One of the stands would accommodate disabled supporters and GT said it may be named after Harry Parker, a young disabled fan who the club has been supporting.

GT promised that the club would not be “another Micky Woodward”.


The official website has been redesigned by the club’s unofficial website designer James who talked through the new features, and fielded a lot of questions from fans about possible new features for the site.

New club badge

GT introduced the three new potential badge designs and asked for a show of hands from the fans to see which one would be adopted as the new club badge.

After a show of hands badge #2 was chosen as the winner. And here it is:

Billericay Town badge

The Ladies and Colts team will also adopt this badge, rather than have their own one.

Dulwich Hamlet match

GT feels ays that this Saturday’s match at Dulwich Hamlet will decide the club’s fate for this season. He says they will have 3,000 fans there and he wants as many fans as possible to get behind the team.


The club is looking for volunteers to help with stewarding, marketing, looking after the pitch. If anyone wants to help the club and its community GT says it will be very greatly appreciated.

Questions from fans

1. Is the club comfortable that they have the right team going forward?

GT: the team winning the Conference South is on £8K a week and Billericay Town FC, as stated earlier, is on £20K. If the current team can’t win the National League South then there is something wrong. The club may need 2 or 3 more players to strengthen.

2. Will the club need to move with the proposed development of the ground?

GT: I want to get this done in the close season, to blitz it. Basildon Borough Council have said approval won’t be given until 8-10 weeks at the earliest, so I hope we can get the astroturf development done in the summer and then deal with the ground after that.

The new stands will probably go up at the end of next season.

The club has 7 years left on its lease and is aiming to get another 30 years added to this.

3. How much parking will there be?

GT: The new plans are allowing for 150 cars.

4. There has been a lot of rumours about Mark Wright getting involved.

GT: We are teetering on the edge about Billericay Town being a PR stunt. Mark Wright wants 20% of the club, but doesn’t want to inject any cash – he will bring enhanced media attention instead.

I will bring Mark in if he brings something tangible to the club.

5. What will happen about the floodlights?

GT: We have bought floodlights from Arsenal’s training ground at Hale End and we have taken on West Ham’s groundsman. They will arrive tomorrow and be fitted next week.

The substation will be upgraded.

6. Have you considered making the main pitch 4G?

GT: As a businessman I would like to get both pitches 3G as they can be hired out all year round, but I love football so I am going to keep the main pitch grass. (This got a loud round of applause).

GT then wrapped up the meeting with a free bar for the next hour!

TwitCount Button

Jamie O’Hara signs for Billericay Town

Jamie O’Hara has signed a deal with Ryman League Premier side Billericay Town.

jamie ohara

Credit: Nicky Hayes Photos/Billericay Town FC

30-year-old Jamie, who played in the Premier League for Tottenham and was a £5million signing for Wolves, has followed Paul Konchesky in joining the blues.

Owner/manager Glenn Tamplin is continuing to steal the headlines in his attempt to bring the team to the Football League.

jamie ohara 2

Credit: Nicky Hayes Photos/Billericay Town FC

Jamie explained to TalkSport that he was persuaded by Tamplin’s friend Mark Wright, who is reported to be investing in the club.

The news was officially announced at the club’s Fans Forums which took place at the ground at Blunts Wall Road.

TwitCount Button

Playlist for 21 Mar 2017 (AOTW: Bait – Bait)

Click here to listen again:

My album of the week goes to the self-titled debut release from Bait.


Bait are made up of duo Michael Webster and Luke Branch, who are otherwise known as one-half of Southend indie band Asylums. Bait is a more earthy, visceral affair – heavier, angrier and more complex, yet still retaining a sense of fun and elation. You can buy it at Cool Thing Records.

Tonight’s playlist:

Senseless Things – Should I Feel It
Bait – Push The Elephant
Circa Waves – Fire That Burns
La Bete Blooms – Breaking In
Otoboke Beaver – Sawarantoite
Trusted – Good To Bad
Darling Buds – Evergreen
S*M*A*S*H – Erin
Trash – Rise Up
Kill For Eden – Woke Up Alone
Bait – Hate One Another Love Yourselfie
Desperate Journalist – Be Kind
Midway Still – Something And Nothing
Andy J Gallagher – I Don’t Wanna Be Like You
Afghan Whigs – Demon In Profile
Surge – Shame
Mantarays – Superstar
Oblong – S’Dim Ots Da Fi
The Rah’s – Sweet Talker
Bait – I’m Still Here
British Sea Power – Electrical Kittens
An Emotional Fish – Celebrate
New Fast Automatic Daffodils – Big
Heart Throbs – She’s In A Trance
Five Thirty – You
Trash Can Sinatras – One At A Time
Buffalo Tom – Taillights Fade
Jesus and Mary Chain – Far Gone And Out
Audioweb – Test The Theory
Gomez – Get Myself Arrested
Divine Comedy – Thrillseeker
Make Up – Born On The Floor

TwitCount Button

Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch reaches fundraising target

A number of Queen’s Theatre staff successfully raised their target of £3,000 for the theatre’s brilliant Learning & Participation department by competing in the Brentwood Half Marathon and 5K race at the weekend.

Douglas Rintoul, Tom Lowe & Abi Booth - Half Marathon runners

Douglas Rintoul, Tom Lowe & Abi Booth – Half Marathon runners

Cheered on by friends and colleagues, Artistic Director Douglas Rintoul joined thousands of runners in the annual event, finishing the course in an impressive hour and 59 minutes – a personal best.

Joining him was Abi Booth (Wardrobe) who ran the course in two hours and 15 minutes and Tom Lowe (Communications) who finished in 2 hours and 30 minutes. Running in the 5K race on the same day was Claire Bailey-Day (Administration), Lewis Tomlinson (Workshop) and Peter Thorne (Front of House).

There’s no resting for Douglas Rintoul however, as he is set to run again in the Hackney Half Marathon on 30 April.

The Learning & Participation department offers a variety of programmes that enables everyone the chance to discover and nurture their performing arts talents. Last year, the Learning & Participation team at the Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch facilitated 20,670 engagement opportunities across Havering, East London and Essex with people of all ages and backgrounds. This includes producing high quality productions involving the local community, training young people in theatre skills both on stage and behind the scenes and assisting schools in delivering the curriculum in an innovative way. This year the youth theatre celebrates its 25th anniversary.

Lewis Tomlinson, Peter Thorne & Claire Bailey-Day - 5K runners

Lewis Tomlinson, Peter Thorne & Claire Bailey-Day – 5K runners

The Queen’s Theatre’s thanks everyone who has donated so far. The theatre has recently faced significant cuts from local government so donations are vital for the theatre to continue bringing arts into the community. As a registered charity, the Queen's Theatre receives regular funding from the London Borough of Havering and is an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation but also relies on donations and a wide range of fundraising activities and initiatives in order to be able to continue its work across the region.

For more information about the Queen’s Theatre and its Learning & Participation programme visit

TwitCount Button

Why buying your own simple painkillers could be a tonic for your local NHS

Prescriptions for paracetamol and other basic over-the-counter medicines are swallowing up NHS money which could be better spent on other healthcare services.

Simple painkillers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen can be bought for pennies from pharmacies and supermarkets. But they cost the NHS more than six times as much when they are provided on prescription.

Paracetamol and Ibuprofen 01a

That is the message from healthcare commissioners Basildon and Brentwood Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Thurrock CCG who are running an ongoing joint campaign to tackle medicines waste.

The CCGs are asking patients to purchase basic medicines such as paracetamol and ibuprofen themselves instead of asking GPs for a prescription. GPs in south west Essex currently write about 110,000 prescriptions a year for readily available painkillers at a potential cost of £3.75million to both organisations.

Denise Rabbette, Head of a joint dedicated Medicines Optimisation team covering both CCGs, said: “The NHS is facing huge financial pressures and we want people to be aware of the costs associated with GP prescriptions for simple painkillers that are available to buy over the counter without a prescription at pharmacies and supermarkets.

“Sixteen paracetamol or ibuprofen tablets are available for between 19p and 50p but every time a doctor writes a prescription, the NHS incurs additional charges through dispensing and administrative fees – and if GP time is also included the costs are even higher.

“By choosing to purchase their own simple medicines as part of their weekly shop, patients can help us save money that we can invest in other local health services. Patients won’t need a doctor’s appointment but can still get any advice they need from their local pharmacist.”

The CCGs recognise that patients with existing medical conditions who require paracetamol and ibuprofen in large quantities or higher doses may want to continue receiving them on repeat prescription.

Instead the campaign is targeting people who may go to their GP and get painkillers on prescription for short term complaints such as headaches, sore throats and sprains. The hope is that those patients will be prepared to buy their own paracetamol and ibuprofen with advice from a local pharmacist about self care, if required.

In a shop/supermarket an adult aged 16-plus can buy 16 paracetamol and 24 ibuprofen 200mg or 32 paracetamol over-the-counter. In a pharmacy a pharmacist may allow an adult to purchase a maximum of 96 paracetamol and 96 ibuprofen.

This ‘buy your own painkillers’ initiative is part of the wider Waste Not, Want Not Medicines Waste campaign to tackle the issue of unused prescription medicine which is estimated to waste around £2.5million locally.

Some ways in which you can support our Medicines Waste campaign:

  • Think about how you can take better care of yourself and talk to your pharmacist at the first signs of feeling unwell
  • Buy your own paracetamol/ibuprofen for short term complaints
  • Check your cupboards, only order the medicines you need and don’t stockpile prescription items
  • Take medicines exactly as prescribed by your doctor or the pharmacist
  • Ask your pharmacist for a medicines use review
  • Remember that antibiotics do not work for MOST colds, coughs, sore throats or earache. Your body can usually fight these infections on its own
  • Accept that your doctor will only prescribe antibiotics if he feels they are absolutely necessary
  • Remember to take your medicines with you if you go into hospital
TwitCount Button

Spring to it and befriend an elderly neighbour

Spring has sprung, the daffodils are out but nothing brightens the day for an older person as much as a cup of tea and a chat.


Basildon and Brentwood Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is encouraging people to keep an eye on vulnerable relatives and neighbours.

Trees are beginning to burst into blossom but winter illnesses are still about and older community members, in particular those who live on their own, often find themselves alone and unable to help themselves, especially if they fall ill.

Start the conversation by stopping to talk to your elderly neighbours if you see them out on the street and ask if they need support with anything. The help you offer could be as simple as helping them carry shopping home or offering assistance with household chores or gardening. Don’t be afraid to offer to get their medication if they’re not able to and if you’ve able, make sure they’re taking it as prescribed.

Sharing a meal is a great way to help someone and a healthy diet helps people to keep immune systems strong to fight off illness. If you can see an elderly relative, friend or neighbour is not looking or acting themselves, encourage them to visit their local pharmacist for advice.

Dr Anita Pereira, the CCG’s frailty aligned neighbourhood lead for West Basildon, said: ‘’It’s not always easy to take the first step, but more often than not people will appreciate offers of help and support. It’s important for communities to look out for each other to help us all stay well.”

If you’re an older person experiencing feelings of isolation, there are ways to help yourself overcome loneliness, even if you live alone and find it hard to get out. Find more information at NHS choices.

TwitCount Button

Cultura Brazil – show 135

Click below to listen to the show again:

Cultura Brazil is Phoenix FM’s show for the Brazilian community in Essex, London and beyond, presented by Ezequiel Cassol.

In this week’s show:

‐ Talk about Marechal Rondon at Kings College
‐ British institutions open opportunity for Brazilians
‐ Keyboardist Eumir Deodato returns to London
‐ Brazilian film to be shown on Regent Street
‐ Singer Flavia Coelho performs in London

You can hear the show every Saturday evening at 2100 UK time.

TwitCount Button

Midway Still – this is how it ends?

Described by the NME – a real, influential part of the UK music press at that time – as “Britain’s answer to Nirvana”, Midway Still burst onto the music scene in the early 1990s, recording a Peel session on Radio 1 soon after they formed. They even had Radiohead as a support band!


The band released two albums at that time – Dial Square and Life’s Too Long but then split around 1994. After a long hiatus they got back together in 2010 and recorded three more studio albums – Note To Self, Always Ends and Go Team No Help.

They also recorded one of my favourite Phoenix FM sessions in 2012 when they took part in our annual Creative Sessions at the Brentwood Centre. At 10.50 in the morning!!

The band recently announced they had played their final UK gig at the end of 2016, but couldn’t resist the opportunity to play with the Sensless Things at their Hull warm up on Sunday. That struck a chord with me as I’d seen the two bands play together in 1991. I still have the T shirt!

Paul and Russell spoke to me about the gig and their thoughts on the band’s future. You can hear it again here:


(BTW, if you didn’t know, “This Is How It Ends” is one of their songs. Go to your record shop and buy it).

TwitCount Button

Local groups commit to Brentwood Fairtrade

Brentwood Fairtrade organisers were at Woody’s in Shenfield today for their annual review of their group’s activities and to certify organisations who adhere to the group’s aims.

Fairtrade is a social movement whose stated goal is to help producers in developing countries achieve better trading conditions and to promote sustainable farming.

Members of the movement advocate the payment of higher prices to exporters, as well as improved social and environmental standards.

Phoenix FM, represented by Steven Roach, was among the local organisations certified Fairtrade this year.

Also present were Brentwood Fairtrade organisers Caryl Kwei, Marjorie Tulloch and Emma Kindell; Lisa Wickington from Woody’s; and Carolyne Williams and Evie Green from Holly Trees Primary School.

2017-03-18 Brentwood Fairtrade 01

2017-03-18 Brentwood Fairtrade 02

2017-03-18 Brentwood Fairtrade 03

2017-03-18 Brentwood Fairtrade 04

2017-03-18 Brentwood Fairtrade 05

2017-03-18 Brentwood Fairtrade 06

2017-03-18 Brentwood Fairtrade 08

2017-03-18 Brentwood Fairtrade 09

TwitCount Button

Match preview: Kingstonian v Billericay Town


Last Saturday Billericay Town FC beat Burgess Hill 4-0 and kept up the pressure on the top teams for a playoff place.

Tomorrow the team travel to Kingstonian for an away game – a win and 3 points is required.

There are eight games left. Billericay’s form is better than those we are chasing, Leiston, Tonbridge, Wingate, Dulwich and Needham, but positive results are required for our remaining games

Work has continued during the week improving the ground facilities as well as the pitch. The new owner, Glenn Tamplin continues to do what he promised at the Fans Forum in December 2016. The next Fans Forum is due to take place on the 23rd March – everyone is welcome.

Billericay will play Tonbridge in the Ryman League Cup Final on the 12th April. Billericay’s next home match is on the 28th March v Dulwich, one of the playoff contenders.

Two new players have been added to the squad this week, Byron Lawrence, midfielder signed from Leiston and Sam Alderson on loan from Leyton Orient. Isaac Layne has been released by the club.

It would be good to see a big crowd at the away match tomorrow supporting the team, there are only eight games left and hopefully the playoff matches too.

TwitCount Button

Playlist for 14 Mar 2017 (AOTW: The Shins – Heartworms)

Click here to listen again:

My album of the week goes to the new release from The Shins – Heartworms.

shins heartworms

Heartworms is their fifth studio album and was released on 10 March – it’s their first studio album in five years. The album was produced by James Mercer.

Tonight’s playlist:

Franz Ferdinand – Take Me Out
Shins – Name For You
The Rah’s – Sweet Talker
Midway Still – Better Than Before
Surge – Shame
Warm Digits and Field Music – End Times
Black Honey – Somebody Better
Senseless Things – Lost Honey
Kidsmoke – Waves
Trusted – Good To Bad
Shins – Dead Alive
Andy J Gallagher – Boy Racer
Afghan Whigs – Demon In Profile
Darlia – Ballad Of Black And White
Soviet Soviet – Fairy Tale
Jacques – No Kamikaze
Blur – Coping (Andy Partridge demo)
Public Service Broadcasting – Progress
Los Campesinos! – Renato Dell’Ara (2008)
Shins – Painting A Hole
Vant – Put Down Your Gun
Mr Happy Chainsaw – Standing There
Darling Buds – Complicated
Ride – Charm Assault
Idles – Mother
British Sea Power – Keep On Trying (Sechs Freunde)
Are We Static – Take Your Time
Terrorvision – Ships That Sink
Cherry Glazerr – Nuclear Bomb
Kingmaker – When Lucy’s Down
Circa Waves – Fire That Burns
Strand Of Oaks – Radio Kids

TwitCount Button

ACT F.A.S.T if you spot the symptoms of a stroke

People in Basildon and Brentwood are being reminded to call 999 immediately if they notice any single one of the symptoms of a stroke in themselves or others.

Stroke A4 Act FAST landscape

Basildon and Brentwood Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is supporting the Act F.A.S.T. campaign which highlights the common symptoms of stroke and mini strokes.

A stroke is a serious life-threatening medical condition that occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off.

Strokes are a medical emergency and urgent treatment is essential.

But research for Public Health England shows that one in four people would wait to call an ambulance because they wrongly believe that they need to see two or more symptoms of stroke before making the call. Other barriers to dialling 999 include feeling that they need permission to act on behalf of others.
The ACT F.A.S.T. campaign urges people not to delay making that life or death call.

The main stroke symptoms can be remembered with the word F.A.S.T.

  • Face – has their face fallen on one side? Can they smile?
  • Arms – can they raise both their arms and keep them there?
  • Speech – is their speech slurred?
  • Time – to call 999 if you see any single one of these signs

Additional symptoms of stroke and mini stroke can include:

  • Sudden loss of vision or blurred vision in one or both eyes
  • Sudden weakness or numbness on one side of the body
  • Sudden memory loss or confusion
  • Sudden dizziness, unsteadiness or a sudden fall, especially with any of the other symptoms

The latest available information (31 March 2016) shows that in Basildon and Brentwood there were 4,919 people on GP registers having had a stroke or TIA. The figures represent 1.8 per cent of people on local GP registers which is slightly above the national rate of 1.7 per cent.

Dr Subrata Basu, the clinical involvement lead for stroke at Basildon and Brentwood CCG, said: “Stroke is one of the leading causes of death and the faster someone gets emergency treatment, the more chance that person has of surviving and avoiding serious disability.

Graham and Maureen Goddard 01

“We are reminding people not to delay an emergency call – even if only one symptom is being shown – a fallen or sloped Face, unable to lift Arms above their head, slurred Speech then it’s Time to call 999. Act F.A.S.T. is a simple phrase to remember and act upon.”

While many people think that strokes only happen to older people, they but can strike anyone at any time. You can find out the factors that can increase your risk here.

TwitCount Button

The Night Siren – sterling performance from one of rock’s grandmasters

Click here to listen to the interview again:

Steve Hackett is renowned as an immensely talented and innovative rock musician. He was lead guitarist with Genesis as part of their classic line up with Gabriel, Collins, Banks and Rutherford, who produced several of the band’s most acclaimed albums including ‘Selling England by the Pound’ (a favourite of John Lennon) and ‘The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway’.

Since leaving Genesis he has worked on dozens of compositions, involving influences from many genres, including Jazz, World Music and Blues, and the hard-working musician is about to release his 25th solo album, The Night Siren.

Steve’s music has enjoyed a renaissance in recent years with his last release, 2015’s Wolflight, reaching no 31 in the UK album charts. A live recording of his Genesis Revisted tour in 2012 fared better, reaching no 24. They were his highest-charting solo albums since 1983, when he releasd three top 20 albums in three years.

Steve spoke to Phoenix FM’s Paul Golder about the release which continues Wolflight’s theme of exploring world music. The presence of instruments such as the tar and uilleann pipes certainly gives it that feel, but it is still very much a rock album – tracks such as the Martian Sea cast a nod to the Beatles’ psychedelic phase, while other songs such as lead track In The Skeleton Gallery have Hackett’s trademark grandiose guitars and towering production.

The album’s launch party took place last night in Islington’s beautiful Screen On The Green cinema.

2017-03-13 17.30.16

2017-03-13 18.31.24

The Night Siren is released on 24 March on InsideOut Music.

Steve will be playing the Cliffs Pavilion in Southend on 10 May – tickets and more information can be found at his official website.

TwitCount Button

Cultura Brazil – show 134

Click below to listen to the show again:

Cultura Brazil is Phoenix FM’s show for the Brazilian community in Essex, London and beyond, presented by Ezequiel Cassol.

In this week’s show:

‐ Singer Seu Jorge will perform in honor of David Bowie at the Royal Albert Hall
‐ Caetano Veloso and Teresa Cristina in London playing Cartola

You can hear the show every Saturday evening at 2100 UK time.

TwitCount Button

Lochlan Bearman prepares for new season

With the start of the Formula 1 season it marks the start of the 2017 UK National racing season and Phoenix FM’s driver Lochlan Bearman is completing his preparations for the 2017 Ford Fiesta Racing Series.


After a disappointing end to last season where Bearman narrowly missed out on 3rd place in the Championship in his rookie season, Lochlan has been signed by the Jamsport Team who have run the Championship winning drivers for the past few seasons.

They have been working on Lochlan’s car and have been super impressed with him after 2 test sessions with the team where he has been the fastest car on the circuit both times.

“The car has felt great with the Jamsport set-up and I’ve been really impressed by the professionalism in the team. I feel that with Jamsport I have all the support I need to mount a challenge for the 2017 Championship”, said 15 year old Bearman.

“It felt as if I’d been out of the car for such a long time but within a couple of laps I was back into the groove. This season will be different as I will have 3 team mates with whom to share data, access to a data engineer so that we can analyse any areas where I could gain more time and also a driver coach which is something I’ve never had before. From karting I know how important it is to get feedback and data from multiple drivers as it helps you reach set-up decisions faster.

Getting back into the car also revealed that Bearman has grown 5 or 6 inches in height since October last year. “Obviously I knew I had grown as I had to have a new race suit but to not fit into my cae was strange. It was quickly sorted before my first time back out on track at Rockingham.

“We are going to some great circuits this season and I just can’t wait to start.”

Bearman currently has funding for the first half of the season and anyone wishing to get involved or help can contact him through

2017 Ford Fiesta Junior Championship Calendar
Rounds 1 & 2 – 8/9 April Brands Hatch
Rounds 3 & 4 – 6/7 May Cadwell Park
Rounds 5 & 6 – 27/28 May Silverstone National
Rounds 7 & 8 – 17/18 June Rockingham
Rounds 9 & 10 – 15/16 July Snetterton 300
Rounds 11 & 12 – 19/20 August Silverstone National
Rounds 13 & 14 – 16/17 September Croft

TwitCount Button

Playlist for 7 Mar 2017 (AOTW: Los Campesinos! – Sick Scenes)

Click here to listen again:

My album of the week goes to the new release from Cardiff’s finest Spanish peasants, Los Campesinos! (I never understood why they didn’t have the upside exclamation mark in front of their name too. If ¡Forward, Russia! can do it …)


This is the first release in four years, after the band went on a hiatus and got real jobs (I know that feeling). The band’s music has always been easy to listen to, but the new songs have managed to retain an edgy energy. The album is out now on Wichita.

Tonight’s playlist:

XTC – Life Begins At The Hop
Los Campesinos! – Renato Dell’Ara (2008)
Sunflower Bean – Come On
Blushing – Tether
Darling Buds – Evergreen
Wild Things – I Think You Can Do Better
Temples – In My Pocket
Los Campesinos! – 5 Flucloxacillin
Maximo Park – What Did We Do To You To Deserve This?
Idles – Mother (clean)
Senseless Things – Lost Honey
Big Moon – Sucker
Apeman Spaceman – Have Not Love
Los Campesinos! – For Whom The Belly Tolls
La Bete Blooms – Breaking In
False Advertising – Not My Fault
Darling Buds – Guess The Good Parts
Ride – Charm Assault
British Sea Power – Keep On Trying (Sechs Freunde)
Mr Happy Chainsaw – Standing There
Maker – Move Your Feet
Kasakela – Feel The Change
Freak – Cake (clean)
AC Acoustics – Mother Head Sander
Blur – Chemical World
Melys – Ambulance Chaser
Lush – Kiss Chase
Sleeper – Statuesque
Placebo – The Bitter End
Mega City Four – Peripheral
Suede – Beautiful Ones
Sultans of Ping FC – Football Hooligan (Live)

TwitCount Button

Basildon and Brentwood CCG stages annual patient event for patient reps

Basildon and Brentwood Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has held its annual patient event at Basildon’s Towngate Theatre.

Annual Patient Event 2 cr

Local people involved in Patient Participation Groups at their GP practices and members of the CCG’s locality Patient Engagement Groups were invited to meet the CCG executive team and hear about the plans for local health and care services over the next five years.

The event also created a market style experience with a wide range of support organisations showcasing their services.

The CCG’s Accountable Officer John Leslie delivered an update on the work of the CCG. In November 2016 the CCG Board made a number of changes to its Service Policy (SRP) and Intermediate Care Services to put the local NHS on a more sustainable footing following a formal public consultation.

Mr Leslie also addressed patients on the challenges that lie ahead and outlined the latest plans for the Mid and South Essex Success Regime. The Mid and South Essex Success Regime is the region’s Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) which is being developed to sustain health services and improve care.

There were also presentations on:

  • Out of Hospital Services and how care will be managed in the future for patients with acute ailments and those with complex and long term condition
  • Self care and the key role people have in protecting their own health
  • The work of the CCG’s Patient and Community Reference Group (PCRG)

Patients and representatives from the support organisations had the opportunity to ask questions, provide feedback and take part in workshops.

Alison Reeve, Lay Member and Chair of the CCG’s PCRG, said: “Our Annual Patient Event was a really good opportunity for patients to network, meet with CCG staff and hear about the work of the CCG and it’s future plans for local health services. There were also a number of workshops where patients were able to give their views and opinions to CCG staff on upcoming projects.

“I enjoyed meeting with our patient group members and listening to their comments first-hand. We’ve received some really positive feedback on the day and will take all of the comments into consideration when planning our next event.”

  • If you would like to help shape your local health service, you can get involved in the Patient Participation Group at your GP practice. If your GP practice does not currently have a Patient Participation Group (PPG) you can still get involved in the CCG’s work by coming along to the Patient Engagement Group (PEG) for your locality. You don’t need any special experience or qualifications. For further information on getting involved email
  • TwitCount Button

    What do you do when a child in your care is unwell?

    Parents and carers in Basildon and Brentwood are being reminded to make sure they know how to deal with common childhood winter illnesses as the cold weather continues.

    Young children are more vulnerable to coughs, colds and infections because their immune system is still developing.

    An adult may get two to four colds a year but children can get eight to 12 and most of these can be treated at home with over the counter medication and rest.

    It can be difficult to know the best way to care for children when they become ill but Dr Sooraj Natarajan, who is the clinical lead for paediatrics at Basildon and Brentwood Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “All parents worry when their child is poorly, but most of the time childhood illness can be managed at home with advice from your pharmacist and lots of rest.”

    Speak to your local pharmacist as a first point of call. They can advise on the appropriate over the counter medicines that are suitable for your child’s age.

    If you continue to have concerns and want to talk to someone, call NHS 111 to speak to one of their trained advisers.

    Dr Sooraj Natarajan

    Dr Natarajan, who is GP Principal at the Tile House Surgery in Brentwood, said: “If your child needs more urgent medical attention please call NHS 111. This is also the number to call for out-of-hours GP services locally. If you are worried that your child is very unwell, for example with breathing difficulties, or is floppy and unresponsive, then you should go to A&E or call 999.”

    Colds and bugs can be managed with pain relief, oral rehydration solution and cough mixture. It’s worth having a thermometer at home to check your child’s temperature. You can check the NHS website ( for details on how to care for a child with a high temperature or download the self care fact sheet Fever in Children here.

    If your child has an upset tummy or flu it’s best to keep them away from the elderly and other children who can be vulnerable to infection. Children should learn good hygiene early and be encouraged to wash their hands regularly, particularly after playing, going to the toilet and before eating.

    For more advice on staying well this winter visit

    TwitCount Button

    Former England International joins the Blues

    Click here to listen to Paul Konchesky and Glenn Tamplin:

    Former West Ham, Liverpool and England defender Paul Konchesky has signed for Billericay Town.

    Paul Konchesky

    35-year-old Konchesky, who has two England caps, has roots in the area, playing for Great Danes in Brentwood as a junior. He has signed a year contract with an option for a second team.

    Konchesky went on to play 621 games for a variety of league clubs, including the 2006 FA Cup final and the 2010 Europa League final with Fulham.

    He told us why he’d decided to drop down four divisions and what his hopes and expectations are for the future.

    Billericay Town FC Glenn Tamplin also spoke to us about Paul’s arrival, and the departure of Billericay Town manager Craig Edwards, which was also announced this evening.

    You can hear the interview at the audio link at the top of this page.

    Billericay’s next game is away to Harlow on Saturday; they are currently 10th in the Ryman League Premier, nine points from a play off place.

    Paul Konchesky will be in the Phoenix FM studio for the next edition of the West Ham Way, on Wednesday 8 March at 7pm.

    TwitCount Button

    Playlist for 28 February 2017 (AOTW: Vant – Dumb Blood)

    Click here to listen again:

    Tonight’s album of the week: VANT – DUMB BLOOD

    Vant Dumb Blood

    Dumb Blood is the debut studio album by London rock band VANT. The album, produced by Sam Miller, was released on 17 February 2017 by Parlophone.

    A lot of VANT’s lyrical themes deal with political issues, with Mattie citing inspiration from global issues; “My concerns are worldwide things. It’s not strictly centred around the UK – it’s wars, global conflict, global warming.” With this philosophy, VANT prefer to refer to their origin as ‘Planet Earth’ – rather than associate with a particular nationality. Of this issue, Mattie says “I don’t believe in borders, I was born on Planet Earth”.

    Tonight’s playlist:

    Honeyblood – Justine, Misery Queen
    Darling Buds – Complicated
    Vant – Put Down Your Gun
    Amazons – Black Magic
    QTY – Dress Undress
    Are We Static – Take Your Time
    Assist – Wonderful
    Shambolics – Love Collides
    Vant – Do You Know Me?
    Blushing – Tether
    False Advertising – Not My Fault
    Ride – Charm Assault
    Margaret Glaspy – Emotions and Math
    Sleater-Kinney – Jumpers
    Idles – Mother
    Frau Pouch – Ham Planet
    Oblong – Sant Max
    Vant – Parking Lot
    Asylums – Joy In A Small Wage
    At The Drive In – Incurably Innocent
    Senseless Things – Keepsake
    Charly Bliss – Glitter
    Trusted – Turbulence
    Salad – Terrible Day
    Post War Glamour Girls – Chipper
    British Sea Power – Keep On Trying (Sechs Freunde)
    Roadcase Royale – Get Loud
    Hurray For The Riff Raff – The Navigator
    Amber Arcades – It Changes
    Horse Party – Paydirt
    Slowdive – Star Roving
    Echobelly – Anarchy and Alchemy
    Gallops – Pale Force

    TwitCount Button

    The 1975, Mumford and Sons and Fleet Foxes to headline Latitude

    Courtney Barnett at Latitude 2016 (Pic Paul Golder)

    Latitude Festival has announced the line up for their twelfth edition, which takes place on Thursday 13th – Sunday 16th July 2017 in the stunning grounds of Henham Park, Suffolk. Tickets are available here.

    Fresh from their Best British Group win at the BRIT Awards and two sold-out nights at the O2 Arena, The 1975 will headline Friday night at Latitude, bringing with them a remarkable stage set up and a fiercely dedicated fan base. Following last year’s critically acclaimed No.1 album I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It, the Manchester outfit have gone from strength to strength over the last four years, going on to sell out arenas across the world since first performing on The Lake Stage back in 2013.

    Mumford & Sons will take to the Obelisk Arena as Saturday night headliners in a UK Festival Exclusive. The Grammy Award winners will be bringing their Gentlemen of the Road Stopover to Henham Park, presenting their personally curated Saturday line up of some of today’s biggest new bands, before bringing the night to a close with an unmissable headline performance.

    Mumford & Sons said:

    “This collaboration with Latitude is one of the most exciting things we’re doing this year. Ever since we started working on Gentlemen Of The Road Stopovers we’ve really enjoyed curating line ups and sharing not only our own music but also sharing music of artists who we love and are listening to regularly. It’s almost like creating a mix tape with a best friend, but instead it’s a whole day of music, across multiple stages, with 40,000 people!”

    Fleet Foxes make their Latitude debut this July in a UK Festival Exclusive, as they headline The Obelisk Arena on Sunday. Returning from a hiatus and armed with a platinum debut album, their first British performance in five years will no doubt make for a memorable end to the weekend.

    Fleet Foxes said:

    “After being holed up in the studio for a year, there’s nothing we’re more excited about than performing new songs and revisiting our catalog at Latitude!”

    Melvin Benn, founder and creator of Latitude Festival commented:

    “Following the incredible success of our eleventh edition last year, we had set the bar high for this year’s festival. The 1975 have more than proven themselves over the past year and I’m thrilled to give them a well-deserved headline slot. Mumford & Sons have chosen Latitude as the only stop in the UK for their Gentlemen of the Road Takeover, and Fleet Foxes’ will headline their only UK appearance at a festival this year. Latitude 2017 is already simply unmissable.”

    Lucy Woods, music talent booker for the Latitude Festival music stages said:

    “We have phenomenal headliners, but in addition to this there are hundreds of acts to stumble upon at Latitude Festival, with the Lake Stage and much more still to be announced. The festival’s legacy of championing undiscovered music is stronger than ever, and in what’s been my first year, I couldn’t be more excited about what’s to come.”

    The Obelisk Arena will also see performances by some of today’s most exciting and respected artists. Making their Latitude debut after almost 20 years together, Goldfrapp will set the arena ablaze in a long awaited performance, with the addition of returning festival favourites The Horrors in aUK Festival Exclusive, and captivating singer-songwriter Lucy Rose. Fresh after a huge 2016 and the release of their second album How To Be A Human Being, Glass Animals will also bring their energetic live show to Latitude, alongside returning indie rockers Grandaddy off the back of their first album in ten years, Senegal’s mesmerising Baaba Maal, and the critically adored Tinariwen and The Very Best.

    Velvet Underground founder John Cale will perform from over five decade’s worth of solo material in The Obelisk Arena, along with orchestral pop band The Divine Comedy and gospel legend Mavis Staples. Joining fellow label mates The 1975, The Japanese House brings her atmospheric synth-pop to Latitude, along with country singing duo Ward Thomas and enigmatic Belgian rapper Baloji.

    The BBC Music Stage will welcome alt-rock pioneers Placebo for their Latitude debut and UK Festival Exclusive performance, bringing with them an extensive back catalogue including favourites ‘Infra-Red’, ‘Every You Every Me’ and ‘Pure Morning’. The iconic RIDE will deliver their seminal shoegaze, while the legendary Fatboy Slim will bring his barrage of hits to Henham Park. Also joining the line up is innovative rising rapper Loyle Carner, backed with the recent release of his touching debut album, Yesterday’s Gone, alongside the incomparable SOHN, Irish national treasureLisa Hannigan in support of her recent At Swim album, and BBC Sound Of 2016 winner Jack Garratt.

    The BBC Music Stage will also see performances from London electronic duo Mount Kimbie, hotly-tipped pop powerhouse Maggie Rogers,prodigious multi-instrumental two-piece The Lemon Twigs, and the return of young indie rebel Declan McKenna. The Radio Dept. make their Latitude debut alongside indie-pop duo Sylvan Esso, and Antipodean songwriter Julia Jacklin.

    Festival favourites Ibibio Sound Machine, model turned folk singer Karen Elson, dance pop prospects Formation, BBC Sound Of 2017 nominee Tom Grennan, and Icelandic garage-rockers Kaleo will take to the BBC Music Stage. Appearances will also come from ascendant French duo HER, the first signing on Ben Howard’s label A Blaze of Feather, and US folk favourites The Head and the Heart.

    Latitude Festival welcomes Kurupt FM as headliners of the Music & Film Arena. The stars of BBC smash-hit People Just Do Nothing will take over the arena, dropping nothing but first-rate garage, grime, reggae & DnB.

    Latitude Festival also welcomes Will Young to headline the Music & Film Arena. The critically acclaimed singer will join Latitude with his band for a rare performance of Summer Jazz Sessions. Irish musician Imelda May will also headline the stage, performing songs from her forthcoming albumLife Love Flesh Blood. Performances will also come from iconic dub poet, writer, social commentator and musician Benjamin Zephaniah and The Revolutionary Minds, a re-imagination of Henry Purcell’s opera Dido and Aeneas by Festival Voices and a Swing Jazz Takeover by White Mink wherethey will transport the audience back to the early twentieth century through a collection of DJs and burlesque performers.

    The Sunrise Arena returns with an eclectic line up that boasts some of the most exciting, genre-defying musicians of the moment. Atmospheric krautrock trio Beak> will give a headline performance, as will one of the hottest names in UK hip-hop right now, Dave. American troubadour Kevin Morby, psych revivalists Temples, the highly-praised power trio Sunflower Bean, hyped London quartet Palace and the exuberant duo Honeybloodwill all take to the Sunrise Arena. Joining them are Chicago slacker sweethearts Twin Peaks, Scandinavian starlet Sigrid, the much-loved Liverpudlian trio All We Are, the ever-evolving might of Esben and the Witch, genre-straddling experimental trio Yorkston/Thorne/Khan, and classical pianist Lubomyr Melnyk. Hidden away in the woods, grunge-rock singer Margaret Glaspy, electronic producer Max Cooper, raucous London outfit Goat Girl, contemporary soul singer Kadhja Bonet, mysterious producer Seramic and ascendant Irish singer Áine Cahill will also take to the stage,followed by Joe Goddard who will DJ late into the night.

    Latitude Festival’s most intimate and adored arena, DIY presents the Alcove Stage will also return in 2017. Performances will come from hugely hyped 4AD sensation Pixx, the much-loved hushed and hymnal Benjamin Francis Leftwich, fellow Dirty Hit signees King Nun, rising pop sensationYoungr, German electronic duo Lea Porcelain, British singer-songwriter Joe Fox and driving four piece Mosa Wild who have made a remarkable impact since emerging in late 2016.

    Jorja Smith is the first of many handpicked for the Gentlemen Of The Road Stopover on Saturday. At just 19-years of age, she has already received praise around the country including being named fourth in this year’s BBC Sound Of poll, and will perform on the Lake Stage this summer.

    Celebrating the biggest names in dance and performance; the UK’s finest multi-arts festival returns for its twelfth edition, today announcing The Waterfront Stage line up, amongst others, which promises an unrivalled breadth, depth and quality of programming.

    Tania Harrison, Latitude’s Arts Curator says:

    “Latitude celebrates the very best artists, both emergent and established, across myriad art forms, and this ethos is embodied in the fullness and diversity of the Dance bill for this summer. We’re incredibly proud to offer audiences not only the chance to see the very best ballet, hip-hop and contemporary dance from around the globe, but also the opportunity to learn from these companies through practice, with BalletBoyz, Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures, and Far From The Norm each offering the Latitude audience the chance to take part in a workshop or class on our iconic Waterfront Stage.”

    BalletBoyz will be bringing their new work Life. to the Waterfront Stage, featuring two new commissions by internationally acclaimed choreographers Pontus Lidberg and Javier de Frutos. Life. takes an elegant, powerful and sometimes provocative look at life and death, presented in BalletBoyz’ inimitable style and performed by its all-male company of ten incredible dancers.

    Sadler’s Wells, the UK’s leading dance house returns to the Waterfront Stage for the tenth year to present a diverse programme including Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures, which celebrates thirty years of innovative dance this year, to the Latitude audience. An extract from Town and Country;Country is a heartfelt pastiche led by the evocative music of Edward Elgar, Noël Coward and Percy Grainger, amongst others. Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures will also lead a workshop on the Waterfront Stage, open to the Latitude audience.

    Following the Grammy Award nominated success of INALA, a Zulu ballet performed with Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Sadler’s Wells present Sisters Grimm’s Voices of the Amazon on the Waterfront Stage this summer, telling the majestic tale of a water spirit from the Amazon River through enchanting contemporary ballet and capoeira, accompanied by live music by Brazilian songwriters and world-renowned percussionists, Olodum.

    Sadler’s Wells will present the BBC Young Dancer 2017 Finalists, a showcase providing the Latitude audience with a taste of the best of young British dance talent from the competition’s finalists; showcasing the energy and electricity of a street dance solo, the versatility of contemporary dance, the classical precision and artistry of ballet, and the grace and fine detail of a South Asian dance.

    The Get-Down, featuring Boy Blue Entertainment, is a specially curated event which will showcase the very best movers and shakers in the world of hip-hop theatre complete with performances and demonstrations set to a live DJ soundtrack. The Get-Down features Boy Blue Entertainment,whose compelling contemporary dance strives to reflect the world in flux.

    Completing the Sadler’s Wells line-up are National Youth Dance Company, with their latest production Tarantiseismic, created by 2016–2017 Guest Artistic Director Damien Jalet. A Sadler’s Wells’ commission presented by a company of 40 dancers; the piece addresses themes such as melancholia, ritual, control and abandon. Jalet’s revered choreographic style combined with the dancers’ energy and talent is set to produce a mesmerising experience that shifts the consciousness of the audience.

    Acclaimed hip-hop choreographer and dancer Botis Seva will return to the festival with his company Far From the Norm and their new work Da Native. The piece will explore the timely topic of cultural displacement through a high-energy combination of physical theatre, contemporary dance and hip-hop. The Latitude audience will also have the chance to experience a Far From The Norm workshop.

    Award-winning comedian and the presenter of BBC Proms Proms Unplucked podcast, Vikki Stone will present a premiere of her orchestral work,The Concerto for Comedian & Orchestra on The Waterfront Stage. An orchestral piece where the soloist is a comedian, The Concerto for Comedian & Orchestra is the first of its kind, blending Vikki’s unique comedic songs with her love of classical music.

    Opera North are committed to challenging conventional perceptions of opera. At Latitude 2017, they will transform Latitude’s woodlands into a magical immersive soundscape as Opera North Projects bring Underworld to The Faraway Forest; a Greek mythology experience formed through words, music and light. Find a path through the Forest and listen out for Orpheus: His voice is in the trees and under the ground; it’s coming.

    A brand new yoga experience suitable for yogis of any ability; Disco Yoga will encourage Latitude to ‘Glitter Up’ before a session of flow yoga set to a disco soundtrack in the Cabaret Arena.

    Latitude will also welcome a host of DJs to Henham Park for late-night party performances. In the Comedy Arena, the world’s best travelling dance party Hot Dub Time Machine will be coming to Latitude for the first time. After sell-out performances at festivals, theatres and on rooftops across the globe, lead DJ Tom Loud will take audiences from 1954 to the present day with the best pop hits. The ultimate pop safe space, Guilty Pleasureswill return to the festival armed with the most unashamedly and unapologetic chart hits whilst Buttoned Down Disco will also return to Henham Park with their eclectic mix of pop, indie, quirky covers and house. Late night Latitude Festival favourites Disco Shed will return to Pandora’s Playground with their 8 x 6 ft garden shed, keeping the party going every night with the best soul, funk, house and techno.


    Adult Weekend tickets £197.50 face value + £8 booking fee per ticket

    Accompanied Teen Weekend tickets (13-15 years) £132.50 + £8 booking fee per ticket

    Child Weekend tickets – £8

    Adult Day tickets £77.50 + £7 booking fee per ticket

    Child Day Tickets – £10

    Adult Weekend Instalment tickets:

    If you purchase your Adult Weekend Ticket  instalment plan between 9am on 1st March and midnight 31st March 2017 your first payment will be of £73 + £8 booking fee on purchase. The second payment of £65 will be on 2nd May and the final payment of £67.50 + £6.50 postage payment will be on 2nd June.

    Disabled access requirements and PA/carer ticket applications will open on March 31st. Please refer to the website or contact the access team on for more information and guidance.

    M ore ticket information / Tickets available at

    TwitCount Button

    Playlist for 21 February 2017 (AOTW: Strand of Oaks – Hard Love)

    Click here to listen again:

    Tonight’s album of the week: STRAND OF OAKS – HARD LOVE


    The fifth album from American singer/songwriter Timothy Showalter who records under the SOO name. Moments of personal darkness are threaded throughout Hard Love, but the clarity and strength that Showalter finds when he shrugs off the gloom gives the songs a restless optimism tempered with a belief that the sun will always come up no matter how long your night has been. You can find out more at

    Tonight’s playlist:

    Sleeper – Sale of The Century
    Strand Of Oaks – Radio Kids
    Post War Glamour Girls – Chipper
    Charly Bliss – Glitter
    British Sea Power – Keep On Trying (Sechs Freunde)
    Vant – Put Down Your Gun
    Cherry Glazerr – Nurse Ratched
    Strand Of Oaks – Rest Of It
    San Cisco – Run
    Pearl Harts – Hit The Bottle
    Freak – Nowhere
    Trusted – Turbulence
    Cannon – Time Machine
    Strand Of Oaks – Quit It
    Kasakela – Feel The Change
    Mac Demarco – This Old Dog
    Ladyshark – New Years Day
    Clara Luzia – Queen Of The Wolves
    Beyond The Wizards Sleeve – Creation
    Sleaford Mods – BHS
    Sibyl Vane – Never Let Me Down Again
    Rose Elinor Dougall – Closer
    Throwing Muses – Counting Backwards
    Midway Still – Note To Self
    Senseless Things – Hold It Down
    Salad – Drink The Elixir
    Shed Seven – Getting Better
    Cud – Possession
    Garbage – Subhuman
    Blur – Coping
    Thousand Yard Stare – Wideshire (live in Paris ’92)

    TwitCount Button

    Grief recovery for children

    Help is being offered to those struggling to guide children through loss and grief by an Essex undertaker.

    Dealing with death or other loss can be difficult for adults to cope with, so those responsible for young people can face an even bigger minefield.

    EastEnders is tackling the topic with a storyline where three young children have lost their mothers – Ronnie and Roxie Mitchell – leaving their father struggling to know how to comfort them.

    The Government is considering placing a mental health counsellor into every secondary school in England, while NHS England is working with schools which have appointed specific members of staff to liaise directly with local mental health services.

    This work demonstrates the need to give children and young people further support when dealing with issues of loss, from death and illness to divorce and adoption.


    Secure Haven Independent Funeral Directors, in Margaretting, is launching a new service to help adults who are charged with comforting children in their care.

    Paul Yarwood, CEO, is contacting schools, corporate HR departments, doctors’ surgeries, community groups, care homes and charities to offer the Helping Children Deal with Loss programme.

    The Grief Recovery Specialist, whose business partner and wife Cheryl is also qualified, will assist teachers and others working with children to find the right words to use and to spot the signs of a child struggling to cope with loss.

    He said: “It can be very hard to know what to say when confronted by anyone who has suffered a loss, let alone children. So often, the first words people offer are ‘everything will be ok’, ‘time is a healer’ or ‘be strong’. Unfortunately, these are not the most helpful things to say and can stop a conversation in its tracks and prevent an opportunity for the bereaved person to open up and talk.

    “Children can see mum or dad getting upset or angry when they’ve lost someone, but often nobody is talking the children through it.

    “Also, the way we explain death to a child can have far-reaching consequences. If you tell a child their loved one has gone to sleep, for example, it may result in that child becoming frightened of going to sleep themselves in future.

    “We are looking to arm people with the tools to speak with someone who is bereaved.”

    The six-week programme uses the textbook When Children Grieve to give the correct information which can make a difference to a young person’s progress and wellbeing.

    To discuss the programme, contact 01277 356857.

    TwitCount Button

    Cut2 participates in biggest youth theatre festival in the country

    Cut2 – the Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch’s resident young company – is performing in the biggest youth festival in the UK and Ireland with the gothic melodrama, The Monstrum.

    The Monstrum - Queen's Theatre Hornchurch - NT Connections 2017

    NT Connections 2017 is the National Theatre’s annual youth theatre project that champions new writing and offers young people aged 13-19 the chance to stage plays written by some of the country’s most exciting playwrights. Each year it handpicks just 10 original plays to perform at the festival, and this year the Queen’s Theatre’s Cut2 company will be performing The Monstrum on 5 & 6 March before transferring to the Theatre Royal Stratford East on 1 April.

    Set in a cold village on the edge of nowhere, a disease has broken out, infecting the young and transforming them into monstrous creatures. The villagers fearfully watch their children for symptoms of the disease, whilst the Mayor has adopted tough measures for dealing with those who are infected. When Bolek, the local scholar, makes a breakthrough in finding a cure, few are prepared for the gruesome nature of the treatment. But with his own daughter showing signs of infection, there is no choice than to stop this terrible disease dead in its tracks.

    Cut2 is a focused training programme run by the Queen’s Theatre’s Learning and Participation Department, which nurtures the artistic potential of 14-18- year-olds committed to theatre. The company has earned itself a strong reputation in youth theatre and also performs alongside the Queen’s Theatre cast in various professional productions.

    Learning & Participation Producer James Watson said, ‘It’s our fourth year as a participant. It’s a valuable key project of our celebrated youth theatre programme and an exciting opportunity for young people to experience professional theatre practice.’

    Featuring a cast of 16 young performers, The Monstrum will also see 10 young people be actively involved in all technical aspects of the production of the show including costume design, stage management, sound and lighting.

    The Monstrum is directed by local director Amy Insole who has worked with the theatre’s young company since 2013 and has directed professional productions at the Queen’s Theatre, as well as fringe theatres including Etcetera Theatre, Roundhouse Studio and Tristan Bates Theatre. Music is by Andrew Linham who performs regular jazz sessions at the theatre and has been actively involved in the young company’s previous productions.

    The Monstrum will be performed at the Queen’s Theatre, Billet Lane on Sunday 5 March at 8pm and Monday 6 March at 6pm and 8pm. Tickets are £10 and can be purchased by calling the Box Office on 01708 443333, online at or in person from the theatre.

    TwitCount Button

    Brentwood Children’s Literary Festival 2017


    Brentwood Children’s Literary Festival is back for a second year!

    Organisers Natasha and Jim Radford, who run the Chicken and Frog bookshop in Ongar Road, have put together a full programme of events to delight children of all ages.

    2017-02-09 11.40.42

    Natasha came in to Phoenix FM to chat to Michelle about this year’s event, which you can hear again below:

    Phoenix FM is delighted to be on board as a partner of this highly worthwhile event.

    The festival is for children (and their grown ups) from pre-schoolers to teens. The festival will take place from 22-29 July 2017.

    You can visit their website at

    Here’s the full schedule for this year’s festival. Events are subject to change.

    Knights Way Centre
    Age 6+
    Entry fee £3

    Are you a newshound? Do you dream of being a world class reporter? Join a member of the First News team for a fascinating talk about all the different aspects of creating a news paper and how to write a great article. There’ll be plenty of time to ask questions too.
    First News is the UK’s only newspaper for young people and the widest-read children’s publication in the country with a readership of 1,047,543 seven to 14 year olds every week.

    Knights Way Centre
    Age 8+ (Guidance only)

    One day Ruth was sitting, minding her own business when a girl popped into her head and started talking. She was fed up with her parents for being a bit useless and fed up with her friends for being, well, a bit rubbish at being friends. The more she told Ruth, the funnier it got, so she started to write down what it was like to be Emily Sparkes.

    Ruth will share snippets from her Emily Sparkes books with you, answer your questions and sign books.

    Ruth’s books will be available to purchase on the day.

    Brentwood Theatre
    Age 10+ (Guidance only)
    Entry fee £3

    Join award-winning A Boy Called Hope author Lara Williamson as talks about her latest novel for children, Just Call Me Spaghetti-Hoop Boy.

    Delve into Lara’s childhood diaries and stories and see how everything she wished for when she was small, although it may not have come true in real life, has since come true in her books, through her characters.

    Get stuck in and play the ‘wish game’ – catch the ball and tell Lara your wish, be it big, small or totally crazy and find out how your wish could become a story!

    Lara’s books will be available to purchase on the day.

    Brentwood Theatre
    Age 8+ (Guidance only)

    A must for all Diary of a Wimpy Kid fans and great family entertainment. Host Alastair Watson brings the books to life with fun activities including The Wimpy Kid Draw-Along and The Wimp Wars! Quiz. The event also includes exclusive clips of author Jeff Kinney talking about the books, his involvement in the films and showing how he draws the characters.

    All those who purchase a book on the day will be eligible for it to be stamped with an exclusive Wimpy Kid Show stamp.

    Under 11s must be accompanied by an adult.

    Brentwood Theatre
    Age 9+ (Guidance only)

    Lily’s life is in mortal peril. Her father is missing and now silver-eyed men stalk her through the shadows. What could they want from her? With her friends – Robert, the clockmaker’s son, and Malkin, her mechanical fox – Lily is plunged into a murky and menacing world. Too soon Lily realizes that those she holds dear may be the very ones to break her heart…

    CogHeart is a fantastical Middle Grade adventure story featuring two friends, murder and mayhem, airships and automata, an over-opinionated mechanical fox and a smattering of steampunk!

    Peter’s books will be available to purchase on the day. Under 11s must be accompanied by an adult.

    Brentwood Theatre
    Age 5+ (Guidance only)

    “If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.”

    This highly interactive show contains twits being vile to each other. Be prepared for silly behaviour and beard making…

    “The Twits” is presented with the kind permission of Casarotto Ramsay and the Roald Dahl Estate.

    A selection of Roald Dahl titles will be available to purchase. Under 11s must be accompanied by an adult.

    Brentwood Theatre
    Age 8+ (Guidance only)

    Sara is back this year, with an exciting mystery for you to solve, featuring Chase & Mackenzie from Chasing Danger and Mystery at the Ice Hotel. A few actor volunteers from the audience will help to dramatise a short play that Sara has written; the scene concludes with a crime to solve.

    Get you detective heads on for this exciting event!

    Sara’s books will be available to purchase on the day. Under 11s must be accompanied by an adult.

    Brentwood Theatre
    Age 4+ (Guidance only)
    Entry fee £3

    From the award-winning Philip Ardagh, and rising illustration talent Elissa Elwick, comes Meet the Little Adventurers – Finnegan, Sprat, Floss and Peanut. Each week they meet in their top-secret shed HQ, ready to share their fun with you! Sprat has a pet: Leafy! But can you really have a leaf as a pet? Find out…

    Under 11s must be accompanied by an adult. Philip and Elissa’s books will be available to purchase on the day.

    Brentwood Theatre
    Age 9+ (Guidance only)

    A few words about one of Michelle’s titles, The Other Alice: What happens when a tale with real magic, that was supposed to be finished, never was? This is a story about one of those stories . . . Midge loves riddles, his cat, Twitch, and – most of all – stories. Especially because he’s grown up being read to by his sister Alice, a brilliant writer. When Alice goes missing and a talking cat turns up in her bedroom, Midge searches Alice’s stories for a clue.

    Local Essex girl, Michelle will talk about her books and her life as author, as well as be on hand to sign books!

    Michelle’s books will be available to purchase on the day. Under 11s must be accompanied by an adult.

    Brentwood Theatre
    Age 7+ (Guidance only)

    The Apprentice Witch: With everything stacked against her, apprentice witch Arianwyn Gribble must overcome a shaky start to achieve her true potential…

    In the Four Kingdoms, witches use a set of five magical glyphs, to control the natural flow of magic in the world. But Arianwyn Gribble, a young apprentice witch, has seen a sixth glyph for as long as she can remember, a glyph that has always heralded trouble and darkness, like the death of her mother.

    At her crucial evaluation test Arianwyn is distracted by the glyph and fails. spectacularly, much to the delight of Gimma Alverston, Arianwyn’s fellow apprentice and arch-rival.

    James will talk about his books and life as author, as well as be on hand to sign books! Witches and wizards are welcome!

    James’ book will be available to purchase on the day. Under 11s must be accompanied by an adult.

    Brentwood Theatre
    Age 5+ (Guidance only).

    Join awesome illustrator, Nick East, for this fun-packed event.

    In this short period of time as an illustrator Nick has been shortlisted for the English Picture Book awards, longlisted for The Evening Standard’s Oscar’s First Book Prize and illustrated the successful Goodnight series, recently collaborating with author Michelle Robinson, Puffin and astronaut Tim Peake on ‘Goodnight Spaceman’.

    Under 11s to be accompanied by a ticket holding adult.

    Brentwood Theatre
    Age 11+
    Entry fee £3

    Join us and a fantastic panel of YA authors, for a gritty discussion about YA fiction. If you have a question that you’re desperate to ask, or an opinion that you really want to share (about YA!), then this is the event for you.

    The panel is: Dan Smith, Gemma Fowler, Molly Looby and Cara Jordan White. The discussion will be MC’d by YA book blogger, Josh.

    A selection of the authors’ books will be available to purchase on the day.

    Brentwood Theatre
    Age 5+ (Guidance only)
    Entry fee £3

    Nicky Dee is the author of the series ‘Special Dinosaurs’ – you may have been lucky enough to meet her at Chicken and Frog Bookshop last year.

    Nicky’s new book, The Bone Wars, is due for publication in May. It promises to be an exciting adventure.

    Two men. One battle.

    The ‘Great Dinosaur Rush’ is an amazing time in American history when the hunt for dinosaurs really began. Would the two gentlemen scientists who led the hunt play nicely and work together or would their desperation to be the best lead them to behave very, very badly?

    A true adventure story, crammed full of guns, trains, native Indians, explosives and DINOSAURS, written for children for the very first time.

    Join Nicky for a jam-packed talk, with superb artefacts to keep any budding paleontologist on the edge of their seats. There’ll be time for questions, and Nicky will be on hand to sign books too.

    Under 11s must be accompanied by a ticket holding adult.

    Brentwood Theatre
    Age 4+ (Guidance only)

    This show is going to be fast, fun, inspirational, educational, highly interactive – and downright brilliant. Really Big Pants Theatre Company storytelling show SUDDENLY…! gives traditional tales a whole new twist and encourages children to explore their creativity and imagination, as well as promoting the value of reading and writing.

    Under 11s must be accompanied by an adult.

    Knights Way Centre
    Age 8+ (Guidance only)

    Maz’s writing career began in journalism as a TV critic and feature writer. After working as a creative writing lecturer, she founded Story Stew, an anarchic creative writing programme that has visited primary schools and literary festivals around the UK.

    A little about Who Let the Gods Out? Elliot’s mum is ill and his home is under threat, but a shooting star crashes to earth and changes his life forever. The star is Virgo – a young Zodiac goddess on a mission. But the pair accidentally release Thanatos, a wicked death daemon imprisoned beneath Stonehenge, and must then turn to the old Olympian gods for help. After centuries of cushy retirement on earth, are Zeus and his crew up to the task of saving the world – and solving Elliot’s problems too?

    Maz’s book will be available to purchase on the day.

    Hutton Community Hall
    Age 7+ (Guidance only)

    John’s session will be full of energy; expect a guitar, enthusiastic singing, and hilarious stories. You are in for a huge treat!

    John’s books have been shortlisted for a number of prestigious awards – and one was chosen by The Times as one of the Best Children’s Books of the Year 2011 – but, more importantly, they make children giggle.

    John’s books will be available to purchase on the day.

    Knights Way Centre
    Age 7+ (Guidance only)
    Entry fee £3

    Award winning author Gareth P Jones (Ninja Meerkats, The Thornthwaite Inheritance) presents his new series, Pet Defenders, which sees a secret organisation of pets defending the earth from alien invasion.

    For fans of funny and action-packed animal adventures including Andrew Cope’s Spy Dog series, Astrosaurs and Jeremy Strong.

    Expect frenetic interactive story telling, raucous songs played on various instruments and a whole bunch of weird alien stuff.

    Gareth’s books will be available to buy on the day. Under 11s must be accompanied by a ticket holding adult.

    Knights Way Centre
    Age 8+

    Lisa Thompson, author of The Goldfish Boy, will lead a hands-on workshop. They’ll talk about how our sight, smell, hearing, touch and taste can make us feel different emotions and how we can use these emotions to help us in our writing.

    Lisa will talk about her background working in radio production and how for her, her ears are crucial when it comes to writing; from listening to other people’s conversations, to reading her work out loud during the editing stage.

    For this workshop, Lisa will bring in props to stimulate the senses and get some creative writing flowing!

    The workshop will finish with Lisa reading a short piece from The Goldfish Boy followed by some Q&As.

    Copies of The Goldfish Boy will be available to purchase on the day.

    TwitCount Button

    More than 12,000 GP appointments are wasted every month

    A new campaign targeting people who don’t cancel their GP appointments starts today across mid and south Essex.


    More than 12,000 slots are wasted every month across the patch due to people failing to show up to their surgeries after booking out time with a GP, with an estimated 450 hours of GP appointment time per month going to waste in Basildon and Brentwood alone.

    GP leaders say the missed appointments are contributing to increased waiting times in practice and could be contributing to more people with minor illnesses going to local A&E departments for treatment.

    Dr Arv Guniyangodage, local GP and Chair of NHS Basildon and Brentwood Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “As GPs we work hard to meet the needs of our patients and make it as easy as possible for them to see their doctor. But we need patients to do their bit too by letting us know if they need to cancel or rearrange their appointment.

    “The knock on effect of someone missing their appointment is that some patients who cannot see their GP choose to go to A&E instead and this puts pressure on the hospital. Patients should make sure they attend an appointment if they book one or cancel it if they no longer need it, so it can be made available to someone else.

    “There are now many ways of cancelling an appointment, via online services, telephone and even by text in some areas.”


    • Make sure you make a note of your appointment either in a diary, calendar or on your smart phone and ideally set yourself a reminder
    • Register for online services, speak to your GP practice about how to do this – appointments can be easily cancelled at the touch of a button 24/7
    • Ask your GP practice if they have a text message reminder service

    NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups across mid and south Essex are working together to raise awareness of the impacts of missed appointments and to help educate local people about tools such as online GP services that help to make cancelling GP appointments easy.

    The communications campaign, which is due to launch later this month will include lots of methods to get messages out to the public including bus adverts, a social media campaign and signs on refuse trucks to help raise awareness of how many appointments are being thrown away.

    Lisa Allen Chief Nurse, NHS Basildon and Brentwood CCG, added: “The ability to book and cancel GP appointments online is available at most practices and offers a really quick, easy way to manage your health appointments.

    “We’re hoping this campaign will help to change some behaviours around wasting GP appointments – if you don’t need it, please do try to cancel it.”

    TwitCount Button

    Playlist for 7 February 2017 (AOTW: Surfer Blood – Snowdonia)

    Click here to listen again:

    Tonight’s album of the week: SURFER BLOOD – SNOWDONIA


    Continuing with my Welsh music theme ever so tenuously, here’s our album of the week from Florida indie band Surfer Blood. The first one since the untimely passing of guitarist Thomas Fekete, the new line up has produced an honest and clean collection of indie songs which veers around other influences including soul and post-punk. You can find out more about them at

    Tonight’s playlist:

    Art Brut – Lost Weekend
    Surfer Blood – Matter Of Time
    Freak – Cake
    Superfood – Double Dutch
    Wire – Short Elevated Period
    Trusted – Turbulence
    Bruising – What It Feels Like
    Surfer Blood – Dino Jay
    Bush – Mad Loven
    Post War Glamour Girls – Chipper
    Kasakela – Feel The Change
    Mac Demarco – My Old Man
    Oblong – Dehumaniser
    Surfer Blood – Taking Care Of Eddy
    Asylums – Necessary Appliances
    Cabbage – Uber Capitalist Death Trade
    Maximo Park – Risk To Exist
    Sleaford Mods – BHS
    Jesus and Mary Chain – Amputation
    Desperate Journalist – Resolution
    Echobelly – Anarchy and Alchemy
    Mutants feat Beki Bondage – Rock And Roll Education
    Steve Hackett – In The Skeleton Gallery
    Lush – Hypocrite
    Elastica – Stutter
    Dodgy – I Need Another
    Belly – Slow Dog
    Catatonia – You’ve Got A Lot To Answer For
    Thousand Yard Stare – Small Change
    Salad – Rip Goes Love And Lust
    Darling Buds – Fall
    Supergrass – Richard III
    Sultans of Ping FC – Turnip Fish

    TwitCount Button

    Farewell to a fundraising legend

    Paul visited the Phoenix FM studios back in April 2013 to talk about his amazing feats. You can hear their interview again below.

    Legendary marathon runner and fundraiser Paul Freedman has died aged 92.

    Paul cracks one of his famous jokes with Sam Allardyce

    Paul passed away peacefully at King George Hospital in Goodmayes on Saturday (February 4) after losing his battle with cancer.

    His funeral was held at Waltham Abbey Jewish Cemetery on Monday (February 6) and his family and friends came together to celebrate his incredible life.

    Paul, who leaves behind his partner Ellen, son Martin and grandson Samuel, quickly became a local and national celebrity after he took up running at 61 and ran his first London Marathon aged 69 – hitting the headlines in 2011, 2013, 2014 and 2015 when he was the oldest official runner.

    A member of Havering 90 Joggers, Paul went on to complete 24 marathons – 18 of which were to support Saint Francis Hospice.

    Paying tribute to Paul, Pam Court, Chief Executive of the hospice in Havering-atte-Bower, said, “Our thoughts are with Paul’s family at this sad time.

    “While Paul is no longer with us, his legacy will live on.

    “He was the most incredible ambassador for the hospice and he was a great inspiration to everyone who met him.

    “We are so proud and privileged to have known Paul and will always be grateful for all he has done to raise awareness of our services, as well as raising more than £100,000 to fund our care.”

    Paul receiving a fundraising award from Sir Roger Moore in 2016

    His charismatic personality, determination and kindness inspired everyone who met him and he was well known in the community for collecting money for the charity outside supermarkets.

    Paul, from Hornchurch, injected humour into everything he did and cheekily claimed that his top marathon tip was to “follow a nice bum.”
    And he lived by his motto “keep moving, do as much charity work as you can and have a sense of humour.”

    Saint Francis Hospice was close to his heart after it cared for his wife Teeny before she died of cancer in 2007 but his connection with the charity began in 1993, when Paul, who was an active member of the Jewish community, and his friends started volunteering on the Inpatient Ward every Christmas Day, serving food and drinks to patients.

    Gill Wendelken, the Voluntary Services Manager at the hospice, said, “Paul not only provided, for many years, invaluable practical support to the patients, but he also included within that a very generous helping of wit and humour, wrapped up in his friendly personality, in order to give the hospice patients a special time on Christmas Day.“

    Over the years Paul’s fundraising achievements attracted so much media attention and recognition that he dedicated an entire room to his medals, awards and press cuttings.

    Paul was proud to be awarded and MBE in 2008 in the New Year’s Honours, was an Olympic torchbearer in 2012 and in 2016 he was presented with an award by 007 star Sir Roger Moore.

    And another memorable moment for the devoted Hammers fan was training with the West Ham team before his last marathon in 2015.

    Paul, who worked in retail and at one time was a buyer for Bodgers in Ilford, was a natural comedian so it was very fitting that he founded a concert party, The Entertainers, which has been holding performances to raise money for the hospice since 1991.

    Clare McPartland, Head of Marketing and Communications at the hospice, added, “The publicity Paul gave the hospice was unrivalled and his attitude was always one of positivity and drive – he was an absolute joy to work with.

    “This year will be my first London Marathon and he will certainly be on my mind as I tackle the 26.2 miles – he’s a true inspiration and I know he’d be cheering me on from the crowd!”

    TwitCount Button

    Hutton FC meet Theo the Wyvern

    Children from Hutton FC’s Under 9s team were treated to a free day out, courtesy of Leyton Orient FC and Phoenix FM’s The Orient Hour.

    Orient school 1

    The young players were in E10 to watch the O’s latest game against Carlisle. They received free entry, refreshments, souvenirs and use of the club’s private Hub Room. They also got to meet some of the players, collect autographs and have their photo taken with Leyton Orient’s mascot Theo the Wyvern!

    Orient school 2

    Phoenix FM’s Steve Roach said, “Leyton Orient is a great place to discover affordable football and get close up to the action, something that is increasingly rare in the Premier League.

    “It’s something that The Orient Hour team was very pleased to organise and we’d like to thank the club’s Community Liaison Officer, Howard Gould, for making it such an enjoyable day”.

    Hutton’s U9 manager Alex Yip said, “The experience of the day was excellent. The boys were really excited and just couldn’t help themselves trying to get some of the players signature! But I think it was the private room really blow the parents away!”

    Phoenix FM and Leyton Orient will be working together in the future to bring more teams to the Brisbane Road ground.

    TwitCount Button

    Cultura Brazil – show 129

    Click below to listen to the show again:

    Cultura Brazil is Phoenix FM’s show for the Brazilian community in Essex, London and beyond, presented by Ezequiel Cassol.

    In this week’s show:

    ‐ Christian kitchen goes into action
    ‐ Cristina Schleder exhibits at the Brazilian Embassy
    ‐ Stylist Valdenize Soares shows his work in London

    TwitCount Button

    Billericay Town FC rallies community to support club renovation

    Billericay Town FC is calling on fans and people living in the local area to support its bid to revamp the club’s facilities with the help of builders’ merchant, Buildbase.


    The club has applied to the Buildbase Club Renovation Programme, which launched this year and is open to teams entering The Buildbase FA Trophy and Vase competitions. Up to £100,000 worth of building materials, electrical products and hire equipment is available to two football clubs in 2017.

    Daniel Groves, club chairman, said: “After taking over the club and asking the fans what they wanted, we’re investing in a new stadium, re-developing the clubhouse and creating a second training pitch facility.”

    Billericay Town FC is now rallying the local community to support its application online with the number of people supporting a bid forming part of the judging criteria.

    To help the club stand a better chance of being awarded Buildbase’s product bursary, fans can register their support at and also Tweet using #BuildbaseRenovation.

    Local Buildbase branches – such as Buildbase Basildon – will be supporting the clubs by providing information and advice about the building products required for a renovation project.

    Kate Tinsley, CEO of Buildbase said: “Our branch teams are already an integral part of their local communities so it’s brilliant to be able to extend their support with an investment that will renovate football club facilities for the benefit of all. All clubs taking part in the competitions can apply and in partnership with The FA we will select the most worthy causes.”

    In February, six shortlisted finalists, consisting of three Buildbase FA Trophy and three Buildbase FA Vase clubs, will be invited to pitch their project to a panel of judges from The FA and Buildbase at a “Dragon’s Den”-style event at Wembley. Two winners will be announced at The Buildbase FA Trophy and Vase semi finals on 11 March 2017. They will receive an award presentation for their building products on finals day on 21 May 2017, ready to start renovations over the summer.

    The Buildbase Club Renovation Programme is a £200,000 product bursary running throughout 2017 and 2018.

    Mark Bullingham, FA Commercial Director said: “This scheme could be a real boon for clubs wanting to expand, attract more supporters and become a real hub of their local community. It will be both the non-league community and local fans that become the beneficiaries too, which can only be a good thing.”

    TwitCount Button

    Playlist for 31 January 2017 (AOTW: Koria Kitten Riot – Songs Of Hope And Science)

    Click here to listen again:

    Tonight’s album of the week: KORIA KITTEN RIOT – SONGS OF HOPE AND SCIENCE


    Helsinki indie rock band Koria Kitten Riot’s fourth album Songs of Hope and Science was released on Friday 27 January via VILD Recordings. On their new album, the band have tie-dyed their guitar pop sound with a 60s folk rock flavour and good-old-fashioned harmony singing. With its lyrics traveling between planets throughout the universe, the album’s themes are intertwined with hope and science. Lots of Beatles/XTC/psychedelic influences to the fore.

    Tonight’s playlist:

    Los Campesinos! – 5 Flucloxacillin
    Koria Kitten Riot – The Earth Will Spin Around
    Peaness – Same Place
    Army Of Bones – Don’t Be Long
    Where Fires Are – I’ve Got The Time
    Strand Of Oaks – Radio Kids
    Chumped – Anywhere But Here
    Koria Kitten Riot – The Laughing Man
    Taffy – dd
    Real Estate – Darling
    Monarks – Amorous
    Llovers – Borderlands
    British Sea Power – Bad Bohemian
    Koria Kitten Riot – Forever’s Going to Be a Long, Long Time
    Temples – Strange Or Be Forgotten
    Froth – Passing Thing
    Stone Roses – One Love (12″ version)
    Elastica – Car Song
    Blur – Star Shaped
    Darling Buds – Crystal Clear
    Ned’s Atomic Dustbin – Trust
    Bellatrix – Sweet Surrender
    Teenage Fanclub – Star Sign
    Melys – Baby Tornado
    Auteurs – Lenny Valentino
    New Fast Automatic Daffodils – Get Better
    Juliana Hatfield Three – My Sister
    Lush – De-Luxe
    Radiohead – Ripcord
    Smashing Pumpkins – Zero
    Garbage – Subhuman
    Kent – If You Were Here

    TwitCount Button

    Cultura Brazil – show 128

    Click below to listen to the show again:

    Cultura Brazil is Phoenix FM’s show for the Brazilian community in Essex, London and beyond, presented by Ezequiel Cassol.

    In this week’s show:

    • Singer Aline Paes performs at the Brazilian Embassy
    • Architect Paulo Mendes da Rocha lectures in London
    • Audiences of the show Vozes of Amazonia happens in London
    • Center of Brazilian Studies of the University of Salamanca is receiving proposals for photographic projects
    • Valdenize Soares participates in Londos Fashion Week at Fashions Finest
    TwitCount Button

    Time To Talk Day 2017

    Conversations about mental health change lives.

    At the moment, too many people with mental health problems are made to feel isolated, ashamed and worthless by other people’s reactions.

    But talking about mental health doesn’t need to be difficult. It can be as simple as making time to have a cup of tea or go for a walk, and listening to someone talk about how they feel.

    Being open about mental health and ready to listen can make a positive difference to someone’s life. This is what Time to Talk Day is all about – giving us all the chance to talk and listen about mental health.

    Whatever the hour, every conversation, every text, every share means more people are reached and more lives are changed.


    PHOENIX FM will once again be devoting a whole day to stories, conversations and interviews on THURSDAY 2ND FEBRUARY.

    9am – Rhianna from Brain Works, and Wayne Banks from the Young Peoples Counselling Service will be talking about Mental Health in Young People.

    10am – Jay Thornton (Buddy Scheme co-organiser) from SEPT (South Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust) with Scott W, Mental Health Campaigner and Service User Buddy will be talking about the Student Nurse Buddy Scheme

    11.30am – Chris Hood, Mel Watson and a client from Fitness in Mind in Brentwood – will be talking about Mental Health and Physical Activity.

    12pm – Andrew Woodcock and Cara talking about Brentwood Community Print and their Promoting Positive Mental Health at Work event.

    1pm – Lorraine from Home Instead and Ted from the Alhezimers Society will be talking about the Dementia Action Alliance.

    2pm – Colin Wade will be talking about Brentwood Mind.

    3pm – The Homeless in Brentwood Group will be talking about mental health and homelessness.

    4pm – Dr Karen McCarty from NHS North East London NHS Foundation Trust and Lois from Futures In Mind will be talking about Mental Health Peer Support.

    5pm – Bereavement counsellor Sue Spong and members of the Family Support Services team from Saint Francis Hospice will be talking about supporting the mental and emotional wellbeing of patients and families in their journey at end of life.

    TwitCount Button

    Playlist for 24 January 2017 (AOTW: Cherry Glazerr – Apocalipstick)

    Click here to listen again:

    Our album of the week this week is Apocalipstick from LA’s brilliant Cherry Glazerr.


    Apart from having a great name, Apocalipstick is a powerful collection of rock songs ranging from lo-fi to echoes of 80s power pop. It’s out now on Strictly Canadian.

    We also spoke to The Sherlocks during tonight’s show – they’re coming to Southend on 27 February as part of a massive tour of the UK which takes in 35 venues in 43 days.

    Tonight’s playlist:

    Elastica – Stutter
    Cherry Glazerr – Nurse Ratched
    British Sea Power – Bad Bohemian
    Last Shadow Puppets – This Is Your Life
    Dutch Uncles – Oh Yeah
    OK Go – Interesting Drug
    Tigercub – Control
    Interview with the Sherlocks – Unknown Title
    Sherlocks – Will You Be There?
    Splashh – Rings
    Cherry Glazerr – Only Kid On The Block
    Echobelly – Anarchy and Alchemy
    Slowdive – Star Roving
    Temples – Strange Or Be Forgotten
    Maximo Park – Risk To Exist
    Declan McKenna – The Kids Don’t Wanna Come Home
    Froth – Passing Thing
    Frau Pouch – Ham Planet
    Los Campesinos! – 5 Flucloxacillin
    Bait – Push The Elephant
    Cherry Glazerr – Instagratification
    Sleaford Mods – BHS
    Desperate Journalist – Resolution
    Ned’s Atomic Dustbin – Kill Your Television
    Blur – Bang
    Senseless Things – Lip Radio
    Darling Buds – Isolation
    Charlatans – Tremelo Song
    An Emotional Fish – Celebrate
    Thousand Yard Stare – Buttermouth
    Ride – Leave Them All Behind
    Lush – Nothing Natural

    TwitCount Button

    The Sherlocks – massive tour announced

    Following up from their sold out UK Tour in September, Sheffield four-piece The Sherlocks announce a headline UK and Ireland Tour to kick off in February 2017.


    The band, consisting of two sets of brothers – Kiaran and Brandon Crook on lead vocals/guitar and drums, and Josh and Andy Davidson on guitar/vocals and bass/vocals.

    They have been steadily building a solid live following and were the first unsigned band since Arctic Monkeys to sell out their local venue the Sheffield Leadmill.

    We spoke to Kiaran about the tour and you can hear the interview again here:

    The Sherlocks are a young band following in the great tradition of guitar groups from their area. They’ve drawn obvious comparisons from influences such as The Jam, The Clash, and Arctic Monkeys but they also have their own unique sound which is captivating new audiences.

    They will be playing Chinnerys in Southend on 27 February. You can find out more, including a full list of dates, on their official website.

    TwitCount Button

    Swap a book and see Chris and Pui!

    The Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch will be participating in the annual Discover London Children’s Book Swap on Saturday 11 February.

    Book Swap logo high res

    The theatre will open its doors to anyone wanting to recycle their children’s books and give children new books to read.

    Over 70 venues across 21 London boroughs will be celebrating Discover London Children’s Book Swap’s sixth birthday. For one day only, literally thousands of books will be swapped in an action-packed day of free activities.

    CBeebies’ double act, Chris & Pui will star in their very own stage show Show Me Show Me on the same day of the book swapping event.


    They will be performing at the Queen’s Theatre at 11am and 2pm, so families attending the event can bring an old book along with them to the theatre and swap it for a different book to take home for free.

    The Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch welcomes book donations for the event suitable for children aged 3 – 16.

    For more information about the Discover London Children’s Book Swap visit

    To book tickets for Chris & Pui visit or call the Theatre Box Office on 01708 443333.

    TwitCount Button

    Keep Your Medicine Cabinet Fighting Fit For Winter

    GPs in Basildon and Brentwood are urging people with long-term health issues to keep medicine cabinets fully stocked – and not leave themselves at the mercy of the freezing winter weather.

    People living with chronic conditions such as diabetes, respiratory disease (severe asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or bronchitis), heart disease, kidney or liver disease, or neurological disease, are particularly vulnerable when the temperatures drop.


    Venturing out in extremely cold weather can easily make an existing illness worse, which makes it all the more important to stock up on medicine while you can. With repeat prescription items, you should plan ahead for a couple of weeks but not stockpile.

    Denise Rabbette, Head of Medicines Optimisation at Basildon and Brentwood CCG, said: “At this time of year the weather can quickly turn from being mild and pleasant to becoming bitterly cold, and if you’re not adequately prepared for a cold snap you may find yourself stuck at home without the provisions you need to stay warm and well.

    “Our advice to people with long-term illnesses in Basildon and Brentwood is to check their medicine cabinets are supplied with everyday remedies for minor winter illness as well as any regular medication they may require for their condition. It’s also a good idea to make sure kitchen cupboards are well stocked with nutritious food, too.

    “We’d also recommend contacting a friend or family member to see if they would be available to help you in case you get stuck at home without something you need. That way, you can be fully prepared should the weather take a turn for the worse and it’s difficult to venture outdoors.”

    Alongside regular medication, a well-stocked medicine cabinet should include the following:

    • A first-aid kit including bandages, plasters, thermometer, antiseptic, eyewash solution, sterile dressings, medical tape for dressings and tweezers.
    • Pain relief such as paracetamol and ibuprofen for aches, pains and high temperatures.
    • Oral rehydration salts to replace lost minerals and fluid after a fever or vomiting and diarrhoea.
    • Anti-diarrhoea tablets to relieve symptoms of diarrhoea (though these will not help with the underlying cause).

    If you’re already on medication, make sure you’re not going to run out. Contact your GP surgery about registering for GP Online Services, which will enable you to request repeat prescriptions online. You can also book appointments and see some of your health records. To sign up, you’ll just need to go to your practice and complete a form. Remember to take some photo ID, such as your passport.

    If you’re not sure which over-the-counter medicines to take with your regular medication, you can talk to a pharmacist for advice.

    For more information on staying well this winter visit

    TwitCount Button

    Cultura Brazil – show 127

    Click below to listen to the show again:

    Cultura Brazil is Phoenix FM’s show for the Brazilian community in Essex, London and beyond, presented by Ezequiel Cassol.

    In this week’s show:

    ‐ Photographs Cristina Schleder exhibits at the Brazilian Embassy
    ‐ Cine Clube Brasil comes out once more

    TwitCount Button

    Playlist for 17 Jan 2017 (AOTW: Rose Elinor Dougall – Stellular)

    Listen again:

    Tonight’s Album Of The Week is the excellent STELLULAR from Rose Elinor Dougall.


    It’s been over 6 years since we last chatted with ex-Pipette Rose at the Latitude Festival and Southend Village Green – and the new album was well worth the long wait. 11 great tracks with nods to 70s and 80s pop as diverse as Blondie, The Smiths and Fleetwood Mac.

    Tonight’s playlist:

    Fatima Mansions – Blues For Caeusescu
    Rose Elinor Dougall – Stellular
    British Sea Power – Bad Bohemian
    Los Campesinos! – 5 Flucloxacillin
    Slowdive – Star Roving
    Oblong – Tunguska
    Cherry Glazerr – Nurse Ratched (single edit)
    Rose Elinor Dougall – Space To Be
    Big Moon – Formidable
    Temples – Strange Or Be Forgotten
    Placebo – Jesus’ Son
    Amazons – Little Something
    Menace Beach – Suck It Out
    Rose Elinor Dougall – Closer
    Needles For Teeth – Could Have Been
    Mutants feat Judy Nylon, Wilko Johnson and Wayne Kramer – How Dare You
    Cabbage – Dissonance
    Horse Heads – Castles
    Goodly Thousands – Sunshine Hair
    14 Iced Bears – Dust Remains (Part Time Punks recording)
    Terry Blair and Anouchka – Ultra Modern Nursery Rhyme
    New Fast Automatic Daffodils – Get Better
    Radiohead – Pearly
    Suede – Money
    Breeders – Cannonball
    Thousand Yard Stare – Spindrift
    Curve – Fait Accompli
    Heart Throbs – Hooligan
    Family Cat – Airplane Gardens
    Divine Comedy – Becoming More Like Alfie
    Sleeper – Vegas

    TwitCount Button

    Knock Knock … Be A Good Neighbour This Winter

    GPs in Brentwood are urging people to look out for their elderly and vulnerable relatives and neighbours this winter – and make sure they don’t ‘soldier on’ in silence as winter starts to bite.


    Older people and those with long-term health conditions are particularly susceptible to illness and isolation at this time of year, yet it can sometimes be difficult for those at risk to admit they need help.

    Dr Arv Guniyangodage, Chair of Basildon and Brentwood Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), says winter is a time when communities should come together to support people elderly and vulnerable people who may need to be encouraged to seek medical assistance before illness becomes so serious they need to be admitted to hospital.

    Dr Guniyangodage said: “All too often we see elderly and vulnerable people having to be treated in hospital for lengthy periods with symptoms that might not have become so serious and could have been managed effectively at home if they’d only sought help sooner.

    “This is often the result of people trying to ‘soldier on’ through adversity because they don’t want to cause inconvenience to their families or bother their GP or pharmacist with something they feel is insignificant.

    “If you are aged over 75 or you are living with a long-term medical condition such as a respiratory illness, don’t wait when you’re feeling ill – get help straight away. Speak to your local pharmacist first and they’ll either recommend an over-the-counter medicine to alleviate your symptoms, or tell you if you need to see your GP.

    “If you have a friend, neighbour or relative who is vulnerable then you can do your bit to help by checking in on them regularly and making sure they have everything they need to stay well this winter.”

    Basildon and Brentwood CCG has the following top tips for how to help elderly and vulnerable people you may know:

    • Drop in to see them and check if they are well at least once a week – and more often if the weather turns very cold.
    • Check if they are feeling well and don’t let them brush off your questions if you’re concerned they’re trying to hide an illness, particularly if they don’t seem their usual self or they look unwell.
    • If they are feeling ill, encourage them to visit their local pharmacist without delay – and give them a lift if you can.
    • Ask if you can collect any prescriptions they need or take them to their GP for any appointments.
    • Tell them to call 111 if they feel unwell when pharmacies are closed – a trained NHS health care adviser will be able to help them.
    • Make sure their home is heated to at least 18°C to 21°C throughout the winter.
    • Ensure they are eating well and have a good supply of essential and store-cupboard food to keep them going – and offer to help them with shopping if they struggle with mobility.
    • Encourage them to get heating and cooking appliances safety checked – and recommend a trustworthy gas and heating engineer or electrician if you know one.
    • If it snows, clear their path, front steps or doorway areas for them – or better still, encourage them to stay in.

    For more information on staying well this winter visit

    TwitCount Button

    Playlist for 10 Jan 2017 (AOTW: Cabbage – Young, Dumb And Full Of …)

    Listen again:

    We’re pleased to announce that after giving it a miss for most of 2016, our Album Of The Week feature is back! And the first one of 2017 is …



    A band who’ve been hyped in all the cool blogs and who DON’T sound like landfill indie? Cabbage were also infamously noted in some quarters as the only BAND nominated in the BBC’s (getting more and more terrible every year) “Sound” longlist of 15 new artists. But for me, a refreshingly different approach to alternative music – politically charged and quirky lyrics. (Don’t say Carter USM …)

    Tonight’s playlist:

    KLF – America: What Time is Love?
    Cabbage – Uber Capitalist Death Trade
    Slotface – Empire Records
    British Sea Power – Bad Bohemian
    Duke Spirit – Melt By The Morning
    Allo Darlin’ – Wanderlust
    Elbow – Magnificent (She Says)
    Cabbage – Terrorist Synthesizer
    Cherry Glazerr – Nurse Ratched
    Jitterz – One Good Song
    Ffug – Love Is Stupid
    Jagwar Ma – Ordinary
    Splashh – Rings
    Jesus and Mary Chain – Amputation
    Cabbage – Indispensable Pencil
    Temples – Strange Or Be Forgotten
    Dakota – Icon
    Pigeon Detectives – Enemy Lines
    Luby Sparks – Hateful Summer
    Desperate Journalist – Resolution
    Brix and the Extricated – Something To Lose
    Leggy – Chardonnay Summer
    Family Cat – Furthest From The Sun
    Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine – Hit
    Chumbawamba – Timebomb
    Ween – Push th’ Little Daisies (Shitless Radio Edit – No Shit) *
    Salad – Drink The Elixir
    Darling Buds – Long Day In The Universe
    Family Gotown – Turtle
    Bush – Swallowed
    Lemon Jelly – A Tune For Jack

    * Dear Ofcom, I didn’t say “shit” on the radio, that’s the name of the remix though.

    TwitCount Button

    Calling all budding theatre directors!

    The Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch is on a mission to find and nurture the next generation of innovative theatre directors by partnering with the prestigious Regional Theatre Young Director Scheme (RTYDS).


    As a theatre that is passionate about supporting emerging theatre makers, the Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch is thrilled to announce their first partnership with the Regional Theatre Young Director Scheme. Douglas Rintoul, the Artistic Director at the Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch is particularly excited about offering this opportunity to aspiring directors as he received a RTYDS 18-month bursary to Salisbury Playhouse in 2000 and is keen to provide others with the same experience.

    Participants will be given a valuable opportunity to take part in an Introduction to Directing programme, which offers free intensive practical training for people who are aged over 18. Introduction to Directing is part of the Regional Theatre Young Director Scheme and will allow participants to develop their directing skills through practical workshops, work alongside experienced practitioners and have access to opportunities and contacts that could help propel them forward in the theatre industry.

    Taking place at the Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch, the fun, hands-on Introduction to Directing programme will be led by the theatre’s Artistic Director Douglas Rintoul who is directing the highly anticipated forthcoming production The Crucible. Participants will gain insight into his rehearsal process with the cast on the production as well observe show rehearsals.

    To be eligible you MUST live in Essex (NOT Greater London), be at the very early stages of your career, have a specific interest in directing rather than in acting or any other theatre craft. The projects are not intended for those who have studied directing as part of a degree. The Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch is looking for participants currently under-represented in UK theatre as a result of barriers arising from social, gender, financial, ethnic, cultural, geographic or educational disadvantage or disability.

    All applicants must be available to attend all sessions. There are subsidies available to cover travel expenses.

    Dates are:
    Sat 28 Jan, 2-7pm
    Sat 4 Feb, 10-1pm
    Wed 15 Feb, 6-10pm
    Mon 20 Feb, 7-10pm
    Sat 4 Mar, 10am-6pm
    Sat 11 Mar, 10am-6pm
    Sun 12 Mar, 10am-6pm
    Sat 18 Mar, 2-10pm

    Applicants are required to send a short statement about themselves and why they are interested in this programme to with RTYDS in the subject field.

    Deadline for applications is Monday 16 January at 5pm. Interviews will be held at the Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch on 19 and 20 January (evening).

    For more information about the Regional Theatre Young Director Scheme visit their website:

    TwitCount Button

    Memorial Products from Around The World

    Sadness and grief has touched many lives during 2016. For the majority, handling the passing of a loved one is a new experience and it can be confusing knowing what the options are for saying goodbye.

    Secure Haven Funeral Directors, in Margaretting, have searched the world for the most unique range of memorial urns and keepsakes.

    Cheryl Yarwood, managing director, said: “It’s a privilege to offer such a varying and unique range of post-cremation options to families. After all, it aids them along their journey with grief.”

    When Kathryn Clark’s mum Sheila died this summer, the family knew they wanted their loved one to be returned to her home in Yorkshire. The 83-year-old had been born and raised up north and it felt right to put her to rest there.

    The Scatter Pod, an eco-friendly scattering cremation urn, has a peel-up tab on the top for ashes to be scattered from.

    Kathryn, of Rettendon Common, also had some of her mum’s ashes placed into a bracelet charm.

    She said: “I didn’t want an urn for mum, but I wanted to keep her close; I wanted a keepsake that was private; that was just for me.


    “I find myself twiddling the charm on my bracelet all the time and thinking of mum. I feel as though mum is with me and protecting me. It brings that closeness back.”

    The family were so comforted by the products, they also had some of their dog Molly’s ashes interred into a paper weight.

    With a firm belief in “ashes to ashes”, Sarah Ramsey-Smith’s mum Mercy wanted to be returned to the earth when she died.

    So, the 85-year-old’s ashes were laid to rest at Woodman Road Cemetery, Brentwood, within an environmentally-friendly Limbo Geos.


    The hand-crafted biodegradable urn is made from binding plant organic substrate, fibre, golden sand and plant extracts and fitted completely with Mercy’s wishes.

    Daughter Sarah, of Brentwood, said: “It meant everything to have the biodegradable urn for mum. She was all about things returning to where they started from; ashes to ashes and dust to dust.”

    While Mercy died in May, her ashes were stored at Secure Haven’s unique storage niche until this month when the family felt ready to lay her to rest.

    Sarah said: “I felt happier knowing mum was safe at Secure Haven rather than being stuck in a cupboard with others at a funeral home.”

    A brother’s last wish to have his ashes scattered in a river gave his family fears about the logistics.

    Peter Low was determined to give brother William, 65, of Chelmsford, the send-off he had requested in his will, but said: “I imagined we’d have to have a traditional urn that we’d have to open and scatter from. The thought of the wind blowing in the wrong direction and it being a disaster was abhorrent to me.”

    Instead, Secure Haven introduced the family to the Samsara Sand Urn. Made from sand and salt bound with natural plant extracts, the urn dissolves when submerged in water.


    Peter, who gave William the send-off he wanted at Southend Pier with their mother, said: “It was an important final moment; it was a release.

    “I had not heard of the sand urn before. It was absolutely perfect, particularly for my mum who was not sure, at first, she wanted to be there when we scattered William’s ashes. It was very clean and respectful.”

    For some, the tradition of keeping their loved one’s ashes at home is an important way of coping with the loss.

    For Jackie Scale, when husband John died, she wanted him to remain at home with her.

    With the Les Grand Vents urn, hand carved and turned from one single log in various woods, ashes can take pride of place in the home without being obvious.


    Jackie said: “The Les Grand Vents range are incredibly beautiful, warm, tactile pieces and their individuality makes them so very personal. Now it is placed in our home, it is absolutely perfect.

    “I find it incredibly comforting as I believe John would have approved.”

    TwitCount Button

    Waste Not, Want Not – Medicines Waste campaign targets antibiotics

    A campaign to help tackle medicine waste is encouraging people to only use antibiotics when needed.

    The Waste Not, Want Not – Medicines Waste campaign is a south west Essex initiative designed to raise awareness of the costly issue of unused prescription medicine and highlight the overuse of antibiotics.

    Healthcare commissioners NHS Basildon and Brentwood Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Thurrock CCG have joined forces to reduce the costs of wasted medicines which is estimated to be £2.5 million a year locally…money that could be better spent on improving services such as 100 extra community nurses.

    Now with the cold and flu season well underway, the Waste Not, Want Not – Medicines Waste campaign is sending out the message that most people will NOT need to be treated with antibiotics for their winter ailments.

    The CCGs have produced a new range of leaflets on antibiotics which are available from doctors’ surgeries and the CCGs’ websites:

    • Antibiotics – what you and your family should know
    • Dry, tickly or chesty cough?
    • Home care is best
    • Snotty, sniffly or sneezy?
    • Delayed prescription – helping prevent the overuse of antibiotics


    Denise Rabbette, Head of a joint dedicated Medicines Optimisation team covering Basildon and Brentwood CCG and Thurrock CCG, is pictured with pharmacist Bijukumar Gandecha from Noak Bridge Pharmacy

    Denise Rabbette, Head of a joint dedicated Medicines Optimisation team covering both CCGs, said: “Antibiotics are rarely needed for coughs or sore throats because they are usually caused by a virus. Pharmacists can advise on simple self-care treatments and over-the-counter medications to relieve symptoms. Patients should not expect their GP to prescribe antibiotics because they are usually not necessary.

    “As well as the money being wasted on unnecessary prescriptions for antibiotics, there is also the growing problem of antibiotic resistance.

    “Overuse and misuse of antibiotics is leading to bacteria resistant to antibiotics which could mean many routine procedures, such as operations and cancer treatment, become increasingly dangerous in the future.”

    The Waste Not – Want Not Medicines Waste campaign is reminding patients:

    • Antibiotics do not work for MOST colds, coughs, sore throats or earache. Your body can usually fight these infections on its own.
    • To ask their pharmacist about over-the-counter remedies that can help in the first instance.
    • Not to expect or demand treatment with antibiotics from their GP.
    • When antibiotics are prescribed by a health professional, always take them as directed and complete the course.

    Sometimes a GP may give a delayed prescription for antibiotics which can be collected a few days later but only if you do not feel better or feel worse.

    Never save any antibiotics for later or share antibiotics with others.

    Remember, the more we use antibiotics, the greater the chance that bacteria will become resistant to them so that they no longer work on infections.

    For further information on the Waste Not, Want campaign and how you can help to combat Medicines Waste visit

    For further information on how you can help protect your antibiotics visit

    TwitCount Button

    Playlist for 3 January 2017

    Click here to listen to the show again:

    A few new tracks tonight but also managed to play a few songs from 2016 which passed me by until I found them on various “best of” lists!

    Tonight’s playlist:


    Desperate Journalist – Resolution
    British Sea Power – Bad Bohemian
    Besnard Lakes – Laura Lee
    Honeyblood – Sister Wolf
    New Model Army – Burn The Castle
    Angel Olsen – Give It Up
    Graceland – Fleetwood
    Big Moon – Formidable
    Mayflower – I’m Not There
    Heldinky – Arms
    Brix and the Extricated – Something To Lose
    Car Seat Headrest – Drunk Drivers Killer Whales
    Leggy – Grrrls Like Us
    Oblong – Lemon Tree
    Gurr – Walnuss
    Slotface – Empire Records (clean)
    Skinny Girl Diet – Okay
    Ruts DC – Music Must Destroy
    Margaret Glaspy – Emotions and Math
    Dutch Uncles – Big Balloon
    Melys – Baby Tornado
    Mystery Jets – You Can’t Fool Me Dennis
    Grates – 19-20-20
    Graham Coxon – Freaking Out
    Kenickie – I Would Fix You
    Hole – Malibu
    Marion – Fallen Through
    Lush – Ladykillers
    Pulp – Acrylic Afternoons
    Radiohead – Ripcord
    Thousand Yard Stare – Version Of Me
    Garbage – Stupid Girl

    TwitCount Button

    Cultura Brazil – show 124

    Click below to listen to the show again:

    Cultura Brazil is Phoenix FM’s show for the Brazilian community in Essex, London and beyond, presented by Ezequiel Cassol.

    In this week’s show:

    ‐ Booklet for entrepreneurs is already available at the Brazilian Consulate
    ‐ Book Club continues at the Brazilian Embassy

    TwitCount Button

    Cultura Brazil – show 123

    Click below to listen to the show again:

    Cultura Brazil is Phoenix FM’s show for the Brazilian community in Essex, London and beyond, presented by Ezequiel Cassol.

    In this week’s show:

    Ambassador of the United Kingdom in Brazil will integrate ministry that negotiated Brexit
    ‐ Brazilians living abroad have a deadline to regularize the electoral situation
    ‐ Entrepreneurship for Brazilians in the UK

    TwitCount Button

    Presenters’ Picks – 2016

    Phoenix FM presenters choose their favourite albums and tracks of the year …

    Aaron Heanue

    Album: Craig David – Following My Intuition

    Following My Intuition is Craig David’s 6th studio album. The album debuted at number 1 in the albums chart, his first album to do so since his debut album “Born to Do It” in 2000. My favourite song on this album is “16”, which is a mash up of Craig David’s old hit “Fill Me In” and Jack Ü song “Where Are Ü”. I also enjoyed the single “When the Bassline Drops” from the album, which features UK rapper Big Narstie.

    Track: Kungs vs Cookin’ on 3 Burners – This Girl

    I have chosen “This Girl” as in my opinion this was the dance song of the summer in 2016! Originally “This Girl” was released by soul-funk band Cookin’ on 3 Burners in 2009. Then this year French DJ Kungs remixed “This Girl” and made it his own. This upbeat dance song peaked at number 2 in the UK charts.

    Alan Gulliver

    Album: Destrage – A Means To No End

    This album came from nowhere like a knockout punch with big powerful riffs melodic overtones and catchy hooks. This band have found themselves this year and reigned in the over-the-top riffing of the past to put together the strongest offering from any band for me in 2016.

    Track: Gojira – Stranded

    Taken from the album Magma, this song for me was the song of the summer and has the earworm effect on you from the outset. A great song from one of the best live acts this year.

    Alan Johnson

    Album: Craig David – Following My Intuition

    Craig David – one of the UK’s finest R&B talents. Or do I mean Garage – or perhaps these days they call it Grime? Hang on, though, maybe his style’s more just good-old-fashioned Hip Hop.

    Forget the labels – Craig David’s ability to cross a range of styles with ease is something I’ve always liked about him, and this album didn’t disappoint with its tuneful solo efforts along with some great collaborations. I particularly enjoyed “16”, a skilful mash-up of Jack Ü & Justin Bieber’s “Where Are Ü Now” with the timeless classic which launched his own chart career back at the start of the century, “Fill Me In”.

    Oh now, wait a minute – can I add EDM to that list?

    Track: Black Eyed Peas featuring The World – #WHERESTHELOVE

    There’ve been quite a few of those songs this year whose melodies became lodged in my head – in a good way. There was the one about leaving a spare toothbrush, for example, or that one with the odd line about the stolen mattress. Then there was the highly catchy song inviting everyone to get sexual – an invitation Zara Larsson certainly seems to have taken on board as she enthuses about one particular way she’d like to get to know you.

    Whilst these ditties may soon be forgotten, though, I and millions of others shall long remember this as a year marked by division and nastiness. This was epitomised by the public slaughter of an MP: I recall my heart sinking back in June when an almost quivering voice on the radio confirmed the death of Jo Cox. That was news no-one should ever have had to read, and against this backdrop my track of 2016 was an easy choice.

    Antonia Jones

    Track: Bruno Mars – 24K Magic

    I know this song was only released in November, but this has got to be my favourite track of the year. Why? It’s catchy, fun and will go on to be one of those songs that will never be forgotten. Bruno Mars has gone and done it again. He brings together a range of different eras into one track – his collection just keeps on growing!

    Bob Simpson

    Album: Bruno Mars – 24K Magic
    Track: Bruno Mars – Versace On The Floor

    As one of the more senior (in years) presenters on Phoenix FM I think my musical head is firmly entrenched in the latter part of the last century. Having said that though, there has been some great new music this year.

    My choices for this year have their roots in the past though (what music doesn’t?) Yes, I’m a Bruno Mars fan!

    Every track on this album sends various parts of my body into involuntary motion. I’ll leave you to guess which parts! It’s fun, it’s fabulous and does what I think music needs to do. It lifts you out whatever situation you are in and takes you on a journey.

    Influences from 80’s funk to early Michael Jackson with a little James Brown and R&B of the late 80’s and early 90’s, the ballads are sweet, the dance tracks superb.

    A guilty pleasure? Maybe, but I don’t feel guilty at all.

    Brian Ager

    Album: Whiskey Myers – Mud

    The fourth album from the Texans shows a band who do exactly what they want to do, regardless of musical trends. Like all their previous albums this is an album full of songs and stories of the south, showing their depth of feeling towards their home state.

    Opening with the fiddle-heavy Down To The River, the album moves on to the swampy title track, full of their trademark twin guitar attack and featuring female backing singers. Up next is Lightning Bugs and Rain, another switch of styles, this time to a brass backed almost funky song. Deep Down In The South follows in the funkier vein, thudding bass, references to Muscle Shoals, Delta Blues and home cooking, it’s another song of love for the South.

    Stone is probably the centrepiece of the album. Opening with piano, the song tells the story of a lonely man on the road searching for happiness. Trailer We Call Home follows, a tale of young couples struggling to get a start in life by living in a trailer. Some Of Your Love lightens the mood, a love song about a man trying to win a girls heart. Frogman, co written by Rich Robinson of The Black Crowes, is a tribute to US Navy Seals and their life in battle.

    Hank follows, a song of thanks to Hank Williams Jr and the band’s introduction to country music through him. The Good Ol’ Days closes the album on a happy note, sounding very much like a group of friends having a few beers sitting round a camp fire and having fun.

    This is a truly wonderful album, musicianship of the very highest calibre at the peak of their powers. If you like southern rock, country rock, or just plain good music, buy this album.

    Track: The Answer – Battle Cry

    The Answer surprised many fans this year with their Gaelic-tinged album of hard rock, Solas. Battle Cry is the centrepiece of the album, a slow building 6 minute epic that they currently close their live performances with. Great song from a great album.

    Chay Appleyard

    Album: Asylums – Killer Brain Waves

    In a year where a lot of the main music outlets are selecting The 1975’s “I Like It When You Sleep For You Are So Beautiful, Yet So Unaware Of It” (My fingers hurt after typing that), and rightly so, it’s a great album, but let’s embrace some other good stuff which has braced our stereos in 2016.

    It was a toss up between Iggy Pop’s “Post Pop Depression” or Asylums’ “Killer Brain Waves”, the first one is great and my head says I should go for that because it is THAT good. But my friends, with my heart I have gone with the latter. Why? I originally bought the album on the off chance from good things I read on Facebook. They are a Southend band on the verge of charting with their album and I felt it was worth giving a shot.

    Two minutes in and one song down – I was hooked. The moment “Second Class Sex” finished and “Seen Your Face In A Music Magazine” began it was clear to me I made the right choice giving it a punt. Great production, all very upbeat songs but each with their own identity, interesting song titles and lyrics, everything down to the artwork. It’s my kinda album.

    All in all, it’s wonderful to see that band/artists from your region can go on to make great records. If you look towards Southend you can find some great music at this moment in time. And I like to think, that if Asylums can go on to do more wonderful things, such as what they’ve achieve with this album, then it can encourage and inspire more of us who play music in Essex to do exactly the same. Keep up the good work, lads.

    Track: Mumford and Sons feat Baaba Maal and The Very Best – There Will Be Time

    I’ve embraced pop a little more this year. I’ve loved “This Is What You Came For” by Calvin Harris and Rhianna (but it’s mainly because I’m a sucker for most things written by Taylor Swift). I have, however, gone for a song which structurally, melodically, lyrically and spiritually engages me as a local songwriter.

    Mumford and Sons to me have become a better band since ditching the banjos and picking up electric guitars – but with this song they took African influences and it features Senegalese music icon, Baaba Maal. In my eyes it has made them one of the most ambitious bands since the 21st century began.

    I love how it’s laid out, it starts off with ab-libs from Baaba Maal, then the first chorus, both verses are different, the four chorus are musically diverse (single strums with no drums, then slow building drums, then breakbeat drums – the works), Baaba Maal and Marcus Mumford just seem to play off each other vocally – its wonderful to listen to.

    The EP “Johannesburg” is in my car currently, and it isn’t going anywhere fast. Fun fact: I used to work in a fish and chip shop in Grays also named Mumford and Sons, it has been in the Grays area since 1912.

    Chris Hood

    Album: Neil Young and Promise of The Real – Earth

    Neil Young is an angry man – nothing new there. Together with new band Promise of The Real, featuring the offspring of Willie Nelson, this album is a series of live cuts of Young’s best musings on Planet Earth, together with studio overdubs and sounds of nature. The 28 minute version of Love and Only Love is a particular treat.

    Track: Prophets of Rage – Prophets of Rage

    Prophets of Rage announced their existence in May of this year. A supergroup featuring members of Rage Against The Machine, Public Enemy and Cypress Hill, all the participants are at the peak of their powers for this barnstorming shot across the bows. Plus, anything with Tom Morello in it has to be worth consideration, right?

    Chris Siviter

    Album: Tacocat – Lost Time

    The record I’ve listened to more times this year than any other. A delightfully noisy record full of short punky classics along with lyrics covering feminist themes (amongst other things) make this a must-hear album of 2016.

    Track: David Bowie – Lazarus

    The death of David Bowie shocked the entire world when it happened only two days after the release of his final album Blackstar. But even in death, he did things on his own terms, staring down his own mortality and continuing to make art until the final curtain. The song Lazarus, along with the moving video is another example of a man who did things his way, always moving forward and even turning his passing into a final artistic tour de force.

    Chris Stagg

    Album: David Bowie – Blackstar

    I’m sure there are many that will disagree with me, but in my opinion Blackstar is simply the most important and stunning musical album to be released in 2016.

    Put aside for a moment the tragic death of David Bowie just two days after the release of this album and take it for what it is. Yes, this album was Bowie’s goodbye to the World and final message to us, and yes it does make the album all the more important. But to judge it against the context of Bowie’s death is to do this masterpiece of an album an injustice.

    As an album on its own it is incredible. ‘Blackstar’ is a short album at just over 7 tracks and 41 minutes, 10 of which is the title track alone. I’m not going to go into depth about ‘Blackstar’ the track, as it was my song of the year for 2015 (which is available on the Phoenix FM website), but it is one Hell of a way to open an album. Wonderfully bizarre, seemingly able to jump genres and yet not be defined by any, it hypnoses you into a state of musical Nirvana. But every track on this album is beautiful in its own right and can easily be enjoyed in isolation or by listening to the album as a whole.

    Particular highlights for me though, are the heartbreaking tracks; ‘Lazarus’ and ‘I can’t Give Everything Away, and ‘Twas a Pity She Was A Whore’, which is it wasn’t for the lyrics would be at home on the soundtrack of Labyrinth. Strange, groundbreaking, contradictory and beautiful; ‘Blackstar’ is just like Bowie himself. It is all those things and more. Blackstar is perfect, and honestly everyone should hear it through at least once.

    Track: Korn – Rotting in Vain

    When Korn first exploded onto the scene, I was instantly hooked. I had never heard anything like them. Their music alone really struck me, with their seven-string guitars and strange other worldly effects combined with heavy use of dissonance. But it was Jonathan Davis’ incredible vocal style that I enjoyed first and his shocking subject matter that inspires him. His crackly deep to childlike singing, metal screaming and perhaps most famously his use of gibberish, opened another World for me.

    Korn had album after incredible album with self titled debut; ‘Korn’, ‘Life is Peachy’ and then their breakthrough ‘Follower the Leader’ with its world-smashing track ‘Freak on a Leash’ giving them global fame. The 90s had one more brilliant album for them in ‘Issues’ which gave them many crowd favorite tracks like ‘Somebody Someone’ and ‘Falling Away from Me.’ But after this, in my opinion Korn lost their way. Sure there was the odd track that was good, but the albums just didn’t have that special something. But they have now rocketed back with a brand new track (and album) that is everything Korn used to be, while still showing maturity and musical growth. Even acceptance of where they had gone wrong in the past.

    ‘Rotting in Vain’ is heavy, very dark and shows a band that are ready and very hungry for more. This track sounds like a beautiful hybrid of the sounds of ‘Issues’ mixed with the ferocity of their debut. We even have the long awaited return of Jonathan Davis gibberish! This is a fantastic track that seasoned veteran will love and also a worthy introduction to any new Korn fan. Check out the Victorian Gothic music video too that is the perfect dark match to the song.

    Courtney-Lee Collins

    Album: Various Artists – Now 95

    I would say this because I think that it has a wide array of fantastic songs in it and I have a wide taste in music so don’t really tend to follow a single group.

    The London Hospices Choir and Paul Carrack – The Living Years

    My reason behind this is that whilst I have many favourite songs and usually struggle to choose my favourite of the bunch, I’m a big 80s music fan having been brought up beside it as my parents have listened to it all my life and I love the original song, also I am a massive charity fundraiser so to me the purpose behind the song is close to my heart.

    Graham Stannard

    Album: The Cortège – Love & Land

    I’ve always loved their sound, but they continue to improve with age, especially live. Long time friends of Musical Meanderings, The Cortège have always had the wonderful blend of melody and heaviness I’ve always enjoyed, but this latest EP takes it to the next level, especially as they build towards their trademark crescendos at the end of songs such as Starting Gun. Long may they continue.

    Track: Atriohm & Ianuaria – Solstice Extract

    I’ve not been listening to too much Psychedelic Trance this year, but am always keen to keep an ear out for any developments on the powerful end of the spectrum and this hasn’t disappointed. From Macedonian artist Atriohm’s new album, only released this month, Million Years Dance, this is a wonderful collaboration with Ianuaria. A finely crafted sonic adventure, with meandering sweeps and satisfying peaks, I’m looking forward to hearing it on a dance floor soon.

    Harriet Ivie

    Album: DJ Snake – Encore

    I have been a follower of DJ Snake over the past couple of years. Loving some of his singles including “Lean On’ featuring Major Lazer and “You Know You Like It” featuring Aluna George. However last August I was so excited to see he had realised his very own album.

    I have chosen Encore as my album of the year as I was hooked instantly. With house and dance feels with a few heavy baselines thrown in there it’s an album crafted especially to my taste, I couldn’t think of anything better!

    Track: MK & Beck Hill – Piece Of Me

    This song stands out to me when I look back on what tracks I have loved this year. Due to its strong beat that instantly put me in a good mood! It is one of them songs that make you want to get up and dance! I was lucky enough to see this track performed by the DJ MK live at V Festival this year, and hearing the crowd sing along and dance makes this track stand out to me this year.

    Joe Denby

    Album: Azooma – The Act Of Eye

    Azooma is a Death Metal band from Iran which completely caught me off guard. All musicians are on top form and there is fantastic musicianship on display.

    It blends and perfectly balances technicality, brutality and melody. The album just plays itself and flies by. It reveals more with every listen.

    Track: Megadeth – Dystopia

    It’s modern yet classic Megadeth. Delicious guitar melodies and hooks. Haunting lyrics. A sure fire future classic.

    Kavus Torabi

    Album: North Sea Radio Orchestra – Dronne
    Track: The Gasman – Motivation

    Both artists are favourites of ours on The Interesting Alternative Show. This album and track are career highlights of both to my ears.

    Keith Rogers

    Album: Rihanna – Anti

    A rich and conflicted record at its most interesting when it’s at its most idiosyncratic.

    Track: Justin Timberlake – Can’t Stop The Feeling!

    A great feelgood track that everyone seems to like!

    Libby Holden

    Album: Bruno Mars – 24K Magic

    I have been a huge fan of Bruno Mars since the very beginning and was so excited for the release of this new album and I can happily say I have not been disappointed. Even though it was released at the end of 2016 in November I am still choosing this as my favourite album of 2016!

    24K Magic is a devoted resurrection of the soul, funk, and R&B of ’80s and ’90s. What elevates 24K Magic beyond pure pastiche relegated to wedding playlists is how well Bruno Mars, brimming with swagger and schmaltz, sells the flossy fantasy.

    If you get a chance take a listen! A couple of my favourite tracks being – ‘Chunky’, ‘Versace On The Floor’ and ‘Too Good To Say Goodbye’. I have also got tickets to his world tour next year, so really looking forward to that. Go Bruno!

    Track: Lukas Graham – 7 Years

    I first heard this song on the radio in the car at the beginning of 2016 and I instantly knew i was going to love it; it has an amazing melody let alone the genius lyrics, most people can relate to a line or two in the song and I believe that is the beauty of good song writing.

    Although originally realased last year, 7 Years reached no 1 in the UK singles charts and stayed there for 5 weeks. It was nominated for three Grammy Awards: Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance.

    Matt Hines

    Album: Kate Bush – Before The Dawn

    The live recording of the best live show I have ever seen. Before the Dawn captures the magic of the legendary run at the Hammersmith Apollo in 2014.

    Track: Mystery Jets – Bubblegum

    This band came of age this year with their brilliant album “Curve Of The Earth”. Bubblegum is the stand out track on a brilliant piece of work by the band. A real calling card.

    Melanie Watson

    Album: Susie Smith – Gong Goddess Future Sounds

    Susie is an amazingly gifted gong musician. I have attended many of her workshops and finally this year she released an album so the magic of the gong can now be transported into your home. Gonging is becoming increasingly popular, and the concept of having a gong bath is one that is being embraced.

    These sounds are incredibly haunting and transport you in to a different world. Ideal as background music for exercise or as a focal point for meditation.

    Track: DNCE – Cake By The Ocean

    This brings back memories of the wonderful wedding ceremony I conducted in Malta this year.

    Michelle Ward

    Album: Michael Kiwanuka – Love and Hate

    Beautiful voice with interesting songs and inspiring lyrics.

    Track: Justin Timberlake – Can’t Stop The Feeling!

    A happy pop tune that makes everything feel immediately summery. Also produced a great video alongside. Justin back to his best.

    Mike Jones

    Album: The Boxer Rebellion – Ocean By Ocean

    It’s astounding how this band aren’t bigger than they are. Huge American tour, large London gigs but still no real hit. Perhaps this will do it. Not a weak track on this beauty with songwriting skills at a premium. Just can’t get this off the playlist. Love it!

    Track: Travis – Idlewild

    Easy choice this year for me as this ticks so many boxes. Lovely bass line, haunting lyrics deserving all the attention it got.

    Mike Porter

    Track: Bruno Mars – 24K Magic

    I just love the jazz funk sound.

    Nick Field

    Album: Sonic Boom Six – The F-Bomb

    Sonic Boom Six combine rock, hip-hop, electronica, reggae, ska and anything else they can think of and use them all to create a sound that champions a progressive and fairer society without sounding world-weary. Alongside Lazy Habits, whose ‘Atrocity Exhibition’ album is also worth a mention here, Sonic Boom Six are a band who never compromise themselves or their message. They’re exactly the kind of band the world needs right now.

    Track: Babeheaven – Moving On

    The first band I saw on stage at Latitude Festival this year, and was captivated. This is beautifully atmospheric chilled-out genre-crosser.

    Nigel Fitzmaurice

    Album: Rick Astley – 50

    Very different and a soulful jazz feel. Not a cheesy album at all.

    Track: Kungs vs Cookin’ on 3 Burners – This Girl

    A song that I played a lot when we moved to Clacton – my summer feelgood song.

    Nikki Mills

    Album: Bastille – Wild World

    This was a choice between Bastille’s ‘Wild World’ and Busted’s ‘Night Driver’ but as much as I love Busted and I’m extremely happy they are back together, I’ve gone with Bastille.

    The reason for this is because for me it has been a long awaited album. Ever since I had the chance to interview lead singer Dan Smith in April last year and ask him questions about the upcoming album I’ve been excited for its release.

    Watching the band perform some of the new songs from the album at Glastonbury and seeing them on the Wild World supporting tour has reinforced how amazing they are. They sound just as good live as they do recorded and I enjoy listening to every track on the album.

    Track: Shawn Mendes – Treat You Better

    Another tough decision between two contenders, Shawn Mendes and ‘Closer’ by The Chainsmokers. I’ve chosen ‘Treat You Better’ because it’s a great follow up to his 2015 track ‘Stitches’ which I also love. Shawn Mendes sings with such passion in his songs and writes meaningful lyrics which I without fail always find myself learning and singing along to.

    I am going to see him on his Illuminate Tour next year which I’m very much looking forward to and can’t wait to join in singing with the crowd!

    Patrick Sherring

    Album: Ward Thomas – Cartwheels

    Twenty-two-year-old twin sisters Catherine and Lizzie Ward-Thomas have had a great 2016. Cartwheels was their second album and it was the first by a UK country band to go to No. 1 on the album charts. Their mixture of close harmonies and interesting lyrics, wrapped up in a British take on an American country sound means we will be hearing about them for many years.

    Track: MonaLisa Twins – Nothing Is In Vain

    For much of the year the MonaLisa Twins have played gigs in their adopted city of Liverpool. You can hear the influence of classic Merseysound from the 60s in their music. But they play it for the 21st century in a fresh and appealing way.

    They are multi-talented vocalists and musicians. This track, with an ethereal quality, is a great introduction to their music.

    Paul Golder

    Album: Divine Comedy – Foreverland

    Neil Hannon back to his whimsical best with witty lyrics and amazing arrangements – it’s probably his Divinest Comediest album ever. And he rhymes “brainier” with “Lithuania”.

    Track: Honeyblood – Sea Hearts

    One of a number of great songs released from their excellent second album “Babes Never Die” – a throwback to the brilliant guitar-driven pop you’d see in the charts all the time before streaming ruined them. Amazing live band too – a big sound from just two live performers.

    Rob Harvey

    Album: David Bowie – Blackstar

    This was the first Bowie album I had rushed out to get in ages, and little did I realise it was a swansong.

    The album gives me the subtlest of clues to Bowie’s fragility, with songs that feel like a collaboration with Picasso in the palette of his storytelling.

    The songs are a mix of Epic, grand, subversive, funny, classic bowie creativity and yet oddly poignant – “I Can’t Give It Away” being my favourite on this masterstroke of a final album, from a true legend.

    Track: Neil Francis and Daysound – Deadender

    This song was a massive earworm for me this year, as it evokes drama with some truly catchy hooks. It was written originally way back in the 80’s, and they decided to revisit and stay true to the songs original inception. Deadender is a dark pop procession of lush sounds and driving rhythms – a ageless feel that makes me click repeat.

    Ruth E Mortimer

    Album: Matt Corby – Telluric

    Oh Matt Corby … his voice is just incredible and sends warm shivers down my spine. Do you want to sit down, relax and listen to some soothing guitar, and a voice that will make you melt into your chair? If your answer is yes then you seriously need to get this album.

    Coming from a guy who was a product of Australian Idol, he has grown into a soulful, soothing musician, and this album displays his versatility and artist intelligence. Check out his Facebook page for some stunning live recordings of songs from Telluric too, really demonstrating this man’s huge talent.

    Track: Joy Williams – We Can Never Go Back (acoustic version)

    Joy Williams is an artist who has had 3 reprises as a musician – Christian Singer, The Civil Wars member, and now haunting powerful solo artist. Her release of her 2015 album Venus was followed in 2016 with an acoustic Album of some of the songs from that album, as well as bonus tracks, one of which being We Can Never Go Back (acoustic).

    The song takes us through the struggle and pain that a lover or friend can’t dwell on the past, and the only way to progress forward from their hurt is to move on. The song finishes with a shift, one which is more peaceful, and displays progression of feelings – and importantly that herself and whomever she is referring to will go on (and on and on).

    The song is beautiful, however is difficult to listen to as many would have experienced similar pain and struggle, and the song perfectly depicts this – so listen with caution.

    Scott Ross

    Album: Phil Collins – The Singles

    I always liked Phil Collins so this looks like being a fairly safe bet.

    Track: Chvrches feat Hayley Williams – Bury It

    This is a band that just keeps getting better and better.

    Scott W

    Album: Dream Theater – The Astonishing

    The American progressive metal group continue on their music odyssey providing an atmospheric, powerful though subtle at times, thought-provoking, character-driven concept double-album set in the future. It’s some antidote to the likes of X-Factor-like talent shows, displaying proper musicianship.

    Track: Alter Bridge – My Champion

    An uplifting (and loud) reminder of the need to keep going after tough days or tough times, the world is a hard place, though motivation is darn important. Keep plugging away. This choice is dedicated to the Mental Health Community.

    Steve Davis

    Album: Knifeworld – Bottled Out Of Eden

    Their best and most accessible to date.

    Track: Gong – The Unspeakable Stands Revealed

    From the album “Rejoice! I’m Dead” – considering the relatively recent passing of Daevid Allen this track conjures up a certain melancholy, but not in a sad way but rather in a spiritual sense.

    Steve Roach

    Album: David Bowie – Blackstar

    A fantastic album for a classic artist to bow out on.

    Track: For The Love Of Bob – Fix You

    An amazing vocal harmony version of the Coldplay track, which featured on the Phoenix FM-supported “Sound Of Essex” CD released by Studio 6 Music in the summer in aid of the Brainwave tumour charity.

    Steve Robertson

    Album: Birds of Tokyo – Brace

    The fifth studio album from Australian band Birds of Tokyo. This is an album I’ve been listening to more than any other this year and it only came out in November. The mixed melodic and rock sound just works, and means I have been listening to the recent release no matter what mood I’m in or time of day.

    Track: Rag ‘n’ Bone Man – Human

    A stand-out single from a singer I saw perform and interviewed at the Standon Calling festival this year. Rag ‘n’ Bone Man – real name Rory Graham performed this live in July when the single was first released and it appeared on the Phoenix FM A-list as a result.

    The song has spent 9 weeks at the number one spot in Germany and is now having a second lease of life as it climbs up the UK chart and for me has been the song of the year since I first heard it in July.

    Tara Newman

    Album: Sheratones – If Your Heart’s Not In It

    With an original sound and fresh image, this band stand out by a mile.

    Track: Dead Natives – Rollercoaster Scream

    This song is catchy and gets your feet tapping. This band have only been together 5 months but they’re songs are going to be massive. Watch out for them in 2017!

    Tony Smith

    Album: Tove Lo – Lady Wood

    So many great mainstream albums released in 2016 so for this category I am going to go with a relative newcomer, Swedish singer Tove Lo and her album that attempts to consolidate the international multi-platinum success of her 2014 debut, “Queen of the Clouds”.

    Some listeners may not warm to Tove Lo’s persona, but her songwriting skills are difficult to fault (she’s also co-written hits for Ellie Goulding and Girls Aloud on the side). She is aided on the album by collaborators including Lorde producer Joel Little and Max Martin’s protégé Ilya Salmanzadeh.

    Track: Drake – One Dance

    Although this song kind of got on my nerves after the first month of its release, it’s worth remembering the track spent 15 weeks at Number One in the UK alone, with a massive 1.8 million sales in 2016 and counting, and was Spotify’s most-streamed song ever! A track that was guaranteed to fill the dance floor again and again, and now that it has had a bit of a break from radio airplay I’m now enjoying the track again.

    Was “One Dance” actually any good? Yes, of course it was – its inescapable dancehall rhythms burrowed their way into your ear like Drake never has before – with more than a little help from contributors Kyla and Wizkid.

    I must add that I nearly went with Clean Bandit who brought home the most coveted chart accolade of the year with the Christmas Number One 2016, “Rockabye”. Credit also goes to Anne-Marie and Sean Paul for amazing vocal performances on the track.

    Tracey Thomas

    Album: Passenger – Young As The Morning, Old As The Sea

    I love Passenger – I have all his albums and there are so many great tracks it’s hard to pick a fave. I have lots of albums from 2016 that I loved but this stands out.

    Track: Kungs vs Cookin’ on 3 Burners – This Girl

    It’s just a happy summer tune that always lifts my spirits and reminds me of our family holiday this year in sunny Majorca – grandson in the pool, evenings around the port area, white sangria, paella etc etc!

    Xanthe Bearman

    Album: The 1975 – I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It

    Snappy Title. My daughter introduced me to this band and I really like their eclectic style. The album has a track featuring a gospel choir, an couple of instrumental tracks, pop style songs and an acoustic song at the end. “Love Me” is certainly one of my favourites as it’s a complete mickey take of popular culture! Lead singer Matty says it was inspired by him strutting around on stage with his shirt undone, arms outstretched, with hordes of teenage girls screaming up at him!

    Track: Justin Timberlake – Can’t Stop the Feeling!

    Such a happy little song from the Trolls movie soundtrack. It’s one of those songs that get in your head and you bounce about all day singing it – I’m a cheery soul so that appeals to me!

    Vixter (Vic Damhar)

    Album: Kaytranada – 99.9%

    Kaytranada released his highly anticipated debut album 99.9% via XL Recordings. Showcasing a blend of genres from soul, funk, disco to house, bass, hip hop and R&B.

    Kaytranada, aka Louis Kevin Celestin has cemented his reputation and sound. Every kick, snare, or clap, usually layered with a sample, gives an energetic, funky, house-vibe to his tracks. This is why Celestin stands out from any other popular electronic house producers.

    The album features a wealth of guest talent, including acclaimed percussionist/producer Karriem Riggins, rising Toronto vocalist River Tiber, UKG favourite Craig David, Aluna George, BadBadNotGood, Anderson .Paak, Little Dragon, Vic Mensa and Shay Lia.

    99.9% also won the 2016 Polaris Music Prize (Canada’s equivalent to the Mercury Prize), which honours the year’s best album.

    Track: Dusky – Ingrid Is A Hybrid

    Nick Harriman and Alfie Granger-Howell, aka Dusky, are pioneers of the UK house music scene. The duo released the track from their second studio album entitled Outer.

    “Ingrid Is A Hybrid” is a superbly textured sound that offers up atmospheric pads, translucent synth and stunningly inventive vocals with classic rave breakbeats. The track takes you into an atmospheric trip, experiencing euphoria through house music, plus adding Dusky’s own contemporary sound stamped onto it.

    A pure pleasure to listen to.

    TwitCount Button

    Pharmacy opening times over Christmas and the New Year

    Doctors in Basildon and Brentwood are encouraging people to plan their healthcare during the festive season.

    With advice on common illnesses and the best medicines to treat them, popping along to your local pharmacist at the first sign of illness can help you feel better fast.


    Please order and collect any repeat prescriptions in plenty of time – but check your medicine cabinet before ordering and don’t pick up any medication you don’t need.

    Although the majority of pharmacies will be closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and the Bank Holidays on Tuesday 27 December and Monday January 2, the following will be open for some of the time:

    Christmas Day, Sunday 25 December 2016

    Benfleet: Daynite Pharmacy, 261 London Road, Hadleigh SS7 2BN – 09:00 15:00
    Chelmsford: Colecross Pharmacy, 1 Hylands Parade, Wood Street CM2 8BW – 10:00 15:00
    Corringham: Allcures Pharmacy, 19 – 21 Lampits Hill SS17 9AA – 10:00 14:00
    Great Dunmow: Ropers the Chemist, 3-5 High Street CM6 1AB – 11:00 12:00
    Harlow: Harlow Pharmacy, Wych Elm, Hamstel Road CM20 1QR – 09:00 20:00
    Langdon Hills: Great Berry Pharmacy, Great Berry Centre, Unit 4, Nightingales SS16 6SA – 10:00-13:00 17:00-20:00
    North Weald: North Weald Chemist, 48 High Road CM16 6BU – 11:00 13:00
    Rayleigh: Hambro Pharmacy, 53a Hullbridge Road SS6 9NL – 10:00 16:00
    South Woodham Ferrers: Govani Chemist, 14 Queen Elisabeth Square CM6 1AB – 10:00 12:00

    Boxing Day, Monday 26 December 2016

    Basildon: Boots Pharmacy, 25 Town Square SS14 1BA – 08:30 17:30
    Basildon: Boots Pharmacy, Unit 6B Mayflower Retail Park SS14 3HZ – 10:00 17:00
    Billericay: Boots Pharmacy, 10-11 The Pantiles, Queens Park Avenue CM12 0UA – 09:00 17:30
    Billericay: Boots Pharmacy, 64-66 High Street CM12 9BS – 10:00 16:00
    Brentwood: Boots Pharmacy, 51 High Street CM14 4RH – 08:30 18:00

    Bank Holiday, Tuesday 27 December 2016

    Basildon: Boots Pharmacy, 25 Town Square SS14 1BA – 08:30 17:30
    Basildon: Boots Pharmacy, Unit 6B Mayflower Retail Park SS14 3HZ – 10:00 17:00
    Billericay: Boots Pharmacy, 64-66 High Street CM12 9BS – 10:00 16:00
    Brentwood: Boots Pharmacy, 51 High Street CM14 4RH – 08:30 18:00

    Bank Holiday, Monday 2 January 2017

    Basildon: Boots Pharmacy, 25 Town Square SS14 1BA 08:30 17:30
    Basildon: Boots Pharmacy, Unit 6B Mayflower Retail Park SS14 3HZ 10:00 17:00
    Billericay: Boots Pharmacy, 64-66 High Street CM12 9BS 10:00 16:00
    Brentwood: Boots Pharmacy ,51 High Street CM14 4RH 08:30 18:00
    Pitsea: Boots Pharmacy, 8 Northlands Pavement SS13 3DU 10:00 16:00

    TwitCount Button

    The Hospice Takeover

    Click below to hear the show again:

    The Hospice Takeover is a special show recorded for Phoenix FM by two members of the Saint Francis team – Clare McPartland, head of Marketing and Communications, and Jane Merrigan, PR & Communications Executive.


    Clare and Jane have been regular visitors to the Phoenix FM throughout the year and the Hospice Takeover show features stories and interviews on many aspects of the Hopsice’s busy year, including:

    • Funding activities
    • The opening of OrangeLine
    • Dealing with dementia
    • Support from local companies
    • The Carers’ Xams lunch
    • The Care Quality Inspection
    • The hospice’s Education Centre
    • Caring for LGBT patients
    • The retail operation
    • Tea and Talk at Toby’s
    • Caring for Young Adults
    • The London Hospice Choir’s attempts to get a Christmas no 1
    • The Day Therapy Unit Xmas party
    • There are also interviews, requests and quizzes with patients, carers and staff

    You can find out more about the Hospice at

    TwitCount Button

    Playlist for 20 December 2016

    Click here to listen to the show again:

    I managed to get through the whole month without playing any Christmas songs!

    Tonight’s playlist:

    Garbage – Empty
    Leggy – Kick The Habit
    Sunflower Bean – Human Ceremony
    Mystery Jets – Telomere
    Honeyblood – Hey, Stellar
    Margaret Glaspy – Emotions and Math
    Sulk – No Illusions
    Thousand Yard Stare – Heimlich Maneuver
    Asylums – Joy In A Small Wage
    Horse Party – Animal
    Wendy James – Bad Intentions And A Bit Of Cruelty
    Divine Comedy – How Can You Leave Me On My Own?
    Radiohead – Burn The Witch
    Midway Still – Hey Summer
    High/Low – Mould
    Yuck – Hearts In Motion
    Art Brut – Nag Nag Nag Nag
    Darling Buds – Things We Do For Love
    Lovely Eggs – I Like Birds (But I Like Other Animals Too)
    Salad – Your Ma
    Young Knives – The Decision
    Everything Everything – Cough Cough
    My Life Story – Funny Ha Ha
    Echobelly – King Of The Kerb

    TwitCount Button

    Cultura Brazil – show 122

    Click below to listen to the show again:

    Cultura Brazil is Phoenix FM’s show for the Brazilian community in Essex, London and beyond, presented by Ezequiel Cassol.

    In this week’s show:

    ‐ Plastic artist Alexandre Gondim takes part in the Art Exibition 2016
    ‐ Newspaper Brazil Observer opens journalistic show at the Brazilian Embassy

    TwitCount Button

    Live In Leicester – The Lovely Eggs

    Click here to hear the interview again:

    It was great to catch up with the Lovely Eggs in another van outside a pub in Leicester city centre!


    Holly and David talk about their busy year – playing their biggest ever headline show, writing a new album, gigging tirelessly and looking for soft play areas all over the UK.

    2017 should see the band release a new album and more information will undoubtedly reveal itself at the band’s official Facebook page.

    TwitCount Button

    Live in Leicester – The Darling Buds

    Click here to hear the interview again:

    One of my favourite bands from the late 80s/early 90s – The Darling Buds – regrouped a few years ago to play a few gigs and – shock! horror! – write and record some new material too.


    I managed to catch the band in their van outside the Soundhouse in Leicester, where they spoke about how the new EP is progressing, their limited life on the road and also chatted about their favourite songs of the year.

    The show itself was as fantastic as ever – a whole outing for debut album Pop Said, along with three new tracks, including the already-excellent “Guess The Good Parts” and a part-Motowny, part-indiepop outing which might be called “Get Over Yourself”.


    You can keep an eye on the band’s official Facebook page to find out when the new stuff is hitting the shops.

    TwitCount Button

    Billericay Town Fans’ Forum – as it happened

    LIVE UPDATES: We’re at the Billericay Town Fans’ Forum at the New Lodge, Blunts Wall Road, Billericay.

    Manager Craig Edwards, new owner Glenn Tamplin and new chairman Danny Groves will be chatting with fans about their plans for the club.


    There are well over 100 people in attendance – standing room only in the bar!

    Glenn Tamplin has started by welcoming everyone present and said that Craig Edwards will answer questions too, including when he will get his first three points under the new ownership, which raised a big cheer!

    GT explains he played for CE 20 years ago at Barkingside and he knows what it feels like to kick a football around with passion and be in a winning environment.

    He says that the most important thing he can input into the club is not money but more a desire to build the club up at all levels.

    GT says the new players haven’t gelled yet and every one needs to be patient.

    The Colts (Youth team) and Ladies teams are very important to the new ethos of the club.

    GT hopes to get 1,000 fans at matches every week and hopes to support all areas of the club and that they’ll support the club in return.

    GT says that the club needs to be able to fund and pay for itself – so he is setting the club up to run as a business, and not reliant on his money.

    GT went on to talk about his experiences in football and how he would run the club. He wants to make Billericay Town to be somewhere that the fans want to come.

    He hopes to offer free admission to local schools and get local schoolchildren involved as mascots each week. He says that the club will dedicate a lot of time to disabled supporters – there will be charity fundraisers at the club in aid of disabled charities.

    GT wants to get more youngsters through the doors.

    He talked about his experience in business – said he has learned a lot.

    A question from the ground – the ground isn’t very disabled-friendly at the moment, and will this be improved?

    Danny says that a topographical survey is taking place next week to find out where improvements can be made.

    GT said there will be major changes to the ground and access for the disabled will be improved. Drawings are being made at the moment.

    Another comment from the fans – is the club doing more to publicise the games through the town?

    GT mentioned that Phoenix FM is giving the club more publicity and the Echo is now increasing coverage. DG said that all marketing opportunities are being looked at.

    GT said that more leaflets will be produced and asked if the fans can help to distribute them to help publicise the games.

    A question from the fans – has the new ownership had any discussions with Basildon Borough Council?

    GT says that there is only six months left on the lease at the ground and he will be visiting the council to talk about his plans to see what they will and won’t be happy with.

    Another fan mentioned that a former chairman, Rod Moore, put in plans for a new stadium 20 years ago but they were rejected. GT says he will be thinking positively and will be constructive with the Council.

    GT was asked if it would be possible to turn the whole pitch round. He said that they have already looked at this but the cost was prohibitive.

    GT went on to talk about his strengths and weaknesses. He says he won’t take unnecessary risks. Money has already gone on new players and patience is needed. He stressed that he wants to make the club a community and a family.


    GT explained why he chose Billericay. The first reason was because Dagenham and Redbridge turned down his offer. He’d also spoken to Bishops Stortford but the deal wasn’t right for him. So there was an element of luck, but he is very happy at the set up at Billericay and feels fortunate that other offers did not go through.

    GT then went on to outline his plans for the club.

    GT says that clubs are definitely trying harder against Billericay now they have brought new players. However he says the club can still get in the playoffs and be the best side at the end of the season. He also hoped for a cup final this season too!

    GT says that if plans go through, it will take 2 1/2 years to build the stadium he wants. He doesn’t see any reason why Billericay can’t be in the National League in 5 years and have a 6,000 seater stadium. He will open up facilities to attract new corporate sponsors too, which he feels Dagenham and Redbridge does well.

    GT’s vision is 3 promotions in 5 years. He says it’s a lot to ask for but he wants to excel where the club has failed before. He repeated that at the end of that time the club has to run without GT and his wallet.

    A question from the fans – will the club be building a 4G pitch as previously mentioned on Phoenix FM? GT said yes, he wants a pitch behind the ground, with new changing room and bar areas which the Colts and Ladies can use along with local schools. It could hopefully bring in more income.

    GT says he will be looking for at least 40 more parking spaces with the new facilities.

    Another fan asked the club thinks it could get 6,000 people to fill a stadium? GT says he believes the club can come up to 1,500 people a week. He says that he can build a bigger stadium due to his knowledge and resources in his existing steel business.

    GT then asked the fans if he wants standing areas behind the goals to remain. The fans in the room were very strong in their support of keeping this.

    GT asked if the food and drink should be improved? One fan asked if cards could be taken behind the bar – GT said this would be arranged. Another fan asked if lunches could be served on match days too, and GT said they would look at trialling this.

    Another fan asked if Steve and Sharon Kent were still going to be involved in the club. GT said that they are welcome to continue their involvement at a different level if they want to be.

    Another fan asked if floodlight bulbs could be purchased! DG said that this is in hand.

    A fan asked if the TVs could be improved in the bar area with the introduction of Sky Sports. DG said that improvements will be made and would look into getting Sky back to keep them in the bar longer.

    GT then spoke about what is currently under development.

    – A new website, to include a forum and other developments to benefit the club

    – A new Billericay Town FC logo, which would keep the old heritage but modernising the style. The Mayflower motif would stay. The fans would be presented with the old badge and four new designs by the end of January and fans would vote on their favourite

    – A new slogan, to help the club and the fans be as one and get behind the community, players and supporters

    – A mascot – which will involve supporters’ suggestions

    Fans were asked for suggestions to the website and a number of fans were very complimentary of the unofficial site at

    One fan asked if the New Crawdaddy Club would continue and GT said that events would remain an important part of the community feel of the club.

    Some fans talked about the number of official and unofficial sites, Twitter accounts and so on. GT said he wants to unite the club and wants to talk to any fans who have issues with this regard.

    GT wrapped up by asking for feedback at the following web address:

    He said, “I look forward to this exciting challenge which I intend to make my ultimate goal for my family, colleagues, and those of this amazing club.”

    GT then handed the floor to manager Craig Edwards.

    He was immediately asked if he was confident that the players would succeed on the pitch.

    CE said that the club has had a lot of new players come in recently. The club has also has its worst injury crisis in his time as manager, losing several key players to injury.

    New players had to come in quickly as the squad was getting short. This coincided with GT’s introduction to the club – if GT had not come in, lower league players would have been recruited instead.

    CE was very confident on Saturday but the club just had a bad day. He said it would settle down.

    CE says that every year the club has to build a new side, and this wouldn’t happen in future as he hoped to keep the core of the club.

    The cups are very important and the club aims to “win the league in the second half of the season” which would put BTFC in the playoffs.

    One fan asked if the injured players would be part of the club’s plans and CE said the sooner the players come back, the better.

    Another fan asked if the passion and commitment from players would continue and CE said he wants all players, no matter what level, continue to give everything they’ve got on the pitch.

    CE was asked about player recruitment. He said that all of the players who had come in were good lads and the challenge was keeping players motivated who had dropped down a level to play at BTFC.

    One fan asked if the side was settled now. CE said that if players didn’t have the desire to play at BTFC he has to let them go.

    CE said he felt it was exciting times for the whole club. The club was on a dip in form but the team has quality players who want to play well and he expects them to bounce back.

    TwitCount Button

    Playlist for 13 December 2016

    Click here to listen to the show again:

    Tonight’s playlist:

    B-52’s – Planet Claire
    Kim Gordon – Murdered Out
    Norquay – Animal
    Honeyblood – Hey, Stellar
    Asylums – Alternative Occupations
    Dutch Uncles – Big Balloon
    Oblong – Hold On
    De Staat – Firestarter (3FM session)
    Estrons – Call You Mine
    Moonface and Siinai – Ugly Flower Pretty Vase
    Melys – Chinese Whispers
    Everglows – Julia Lost
    Strand Of Oaks – Radio Kids
    Gwenno – Fratolish Hiang Perpeshki
    Rose Elinor Dougall – Stellular
    Tuns – Throw It All Away
    Elcka – Don’t Disappear
    Graceland – Fleetwood
    S*M*A*S*H – Art Therapy
    Angel Olsen – Give It Up
    Sonic Youth – Kool Thing
    Darling Buds – Please Yourself
    Thousand Yard Stare – Version Of Me
    Lush – Kiss Chase
    Divine Comedy – In & Out Of Paris & London
    Blur – Coping
    A House – Slipping Away
    Sultans Of Ping FC – Football Hooligan (live)
    Five Thirty – You
    Senseless Things – Best Friend
    Carter USM – Airplane Food Airplane Fast Food
    Super Furry Animals – Juxtapozed With U

    TwitCount Button

    Cultura Brazil – show 121

    Click below to listen to the show again:

    Cultura Brazil is Phoenix FM’s show for the Brazilian community in Essex, London and beyond, presented by Ezequiel Cassol.

    In this week’s show:

    ‐ Know the deadline to vote in Brazilian elections
    ‐ Brazilian Consulate in London creates Guide for Brazilian Entrepreneurs in the UK

    TwitCount Button

    Billericay Town FC – sale complete, fans forum coming

    You can hear Glenn talking to Phoenix FM here:

    GLENN TAMPLIN has completed the purchase of Billericay Town FC.


    Photo credit: BTFC Unofficial

    In a statement on Billericay Town’s official website, former owner and chairman Steve Kent said: “Recently, many people have made enquiries about ownership, but none have demonstrated the same desire and passion as Glenn. I have said many times that if the right person came along I would step aside. I think Glenn IS that person.

    “Even before we completed he brought in new players and has improved the pitch, that kind of passion is just what Billericay Town Fc deserve and need. Welcome Glenn … and enjoy.”

    Glenn spoke to Paul Golder today about plans on the field, including more new signings, some planned, some already completed.

    Off the field, he also spoke about the Fans Forum, which will take at Blunts Wall Road, Billericay CM11 9SA on Monday 19th December at 7pm. It’s a chance for all fans to have their say and help build the direction of the club going forward.

    For more information keep an eye on the club’s website at or follow them on Twitter @btfc.

    TwitCount Button

    Cinderella at the Queens Theatre – Magic for ALL the family

    Panto season is one of the most joyous and magical times of the year and no one should feel excluded from enjoying the wonders of Pantomime.


    The Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch welcomes all those who might usually be prevented from attending the theatre to join warm-hearted Cinderella on her exciting adventure to find her Prince Charming where they can share the magical experience with their friends and family.

    Committed to ensuring everyone’s experience to the theatre is special, the Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch is further widening their accessibility provision by providing two specially adapted shows for their enchanting forthcoming production of Cinderella. Tickets to a Relaxed Performance and a Dementia-Friendly Performance are available to purchase alongside the theatre’s regular Signed and Audio-Described Performances.

    Relaxed performances provide a comfortable setting for audience members who might find it difficult to follow the usual conventions of theatre etiquette. By creating an informal environment it will enable patrons to just be themselves without the need for families or carers to worry about the effect it may have on others around them. It can be assured that audience noise is permitted throughout the performance and individuals who may feel overwhelmed are free to leave to a ‘chill out’ area in the foyer and return when they feel ready at any point during the show. Extreme loud noises and flashing lights will be cut and trained staff will be on hand to provide extra assistance in front of house.

    The Relaxed Performance will take place on 2 January at 6pm and the Dementia-Friendly Performance will take place on 10 January at 2pm. These adapted performances welcomes people of all ages who will benefit from a relaxed, quieter and supportive environment including people with an Autism Spectrum Condition, sensory and communication disorders, a learning disability or dementia.

    Written by Andrew Pollard and directed by Martin Berry, Cinderella is packed with live music, spectacular sets, colourful costumes, side-splitting slapstick and tailored audience participation.

    Cinderella will be performed at the Queen’s Theatre, Billet Lane, Hornchurch until 14 January. Tickets for these Relaxed Performances are £12.50. To book tickets please call the Box Office on 01708 443333 or stop by in person to discuss your requirements.

    TwitCount Button

    Secure Haven wins industry prize

    Products which enable a loved one’s ashes to be worn as jewellery or returned to nature among the trees have earned an Essex company an award.

    Secure Haven Independent Funeral Directors, in Margaretting, attended the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management Learning Convention and Exhibition and came away with a trophy.

    The Best Exhibition Stand award was voted for by the 125 delegates, speakers and invited guests at the event in Oxford.


    Managing director Cheryl Yarwood, who runs the company with husband Paul, picked up the award for the display of their extensive range of innovative products and green concepts for helping the bereaved lay their loved ones’ ashes to rest.

    Secure Haven offers brass urns to take pride of place in the home, environmentally-friendly urns enabling loved ones to be put to rest along with nature, plus a range of modern silver jewellery with discreet compartments for ashes to be stored.

    Cheryl, who has researched and sourced the products from around the world, said: “This demonstrates how times and needs are changing and the industry’s decision-makers are embracing new innovation to help bereaved families.

    “It was a great honour to receive this award for the efforts of everyone at Secure Haven. Now Secure Haven has become a tranquil funeral home, too, we can assist families before they need our services, all the way through their journey to grief recovery.”

    More than 80 exhibitors represented 38 companies from all aspects of the industry at the event.

    Members of cemeteries and crematoria picked up the latest information on topics from new environmental forms or disposal to the financial cost of unaddressed grief in the workplace on the day.

    TwitCount Button

    Playlist for 06 Dec 2016

    Click here to listen to the show again:

    Tonight’s show featured an interview with Southend band Asylums, taken just before last week’s Alternative Occupations launch gig at the Railway Hotel in Southend.

    We also featured a tribute to former Mega City 4 frontman Wiz, who passed away 10 years ago today.


    Tonight’s playlist:

    XTC – No Thugs In Our House
    Blue Aeroplanes – Here Is The Heart Of All Wild Things
    Besnard Lakes – Laura Lee
    Everglows – Julia Lost
    Temples – Certainty (Franz Ferdinand remix)
    Circa Waves – Wake Up
    Bad Sounds – Wages
    Asylums – Alternative Occupations
    Art Brut – My Little Brother
    Idle Frets – Glow
    Yassassin – Pretty Face
    Austerity – Glass House
    Blaenavon – My Bark Is Your Bite
    Heldinky – Arms
    Andy J Gallagher – Sheena’s Big Night Out
    Tenek – Imitation Of Life
    Everywhere – Heroine
    Meilyr Jones – Return To Life
    Mega City Four – Iron Sky
    Mega City Four – What’s Up
    Mega City Four – Scared Of Cats
    Camera Obscura – French Navy
    Kate Pierson – Mister Sister
    Hole – My Beautiful Son
    Family Gotown – Maybe Tomorrow
    Clint Boon Experience – White No Sugar
    Salad – Decade of The Brain
    Animalhouse – Wasted
    Sleeper – Statuesque (Steve Lamacq’s The Boxed Off Mix)

    TwitCount Button

    Shenfield Christmas Fayre

    Phoenix FM presenters Keith Rogers and Mike Jones ran the stage at this year’s Shenfield Christmas Fayre, now in its 3rd year.

    The Mayor of Brentwood, Cllr Noelle Hones, gave a speech of thanks, and a number of acts entertained the crowds, including Lydia Lucy, star of The Voice, along with Daisy Benson, Edd Coates, Hockers, JADA Dance School, Brentwood Operatic Society, Sweete Harmonie, Richie Farrow, The Big Sing, Stuck In The Middle and entertainers from 360 Play.

    We also had some fantastic performances from children from Shenfield St Mary’s Primary School, Willowbrook Primary School and Hutton All Saints Primary School.

    Here’s a clip of Lydia Lucy singing a Christmas classic:

    Edd Coates live on stage:

    You can see some of the photos below:







































    TwitCount Button

    Cultura Brazil – show 120

    Click below to listen to the show again:

    Cultura Brazil is Phoenix FM’s show for the Brazilian community in Essex, London and beyond, presented by Ezequiel Cassol.

    In this week’s show:

    ‐ Circus Bianco has Brazilian participation
    ‐ Queen Mary University has done study on Latin American culture

    TwitCount Button

    Charity networking event a great success

    Phoenix FM attended the first networking event in aid of Haven House Children’s Hospice, organised and hosted by the Brentwood Orthodontic and Implant Centre in Regency House, Ingrave Road, Brentwood.

    Over 40 local businesses took part in the event, which included presentations from Haven House’s community and events fundraiser Kate Donoghue, and Stuart O’Neil, a business coach at local firm Pro-Actions.

    We spoke to Nikhil and Kate, and you can hear the interviews again below:

    There will be a further event next year – keep an eye on Brentwood Orthodontic and Implant Centre’s website for more information.


    Brentwood Orthodontic and Implant Centre –
    Haven’s House Children’s Hospice –

    TwitCount Button

    TV stars to appear in The Crucible

    Casting has been announced for the Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch and Selladoor production of Arthur Miller‘s blistering classic American drama The Crucible which opens the Queen’s Theatre’s spring season.


    Charlie Condou, who is best known for the role of midwife Marcus Dent in Coronation Street, will be playing the witch-hunter Reverend Hale and Call The Midwife star Victoria Yeates takes on the role of Elizabeth Proctor. This major new production will tour the UK and abroad following its premiere in Hornchurch.

    The programme continues with another high profile production, the brand new box office smash comedy Worst Wedding Ever penned by Broadchurch writer Chris Chibnall, presented by the Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch, Salisbury Playhouse and New Wolsey Theatre Ipswich; followed by Willy Russell’s joyful classic Educating Rita directed by Ros Philips, who brought us the hugely successful Queen’s Theatre community musical Our House.

    The season also includes a variety of visiting shows including: Footloose the Musical starring Gareth Yates and Maureen Nolan, all singing and dancing Bring on the Bollywood, a night with comedian Seann Walsh, tributes to Adele and Michael Jackson as well as a programme of wonderfully innovative one-off productions created by local theatre-makers. Room on the Broom, The Gruffalo and the CBeebies’ Chris and Pui mark a new era of programming for families.

    Douglas Rintoul says, ‘we’re collaborating with some of the most talented theatre companies and makers to bring the very best of live performance to Havering. Not only this but our work will been seen by audiences throughout the UK and abroad. These are very exciting times for the Queen’s Theatre’. This season is Artistic Director Douglas Rintoul’s second since his appointment last October.

    For more information about the forthcoming season at the Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch call the Box Office on 01708 443333 or visit

    TwitCount Button

    Billericay Town Fans Forum – have your say!

    Billericay Town FC will be staging a Fans Forum on Monday 19th December at 7pm.

    The forum, to take place at Blunts Wall Road, Billericay CM11 9SA, is organised by the club’s prospective new owner Glenn Tamplin and is a change for all fans to have their say and help build the direction of the club going forward.

    For more information keep an eye on the club’s website at or follow them on Twitter @btfc.

    TwitCount Button

    Cultura Brazil – show 119

    Click below to listen to the show again:

    Cultura Brazil is Phoenix FM’s show for the Brazilian community in Essex, London and beyond, presented by Ezequiel Cassol.

    In this week’s show:

    ‐ Circus Bianco has Brazilian participation in the show
    ‐ Podcast Cha com Rapadura discusses issues of interest to Brazilians in London
    ‐ Queen Mary University conducts study on American Latin Culture

    TwitCount Button

    Lighting Up Brentwood 2016

    Click below to listen again to Phoenix FM’s interviews from this year’s event:

    Contents: Rob Dennis from SNAP; Saint Francis Hospice; Pippa Meads from Essex Youth Service; Hopefield Animal Sanctuary; Frankie Emmins from Universal Roots; Doddinghurst Road Church; Jim Shrubb, Town Crier; Street Pastors; Murray Dedman, stage manager; various fairies!

    Interviews by Bob Simpson, Nikki Mills and Nick Field

    Phoenix FM once again hosted today’s Lighting Up Brentwood in Brentwood High Street.

    Tony Smith and Mike Porter introduced a myriad of singers, bands and choirs before the big switch on at 5.00pm.






























































































































































































    TwitCount Button

    Curry and music night in aid of Hopefield

    Phoenix FM proudly presents…

    in aid of Hopefield Animal Sanctuary

    Taking place at Old Brentwoods, Ashwells Road, Brentwood CM15 9SE
    Friday, 10 February 2017, 7.30pm – 11.00pm

    Live music from:

    Poder de Tres
    For The Love Of Bob
    Libby Holden

    Live auction and raffle with tons of great prizes!

    Meal places have now sold out but bar only tickets are available for £10. Please call Steve Roach for 07952 498009 on for details.

    Bennetts Funeral Directors –
    House & Jackson Vets –

    TwitCount Button

    Billericay Town FC – new owner urges the town to get behind the club

    Billericay Town’s new owner Glenn Tamplin is urging the town to get behind his club as he aims to take them from the Ryamn League to the Football League over the coming seasons.


    Completion of the purchase of the club will take place in the next few days but Glenn has already injected funds into the team, having signed eight new players in the last 10 days.

    Speaking to Phoenix FM this morning, Glenn says that he has a strong vision for the club but needs support in helping the club to progress.

    Glenn said:

    “I am bringing money, drive, passion, desire, commitment and unity to the club. We’ve got very high hopes that our new players will make an impact.

    “We want our fans to be on the journey from the start. These are exciting times for Billercay Town and its supporters.”

    The Blues are currently 11th in the Ryman Premier but only 5 points from the play-off places with games in hand.

    Their next home match is against the Metropolitan Police tomorrow (Saturday) at 3pm, followed by another home game against AFC Sudbury on Tuesday at 7.45pm.

    You can follow Billericay Town on Twitter @BTFC and the new owner is also now on Twitter @GlennTamplin.

    TwitCount Button

    The Living Years – Saint Francis Hospice aim for Christmas No 1!

    Watch the video:

    A newly-formed choir of 300 patients, families, staff and volunteers from 18 hospices are aiming for this year’s Christmas number 1 – and to raise awareness of the hospice movement – with a cover of “The Living Years” alongside Paul Carrack, who was also lead vocalist on the original 1991 hit. 

    The multi-generational London Hospices Choir recorded their new take on the classic track at the world famous Abbey Road Studios and shot the moving music video with patients at Clapham’s Royal Trinity Hospice, under the direction of top Hollywood film director Annabel Jankel (Super Mario Bros, Live from Abbey Road).


    Saint Francis Hospices’s Jane Merrigan came down to chat to Mike about the project. You can hear the interview again below:

    Lead vocalist Paul Carrack said, “The Living Years has been an important song for me for many years, but this is the version that means the most. Recording it with this incredibly special group of people for such a worthwhile cause has created some kind of magic. It’s a powerful and inspiring track, and I hope that everyone gets behind it this Christmas.”

    Choir member Lillian John (94), a patient at St Joseph’s Hospice, Hackney, who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer more than 9 years ago said, “I have been given a new lease of life being part of the London Hospices Choir. St Joseph’s Hospice has been like a family to me, and now I feel like I am part of a huge extended family with 300 people all wanting to give something back to these wonderful places.”  

    Former MP Derek Wyatt, Chair of Trustees at Royal Trinity Hospice, who brought the choir together in honour of their 125th anniversary, said, “We hope that this song will encourage families to take time to have those important conversations as they come together for Christmas. Everyone who buys the song will also be helping London’s hospices to offer the best possible care at a time when every day is precious.”

    Music producer James Hawkins said, “The idea of recording ‘The Living Years’ with this wonderful choir came to me as I was walking around the pond at Royal Trinity Hospice. The song’s message was reflected so strongly as I watched generations come together at a place of such serenity and life to share important conversations. It couldn’t be a better message for everyone to hear this Christmas.”  
    All profits from the sale of the single will be divided between the 18 hospices involved, helping them to support those reaching the end of their lives, and their families.

    As well as Saint Francis Hospice, the other hospices contributing are Demelza Hospice Care for Children, Greenwich & Bexley Community Hospice, Harlington Hospice, Haven House, Marie Curie (Hampstead), Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice, North London Hospice, Pembridge Palliative Care Centre, Princess Alice Hospice, Richard House, Royal Trinity Hospice, Shooting Star Chase, St Christopher’s, The Hospice of St Francis (Berkhamsted), St Joseph’s Hospice (Hackney), St Luke’s Hospice and St Raphael’s Hospice.

    “The Living Years” by The London Hospices Choir and Paul Carrack is being released on December 16th. It’s available to pre-order now from:

    Amazon (Physical):
    Amazon (Digital):

    TwitCount Button

    Playlist for 22 November 2016

    Click here to listen to the show again:

    We started tonight’s show with a track in memory of Craig Gill, the drummer for the Inspiral Carpets who passed away this week at the ridiculously untimely age of 44.


    I last saw the Inspirals live just under a year ago when they supported Shed 7 at the legendary Hatfield Polytechnic (now called the Forum Hertfordshire). Great band and will be sorely missed – rest in peace Craig.

    Tonight’s playlist:

    Inspiral Carpets – Directing Traffik
    Honeyblood – Sister Wolf
    Harlea – Miss Me
    Dutch Uncles – Big Balloon
    Menace Beach – Give Blood
    The Orwells – They Put A Body In The Bayou
    Ulrika Spacek – Everytime: All The Time
    Asylums – Alternative Occupations
    Bait – I’m Still Here
    Norquay – Animal
    Kassassin Street – Do Or Die
    Eat – We Need To Talk
    Everything Everything – I Believe It Now
    Fronteers – Next Time I’m Around
    Neon Waltz – Dreamers
    Man Made – Raining In My Heart
    Proper – Beg To Differ
    Killatrix – FRFGT
    Trampolene – Divided Kingdom
    Sultans of Ping FC – Indeed You Are
    ¡Forward, Russia! – Nine
    Lush – Hypocrite
    Contrast – Drum Machine
    Thurman – English Tea
    Pulp – Joyriders
    Sleeper – Vegas
    Mike Flowers Pops – Venus As A Boy
    Pelvis – The Change
    British Sea Power – Remember Me
    Art Brut – Bad Weekend
    Salad – A Size More Woman Than Her
    Blur – Dan Abnormal

    TwitCount Button

    Calling all local businesses!

    Brentwood businesses can explore opportunities to work together at a new networking event, taking place in the town on from 6pm on Thursday 1st December.

    The event is organised by the Brentwood Orthodontic and Implant Centre, who will also be raising money and awareness for their designated charity, Haven House Children’s Hospice.

    The evening will feature a raffle in aid of Haven House with many exclusive prizes donated by local businesses, including luxury VIP tickets for the champagne lounge at Sugar Hut, a voucher for Smiths Restaurant Ongar and afternoon tea at Mulberry House Manor. This will be followed by a presentation from Haven House Children’s Hospice and a short talk from a Business Coach at Pro-Actions.


    The event will be held at Regency House, 38 Ingrave Road, Brentwood CM15 8AX, and is supported by Phoenix FM and the Essex Business Forum. To attend, please email

    Brentwood Orthodontic and Implant Centre has been providing specialist dental treatments for the local community for over 13 years. You can find out more about them on their official website, Facebook and Twitter pages.

    Haven House Children’s Hospice has provided specialist care for over 650 children and young people since 2003 (from birth to 19) who have life-limiting and life-threatening conditions. You can read more about their work on their official website, Facebook and Twitter pages.

    TwitCount Button

    Courtney-Lee Collins wins Inspirational Youth 2016

    Phoenix FM presenter Courtney-Lee Collins is celebrating after winning the Inspirational Youth award at this year’s Pride of Essex Awards!


    As well as being our youngest presenter, Courtney-Lee has been an avid charity fundraiser over the last few years, raising money for Help For Heroes, The Rainbow Child Foundation, Puffin Ward at Basildon Hospital, The British Heart Foundation, Follow Your Dreams, Treetops Special Needs School, Southend
    Breast Cancer Unit, Basildon Hospital/s Polly Parrot Appeal, Clik Sargent, St Luke’s Hospice and Essex Air Ambulance.

    The awards, held at Anglia Ruskin University in Chelmsford, have been held since 1994 to recognise and award achievement over adversity.




    TwitCount Button

    Cultura Brazil – show 118

    Click below to listen to the show again:

    Cultura Brazil is Phoenix FM’s show for the Brazilian community in Essex, London and beyond, presented by Ezequiel Cassol.

    In this week’s show:

    ‐ Bamba Social in London
    ‐ Zeca Pagodinho at the Hammersmith Apollo

    TwitCount Button

    Man flu or actual flu? It’s Movember!

    It’s November, meaning it’s Movember time again when men are growing moustaches and the focus is on raising awareness of men’s health issues.

    We may all joke about man flu, but Basildon and Brentwood Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is asking men if they can tell if it is flu or just a common cold?

    On average, adults can expect two colds a year and children as many as 10, until they develop immunity. Sometimes a bad cold can be mistaken for flu because a severe cold can also cause muscle aches and fever. But it’s how quickly the symptoms come on which is the biggest clue.

    Flu usually comes quicker than a cold and symptoms include a high temperature of 38-40 degrees Celsius, muscle aches and pains, sweating, feeling exhausted, needing to lie down and a dry chesty cough.

    A person with flu may also have a runny nose and be prone to sneezing, but these are not usually the key symptoms of flu. Flu symptoms appear one to three days after infection and most people recover within a week, although you may feel tired for longer.

    Colds on the other hand can cause more nasal problems. This includes a blocked and runny nose which begins with a clear mucus that develops into thicker green mucus as the cold progresses, a sore throat, sneezing and a cough.

    Adults are also more likely to suffer a mild fever, earache, tiredness and headache. Cold symptoms develop over one or two days and gradually get better after a few days. Some colds can last for up to two weeks.


    Dr Jojo Mampilly, local GP and board member of Basildon and Brentwood CCG says: “Unfortunately, colds and flu are an unpleasant part of winter. No one likes to be ill so whether you’re normally fit and well or if you have an underlying health condition it’s important to take notice of what your body’s telling you.

    “If you do start to feel ill the best thing to do is visit your local pharmacist for advice on cold and flu remedies that will help you feel better. If you’re taking other medication make sure you tell the pharmacist so that they can give you remedies that won’t interfere with your medication. Also take lots of rest and drink plenty of fluids.”

    Other things to remember:

    • Have a free flu jab if you are over 65 or have an underlying health condition
    • Keep paracetamol or ibuprofen-based pain and fever treatment or cold remedies in the house. They will help with the symptoms of both colds and flu
    • If you are prescribed antibiotics because of a bacterial infection, make sure you finish the course
    • Sneeze into a tissue and put it straight in the bin – don’t carry it around and reuse over and over again
    • Have good hand hygiene – always wash hands with soap and water, particularly after sneezing and blowing your nose. Take the time to dry them properly as wet hands harbour and spread germs
    • Keep surfaces clean

    Whether it’s a cold or flu, get medical help if you either have a chronic condition, such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease or have a very high fever as well as an unusually severe headache, abdominal or chest pain.

    For more information about pharmacies and staying well this winter visit

    TwitCount Button

    Playlist for 15 November 2016

    Click below to listen to the show again:

    Tonight’s playlist:


    Radiohead – Burn The Witch
    Honeyblood – Love Is A Disease
    Man Made – Raining In My Head
    Shiners – Goosebumps
    Akiva – Chemical Eyes
    Slowcoaches – 54
    Asylums – Alternative Occupations
    Horse Heads – Castles
    Fronteers – Next Time I’m Around
    Whenyoung – Actor
    Neon Waltz – Dreamers
    Frank and Walters – 1234567
    Estrons – I’m Not Your Girl
    Animal Noise – Little Things
    Bettie Serveert – B-Cuz
    Superglu – Dreams
    Rose Elinor Dougall – Stellular
    Vryll Society – A Perfect Rhythm
    Yassassin – Social Politics
    Franz Ferdinand – Demagogue
    MJ Hibbett and the Validators – 20 Things To Do Before You’re 30
    Howling Bells – Into The Chaos
    Blur – Bang
    Smashing Pumpkins – I Am One
    Ned’s Atomic Dustbin – Grey Cell Green
    Darling Buds – It Makes No Difference
    Madder Rose – Beautiful John
    Supergrass – Caught By The Fuzz
    Salad – Ugly Fashion Town
    Sultans of Ping FC – Bloodsport For All
    Elastica – S.O.F.T.
    Earl Brutus – Navyhead
    Hot Puppies – The Girl Who Was Too Beautiful

    TwitCount Button

    EXCLUSIVE: Glenn Tamplin highlights his plans for Billericay Town

    Click below to hear the full interview (10 mins):

    “By this time next week it should be signed, sealed and delivered”

    On Sunday, Ryman League Premier team Billericay Town FC made a shock announcement that the shareholders, Steve Kent and Grant Gordon, have agreed to sell their stake in the club to Glenn Tamplin.

    Glenn led a consortium which has been in negotiations over the last few months to take over Conference side Dagenham and Redbridge. The deal has fallen through and Glenn has turned his attention to the New Lodge.

    In an exclusive interview with Phoenix FM’s Paul Golder, Glenn talks about:

    – his own personal history in non-league football as a player
    – what happened with the Dagenham and Redbridge bid
    – his plans for the team, the ground and how the club will reach out to the community
    – where he expects the club to be at the end of his seven year plan


    We then continued chatting about football in general on the full-size pitch in his garden!

    Glenn’s plans are ambitious – but he clearly has conviction that Billericay Town can go to a whole new level.

    We’ll be keeping a close eye on the exciting times ahead for the Blues.

    TwitCount Button

    Cultura Brazil – show 117

    Click below to listen to the show again:

    Cultura Brazil is Phoenix FM’s show for the Brazilian community in Essex, London and beyond, presented by Ezequiel Cassol.

    In this week’s show:

    ‐ Gabriella Di Laccio at the Brazilian Embassy
    ‐ Education Fair at the Brazilian Consulate
    ‐ Bamba Social presents the best samba in London
    ‐ Cine Clube Brazil presents the Brazilian film The Middle of the World

    TwitCount Button

    Sugar Hut live! – Wills Childs and Lydia Lucy

    Phoenix FM presenters were out and about at the Sugar Hut’s second Thursday night music event last night.

    The evening’s host, Wills Childs, and Lydia Lucy, star of The Voice, performed to a packed audience.

    The event was supported by our own Graham Stannard, Tracey Thomas and Steve Roach, who supplied the photos.

    If you want to get involved in future events send a sample of your voice to













    TwitCount Button

    Secure Haven tackles funeral debt

    With the UK’s funeral debt reaching almost £150m, an independent funeral director is working to keep costs low for Essex families.

    The latest Royal London National Funeral Cost Index reveals funeral debt in the UK has risen to £147m as people borrow from friends and family or the bank to fund the last wishes of loved ones.

    With a postcode lottery meaning funeral costs range from £2,898 to £6,422 depending on where you live in the country, families are finding it almost impossible to plan financially for the inevitable.

    The research also found consumers are using different coping strategies to keep costs down, with 5% choosing to have a direct burial or direct cremation, which is a radically different and cheaper option.

    While this is not on offer from many funeral directors, Secure Haven Funeral Directors, based in Coptfold Hall Farm, Margaretting, offers the Honesty Cremation Package to assist families struggling with the costs of a full funeral.

    The family-run funeral home was set up this year in response to hidden costs and growing price tags attached to putting someone to rest.

    Paul Yarwood, whose family were horrified at the pricey experience of dealing with funeral directors when his parents died, set up his business to focus on affordability, care and helping families through their grief.


    Paul and Cheryl Yarwood

    The Honesty Cremation Package, at £1,795, enables families to give their loved one a quality, but simple send-off.

    Mr Yarwood said: “Having lost both my parents and having to arrange their funeral with no real idea on how the costs were accumulating, I thought it extremely important that other families should not have to go through this process.

    “With costs spiralling well above the rate of inflation, I feel families need help in their decision-making if cost is an issue or not.

    “By offering our services well below the national average in cost, yet still keeping the high level of service and professionalism, we believe families can make more choices when it comes to arrangement.

    “Secure Haven understand the need for many families to opt for a non-service cremation – a direct cremation – where there are no attendees at the crematorium. This may be the preference for families who, because of the rising cost of a cremation, may have restricted finances while looking to provide a dignified farewell to their loved one.”

    Royal London’s research highlights that the average cost of a funeral in the UK is now £3,675, with 93,359 adults taking on funeral debt. The average debt being taken on to cover funeral costs is £1,601, which collectively equates to £147m across the UK.

    One in seven polled (15%) said they struggled with funeral costs. Among those who struggled, one in four said they borrowed money from family and friends (27%) or went into debt by taking out a loan or going into their overdraft (24%) to pay funeral costs.

    Mona Patel, Royal London’s consumer spokesman, said: “When dealing with the loss of a loved one, the last thing that people need is financial stress as well.

    “It is vital the Government tackles funeral poverty by addressing the flaws with the Social Fund Funeral Expenses Payment. This includes the length of time it takes to get a payment which then often falls far short of the cost of the funeral. The funeral industry also needs to address consumer demand for a simpler and cheaper funeral option, by providing more access to direct cremation and direct burials.”

    TwitCount Button

    Playlist for 8 November 2016 (AOTW: Honeyblood – Babes Never Die)

    Click here to listen to the show again:

    The Album Of The Week is back this week! Honeyblood’s second release “Babes Never Die” came out on Friday and is bothering the UK top 40 in the midweek charts. There aren’t so many bands that sound as fresh as they do while maintaining an urgent energy – and the new work is a step up from their debut, with every track a winner, except perhaps for the odd Intro and Outro. Perhaps they’ll grow on me …


    Tonight’s playlist:

    Thousand Yard Stare – Keepsake
    Honeyblood – Love Is A Disease
    Killatrix – Dumb
    Estrons – Call You Mine
    Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever – Julie’s Place
    Bloc Party – Stunt Queen
    Petty Phase – You’ll Be Dead
    Asylums – Alternative Occupations
    Honeyblood – Justine, Misery Queen
    Divine Comedy – A Desperate Man
    Zuzu – Get Off
    Animal Noise – Little Things
    Tigercub – Burning Effigies
    Bettie Serveert – Damaged Good
    My Life Story – 24 Hour Deflowerer
    Honeyblood – Hey, Stellar
    Vryll Society – A Perfect Rhythm
    Rose Elinor Dougall – Stellular
    Oblong – S’Dim Ots Da Fi
    Coaster – Burn
    OhBoy! – Dirt
    Blue Aeroplanes – Elvis Festival
    Blondfire – Sex Lies And Destruction
    Shamen – Move Any Mountain (Beat Edit)
    Garbage – Dumb
    Auteurs – Lenny Valentino
    Kent – If You Were Here
    Pizzicato Five – Mon Amour Tokyo
    Juliana Hatfield Three – My Sister
    Heart Throbs – She’s In A Trance
    Republica – Pretty Girl Hate
    Sugarcubes – A Day Called Zero
    Darling Buds – Burst
    Pulp – I Spy

    TwitCount Button

    Help the animals at Hopefield this winter!

    Our friends at Hopefield Animal Sanctuary are asking for help this winter – by filling up a shoebox.


    You can help the sanctuary’s animals during the cold winter months by filling up a shoe box with animal related products such as food, treats, toys, bedding, blankets, fruit and veg and any other things you think of.

    Why not ask your school or workplace to get involved, and pass on the message to friends and colleagues too!

    Boxes can be dropped at the sanctuary any day of the week (Sawyers Hall Farm, Sawyers Hall Ln, Brentwood CM15 9BZ), or can be dropped at Hopefield’s pet supplies shop in Ingatestone from Monday to Saturday (3 Market Place, Ingatestone, CM4 0BY).

    If you can’t drop it off you can post your boxes directly. And if you pop your details on the box, the animals will write you a special thank you note :)

    If you need inspiration as to what to put in the box you can check out Hopefield’s Amazon wishlist here:

    Facebook page for the Shoebox appeal:

    TwitCount Button

    Cultura Brazil – show 116

    Click below to listen to the show again:

    Cultura Brazil is Phoenix FM’s show for the Brazilian community in Essex, London and beyond, presented by Ezequiel Cassol.

    In this week’s show:

    ‐ Azimuth again in London
    ‐ Zeca Pagodinho in Hammersmith Apollo
    ‐ Elza Soares at the Barbican

    TwitCount Button

    Spotlight on … Brentwood Fairtrade

    Click here to listen again:

    Sara Macham sits down in the Phoenix FM studios with Caryl Kwei, secretary of the Brentwood Fairtrade campaign group. Find out how Caryl and her team of volunteers got Brentwood certified as a fairtrade town, what makes a fairtrade school and why we should all care about where our food, clothes and even footballs come from.


    If you would like to know more, visit If you would like to help Caryl, you can find more details and how you can get involved at

    TwitCount Button

    Sugar Hut live! – the first event

    Phoenix FM presenters were out and about at the Sugar Hut’s first Thursday night music event last night.


    Local singers including the evening’s host, Wills Childs, Gemma Collins, Dolly Harrington and more performed to a packed audience.

    The event was supported by our own Tony Smith, Tracey Thomas and Steve Roach, who supplied the photos.

    If you want to get involved in future events send a sample of your voice to

















    TwitCount Button

    Brentwood Business Showcase


    Brentwood’s first Business Showcase event, held today at the Brentwood Centre, proved to be a great success with over 500 people in attendance.

    The showcase was set up as an opportunity to promote local businesses, visit exhibitors, network with others and meet new customers and suppliers.

    Organised by Brentwood Borough Council, and sponsored by Wortley Byers Law, the showcase featured key speakers including Crossrail’s Surface Director Matthew White, who spoke about Crossrail coming to the area and how this will transform Brentwood’s business environment, and Nick Kay of St Modwen Developments Ltd, who spoke about the Strategic Development Plan for Brentwood Enterprise Park and why it is the new place to do business.

    Other speakers included Judy Hoskins from the Women In Business Network, Laurie Edmonds from Local By Social and Russell Quirk from eMoov.

    Phoenix FM was in attendance too – represented by our Sales and Marketing Manager, Steve Roach. Get in touch to find out what deals we can offer businesses!





















    TwitCount Button

    Cultura Brazil – show 115

    Click below to listen to the show again:

    Cultura Brazil is Phoenix FM’s show for the Brazilian community in Essex, London and beyond, presented by Ezequiel Cassol.

    In this week’s show:

    ‐ Elza Soares at the London Jazz Festival
    ‐ Zeca Pagodinho in Hammersmith Apollo
    ‐ Queen Mary University conducted a study on Latin American

    TwitCount Button

    Playlist for 25 October 2016

    Click here to listen again:

    We had an exclusive first play of a fantastic – and unreleased – SALAD track tonight! Marijne sent over a copy of Poor Peach, a track recorded at her flat in London on a four-track recorder in either 1997 or 1998. Marijne plays guitar and keyboard as well as sings and Rob Wakeman is on drum machine duties. If you caught the show – or if you click the link above to listen again – it’s your first chance to have a listen.

    Marijne and Paul Kennedy are performing acoustic Salad sets under the name Salad Undressed. You can catch them at the following places:


    Sat 12 Nov – The Betsey Trotwood, London EC1 (with Birdie and Trees and the Slipway)
    Sun 13 Nov – Butlins, Minehead (as part of the Shiiine On Weekender – on stage at 3.45pm)
    Sat 3 Dec – The Starshaped Britpop Club, London (venue to be confirmed)
    Wed 14 Dec – Off The Cuff, Herne Hill (with Hot Motel, featuring former Salad producer Donald Ross Skinner and charismatic vocalist Ruper Ingham)
    Sat 11 Mar – Indie Music Festival, Barcelona

    In the second half of tonight’s show we commemorated 12 years since the passing of John Peel with a look back at some of the great sessions recorded for his Radio 1 show.

    Tonight’s playlist:

    Superglu – Dreams
    Rose Elinor Dougall – Stellular
    Piano Wire – Cherry Coma
    Letters To Cleo – Can’t Say
    Bloc Party – Stunt Queen
    Barnsbury Estate – Moron Robot Punk Rock
    Oblong – S’Dim Ots Da Fi
    Estrons – I’m Not Your Girl
    Salad – Poor Peach
    Turin Brakes – 96
    Vryll Society – A Perfect Rhythm
    Franz Ferdinand – Demagogue
    Sulk – One Day
    Louise Distras – Aileen
    My Life Story – 24 Hour Deflowerer
    Wind-Up Birds – Cross-Country
    Bloc Party – Luno (Peel Session 30 Nov 2004)
    Polysics – My Sharona (Peel Session 23 Sep 2004)
    Hives – Hate To Say I Told You So (Peel Session 22 Oct 2001)
    Pulp – Duck Diving (Peel Session 12 Aug 2001)
    Melys – Lullaby (Peel Session 19 Dec 1999)
    Blur – On Your Own (Peel Session 22 Apr 1997)
    Sleeper – Pyrotechnician I Think I Love You (Peel Session 11 Jan 1994)
    Kitchens Of Distinction – When In Heaven (Peel Session 23 Aug 1992)
    Sultans of Ping FC – Give Him A Ball And A Yard Of Grass (Peel Session 05 Mar 1992)
    Frank and Walters – Fashion Crisis Hits New York (Peel Session 03 Nov 1991)
    New Fast Automatic Daffodils – Jagger Bog (Peel Session 19 Dec 1989)
    Nirvana – Molly’s Lips (Peel Session 21 Oct 1990)
    Darling Buds – Shame On You (Peel Session 23 Aug 1987)
    XTC – Real By Reel (Peel Session 08 Oct 1979)
    Tubeway Army – Me I Disconnect From You (Peel Session 10 Jan 1979)
    Slits – Love And Romance (Peel Session 19 Sep 1977)

    TwitCount Button

    The West Ham Way – show 15

    Click here to listen to the show again:

    Welcome to the latest edition of The West Ham Way, Phoenix FM’s weekly round up of all things West Ham!

    The show is presented every week by Dave Walker and Kev Slade from West Ham website Sex Drugs & Carlton Cole with help from the mysterious @exwhuemployee, founder of The West Ham Way website.


    While West Ham were seeing off Chelsea in the EFL Cup, we have a special show this week as SDCC and Ex chat to former West Ham player Darren Blewitt about his time at the club.

    The West Ham Way will be back next week on Wednesday at 7pm. #COYI

    TwitCount Button

    Cultura Brazil – show 114

    Click below to listen to the show again:

    Cultura Brazil is Phoenix FM’s show for the Brazilian community in Essex, London and beyond, presented by Ezequiel Cassol.

    In this week’s show:

    ‐ MPB and Bossa Nova with Monica Vasconcelos in Gillett Square
    ‐ Ed Motta returns to London

    TwitCount Button

    Brands Hatch race report

    14 year old Essex racing driver Lochlan Bearman went into the final meeting of 2016 hoping to clinch 3rd place in the Championship in what was his first season of car racing.


    At the last round in Anglesey, Wales an ECU fault meant he was massively down on power and he had to just complete the 2 races to collect championships points. “That really hurt my position but I still had a good chance to score well at Brands” he said.

    Difficulties in tracking down the fault in Bearman’s race car meant he needed to hire a car to ensure there was not a repetition of the issue. Trying the new car for the first time on Thursday, Bearman was happy with the car and getting used to Brands Hatch for the first time. “We were progressing well with each session”, Lochlan commented. Despite an issue with the car which prevented further practise Bearman was confident of a good showing.

    Saturday morning was very cold and the PhoenixFM driver was running on old tyres but was 9th quickest of the 19 drivers. “We were 6 tenths off the quickest time but my tyres were finished” said the schoolboy – he felt confident once new tyres went on for qualifying.


    However, qualifying turned out to be anything but positive. “The balance of the car completely changed and it just wouldn’t turn into the corners and I was fighting with massive understeer”. The problem was so severe that Bearman was 7 tenths slower than in the morning. The team tried to alter the car mid qualifying but it only made a small improvement. Bearman ended in 16th place – the first time all season he had qualified outside of the top 10.

    Dramatic changes were made to the car for race 1 on Sunday. As the red lights went out and the race got underway Bearman made an explosive start and was the middle car as they went round Paddock Hill three-a-breast. The car on the outside turned into Bearman and trapped him in the middle. The inside car was then forced into a spin. Bearman was already minus both wing mirrors but managed to hold on and continue to Druids Hairpin. It was a chaotic first lap with lots of incidents. Bearman managed to navigate through the crashing cars to complete lap 1 in 9th position.


    The youngster then seemed to get into a rhythm, but his car was still not performing well. The understeer was still bad and it also felt down on power. On lap 10, car 38 caught him as they went along the strait. Bearman held the inside through Paddock and also for the hairpin. As they went through the hairpin 38 ran into the back quarter of Bearman’s car and caused a half spin, which he held, but then was forced onto the grass where he hit the barrier before spinning round. Lochlan’s race was finished with bad damage to his car. Whilst the driver of car 38 was excluded from the results for the incident it meant Bearman was classified 13th overall and lost points in the battle for 3rd in the Championship.

    The team worked hard to rebuild the car which had body, suspension and steering damage.

    Bearman was out in time for race 2 with his car patched up and looking very second hand. Again he made a good start and was up to 8th at the end of lap 1 but on lap 3 pitted as he felt there was something wrong with the car. He returned to the track but was quickly back in again. “It felt as if the suspension or a wheel was loose” said Bearman. He continued lapping in order to secure championship points but was not classified in the results.

    “It’s been a massive disappointment over the last 2 races” he said. “We were looking good for 3rd, possibly 2nd heading into Anglesey and it all seems to have gone wrong from there.

    At the start of the season the objective was a top 10, but we realised we are fast enough and so that become a top 5 target. When I look back over the season I’ve been on the podium, I’ve set fastest lap, I held a lap record for 1 race, and I was leading at Snetterton with 7 seconds to go before a power steering pump pipe split.

    I came from the back of the grid to 3rd in the wet at Silverstone and from the back of the grid to 5th at Castle Coombe. We’ve had quite a lot of bad luck and yet have still finished in the top 5” (it may be 4th but I need to see the results).

    “It’s been an incredible experience to race on full circuits, to be in the F1 garages at Silverstone and be part of what has been a really close Championship and I’ve learned so much. I’m proud to have been supported by PhoenixFM throughout 2016 and to represent the station at all the circuits we’ve visited this year.

    Now I am looking forward to 2017. I need sponsorship to have a really good go at winning in 2017 so if you want to get involved, bring staff, clients and friends to the races and be part of the 2017 title attempt please contact me at”

    TwitCount Button

    Brentwood Festival 2017 – Laurie Edmonds reveals first acts

    The Brentwood Festival is back next year and the festival team have already booked their first acts!

    Laurie Edmonds Brentwood Festival 09-06-16

    Laurie Edmonds spoke to Mike Porter about the festival, now in its 7th year, and you can hear the big announcement below:

    The Brentwood Festival takes place from 14-16 July 2017. Early bird tickets go on sale on 1st November and you can find out more at

    The White Horse Beer, Sausage and Cider Festival takes place from 28-30 October and will feature many festival regulars including Missing Andy and Expose. Profits will go to Blesma, The Limbless Veterans charity. You can find out more on the event’s Facebook page.

    TwitCount Button

    Playlist for 18 October 2016

    Click here to listen again:

    Tonight’s playlist


    Gene – Haunted By You
    British Sea Power – Lights Out For Darker Skies
    Vryll Society – A Perfect Rhythm
    Lush – Burnham Beeches
    Honeyblood – Babes Never Die
    Pale – Such Dumb Luck
    Oblong – S’Dim Ots Da Fi
    Ummagma – Lama
    Straw – Sailing Off The Edge Of The World
    Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks – Dark Wave
    MX Tyrants – Mutual Lucid
    King Adora – Suffocate
    An Emotional Fish – Grey Matter
    Melys – Chinese Whispers
    Sugarcubes – Eat The Menu
    Jocasta – Go
    Ben Folds Five – Where’s Summer B.?
    Superglu – Rounder
    Be Your Own Pet – Adventure
    Kim Gordon – Murdered Out
    Golden Graves – Trash
    Rews – Miss You In The Dark
    Estrons – I’m Not Your Girl
    Apeman Spaceman – This Is A Low
    Barnsbury Estate – Moron Robot Punk Rock
    Catatonia – Shore Leave
    Yassassin – Social Politics
    Broadcast – Belly Dance
    Le Hammond Inferno – Easy Leasing Superstar

    TwitCount Button

    Join the Giving Machine and help Phoenix FM!

    We’ve signed up with THE GIVING MACHINE to help our supporters raise money for Phoenix FM!


    The Giving Machine works by generating commissions for us every time you shop online.

    There are over 1,500 retailers to choose from including Amazon,, John Lewis, eBay, Sainsbury’s and Next.

    Using The Giving Machine doesn’t cost you anything extra – but we earn income which goes towards our studio running costs.

    How can you help?

    Go to our cause page at and register an account.

    Bookmark which gives you a list of shops to choose from. Alternatively use the search bar at the top of that page to search for products.

    And that’s it!

    You can also install an optional Shop and Give Reminder which will show you which retailers help our cause as you browse the web.

    As a supporter we’ll keep you up to date about how much we’ve raised and what we’re spending it on.

    Happy shopping!

    Phoenix FM is a not-for-profit organisation.

    TwitCount Button

    Parents – protect your child from flu!

    Basildon and Brentwood Clinical Commissioning Group is reminding parents to act on the letter they should have received about their child’s free flu vaccination.

    This year the annual flu campaign is being extended to include older children in school year three.

    The free immunisation is being offered to youngsters aged two, three and four and pupils in school years one and two and three.

    The move will help protect a larger number of children across south west Essex and help provide protection to schools, friends, family, and the wider population from the virus.


    Dr Sooraj Natarajan, who is the clinical lead for paediatrics at Basildon and Brentwood CCG, said: “We know coughs and colds are already starting to spread which means flu season is right behind. Children aged two, three and four are more vulnerable and can be hit hard by flu. In addition, they spread infections easily. They’re not bothered about covering their mouth when they cough, sneeze, or keeping their hands clean. And if they’re around family members of friends that are over 65 or who have a health condition, they’re putting them at risk too.

    “Flu spreads fast and places like schools are ideal environments for it to get a grip in the community, so it’s essential we make sure children are protected for the sake of their fellow pupils and those they are in contact with.”

    The vaccination is given by squirting a single dose of nasal spray up each nostril and so there are no needles to worry about.

    Dr Natarajan, who is GP Principal at the Tile House Surgery in Brentwood, said: “The vaccination is the best protection against what is an unpredictable virus. It can cause severe illness and can even be fatal in some cases. It’s also vital that children get vaccinated every year, vaccines are not for life and just as the virus changes each year so does the vaccine – it will protect your child and potentially those they come into contact with.

    “So we’re asking that parents and carers pay attention to the letter they have received or will be receiving soon. We understand being a parent keeps people busy but this five minute job is really important for the health of your child and your loved ones. It really isn’t worth the risk so please get your child protected.”

    Any parent who has not received a letter, should contact their child’s school or GP practice.

    Young people with long-term health conditions up to the age of 17 are also eligible to receive a free flu vaccination at their GP practice or local pharmacy.

    For more information visit

    You can download the NHS leaflet here.

    TwitCount Button

    Cultura Brazil – show 113

    Click below to listen to the show again:

    Cultura Brazil is Phoenix FM’s show for the Brazilian community in Essex, London and beyond, presented by Ezequiel Cassol.

    In this week’s show:

    ‐ Zeca Pagodinho at Hammersmith Apollo
    ‐ King’s College London is seminars on various topics about Brazil
    ‐ Queen Mary University develops report on Brazilian culture in London

    TwitCount Button

    Playlist for 11 October 2016

    Click here to listen to the show again:

    Among all the new and old classics, we had an (almost) exclusive from SALAD – an unreleased track, Big Monkey Girl, getting its first play on Phoenix FM.

    Tonight’s playlist:

    Art Brut – The Great Escape
    Honeyblood – Babes Never Die
    Kim Gordon – Murdered Out
    Asylums – Born To Not Belong
    Thousand Yard Stare – Cottager
    Younger Younger 28s – Sugar Sweet Dreams
    Barnsbury Estate – Moron Robot Punk Rock
    Mile Me Deaf – Blowout
    Salad – Big Monkey Girl
    Black Honey – Hello Today
    Honeyblood – Sea Hearts
    Pumarosa – Honey
    Rews – Miss You In The Dark
    Dyslexic Postcards – The Shakes That You Make
    Tim Burgess and Peter Gordon – Begin
    Apeman Spaceman – This Is A Low
    Amazons – In My Mind
    Temples – Certainty
    Wharves – The Strike
    Theaudience – A Pessimist Is Never Disappointed
    My Life Story – 24 Hour Deflowerer
    Letters To Cleo – Can’t Say
    Urusei Yatsura – Our Shining Path
    Divine Comedy – A Desperate Man
    Kasakela – Shouldn’t Do
    Golden Graves – Whoad
    Canvas Wall – Come And Get It
    Surge – Lemonade
    Everglows – She’s A Mystery
    Oblong – Hold On
    Julia Jacklin – Coming Of Age

    TwitCount Button

    Cultura Brazil – show 112

    Click below to listen to the show again:

    Cultura Brazil is Phoenix FM’s show for the Brazilian community in Essex, London and beyond, presented by Ezequiel Cassol.

    In this week’s show:

    ‐ The Brasileirissimos the comic series of Brazilians in London
    ‐ Luiz Melodia comes to London

    TwitCount Button

    Nando’s comes to Mayflower Shopping Park

    Phoenix FM was at the opening of the beautiful new Nando’s at Mayflower Shopping Park today.


    The new store occupies the former Pizza Hut site but has been completely transformed and modernised.


    Basildon’s third Nando’s has created 20 new jobs for locals and will seat 125 people at a time.

    The brand new restaurant will bring the Nando’s experience to locals with authentic Portuguse hand made fabrics for the fixed seating, as well as beautiful cortex steel planters for the front seating area.


    Regional MD, Stephen Geach said: “We are thrilled to open the doors to our brand new Nando’s in the Mayflower Shopping Park, which will give locals and fans alike the chance to experience our authentic Peri Peri flavours.

    “This fantastic location is our third restaurant in Basildon and we’re delighted to be growing in this thriving area.”

    TwitCount Button

    Cultura Brazil – show 111

    Click below to listen to the show again:

    Cultura Brazil is Phoenix FM’s show for the Brazilian community in Essex, London and beyond, presented by Ezequiel Cassol.

    In this week’s show:

    ‐ Barbican presents Elza Soares
    ‐ Maria Gadu returns to London
    ‐ Luiz Melodia in Camden

    TwitCount Button

    Hospice Care Week

    Today is the start of Hospice Care Week and to celebrate this, staff, volunteers and patients from Saint Francis Hospice have created a video which explains what hospice care means to them.

    Saint Francis Hospice will be using social media this week to highlight the special and sometimes unexpected ways that they offer care and support.

    You can follow them on Facebook and Twitter to find out more.

    TwitCount Button

    The Everglows – back at Phoenix FM

    Click below to listen to the interview:

    We welcomed back The Everglows – Andy Smith, Ray Brodrick and Steve Perkins – to the Phoenix FM studios for their third session for us, having visited us in 2014 and 2015.


    We always have a short chat about the band which ends up in a long preamble about music in general, and the lads didn’t disappoint this time.

    They played three more songs for us too, which you can see again below:

    You can find out what the band are up to by visiting their Facebook, Twitter and Soundcloud pages.

    TwitCount Button

    John Baron’s Fun Walk breaks records

    At their presentation ceremony this evening, Basildon and Billericay MP John Baron, along with other trustees of the Fun Walk Trust, awarded bonus pot cheques to all those charities and good causes which took part in this year’s Fun Walk, which took place at Barleylands Farm on 22 May.

    Because of the generosity of corporate and individual sponsors, each project receives a bonus over and above what they raise themselves in sponsorship on the day. In this year’s walk, for every £100 raised by projects in sponsorship, the bonus pot is adding a further £53. The total monies raised both by the projects and bonus pot sponsors came to £110,000 – a new record and up 10% on last year. Nearly 100 projects in total benefitted from this year’s Walk, including Phoenix FM, who had a team of presenters present.


    The presentation was held at Anisha Grange Care Home, Outwood Common Road, Billericay. John said:

    “The 2016 Fun Walk has been a huge success and our bonus pot sponsors have been integral to that success. Our thanks go to Swan Housing Association, c2c Rail, Butyl Products Ltd, Abellio Greater Anglia, Hallmark Care Homes, Private Ambulance Service Ltd, IFE Global Logistics, Leonardo (formally Selex ES), Mr Barrie Stone and others.

    “Our thanks also go to Barleylands Farm for hosting the Walk and to Hallmark Care Homes for hosting the presentation evening, to our family of volunteers for organising and running the event, and to the many others who have helped including our marshals and accountants Hunt Smee and Co.

    “Many people and good causes less fortunate than ourselves will benefit from everyone’s generosity. It’s been a great team effort. Next year’s walk will take place on 21st May 2017- again at Barleylands Farm. All are welcome.”

    TwitCount Button

    The Queens – Most Welcoming Theatre in the East!

    Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch is overjoyed to win the UK’s Most Welcoming Theatre award for the East region in the UK Theatre Awards, in association with Smooth Radio.

    Queens Theatre Hornchurch

    The Theatre is among 12 regional winners announced yesterday by UK Theatre and all will be invited to the annual UK Theatre Awards ceremony on 9 October at London’s historic Guildhall, where the overall winner will be announced.

    The award, which is voted for by the public, is an opportunity for audiences to celebrate their local theatre.

    Julian Bird, Chief Executive of UK Theatre, said: ‘Theatres play a vital role in communities across the UK, so it has been wonderful to see so many votes cast. This campaign brings together audiences, theatres, performers and producers and gives everyone the opportunity to celebrate their local venue.’

    Awards judge Paul Phear said: ‘It is a privilege to team up with UK Theatre once again as we crown the nation’s Most Welcoming Theatre. This Award is even more special because it is the audiences, including our Smooth Radio listeners, who have chosen the winner. I look forward to announcing the result next month.’

    The Queen’s Theatre’s Artistic Director Douglas Rintoul says: ‘We’re delighted to win this award. Thank you to everyone who voted and to the team at the Queen’s Theatre. We’re working hard to be a welcoming, accessible venue – our customer service is warm and efficient and our varied programme of entertainment offers something for all ages and interests. Crucially, we’re reaching out to many more members of the community – who may not have previously felt able to visit the theatre – with several new initiatives, from £1 ticket offers to Relaxed Performances for audiences with autism and Dementia-Friendly performances.’

    Lesley Manville OBE will be compèring at the ceremony, where Vanessa Redgrave CBE will be receiving The Gielgud Award for Excellence in the Dramatic Arts, while Sir Ian McKellen will collect the award for Outstanding Contribution to British Theatre.

    This year’s nominations demonstrate the breadth and depth of outstanding talent and achievement in theatre and the performing arts throughout the United Kingdom, on and off stage. The full list can be viewed

    For more information about the Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch, call the Box Office on 01708 443333 or visit

    TwitCount Button

    Cultura Brazil – show 110

    Click below to listen to the show again:

    Cultura Brazil is Phoenix FM’s show for the Brazilian community in Essex, London and beyond, presented by Ezequiel Cassol.

    In this week’s show:

    ‐ Joice singer comes to London
    ‐ Photographer Alexander Rotenberg exhibits at Asia House

    TwitCount Button

    Welsh Woe for Bearman

    14 year old racing driver Lochlan Bearman was racing at the Anglesey Circuit in north Wales at the weekend and looking to move up to 2nd in the Championship.

    Having made major improvements to his car at Silverstone and running in the top 4 all weekend with fastest lap in race 2, he was confident of another good weekend at Angelsey.


    “It’s a fantastic track with big changes in elevation, some unusual camber changes and a section called the corkscrew which is great fun to drive and a technical challenge and it’s right next to the sea”, said the Phoenix FM-sponsored Driver.

    The Essex racer was fast in practice on Friday and Saturday and expectations were high for a good weekend.

    During qualifying a fault appeared with the car’s “brain”, the ECU, and resulted in lost power. In spite of this, Bearman still qualified 4th and the team cleared the fault with their diagnostic tools. As the lights went out and the race started, Bearman’s car appeared stranded and slowly crawled away. He immediately pitted with the same problem and effectively his race was over. The team were unable to clear the fault and Bearman had to complete the race nearly 4 seconds a lap off the pace and consequently finished last.

    The team worked during the period before race 2 and changed and cleaned many electrical components but as soon as Bearman left the pit lane the problem resurfaced. Although he managed to gain 2 places during the 1st lap he was helpless to defend his position and dropped off the pack, and had no option but to lap on his own and way off the pace finishing in last place again.

    “This has been my worst experience so far in car racing. We looked to be in such a good position but it was all taken away and there was nothing I could do. I happens in racing but it is still incredibly hard to take and to loose both races has really damaged by Championship position. It was a very long drive home!

    “However, I will take the positives, that I know I can compete for wins. We now need to get the car fixed before the final meeting of the season at Brands Hatch on October 23rd. It would be great to have some local support so please come down an come and say hello”, said Bearman.

    TwitCount Button

    Vote for The West Ham Way in the Football Blogging Awards

    Phoenix FM presenters Sex Drugs & Carlton Cole and @exwhuemployee are both up for an award at the Football Blog Awards – so we need your help to make Phoenix FM a winner!


    You’ll need to be logged into Twitter to vote.

    To vote for The West Ham Way as best podcast click here:

    To vote for @exwhuemployee for best social account click here:

    Voting ends on 26th September and finalists will be announced on 5th October. For more info visit

    TwitCount Button

    Cultura Brazil – show 109

    Click below to listen to the show again:

    Cultura Brazil is Phoenix FM’s show for the Brazilian community in Essex, London and beyond, presented by Ezequiel Cassol.

    In this week’s show:

    ‐ Elza Soares at the London Jazz Festival
    ‐ Maria Gadu in Barbican
    ‐ Embassy of Brazil is accepting cultural projects for 2017

    TwitCount Button

    The Sound Of Essex

    Click here to listen to the show again:

    The Sound Of Essex is a recording project put together by Studio 6 Music in Witham and Phoenix FM – proomoting the best of unsigned talent in Essex.


    11 artists have recorded a track at Studio 6 especially for the project. You can hear many of them chatting about their band and music, and hear all the tracks involved, on a special radio programme bring broadcast on 20 September.

    The project is in aid of Brainwave, a Witham-based children’s charity. For more information and to buy copies of the CD contact

    TwitCount Button

    Andy J Gallagher live at Phoenix FM

    Hear the interview and session again:

    It’s fair to describe Andy J Gallagher as a bona fide stalwart of the Essex Music Scene. I saw Andy’s first band, The Shopkeeper Appeared, 24 years ago at the Pink Toothbrush in Rayleigh supporting Irish indie nonsense merchants The Sultans of Ping – another little known band, Radiohead, shared the support with Andy that day.


    Andy came down today for his second session with Phoenix FM – the first being way back in 2009. With guitarist Millsy we had a chat about his musical career and played three songs for us, which you can see and hear below:

    Andy has a new single, Sheena’s Big Night Out/Because We Are, out on JAC64 Records – the songs were produced by long-time collaborator and ex-Damned guitar/keyboard player Roman Jugg.

    You can find out more about Andy at his official website –

    TwitCount Button

    Imogen Heap launches Saint Francis Hospice’s OrangeLine

    Click here to listen again to the interview:

    Saint Francis Hospice’s new OrangeLine has launched with new patron Imogen Heap playing at a very special ceremony in Havering-atte-Bower.


    Imogen, who recorded a live session for Phoenix FM back in 2011, performed four songs for hospice staff, carers and patients.

    Paul Golder spoke to Imogen about her role at the hospice and also a little about what she’s up to musically at the moment. He also chatted to the hospice’s Director of Quality and Care, Tess Smith, about the impact that OrangeLine will have on service users and also about Imogen’s support of their work.


    OrangeLine is Saint Francis Hospice’s new free telephone service. It is aimed at local people who are suffering or caring for someone with a life-limiting illness, or have been recently discharged or bereaved, or just in need of a friendly conversation. It’s confidential and managed by specially trained staff and volunteers who are dedicated to the caller’s wellbeing.


    For more information about OrangeLine please visit

    TwitCount Button

    The West Ham Way – show 9

    Click here to listen to the show again:

    Welcome to the latest edition of The West Ham Way, Phoenix FM’s weekly round up of all things West Ham!

    The show is presented every week by Dave Walker and Kev Slade from West Ham website Sex Drugs & Carlton Cole with help from the mysterious @exwhuemployee, founder of The West Ham Way website.

    On this week’s show Dave and Ex discuss West Ham’s woeful performance at home to Watford, injury and transfer news and questions from listeners.

    The West Ham Way will be back next week at the later time of Thursday at 7pm. #COYI

    TwitCount Button

    Parts of Brentwood set to join South Basildon and East Thurrock

    The UK’s political map is set to be redrawn in the run-up to the next general election in 2020 – with many people in Brentwood likely to find they are voting in a completely different area.


    Under draft plans just published, the number of parliamentary constituencies will fall significantly, reducing the number of MPs in Parliament by 50 to 600, while most seats will change in size and character for the first time in at least a decade.

    The Brentwood and Ongar constituency has been increased north to include many areas previously in the Saffron Walden constituency, as far as North End and Great Leighs on the outskirts of Braintree. It’s also increased east, taking in the village of Boreham, a few miles to the east of Chelmsford.

    However some villages traditionally identifying as Brentwood, including Great Warley, Little Warley, Ingrave and Herongate now join the South Basildon and East Thurrock constituency, whose MP is currently Stephen Metcalfe. The previous boundary line between the two was the A127 but this has moved up to the Brentwood railway line, so roads as far into Brentwood as Myrtle Road and Mount Crescent will now be voting for the same MP as people in Tilbury and Coryton.

    The shape of Billericay and Basildon constituency has changed too with the village of Stock and Margaretting now voting here instead of in Maldon, as they did in 2015.

    A map of the proposed changes can be found here:

    TwitCount Button

    Win tickets to West Ham v Accrington Stanley!

    COMPETITION TIME! Don’t miss the start of the Hammers’ League Cup campaign on Wednesday the 21st of September – under the London Stadium lights!


    West Ham face Accrington Stanley in the English Football League Cup at the Hammers’ stunning new stadium.

    Phoenix FM is giving away two tickets for the match. The competition is being run on our official Facebook page, so you’ll need a Facebook account to enter. All you need to do is to go here:

    and then LIKE and SHARE the post. We’ll pick a winner at random at 6pm on Sunday 18th September.

    Don’t forget to tune in to THE WEST HAM WAY every Wednesday at 7pm. And if you aren’t successfull in the compeition, you can book tickets by calling 0871 529 1966* or online at

    * The competition is free, but if you call the number above to buy tickets then calls cost 13p per minute plus your phone networks access charge. A £2 booking fee applies.

    TwitCount Button

    Cultura Brazil – show 108

    Click below to listen to the show again:

    Cultura Brazil is Phoenix FM’s show for the Brazilian community in Essex, London and beyond, presented by Ezequiel Cassol.

    In this week’s show:

    ‐ Comic series about Brazilians in England already has its first episode
    ‐ Electoral justified can now be done via the Internet
    ‐ Luiz Melodia comes to London

    TwitCount Button

    Cultura Brazil – show 107

    Click below to listen to the show again:

    Cultura Brazil is Phoenix FM’s show for the Brazilian community in Essex, London and beyond, presented by Ezequiel Cassol.

    In this week’s show:

    ‐ Brazilian Day takes place in Trafalgar Square
    ‐ Tulipa Ruiz returns to London
    ‐ British documents can now be used in Brazil

    TwitCount Button

    Guest Blog: MHM – The Journey

    Mental Health Matters, not only is it the name of the programme but just as a statement – it is very true. I remember how the programme came about, back in March 2015. The mental health organisation Time to Change had their annual ‘Time to Talk’ day and Phoenix FM had their daytime shows chock-full of interviews that were mental health-related in one form or another.

    Scott and Bob

    Scott and Bob

    From that, Mental Health Matters (MHM) was born and in some ways, it could be described as a ‘specialist’ programme – though what it is is actually a rarity. The ‘big fish’ in the mental health (MH) arena such as Mind, Rethink & co would do well to give those with lived or living experience of mental health conditions, survivors if you like, the chance to encourage others to speak out using radio or podcasts, to make a difference. When I look back on what MHM may have achieved during its run, it is exactly that – making a difference.

    We’ve had fun as well and that is another key thing to remember in this not-so-pristine world of ours, if you can laugh at things sometimes – it does help. Without being self-indulgent, we’ve had some superb guests like MH campaigners Jonny Benjamin & Norman Lamb MP plus quite a few passionate campaigners here in Essex, great discussions and played some good music as well.

    Being involved in MHM since its inception has been a real journey and then some. Writing this to mark the 15th & final episode of the series, it’s been an honour and I sincerely hope that it’s helped the MH community as they are absolutely who MHM has been for in the first place.
    Finally, it would be remiss of me not to thank all of the guests, panellists & supporters that have assisted with the programme since Episode 1. Thank you all. And a special thanks also to Bob, without him we may not have had a series at all. Plus station Chairman Paul, for being open to having the show to begin with, thank you.

    If you’d like to check out the episodes themselves go to and scroll down to listen to different episodes or click on the Episode’s title.

    Goodbye MHM – it’s been a blast!

    Best wishes to all,
    Producer & co-presenter of MHM

    TwitCount Button

    Support Non League Day This Weekend!

    With 20 non-league matches taking place across Essex this weekend, football fans can back their local club on Non-League Day, which is booked for Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th September to coincide with the international break.

    England are facing Slovakia in Trnava on Sunday so, for fans who would ordinarily spend their Saturday afternoons at a Premier League or Championship fixture, Non-League Day offers the perfect solution to get a weekend football fix. It was set up by James Doe in 2010 as a social media experiment, after being inspired by a pre-season trip to Devon to watch Queens Park Rangers play at Tavistock.


    It has now grown to become an annual part of the football calendar, backed by Premier League and Football League clubs, MPs, celebrities, media organisations, charities and, most importantly, the non-league clubs themselves and the fans who turn-up on the day. There are plenty of matches across Essex to enjoy during the weekend.

    To find out more about non-league matches taking place further afield, visit Information on grassroots football in Essex can be found at, on Twitter @EssexCountyFA and by searching for ‘EssexFootball’ on Facebook.

    Non-League Matches in Essex (all 3:00pm kick-offs)

    Emirates FA Cup 1st Qualifying Round

    Phoenix Sports vs Brentwood Town
    The Mayplace Ground, Maylace Road East, Bexleyheath DA7 6JT

    Brightlingsea Regent vs Billericay Town
    North Road, Brightlingsea, Colchester, CO7 0PL

    Canvey Island vs Dunstable Town
    First Financial Stadium, Park Lane, Canvey Island, SS8 7PX

    Harlow Town vs Romford
    Harlow Arena, Elizabeth Way, Harlow, CM19 5BE

    Heybridge Swifts vs AFC Dunstable
    Texo Stadium, Scraley Road, Heybridge, Maldon, CM9 8JA

    Maldon & Tiptree vs Biggleswade Town
    Wallace Binder Ground, Park Drive, Maldon, CM9 5JQ

    Stanway Rovers vs Barton Rovers
    The Hawthorns, New Farm Road, Stanway, Colchester, CO3 0PQ

    Waltham Abbey vs Wingate & Finchley
    Capershotts, Sewardstone Road, Waltham Abbey, EN9 1LU

    Waltham Forest vs Stotfold
    Wadham Lodge, Kitchener Road, London, E17 4JP

    Vanarama National League

    Dagenham & Redbridge vs Boreham Wood
    Chigwell Construction Stadium, Victoria Road, Dagenham, RM10 7XL

    Vanarama National League South

    Chelmsford City vs Weston-super-Mare
    Melbourne Stadium, Salerno Way, Chelmsford, CM1 2EH

    Concord Rangers vs Welling United
    Aspect Arena, Thames Road, Canvey Island, SS8 0HH

    Ryman League North Division

    Aveley vs Wroxham
    Mill Field, Mill Road, Aveley, South Ockendon, RM15 4SJ

    Great Wakering Rovers vs Thurrock
    Burroughs Park, Little Wakering Hall Lane, Great Wakering, Southend-on-Sea, SS3 0HH

    Essex Senior League

    Burnham Ramblers vs Ilford
    Leslie Field Stadium, Springfield Road, Burnham-on-Crouch, CM0 8TE

    Clapton vs FC Romania
    Old Spotted Dog Ground, Upton Lane, Forest Gate, London, E7 9NP

    Takeley vs Hullbridge Sports
    Station Road, Takeley, Bishop’s Stortford, CM22 6SQ

    West Essex vs Barkingside
    Barking FC, Lodge Avenue, Dagenham, RM8 2JR

    TwitCount Button

    Silverstone round 11 and 12

    The famous Silverstone Circuit hosted Rounds 11 & 12 of the Ford Fiesta Junior Championship this weekend.

    Phoenix FM driver Lochlan Bearman (the second youngest on the grid) came to Silverstone looking to add to his points tally which currently sees him sitting in 3rd place in his inaugural car racing season.

    Lochlan Sep 2016 1

    Bearman has been run so far this season by a single mechanic and his father but this weekend ran with the Specialised Motorsport race team.

    “the car set-up was transformed” said Bearman. The tyres were consistent throughout the sessions and the balance of the car gave me confidence to push. The Essex based youngster was in the top 4 fastest in all sessions.

    He qualified 3rd having been in pole position for the majority of the quaifying.

    Going into race 1 with high hopes of a first win he did not make a great start and was 5th as the field exited the first corner. As they came into Maggots Bearman was positioning himself to attack on the next straight when he was hit from behind, put into a half spin and then collected by another car. The driving standards were really bad said Bearman, there was no room but they still tried a move that was never going to work. The collision dropped Bearman to last and eliminated 2 other cars. Bearman then had to pit because his rear bumper was dragging.

    He eventually caught and passed the tail enders and finished the race 10th, meaning he would start Race 2 from the 5th row in 10th spot. He also set second fastest lap. Very disappointing was his verdict. I had a real chance of a podium and feel it was taken away but at least we know we have the speed.

    Lochlan Sep 2016 2

    Before race 2 the heavens opened and the track was extremely wet as the cars went to the grid. Bearman who has not yet this season raced in the wet or with the wet tyres felt he had little to lose. At the start the field went into Copse corner in a ball of spray. Bearman with little visibility made his move through Maggots and then again on the run to the complex, ending Lap 1 in 8th place. Setting fastest sectors he quickly caught a 4 way battle for 4th place which had ‘accident’ written all over it. Bearman quickly picked them off and moved into 4th place with a absolutely stunning pass around the super fast Copse corner. Recording more fastest laps the PhoenixFM driver caught and passed the 3rd place man and set his sights on the leaders. Bearman was running in a comfortable 3rd when he ran off the track and dropped to 4th. “I knew I was faster than the leaders and probably pushed too hard, when I should have settled for 3rd, but I will learn from that” said Bearman.

    Lochlan Sep 2016 3

    “The result leaves Bearman in 3rd place but only a couple of points off of 2nd.

    “The next meeting at the Anglesey circuit in North Wales on 24/25 September is the penultimate round of the Championship. I’m excited about going there, another circuit to learn but I know that now we are with a team that know what they are doing I will have every chance to get my first win and keep on track for a top 3 finish in the Championship in my first season.”

    TwitCount Button

    It was twenty years ago today …

    Twenty years ago today, I started Phoenix FM.

    Why I ended up in community radio is still a bit of a mystery to me. I had never harboured any dreams of being a DJ although I always loved music and in the 1990s I was spending an obscene amount of my salary on CDs and gig-going.

    I also had no kids and tons of free time, so I enrolled in a one year Greek course at Bishop’s Hill Adult Education Centre in Shenfield. That turned out to be a bit of a disaster, as after 60 hours I only knew enough of the language to order food and beer. (Actually that’s not a disaster at all). However in the summer of 1995 I did see a poster there that caught my eye …

    We are setting up a new radio station for Brentwood
    For more information call …..

    So I did, and ended up at the group leader’s house in Romford. I found out that he was applying for aa 28 day licence to broadcast on FM which, in the days before internet radio, was extremely exciting. He also said he was going to apply for a full time licence too. I told him I wanted to play 2 hours of indie music – and then had to explain to him what indie music was. He didn’t seem too offended, and said that I could have a two hour radio show for four weeks when the station came on air that August and September.

    1995 poster from MFM

    I went to the first group meeting the following week, saw about 75 people crammed into his living room, and thought “I’m not going to get my radio show if I don’t give them something in return”, so when he asked for help raising funds to help pay for the cost of the broadcast, I was one of about 2 or 3 people who offered.

    My stock rose a bit higher when it turned out I was the only person there who owned a PC and a printer. It rose again when I told them I had access to a photocopier at work! The group formed a new company, the group leader became the Managing Director and I was one of other two directors on the board. In the meantime, the MD decided to name the station Mayflower FM and move it to Billericay. This puzzled me a bit, because our studio site was to be the car park of the Hermitage in the centre of Brentwood. But we stuck with it, and I managed to raise about two-thirds of the £5,000 needed to put the station on air by walking up and down Brentwood, Shenfield and Billericay and persuading companies to advertise on a station that didn’t exist.

    September came and the broadcast was a real eye opener. The group had no equipment or transmitter, so we had to hire everything in. The transmitter, aerial, studio, even the music – everything!


    Our broadcast home for the 28 days was an old BBC outside broadcast van. It was dirty, cramped and the 2 CD players seemed to break down every 45 minutes, leaving one of the presenters in tears on one particularly bad evening. None of us had any real radio experience before except for our marquee signing, Edward Cole, who had 30 years of radio experience including occasional stints on BBC Radio 4.

    Edward wrote us a nice letter after the four weeks were up, saying that he enjoyed his time on air but didn’t want to do it again as he couldn’t stand going back to “that ghastly box”. And this was from someone who spent years on filthy trawlers in the North Sea as part of the Radio 370 team …

    Mayflower FM Apr 1995 05 - Paul Golder

    The broadcast for me was fun, and I enjoyed playing Blur, Pulp, Salad and Stereolab albums on air, and we decided to get together and do it again. The team regrouped and we planned a new broadcast for March 1996. We ended up going on air a month later, as the Managing Director forgot to post the application fees to the Radio Authority. A new group of presenters came in, all nearer my age, and I started spending a lot of time in the pub with them. We got through our second broadcast and started planning another one for later that year.

    While planning the next broadcast, the MD started to bring a whole bunch of his friends in, and gave them prime shows. Although he didn’t say so specifically, he was effectively sacking my new friends, as there was no way everyone could be given a show when the station came back on air. And it was the people whose futures were uncertain who were raising the money and walking around town promoting the station, not the new guys.

    He also had an aversion to playing Oasis and told the daytime DJs not to play them. I was no big fan myself (personally I was a Blur-ite) but Oasis had just announced their two big Knebworth gigs, and 2.5 million people applied for tickets – so they were the biggest thing in music by far at that time. And our Station Manager decided listeners couldn’t hear them because HE didn’t like them. I was starting to think Mayflower FM wasn’t so much a community station now, but just his own private little fantasy.

    I tried to talk to him to explain my concerns, but he didn’t really want to discuss it, and the whole thing stopped being fun for me. In June 1996, I said my goodbyes and walked out. And that was almost that.

    I was still in touch with the new presenters and we were meeting regularly and I was still keeping up with the gossip from the old group, who were now leaving Mayflower FM one by one. A third broadcast was planned to start on 1st September. The Brentwood Gazette had even printed a schedule, with a number of people listed who’d already left.


    On 31st August I was in the Spread Eagle in Brentwood being plied with beer and cajoled by 4 or 5 of my former Mayflower friends to start a new station. I DID feel like it could be fun again and that we could do a much better job, so I relented, and The Phoenix was born.

    We chose the name “The Phoenix” because there was a trend to not only drop the FM but to name stations after birds (“The Eagle”, “The Kestrel” etc) which I never really understood. I liked it because it was non-geographic, and I also mischievously thought the obvious “rising from the flames” connection might wind up my former colleagues a little and give them some healthy competition. I had also thought up a great back story – we were going to be based in Brentwood, a town whose name meant “burnt wood” and had risen itself, Phoenix-like, from the ashes of a forest fire.

    At the time I was an accountant and left public practice to work as the deputy to the Bursar at Brentwood School, so setting up in the town was a no-brainer. As well as having lots of contacts and a 90 minute lunch hour, I was very popular with local businessmen, as Brentwood School was the only large local organisation who paid their suppliers on time!

    I spent the next few weeks setting up a studio and office, getting advertisers on board and publicising our own 28 day broadcast, which was to start on 29 December that year. I’d learned a lot from my year at Mayflower FM and I didn’t copy any of the mistakes that they’d made.

    1996 poster

    In the meantime – Mayflower did not go on air again. They had very few presenters and no one had actually bothered to raise any money after I’d left the group, so the studio man and licence fees couldn’t be paid, and no frequency was allocated. The new Mayflower team went to the Brentwood Yellow Advertiser to blame their silence on faulty equipment. Amazingly, the paper persuaded them all to sit in the car park, holding CDs and a cassette player and look as glum as they could be …


    We formed a partnership with the Brentwood Gazette, and decided to put on just one broadcast only in aid of the Gazette’s PHAB minibus appeal. Mayflower FM got very upset when they heard our plans, and sent a number of press releases to the local papers, which got ignored. So the following week they sent them in again, saying we were “confusing” listeners and “poaching” businesses – the ones who we’d brought in in the first place.

    The Gazette thought it was all hilarious and gave the “spat” a lot of coverage, which helped raise our profile.


    The Basildon Evening Echo – a daily paper which was bought in reasonable numbers in Billericay – were hostile to us because of our connections with the Brentwood Gazette, and went so far as to publish a story saying there was a “cash row” when there was no such thing (neither of us had any cash) and sarcastically described as being “ironically named”!


    Roy Dyer, who was instrumental in getting the station off the ground, arranged for our first broadcast to take place at the Information Centre – the town’s tourist information office which was then located at 14 Ongar Road, a building now occupied by Brentwood Mind. Brentwood Borough Council offices were generally very supportive and gave us some rooms rent free, and allowed us to put our aerial on the roof.

    The Mayor, Charles Myers, came down at midnight to launch the station. We then set the tone of it by playing six hours of loungecore music until 6am.

    I lined up a few people to do shows and come in for interviews. None of us really had much radio experience, but I wasn’t too bothered about that. As well as us regular guys I approached as many local celebs as I could think of to get them involved. Steve Davis came in to do a soul show – I’d booked him for an interview on Mayflower by finding his details on the Brentwood School computer. Trevor Brooking, Fatima Whitbread, Helen Rollinson, Billy Murray (then appearing as Don Beech in The Bill on ITV) did likewise. International sprinter Jason Fergus came in for a chat about sports development, and liked it so much that he ended up presenting a dance show for the final three weeks. Essex cricketer Ian Pont presented our sports show, and Thin Lizzy’s Brian Robertson and Let Loose’s Rob Jeffrey were two of his guests.

    Frank Bruno agreed to come in, forgot to turn up, and then denied he’d agreed to do at all. And Martine McCutcheon’s agent (or someone claiming to be) told me she wouldn’t get out of bed unless we paid her £5,000 for an interview. But otherwise, all the local celebs were on board.

    It wasn’t all plain sailing though. After the broadcast the council took me up on the roof of the Information Centre to show me where our station engineer had decided to put our aerial. It was attached to a aluminium scaffold pole, which was placed down a ventilation tube so the pole was sitting on top of a small plastic ventilator grille immediately above where you might sit if you were on the upstairs toilet. It was possible for the whole pole to come crashing down into the toilet bowl, whether someone was sitting there or not. If we hadn’t been leaving that day, we would have been served with a dangerous structure notice. You live and learn …

    The broadcast ended and we managed to make a £500 surplus which we donated to PHAB. The Radio Authority then decided to open up some frequencies for new commercial radio licences. We spent the whole of 1997 putting together an application, backed with over 600 letters of support. The licence was awarded to Chelmer FM in March 1998 (they became Dream 107 and Chelmsford Radio and are now part of Radio Essex). Mayflower FM applied too – but after sacking all of their volunteers and directors during the application process, they also failed and disintegrated soon afterwards.

    Our failure was a blessing in disguise – if we’d won, we would have no longer been a non-profit. I’d given 60% of the station to radio group UKRD who wrote our application – and they probably would have sacked all our volunteers too if we’d been successful. And then maybe me too, six months later. The station would have been rebranded and moved and Brentwood would have had no radio station at all.

    Phoenix FM 1996

    The team back in 1996. The photo was taken at Old Big School in Brentwood School. L-R back: Phil Smith, Dennis Rookard, Karin Ridgers, June Woolerton, Mike Miners, Brian Eringa and myself, with Steve Davis at the front.

    We regrouped ourselves, decided to do more 28 day broadcasts – one more as “The Phoenix” in March 1999 and then ten more between 1999 and 2006, eight of them under our new name of “Phoenix FM” and two under the name of Eastgate FM in Basildon. In June 2001, thanks to a hookup with IT firm Enformatica, we became the first community radio station in the UK to broadcast a 24 hour schedule of internet radio programmes. The new online service was launched at the Hermitage by David Soul and Steve Davis’s Spitting Image puppet.

    In February 2006 Ofcom called me to say we’d been successful in a second application for a full time radio licence, and we launched on FM permanently on 23 March 2007.

    So the 20 year story of Phoenix has been two different ones … 10 years of trying to persuade the authorities to put us on air full-time, and then nearly 10 more wondering what on earth we’d asked for. We’re all proud of what we’ve achieved although we don’t usually celebrate 31st August as our birthday – the day we went full time was much more important. So the last thing I need to say on our 20th birthday is that I’m really looking forward to our 10th birthday next year!

    2016-08-31 Brentwood Gazette (20 years)

    Our 20th anniversary as reported in the Brentwood Gazette

    TwitCount Button

    Cultura Brazil – show 106

    Click below to listen to the show again:

    Cultura Brazil is Phoenix FM’s show for the Brazilian community in Essex, London and beyond, presented by Ezequiel Cassol.

    In this week’s show:

    ‐ Symphony Orchestra of São Paulo at the Royal Albert Hall
    ‐ Art exhibition at the Brazilian Embassy in London

    TwitCount Button

    Spotlight on … Ingatestone Musical and Operetta Group

    Click here to listen again:

    Phoenix FM’s Sara Macham catches up with Amy Welton, publicity officer at the Ingatestone Musical & Operetta Group (IMOG), at its weekly rehearsal as members prepare for the next production – Carousel – to be performed in October.

    IMOG - IMG_0940

    This ‘little theatre group with a big heart’ has about 30 members of different backgrounds and musical ability. Dating back to 1970, IMOG is still going strong, and this year will another string to its bow when it puts on its first ever pantomime.

    Amy talks about the history of the group and its repertoire, and about the everlasting appeal of Carousel and its famous songs.

    IMOG - IMG_0943

    You can find out more about the production and book tickets here:

    TwitCount Button

    Spotlight on … Brentwood Arts Cinema Club

    Click here to listen again:

    Phoenix FM’s Sara Macham went along to the monthly film screening hosted by the Brentwood Arts Cinema Club and had a chat with the group’s committee members Joanna Moncrieff and Phil Mynott.

    Brentwood Arts Cinema Club 1

    BACC shows films at the United Reformed Church Hall in Brentwood once a month (except August) on a Sunday evening. They are all chosen by the group’s committee and either haven’t been on general release or are films that you might not otherwise come across.

    The post-film talk and glass of wine are optional, but Joanna and Phil chat about the benefits of watching a film together and discussing it afterwards.

    Brentwood Arts Cinema Club 2

    You can find out more about the films and membership here:

    TwitCount Button

    Cultura Brazil – show 105

    Click below to listen to the show again:

    Cultura Brazil is Phoenix FM’s show for the Brazilian community in Essex, London and beyond, presented by Ezequiel Cassol.

    In this week’s show:

    ‐ Tulipa Ruiz returns to London
    ‐ Cine Club Brazil on display at the Brazilian Embassy
    ‐ Zeca Pagodinho in Hammersmith Apollo

    TwitCount Button

    Spotlight on … Zinc Arts

    Click here to listen again:

    Sara Macham meets the team at Zinc Arts in Chipping Ongar – director Sonia Cakebread, marketing officer Ryan Lightfoot and head chef Adam Wooltorton – to hear about the centre’s activities and plans for the summer holidays.

    zinc arts 1

    Zinc Arts is a not-for-profit arts and education centre, providing a variety of arts-based activities for people of all ages and abilities. And a new cafe with a varied and fresh home-cooked menu makes it a brilliant lunch venue, too!

    zinc arts 2

    For more information about Zinc Arts, or to make a donation, you can visit their website:

    zinc arts 3

    TwitCount Button

    Cultura Brazil – show 104

    Click below to listen to the show again:

    Cultura Brazil is Phoenix FM’s show for the Brazilian community in Essex, London and beyond, presented by Ezequiel Cassol.

    In this week’s show:

    ‐ Musical group O Rappa comes to London
    ‐ Cine Club Brazil on display at the Brazilian Embassy
    ‐ Symphony Orchestra of Sao Paulo at the BBC Proms

    TwitCount Button

    Cultura Brazil – show 103

    Click below to listen to the show again:

    Cultura Brazil is Phoenix FM’s show for the Brazilian community in Essex, London and beyond, presented by Ezequiel Cassol.

    In this week’s show:

    ‐ Luiz Melodia comes to London
    ‐ Elza Soares at the London Jazz Festival
    ‐ O Rappa returns to London

    TwitCount Button

    Cultura Brazil – show 102

    Click below to listen to the show again:

    Cultura Brazil is Phoenix FM’s show for the Brazilian community in Essex, London and beyond, presented by Ezequiel Cassol.

    In this week’s show:

    ‐ Photographer Ellie Kurttz exposes in London
    ‐ Festival of Brazil in the Horniman Museum and Gardens

    TwitCount Button

    Marijne and Paul from Salad – live at Phoenix FM

    Interview and session:

    Tracks played: 10:51 Muscle Man, 14:40 Broken Bird, 26:20 Motorbike To Heaven, 29:36 I Want You, 42:12 Your Ma, 45:30 Drink The Elixir

    We were utterly delighted to welcome Marijne and Paul from Salad, one of the best and most underrated bands of the 1990s!

    Salad montage

    The band, originally known as The Merry Babes, formed when Dutch singer Marijne van der Vlugt and Essex guitarist Paul Kennedy met in London in the late 1980s. The line up was completed by Pete Brown on bass and Rob Wakeman on drums.

    While the band were writing and recording, Marijne was recruited as a presenter on MTV Europe where she fronted shows such as The Pulse and Alternative Nation for four years. In the meantime, the band were signed to Island Records and released two albums – 1995’s Drink Me, which reached no 16 in the UK, and the 1997 follow up Ice Cream.

    Salad split in 1998 and the band members embarked on a number of musical projects in the meantime, including Cowboy Racer who performed on our 4th birthday at the Baytree Centre.

    However Marijne and Paul have recently started performing Salad songs together again as an acoustic duo, with a recent performance in Anetnna Studios in Crystal Palace and more London dates planned, so it seemed perfectly natural to persuade them to come down to Brentwood for a long chat!

    We were treated to SIX live songs and also chatted about the history of the band and why Marijne and Paul are doing what they’re doing now.

    You can catch Marijne and Paul live at Star Shaped at the Garage in London tomorrow (6 August) and again in December – and more shows are planend for the future. Keeping an eye on the band’s Facebook page is a good place to find out when.

    TwitCount Button

    Live in Brentwood: Zublue, Jack Fordham and Muscle Bomber, The Lightscopes, Two Faced Serenade

    Label White Room and Phoenix FM staged their second gig together at the Essex Arms in Brentwood on Saturday 23 July 2016.

    More photos from the event can be seen here:

    You can see and hear the sets below:

    TwitCount Button

    The Phoenix FM stage

    The Phoenix FM stage – a haven for people who appreciate quality musicians who don’t judge you if you buy your clothes from Primark.

    Here are some of the acts who played our stage at this year’s Brentwood Festival. Thank you to Ricky Allen for the photos – you can visit his Facebook page at





    Black Cherry Pop Tart

    Black Cherry Pop Tart



    Frog On A Rocket

    Frog On A Rocket

    Johnny and the Raiders

    Johnny and the Raiders

    Nobody's Fool

    Nobody’s Fool

    Ocean Flaws

    Ocean Flaws

    Paolo Morena

    Paolo Morena

    The Cajonoisseurs

    The Cajonoisseurs

    The Cracked

    The Cracked

    The Prefabs

    The Prefabs

    The Reggaelators

    The Reggaelators

    TwitCount Button

    Cultura Brazil – show 101

    Click below to listen to the show again:

    Cultura Brazil is Phoenix FM’s show for the Brazilian community in Essex, London and beyond, presented by Ezequiel Cassol.

    In this week’s show:

    ‐ Willesden Green Library celebrates the Olympic Games 2016 in Brazil
    ‐ South London Gallery opens Brazilian art shows
    ‐ Kingston presents the Brazilian Culture Festival

    TwitCount Button

    Fit For The Future

    Click here to listen to the interview again:


    Last summer, NHS Basildon and Brentwood Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) launched its “Fit for the Future” community engagement programme, seeking people’s views on how the local NHS should adapt and change to meet the challenges of the future.

    Dr Aravinda Guniyangodage, who is a GP and also the Chair of Basildon and Brentwood CCG, spoke to Keith Rogers about the programme and how people can help shape the future of the NHS in our area.

    The formal public consultation closes on Monday 12th September 2016, and a number of public meetings are planned to talk about views received, including a meeting this coming Thursday at 6pm at Brentwood Community Hospital.

    You can find out more about Fit For The Future at this link:

    TwitCount Button

    Escape from the Castle

    Phoenix FM-sponsored racing driver Lochlan Bearman participated in rounds 9 and 10 of the Ford Fiesta Junior Championship last weekend, 16-17 July.

    In his first season of car racing the 5 times karting champion went into the weekend lying 5th in the Championship for 14 to 17 year olds.

    “We are a new team and we are slowly getting to grips with how to set-up the car”, said Bearman. “On the test day were in the quickest 3 or 4 cars all day and eventually set the fastest time of the day which, against the experienced teams, left us positive for the weekend”

    Pre-qualifying practise showed this to be the case with a 5th fastest time.

    In qualifying Bearman had only completed 2 laps when the suspension failed under braking, spinning the car and putting him in the wall at 70mph. The session was red flagged and Bearman was taken to the medical centre, but later released with some bruising to his legs.

    The team worked on the car to repair the suspension and body damage and got the car ready for race 1.

    Starting at the back of the grid the 14 year old got a great start and passed 2 cars into the daunting ‘Quarry Corner’, as the field streamed through ‘Bobbies’ he had a better exit and took another position into Tower. Taking every opportunity he could he completed lap 1 in an incredible 9th Position.

    The Phoenix FM driver was then managing at least 1 overtake per lap and as they crossed the line to start lap 6 he was up to 5th when the safety car was deployed due of an accident. “I was feeling great, the car was working well and to be honest the safety car meant the field would be bunched up and I was certain of a podium finish at that point” he commented. As the safety car came in and the racing got underway Bearman slowed to a stop on circuit. “I just couldn’t believe it – just when it looked so good the car broke and it sounded bad – I couldn’t move it”.

    The gearbox casing had broken, the whole engine had dropped and the driveshaft has been pulled out. “It was probably as a result of the accident this morning” said team boss Gary Cooper .

    The team were then up against the clock to replace the gearbox and drive shaft and ensure the car was OK for race 2. With Bearman sitting in the car ready to go to the assembly area the team finished the job, albeit with a gearbox that was not fitted with a limited slip differential (which is worth over 1 second per lap).

    Again starting from the back and with the concern that the team hadn’t had time to check everything Bearman lined up for Race 2. As the lights went out Bearman got a great start and had made up 2 through ‘Folly’ and then another by out braking down into ‘Quarry’. Completing Lap 1 in 9th position the Essex youngster was fighting the car handling differently without the differential in the gearbox. On lap 3 he went around the outside into the super-fast ‘Camp Corner’, but with the car drifting wide he got onto the grass and ran down the pit wall sending mechanics running. Losing just one position he continued at an undiminished speed and re-joined.

    “He showed great maturity and talent not to swerve as that would have led to a huge accident” said Gary Cooper. Bearman’s view on the incident was that it was “pretty scary! But I wasn’t going to lose any positions – I hope they got it on the TV!”. On lap 6 Bearman caught and passed cars into Quarry and then Camp corners. The safety car was called out again and this time it worked against Bearman as the clocked ticked down to the end of the race. The cars were released with 1 lap left and Bearman seized his opportunity to take one more position to bring the car home 6th to a jubilant Gary Cooper and Bearman family.

    “I was disappointed after qualifying because we should have been in the top 5, then I was devastated after race 1 as that should have been a podium but Race 2 feels like a win after everything we’ve been through today. Huge thanks to Gary Cooper and my dad who have worked tirelessly on the car to get me out” commented an exhausted Bearman.

    “It’s been an emotional roller coaster this weekend” said Bearman’s father John. “We looked in really good shape and it all went wrong. Lochlan has been fantastic throughout and has delivered to the maximum as always. We’ve now got a challenge to repair the car in time for Silverstone in August as the gearbox needs fixing and the bodywork needs to be repaired”.

    Please contact if you want to get involved or can help in anyway.

    TwitCount Button

    Brentwood Festival 2016

    Phoenix FM presenters were out and about talking to some of the performers and festivalgoers at this year’s event, which took place at the Brentwood Centre from 15-17 July.

    Libby and Marielle talk to Jazzy B from Soul II Soul

    Jazzy B (Libby and Marielle)

    Tracey chats to Mark King from Level 42

    Mark King from Level 42 (Tracey)

    Libby and Marielle chat to Simon from the Brand New Heavies

    Simon from the Brand New Heavies (Libby)

    Tracey chats to Katie Green from Brick Lane

    Katie Green from the Brick Lane stall (Tracey)

    Tracey talks to Jonathan and Eileen from the Wigs Hats Glowsticks and Guitars stall

    Jonathan and Eileen from the Wigs Hats Glowsticks and Guitars stall

    2016-07-15 Brentwood Festival - Antonia 01 - crowd

    2016-07-15 Brentwood Festival - Antonia 02 - crowd

    2016-07-15 Brentwood Festival - Antonia 03 - crowd

    2016-07-15 Brentwood Festival - Antonia 04 - Phoenix FM stage

    2016-07-15 Brentwood Festival - Antonia 06 - main stage

    2016-07-15 Brentwood Festival - Antonia 07 - Antonia and festivalgoer Charles

    2016-07-15 Brentwood Festival - Antonia 08 - Antonia and Jazzie B

    2016-07-15 Brentwood Festival - Antonia 09 - Caron Wheeler

    2016-07-15 Brentwood Festival 01 - second stage

    2016-07-16 Brentwood Festival - Tony 01

    2016-07-16 Brentwood Festival - Tony 02

    2016-07-16 Brentwood Festival - Tony 03

    2016-07-16 Brentwood Festival - Tony 04

    2016-07-16 Brentwood Festival - Tony 05

    2016-07-16 Brentwood Festival - Tony 06

    2016-07-16 Brentwood Festival - Vic 01

    2016-07-16 Brentwood Festival - Vic 02

    Processed with VSCO with b5 preset

    Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

    Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

    Processed with VSCO with acg preset

    Processed with VSCO with acg preset

    Processed with VSCO with acg preset

    Processed with VSCO with m3 preset

    Processed with VSCO with b1 preset

    2016-07-16 Brentwood Festival - Vic 12

    Processed with VSCO with b1 preset

    Processed with VSCO with g3 preset

    Processed with VSCO with acg preset



    TwitCount Button

    Cultura Brazil – show 100

    Click below to listen to the show again:

    Cultura Brazil is Phoenix FM’s show for the Brazilian community in Essex, London and beyond, presented by Ezequiel Cassol.

    In this week’s show:

    Willesden Green Library in Brent inaugurates show about the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro

    TwitCount Button

    The Battle of the Somme

    Last Thursday, 14 July, saw the centenary of the Battle of the Somme being commemorated by Billericay Community Cinema in the town’s Library.

    Put on as part of the Imperial War Museum’s “Somme100” project which sees events taking place around the UK, over 50 people came to this free community screening of the 1916 film which documents the lead up to, and the early stages of the Battle of the Somme.

    It was preceded by a fascinating and entertaining talk by amateur historian Dermot McCarthy putting the Somme – and the film – in context. Dermot also managed to bring a local focus covering both local soldiers and the downing of Zeppelin L32 in fields off Greens Farm Lane, Billericay.

    The evening started with music played by talented youngsters from the Brentwood Orchestra’s of Youth Musicians with both a jazz group and a classical quartet entertaining the guests.

    Guest charity The Billericay Branch of the Royal British Legion hosted a popular stall and CoOp FuneralCare in Billericay had funded a World War I exhibition.

    The film, which has been digitally restored and with a specially composed soundtrack was shown in great clarity on the cinema’s 3.6m screen and surround sound

    Adam Adshead, Chairman, said “This was a wonderful opportunity to further demonstrate our community focus – a free showing of a very important film, entertainment by talented local youngsters and showcasing the Royal British Legion”

    Emma Neppl, Publicity Officer said “A huge amount of work went into putting this together and I’m incredibly grateful to all of our volunteers for their hard work and to Essex Libraries and the Imperial War Museum of their assistance in bringing this film to Billericay”

    Why is the 1916 film important?

      One of the most popular films in British Cinema history it was seen by over 20 million people when it came out – almost half the entire British population
      First feature-length documentary to record war
      First battle to be extensively recorded in moving images; first battle to feature vast numbers of old
      Featuring large tripod cameras, it shows images of troops moving towards the front, and large howitzers bombarding enemy positions

    Billericay Community Cinema is a not-for-profit, voluntary group who put on films in Billericay Library twice a month
    Aim to show a wide range of films in a comfortable, friendly, community environment and at a price that makes film accessible.
    21 films have now been shown since September 2015 – with over 900 customers

    To find our more you can visit:

    Facebook –
    Twitter – @BillericayCine
    Website –
    Mailing list –

    Billericay Cinema volunteers

    British Legion Stall

    Somme film (iconic image)

    BOYM Jazz group

    BOYM Quartet 1

    BOYM Quartet 2

    TwitCount Button

    Seventh heaven – MJ Hibbett back for another session!

    Click here to listen to the interview again:

    It was great to welcome MJ Hibbett back to the Phoenix FM studios for his SEVENTH session with us!

    Mark has been busily making music for two decades now, either on his own or with his band The Validators. And it’s MJ Hibbett and the Validators who are launching new music at us this time – with their sixth studio album, STILL VALID, which has just been released.

    As well as telling us what he’d been up to, we were treated to versions of three songs which you can see again below:

    You can find out where to get the album, where to see the band live and much more information on the band’s ridiculously comprehensive website at

    TwitCount Button

    Magical Essex! Arts and culture boost for the county?

    Last month I attended the launch of a new collaboration between Essex County Council and various arts, culture and heritage bodies here at County Hall in Chelmsford.

    The Council has signed a Memorandum of Collaboration with the Arts Council to ensure that more funds are pumped into county projects.

    I spoke to Cllr John Spence, Essex County Council Cabinet Member with responsibility for Heritage, Culture and the Arts, who gave more details about the council’s plans.

    You can hear the interview again here:

    2016-07-11 Cllr John Spence

    For more information you can visit Essex County Council’s dedicated website at

    TwitCount Button

    Spotlight on … Hutton and Shenfield Choral Society

    Click here to listen again:

    Sara Macham talks to Richard Randall from Hutton and Shenfield Choral Society

    Phoenix FM’s Sara Macham talks to Richard Randall, chair of Hutton & Sheffield Choral Society.

    hscs 1

    The 120-strong choir is currently rehearsing for its next concert, a performance of Brahms’ German Requiem on 16th July at the Brentwood School.

    Singing in the the original German, HSCS will be joined on the night by soloists Erica Eloff and James McOran Campbell, and accompanied on Brentwood School’s brand new grand piano.

    Richard talks about the joy – and hard work! – of singing in a choir as the group prepares to celebrate its 50th anniversary in the coming season.

    For more information and to book tickets, visit

    hscs flyer

    TwitCount Button

    Cultura Brazil – show 99

    Click below to listen to the show again:

    Cultura Brazil is Phoenix FM’s show for the Brazilian community in Essex, London and beyond, presented by Ezequiel Cassol.

    In this week’s show:

    ‐ We talk to Emma Gibbs de Oliveira, Director of BrazilArte about the group’s peformance at the forthcoming Village Green Festival in Southend
    ‐ Musician Joao Donato plays at the Barbican
    ‐ Pianist Eliane Elias at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club
    ‐ Emicida brings Brazilian music to Lloyd Park

    TwitCount Button

    Fitness In Mind All Dayer

    Click here to listen to the show again:

    0:00 Intro
    1:00 Poisoned Youth – live set
    19:02 Skuff – interview
    23:51 No Off Switch – live set
    45:25 Evergreen – interview
    51:44 Reservoir Blues – interview
    55:52 Castaway – live set
    1:27:15 The Noise Merchants – interview
    1:34:52 Into Horizon – interview and live set
    2:08:54 Outro and credits

    Our first FITNESS IN MIND ALL DAYER took place at the Brentwood Centre on Saturday 25 June.

    The idea behind the day was help raise awareness of Fitness In Mind, an aware-winning initiative based at the Brentwood Centre designed to promote, encourage and provide physical activity as an aid to mental wellbeing.


    Eight local bands supported our first event. Our first band of the day were POISONED YOUTH from Brentwood, only having a handful of gigs behind them and playing for the first time for Phoenix FM!

    Zack, Iggy and Brendan played a mixed set of covers along with one or two of their own songs and for a trio they made a great noise! We’re sure we’ll be hearing more of them in the future.

    The members of our second band may only be 13 years old but you could almost call them seasoned performers already! NO OFF SWITCH performed in the Phoenix FM tent at the Strawberry Fair in Brentwood over a year ago and the Hermit Rock School band have been playing lots of shows in the lol area since then.

    We were treated to another mix of covers and original material and I’m impressed not just by how tight the band have become in the last year but how the drummer manages to sing lead vocals AND play keyboards too!

    Our next band travelled further than anyone else with CASTAWAY coming from up north – well, Colchester to be precise!

    The crowd enjoyed a great indie/rock set with a couple of punk covers thrown in – I particularly liked their version of the Buzzcocks’ Ever Fallen In Love and I tried not to dwell on the fact that the single probably came out at least a decade before the band were all born!

    A band that hasn’t been together too long are Basildon/Canvey’s SKUFF but you wouldn’t have guessed it from listening to them.

    Their sound veers between indie/alternative and harder rock and Alex, Curtis, Michael and George put on a brilliant show with powerful vocals and great musicianship.

    We then enjoyed a wonderfully noisy and rocking set from Chelmsford pop-punkers EVERGREEN.


    They managed to belt out half a dozen numbers despite having a stand-in bass player, with the band’s regular bass player moving over to lead guitar for the set.

    Our next band were a little bit more retro – THE NOISE MERCHANTS from Rayleigh.


    Ethan, Jonathan and the two Callums played a fantastic set and weren’t jaded at all even though they were here all day! The band gave us an excellent demonstration of classic and modern rockabilly at its finest, including some fantastic rock’n’roll versions of Tainted Love and You Spin Me Round (Like A Record). And it was Jonathan’s birthday too!

    Our seventh band of the day were RESERVOIR BLUES.

    The band, which features former Micrafish singer Ryan along with Jack, Rob, Kieran and Ben, gave us a tight and polished set of blues rock.

    And last but not least … our headliners, Southend’s INTO HORIZON!

    Rick, Elliott, Glen and Luke joined the line-up at short notice but still performed a fantastic set which was definitely a very worthy way to end the day’s proceedings.

    A big thank you to all of the bands for taking part in a very worthwhile event, to the guys from Fitness In Mind and the Brentwood Centre who helped out on the day, and to everyone who turned up and supported it!

    TwitCount Button

    Cultura Brazil – show 98

    Click below to listen to the show again:

    Cultura Brazil is Phoenix FM’s show for the Brazilian community in Essex, London and beyond, presented by Ezequiel Cassol.

    In this week’s show:

    ‐ Roberta Sa comes to London
    ‐ Martinho da Vila at the Barbican
    ‐ Eliane Elias performs at Soho

    TwitCount Button

    Flooding chaos hits Essex

    Motorists are being warned not to travel unless their journeys are absolutely necessary after last night’s torrential rain caused chaos on the county’s roads.

    This morning the A12 still has two lanes blocked at Margaretting (junction 14) with queues back to Hatfield Peverel (junction 20). Chelmsford city centre is also extremely congested because of traffic diverting through it and the standing water on many roads.

    Roads around Billericay are blocked particularly near Mountnessing Road and Old Church Road, where the road runs parallel with the River Wid.

    Flooding is also causing long delays on the A127 where the Fortune of War roundabout at Laindon is flooded London-bound, causing long queues. Traffic is passing through the flood water very slowly.

    The A414 is flooded at the Four Wantz roundabout in Ongar and there are numerous broken down vehicles causing very long delays both ways. The A414 from the roundabout west towards North Weald was shut earlier this morning to allow emergency services time to deal with the problems.

    On the A12 Colchester bypass there is flooding on the London-bound carriageway with queues back into Suffolk and back on to the A133.

    Numerous other roads across the county are affected by flooding and standing water – many minor roads are impassable.

    For further information keep listening to Phoenix FM travel news on 98FM and online.

    TwitCount Button

    Brentwood Festival – stage times announced

    Stage times have been announced for this year’s Brentwood Festival, which takes place from 15-17 July at the Brentwood Centre.

    Friday – gates open at 18:00

    19:30 The Brand New Heavies
    21:30 Soul II Soul

    18:30 Paul Woodley
    20:30 Bif Bam Pow

    Saturday – gates open at 12:00

    12:00 Ska ‘n Mash
    12:45 Sam Knight
    13:35 The Big Sing
    14:25 The Earnshaws
    15:50 Undercover
    17:20 Missing Andy
    19:15 The Dualers
    21:30 Level 42

    12:00 DJ
    13:00 Black Cherry
    14:15 Frog on a Rocket
    15:30 Rob Jones
    16:30 The Cracked
    17:45 The Reggaelators
    19:15 Archive

    Sunday – gates open at 12:00

    12:15 Funky Voices
    13:25 The Renegade Blues Brothers
    14:45 The Signatures
    16:00 Exposé
    17:45 ABC
    19:30 Tony Hadley
    21:30 The Boomtown Rats

    12:00 DJ
    13:00 The Cajonoisseurs
    14:15 Johnny Gunner and the Raiders
    15:30 The Pre Fabs
    16:45 Defunked
    18:00 The Scorchers
    19:15 Paolo Morena
    20:30 Ocean Flaws

    For tickets and more information visit

    TwitCount Button

    Cultura Brazil – show 97

    Click below to listen to the show again:

    Cultura Brazil is Phoenix FM’s show for the Brazilian community in Essex, London and beyond, presented by Ezequiel Cassol.

    In this week’s show:

    ‐ Brazilian Cultural Festival come to Kingston
    ‐ International Trade is the exhibition theme at the Brazilian Embassy
    ‐ Singer Roberta Sa comes to London

    TwitCount Button

    Spotlight on … Brentwood Theatre

    Click here to listen again:

    Brentwood Theatre (Sara Macham) 1

    In the first of a new series of podcasts, Phoenix FM’s Sara Macham meets Mark Reed, Brentwood Theatre’s administrator.

    This professionally-equipped, 100-seater community theatre first opened its doors in 1993, and today stages more shows than ever.

    Brentwood Theatre (Sara Macham) 3

    Hosting drama, musicals and even live wrestling, the Brentwood Theatre mainly features amateur groups.

    But every December visitors can enjoy its own seasonal production, performed by a professional cast.

    For more information and to book tickets, visit

    Brentwood Theatre (Sara Macham) 2

    TwitCount Button

    Sweet and Bitter for Bearman

    Phoenix FM’s racing driver Lochlan Bearman enjoyed his most competitive weekend of his inaugural full circuit racing season at Snetterton on the 11/12 June.

    At just 14, the karting champion moved into the competitive Fiesta Junior Championship in January 2016.

    The CooperMotorsport driver said “as a new driver and in a new team to the championship we knew we’d be facing a steep learning curve against the big teams that have been doing this for years. Our objective was to be in the top 10. However, after the first round I knew that I could fight for podiums if we got the set up right. That brings its own frustration as we don’t have the funds to test so all our learning is done on the race weekend”

    In the practise sessions Bearman was consistently in the top 6 and was confident of a high position in qualifying when he would get new tyres. In qualifying the gear change cable broke after 3 laps and he could not continue. But he’d done enough to qualify in 7th spot and the top 10 cars were covered by just 4 tenths of a second over a 2minute 20 second lap.

    “It’s so close, so one really clean lap and a slipstream could have been enough to secure pole position. The car was working well and gave me confidence for the race” he commented.

    As the cars were lining up for the start it bagain to rain. “I was happy with that” said Bearman, “as tricky conditions really level out the field and car advantages are minimised leaving it more to the driver”.

    In race 1 Bearman got away well and took an inside line into the Montreal hairpin and made up 2 places to get into 5th. As he chased the cars ahead the rain came down more and conditions were very slippery,

    Going down the long straight and braking hard for the Brundle/Nelsons corners Bearman saw an opportunity to dive down the inside, the cars touched and despite a very sideways moment Bearman came out in 4th place.

    2nd to 5th were covered by 1.5 seconds, he was soon onto the back of the 3rd placed car and the two were touching wing mirrors as they went down the back straight with the PhoenixFM man on the outside. Holding his nerve he braked later and took 3rd by going around the outside. As he caught the leaders the second placed car was forced into a mistake and spun right in front of Bearman in the high speed Hamilton’s corner allowing the 4th placed man through, Bearman still in 3rd.

    He was soon on the tail of second again and took the position by getting a better exit from Murrays and making the move into Riches corner. With time running out Bearman was gaining on the leader but as the rain came down there were more cars were going off and the race was red flagged giving Lochlan Bearman his first podium at this level, securing 2nd place.

    “What a fantastic feeling!! I knew I could do it, the car was great and I know I can win” he said excitedly after the trophy presentation.

    Race 2 had Bearman starting 2nd on the grid thanks to his earlier success.

    Going into the hairpin on lap 1 he was caught on the outside and exited that corner in 3rd place. He set about catching the leaders. The front 2 made contact and in the melee Bearman sneaked through into the lead. Bearman then led the rest of the race looking in control and on course for his first win. Going into the last lap he took a wide line at the Montreal hairpin where the grip was but the second placed man took a narrow line and then drove straight into Bearman on the exit of the corner smashing into Bearman’s No 36 machine and forcing him off track, damaging the steering. Bearman recovered from the grass but with the steering bent and the power steering broken could only manage to get the car home in 7th.

    “I was absolutely devastated. It was my race, I was in control and it was a move that just wasn’t on. Although the other driver received points on his racing licence nothing can give me that win back. However, we will take the positives and know that I can win if we get the car right.”

    Bearman is now 5th in the Championship and his next race is at Castle Coombe on July 17th. This race will be on Motors TV on Wednesday 22nd June @18.00.

    “I always have to ask – but if anyone wants to get involved and help me try to win this championship through sponsorship, services, products or physical help it would really make a difference. Please contact me via”

    TwitCount Button

    Supercars of Essex show

    Supercars of Essex staged their first show at Old Brentwoods Rugby Club today.

    Over 100 cars were on display and despite the rain nearly 1,000 car enthusaists turned up to see the cars being shown off!

    Phoenix FM presenters Keith Rogers and Steve Robertson were at the show to serve up entertainment to the crowds.

    2016-06-12 Supercars of Essex show 01

    2016-06-12 Supercars of Essex show 02

    2016-06-12 Supercars of Essex show 03

    2016-06-12 Supercars of Essex show 04

    2016-06-12 Supercars of Essex show 05

    2016-06-12 Supercars of Essex show 06

    2016-06-12 Supercars of Essex show 07

    2016-06-12 Supercars of Essex show 08

    2016-06-12 Supercars of Essex show 09

    2016-06-12 Supercars of Essex show 10

    2016-06-12 Supercars of Essex show 11

    2016-06-12 Supercars of Essex show 12

    2016-06-12 Supercars of Essex show 13

    2016-06-12 Supercars of Essex show 14

    2016-06-12 Supercars of Essex show 15

    2016-06-12 Supercars of Essex show 16

    2016-06-12 Supercars of Essex show 17

    2016-06-12 Supercars of Essex show 18

    2016-06-12 Supercars of Essex show 19

    2016-06-12 Supercars of Essex show 20

    2016-06-12 Supercars of Essex show 21

    2016-06-12 Supercars of Essex show 22

    2016-06-12 Supercars of Essex show 23

    2016-06-12 Supercars of Essex show 24

    2016-06-12 Supercars of Essex show 25

    2016-06-12 Supercars of Essex show 26

    2016-06-12 Supercars of Essex show 27

    2016-06-12 Supercars of Essex show 28

    2016-06-12 Supercars of Essex show 29

    2016-06-12 Supercars of Essex show 30

    2016-06-12 Supercars of Essex show 31

    2016-06-12 Supercars of Essex show 32

    2016-06-12 Supercars of Essex show 33

    TwitCount Button

    Strawberries and Queen!

    Listen again to the interviews:

    2016-06-11 Strawberry Fair package (25 mins)

    0.09 Michelle from Saint Francis Hospice
    1.24 Mark Reed from Brentwood Theatre
    4.01 Ru from Old Brentwoods Acorns Rugby Club
    6.19 Audrey Clark from Brentwood Community Print
    8.19 Brian from the Lighthouse Project
    13.08 Lyndon Reid from Wellness Fitness
    13.56 Alex from Diabetes UK
    15.29 Andy from Eden Falconry
    17.23 Kay from Kingpins Knitting Group
    19.37 Tinkerbell
    21.10 Mike from Dominos Pizza talking about the Teenage Cancer Trust
    22.12 Sally from Double S Cakes

    This year’s Strawberry Fair on Shenfield Common had a special theme – Strawberries and Queen. celebrating our monarch’s 90th birthday!

    The Phoenix FM team were once again out in force with Tony Smith and Bob Simpson undertaking compering duties, and Xanthe Bearman and Nikki Mills joining Bob in interviewing some of the many people who came along.

    2016-06-11 Strawberry Fair (Bob) 01

    2016-06-11 Strawberry Fair (Bob) 02

    2016-06-11 Strawberry Fair (Bob) 03

    2016-06-11 Strawberry Fair (Bob) 04

    2016-06-11 Strawberry Fair (Bob) 05

    2016-06-11 Strawberry Fair (Bob) 06

    2016-06-11 Strawberry Fair (Bob) 07

    2016-06-11 Strawberry Fair (Bob) 08

    2016-06-11 Strawberry Fair (Bob) 09

    2016-06-11 Strawberry Fair (Bob) 10

    2016-06-11 Strawberry Fair (Bob) 11

    2016-06-11 Strawberry Fair (Bob) 12

    2016-06-11 Strawberry Fair (Bob) 13

    2016-06-11 Strawberry Fair (Bob) 14

    2016-06-11 Strawberry Fair (Bob) 15

    2016-06-11 Strawberry Fair (Bob) 16

    2016-06-11 Strawberry Fair (Bob) 17

    2016-06-11 Strawberry Fair (Bob) 18

    2016-06-11 Strawberry Fair (Bob) 19

    2016-06-11 Strawberry Fair (Bob) 20

    2016-06-11 Strawberry Fair (Bob) 21

    2016-06-11 Strawberry Fair (Bob) 22

    2016-06-11 Strawberry Fair (Bob) 23

    2016-06-11 Strawberry Fair (Bob) 24

    2016-06-11 Strawberry Fair (Bob) 25

    2016-06-11 Strawberry Fair (Bob) 26

    2016-06-11 Strawberry Fair (Bob) 27

    2016-06-11 Strawberry Fair (Bob) 28

    2016-06-11 Strawberry Fair (Bob) 29

    2016-06-11 Strawberry Fair (Bob) 30

    2016-06-11 Strawberry Fair (Bob) 31

    2016-06-11 Strawberry Fair (Bob) 32

    2016-06-11 Strawberry Fair (Bob) 33