with RCS

Barlow praises radio industry

Take That frontman Gary Barlow has highlighted radio's role in breaking new music, describing it as more important now than ever before.

But in an interview at the Radio Academy Production 08 event, Barlow said the demise of Radio 1's roadshow made it more difficult for emerging acts to tour the country.

"Radio is much more important for musicians than it has ever been due to the lack of other opportunities," he said. "Nowadays, with the limitations of television opportunities, I think it's the goal for every songwriter to concentrate on radio.

"But you can almost count on one hand the opportunities to get on the radio, unless you start flying round the country. There's not the roadshows any more."

Barlow said he had been "really pleased" by the number of radio stations that had playlisted Take That's comeback material, and praised British stations for not over-rotating their songs. "I don't think I can complain at the moment. Everyone's been very kind to us," he said.

"When you switch the radio on and hear your song, I'm excited. It's a still a buzz for me."

He added: "The radio plays records too much in America. It's monotonous. It's hitting people over the head with an axe."

The 37-year-old singer thanked Radio 1 for its help in turning Take That into a household name. The band played a number of Radio 1 roadshows in remote seaside towns in the early days of their career. "I don't think they really wanted us at the shows. They didn't want to play our records, but we brought audiences," he said.

"They asked us to play to places that were the hardest to get to. No one else wanted to go to Falmouth." Barlow said he had himself discovered music through taping the chart show on his local radio station.

"I used to listen to Radio City. Most of my music collection is on these tapes recorded off the radio," he said. "I've got boxes full of these TDK cassettes full of these radio shows."

Barlow was the celebrity interviewee at the Production 08 conference, which took place at the IndigO2 in London today. The event is followed this evening by the Celebration of Music Radio.

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