Dutch radio….stuck in a time warp

It’s a longtime bugbear of mine….being subjected to the rubbish that’s broadcast by what the Dutch constitute as radio stations. To be fair, the only time I ever listen to Dutch radio is when I’m in the car. Sadly I do not have a radio in the car that I can plug my iPod into….that might be the Christmas gift of choice this year, me thinks.

But why do I hate Dutch radio? Well, for two reasons mainly. The first reason is the one that gets up the goat of most everyone back home…..the incessant talking on a stations that advertise themselves as “More Music, Less Talk”, or some such similar bollocks. It seems that in order to make it as a DJ in the Netherlands, you have to love the sound of your own voice and either talk all over a song as it starts playing or fades out, or you talk tripe for about 15 minutes in between every song. The requirements of “having to love the sound of your own voice” would work well for pretty much ANY Dutch. It goes without saying that they are probably the loudest people in Europe….Europe’s answer to the loud Americans….and given how opinionated they are on almost every topic, I guess that this is probably the reason for their constant boring ramblings. There is of course the odd smattering of “humour” played live on air. But given that the Dutch sense of humour is bordering that of the Germans, it’s not very funny, or is in the form of slapstick. And let’s face it, the radio is not the medium of choice for slapstick humour, now is it?

The second reason I hate Dutch radio is the playlist. It seems to me that practically every radio station has a set, LIMITED, list of about 100 songs. 50% of these are current chart hits (hits in the Netherlands, which includes Dutch crooners (Dutch is way up there in the list of world languages that SHOULD NOT be sung…by anyone….EVER!!)) and 50% are the same songs from the 70′s, 80′s and 90′s that they replay over and over again. Top 5 of these oldie goldies seem to be

  1. John Miles – Music
  2. Men at Work – Land Down Under
  3. Joshua Kadison – Jessie
  4. Marc Cohn – Walking in Memphis
  5. Paul Simon – Graceland & Boy In The Bubble

The songs in number 5 above are a joint 5th if you ask me, because they are played as often as each other. And don’t get me wrong, I actually like Paul Simon’s two songs and Men at Work’s…the thing is, they get played so damn often that I have grown tired. And it’s not like there is only a small catalogue of music to pick from….there’s LOADS of it. Christ, my own iPod has over 30,000 different songs from all sorts of genres and tastes. All I am asking is for a little bit of variation and a LOT less talk.

I doubt I am not the only person in Holland to want the same. I would put money on the fact that some Dutch who have lived abroad and have experienced PROPER radio stations feel exactly the same. In the meantime, I’ll work on getting an adaptor to plug my iPod into the car and listen to radio on the internet when at home.

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