For the last 20 years The Hello GoodBye Show has proven itself a pillar of the anti-establishment, offering a consistent and supportive platform for quite literally thousands of left-field and counter cultural artists, and while some were near household names (Ari Up / Pete Seeger), and others would go on to achieve wide acclaim (Sleaford Mods / This Is The Kit), the vast majority of live guests would continue to gleefully plough their own idiosyncratic furrows, with never an inkling to pander to, nor placate any pre-conceived idea of mainstream ideal. Patrick Malone chats with Hello Goodbye DJ Dexter Bentley about his experience and what people can expect from his fundraiser at Moth Club.
Hello Goodbye has been going for twenty years now, can you tell us how you came about joining the Resonance FM team?
Dexter: Back in the early noughties I was fortunate enough to get wind of the entire project whilst it was still in the initial first proposal stage. I had been discussing the beauty of ‘radio’ with Andy Lowe (who at the time booked bands for the legendary 12 Bar Club), Andy was on the board of the L.M.C. (London Musician’s Collective) who were the outfit behind the concept for Resonance FM. The government were having to fall in line with the rest of Europe in offering up various localised radio bandwidths for community based not for profit projects in a number of cities around the UK. Resonance was the successful bidder here in the London area and here we are a full 20 years later still going strong.
You’ve showcased many great alternative acts over the years, can you tell us what inspires you to keep sourcing and showcasing acts that might otherwise go unheard?
Dexter: The deXter Bentley Hello GoodBye Show was broadcasting on Resonance FM for a full year before it began to adopt the form it has today. It is a huge privilege to be able to offer real tangible support to artists and it is something that I get true personal satisfaction from. Music is the prism through which I experience my life, it is how I make sense of the world, I view Hello GoodBye as a form of artistic expression. Since I was in my teens I have always followed my ears in seeking out new music. Back in the 70’s when I was a teenager, I would scan the long gigs list pages in the back of the NME and Melody Maker to find interesting band names (this is how I discovered bands like Echo & The Bunnymen for example), then I would trundle off down to my local record shop KMK in Beckenham and try ordering records by those bands in the hope that they would prove as interesting as the band name might suggest, looking back on it now it was quite a game of chance but one that paid off handsomely on numerous occasions. My enthusiasm for music has never faltered.
Can you tell us a bit about the fundraiser you have coming up at Moth Club? Who’s playing? What can people expect?
Dexter: I wanted to mark the 20th anniversary with some kind of event, I knew it would be too much for me to oversee on my own so I approached promotor Chris Tipton from Upset The Rhythm who was wholly enthusiastic to collaborate with me on the project. Chris has been a guest on Hello GoodBye in various bands over the years and was the obvious choice for me. We quickly went about putting in place our plans for what would become HG20, three consecutive nights of live music taking place this coming weekend at The MOTH Club in Hackney. The bill consists of various firebrands old and new, all of whom are former guests on Hello GoodBye. The bill for HG20 is as follows, Saturday 30th July: Lilith Ai, Meatraffle and Wreckless Eric. Sunday 31st July: Dee Byrne, The Mindreaders and The Monochrome Set. Monday 1st August: Bas Jan, Gina Birch (The Raincoats) and Kate Stables (This Is The Kit). All profits from these nights will go towards supporting Resonance FM as the radio station actively repurposes an old Victorian work house in London SE1 into its new HQ. The ease with which HG20 took shape was truly heartwarming, the obvious affection and enthusiasm displayed by all the artists involved is a true testament to the role that Hello GoodBye and Resonance has played in each of their musical trajectories. HG20 will be a celebratory affair of the highest order!
Over your twenty years running the show who have been your stand out artists?
Dexter: When my three children have ever asked me who my favourite child is I’ve always responded with my mum’s old adage, ‘I have no favourites, I hate you all!’, in this case though I will paraphrase that by saying, I have no favourites I love them all.
Who’s your fav for the Mercury prize? If any.
Dexter: The irrepressible colossi Nova Twins stand head and shoulders above all the remaining nominees. Amy and Georgia (Nova Twins) performed live on Hello GoodBye back in May 2018, just over four years ago. They were truly phenomenal, fully focused and bursting with unbridled energy, great performers (plus I have always loved a band who dress-up for radio!). You can hear the show here.
What lessons have you learnt with all your radio experience?
Dexter: In hosting a weekly 90 minute long live music show for the past 20 years I have learnt that it is vitally important to keep a close eye on the clock, it is easy to underestimate just how quickly time flies when you are having fun. Try hard to train yourself to always be thinking one step ahead and ensure that you have all the related information written down and lined up ready for the following section. Research and absorb any music and existing interviews for any upcoming live guests so that you have a good feel for their work.
Which other DJs inspire you? Or more interesting: annoys you?
Dexter: Anyone growing up in the UK of a similar vintage to myself and with an unquenchable thirst for music would undoubtedly agree with me that the one-stop-shop was always the late great John Peel, you need look no further, his unparalleled influence is impossible to quantify or ever overestimate.
How can people tune in to hear your show?
Dexter: This coming Saturday 30th July 2022 is the final Hello GoodBye Show for the current summer season and I will be featuring The Mindreaders performing live in session just ahead of their slot on the bill at HG20 this Sunday. I will then return to air for the autumn season on Saturday 17th September with the punk duo Unstoppable Achievers performing live in session. Hello GoodBye broadcasts from midday to 1.30pm each Saturday on Resonance 104.4 FM in Central London, DAB in Greater London and worldwide on the web via the Resonance FM website.
Interview by Patrick Malone