Tuesday, 7 April 2020

More sounds of 1980s British shortwave pirates

I've put together another collection of audio clips from some of the British shortwave pirates you could expect to hear on 48 or 41 metres during the early part of the 1980s. Enjoy the memories!

The number in brackets is the time each station appears on the recording. The link at the end of the index will take you to the Mixcloud page where this recording is hosted.

Radio Atlantis Shortwave (0.0)
Britain Radio Int (3.14)
Radio Cavendish (5.27)
Radio Falcon (8.32)
Radio Lynda (9.31)
Radio Orion (11.37)
Radio Pamela (15.14)
Spectrum World Broadcasting (16.13)
Starboard Sound (20.10)
Radio Stella (21.37)
UKR (22.19)
West European Free Radio (27.53)
Radio Woodstock (28.55)

Total run time: 33.09 minutes

This is the link to my Mixcloud page: https://www.mixcloud.com/shortwave_listener/

Saturday, 8 February 2020

Sounds of 1980s British shortwave pirates

Tune around on a Sunday morning 40 years ago and you'll be struck by how many free radio stations
from the UK were around.

Unlike today, the 1980s saw many stations take to the airwaves on 48 and 41 metres. Some broadcast once a months, others more regularly. Many were slicky produced fast-moving shows which had an army of fans, often recorded in advance on to a cassette tape then broadcast from a remote location, to evade the GPO.

Here are some of the British stations I heard in the early 80s. Some of these audio clips have already featured in my Pirate Memories blog. The number in brackets is the time each station appears on the recording. The link at the end of the index will take you to the Mixcloud page where this recording is hosted.

Radio Apollo (0.0)
Atlanta Radio (0.48)
Radio Caroline Shortwave (3.10)
Radio Corsair (4.40)
Radio East Coast Commercial (7.45)
Empire Radio (11.42)
European Music Radio (13.17)
Radio Gemini (18.24)
Radio Impact (21.56)
Radio Krypton (29.51)
Skyport Radio (31.10)
Weekend Music Radio (32.57)
Radio Zodiac (34.53)

Total running time: 36.34 minutes

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

Vintage pirate radio magazines online

Cool AM has provided a link to pirate radio fanzines from the 70s & 80s which have been digitally scanned and turned into PDFs. These can be accessed via a Google Drive link.

Among titles featured are the Anoraks UK Weekly Report, Radio Argus News, Free Radio Waves, Pirate Connection, Wavelength and many more.

Back in the 1970s & 1980s, there was no internet so getting access to information about your favourite pirate radio stations was not easy.

Some pirate stations had DX shows, while there were free radio columns in DX clubs' monthly magazines. But enthusaists also published their own A4 typewritten fanzines with all the latest information that listeners could subscribe to.

These had all the latest news from shortwave, medium wave, Ireland and offshore. So if you want to wallow in some nostalgia why not take a look?

The link is

Saturday, 30 March 2019

Sounds of the 1980s Irish shortwave pirates

The 1980s was the heydey for pirate radio in Ireland as hundreds of stations took advantage of a loophole in the law and headed to the airwaves across the country. While most of the activity was on FM and medium wave, there was also plenty of activity on shortwave.

I've put together a collection of the Irish shortwave pirate stations I heard from my listening post in the south east of England during the 1980s.

Some of these audio clips have already featured in my Pirate Memories blog, while others are new short clips I came across going through my tapes again.

The number in brackets is the time each station appears on the recording. The link at the end of the index will take you to the Mixcloud page where this recording is hosted.


Capital Radio Int (0:0)
Radio Dublin (3:11)
Big D Radio (4:48)
East Coast Radio (5:16)
Boyneside Radio (6:52)
Radio Ireland Int (7:33)
Mi Amigo Radio Int (9:14)
Misty Mountain Radio (10:18)
North Dublin Community Radio (11:05)
Radio Drogheda (13:10)
Radio Rainbow Int (13:18)
Riverside Radio Int (18:50
Shamrock Radio (21:16)
Radio Skywave Int (22:20)
South Dublin Radio (25:17)
Skull & Bones Radio System (27:33)
South Coast Radio (30:32)
Suirside Radio (30:48)
WABC (31:11)
Radio Valleri (31:41)
Westside Radio (32:32)

Running time: 36:10

To hear many more recordings, interviews and other memorabilia from that era visit the Irish Pirate Radio Audio Archive at pirate.ie

Also for an A-Z of Irish pirate radio visit the DX Archive

Monday, 4 December 2017

Welcome to the Pirate Memories blog

This blog turns the clock back to the 1980s with recordings of shortwave pirate radio stations from Britain, Ireland and across Europe. There are also some clips from medium wave and FM stations from the London area, plus QSLs from many of the stations featured.

I have given it an update with a new template and embedded audio files in the posts to make it easier to click on and listen to the stations.

There's just over 100 stations featured with oldest recordings from the early 1980s at the beginning of this blog, working through to the late 80s.

Go to the 'Index of Stations' to see which stations are featured and when they were uploaded. The blog archive is near the bottom of the right hand column.

Alternatively, you can use the 'Labels' section. For instance, if you want to hear Irish stations from the 1980s, click on the Ireland label and it will bring up all the Irish stations featured on the blog.

Finally, you can simply scroll through to explore the pirate stations featured.

Happy listening!

Sunday, 8 March 2015

New website for 80s London FM pirate Phoenix Radio

Phoenix Radio, a FM pirate station which ran from 1979-1984 in London has launched a website. The station played indie/alternative music and built up quite a following in London. The website includes a history of the station, some audio recordings, a clip from a 1984 Channel 4 feature.

There's also a link to Phoenix Radio's Facebook page on the site.

The address is: http://phoenixfm902.moonfruit.com/login

Sunday, 20 January 2013

The most popular posts

This trip through the 1980s free radio scene has featured a selection of nearly 130 stations. Most came from shortwave but also featured are some medium wave (from London and the Netherlands) and FM (or VHF as it was called then) from the London/North Surrey area.

I hope you have enjoying listening to them. I've had a look back to see which have been the most popular and here is the top 5:
1. Radio Jackie Raided . A bit of history as the then pirate broadcaster was raided before returning years later as a licensed local radio broadcaster.
2. Radio Ridiculous/Radio Tonair. A couple of Dutch stations who are both still around today.
3. Radio Invicta and Horizon Radio. Early pioneers of the soul music stations in London.
4. Skull & Bones Radio System. The 80s was a golden era for Irish radio and some of those stations feature on this blog. This is currently the most popular.
5. Radio Torenvalk, Woodpecker & Waddenzee. Three  medium wave Dutch stations from the 1980s.

Monday, 31 December 2012

Fresh FM, Time Radio, TKO

Here are three stations heard on FM across London in the late 1980s. All three were part of the new wave of soul/funk/hip hop stations targeting listeners, particularly from the black communities, fed-up with the mainstream offerings from Radio 1 or Capital, setting the scene for the London FM pirate scene seen today.

(4.22 mins)

(3.28 mins)

(2.54 mins)

Friday, 14 December 2012

Hits FM, London

Hits FM was a station operating on FM in London in the mid-80s. In 1993 staff from the station merged with Laser, which had been operating on FM in the London area since 1990, to form Laser Hot Hits. In 1994 LHH began broadcasting on shortwave ... and is still going strong today. You can read more about Laser's history at www.laserhothits.co.uk

Here is a clip from Hits FM, made at Christmas 1987. Apologises for the poor sound quality.

(2.44 mins)