Every Sunday at 10 AM, WGTB’s very own Angus Sutherland explains the specialist of special relationships – the one between the UK and the US. We couldn’t resist featuring The Special Relationship as SotW because it is just that special. And by special, we mean awesome.
How did you come up with the idea for The Special Relationship?
Simply, The Special Relationship was inspired the UK and the USA, and their particular/shared “peculiarities.” As a Scot/Brit in America, I thought it’d be cool to have a play around with some of the (mis)conceptions surrounding each country. It’s a pretty loose concept. Fortunately, that structure allows for plenty of cheap obesity/bad teeth gags.
Walk me about a typical show.
The show has the golden ratio of music to chat (2:1). It’s also pretty segment-heavy. Notable ones include:
- “Twinned Towns” – I arbitrarily twin a small town in the US with a small town in the UK, in the interests of fostering healthy and happy relations between the nations. As with the majority of the show, it is whimsical. I also make sure to pick towns that don’t harbor dubious fast food joints (BK, McDs, Dominos, Taco Bell etc.) — I think it’s important that we celebrate their resistance, intentional or otherwise.
- “Whatcha Talkin’ About” – My personal favourite bit. I read a “nation quotation” – something someone has said about either America or Britain – but I omit/redact the country’s name (à la CIA/Wikileaks) and it’s on the listeners to guess which country I’m Talkin’ About. It’s a gesture towards interactivity, so I feel particularly gratified when listeners post answers in the Facebook group.
- “Busk of the Week” – My cousin runs a website called Bandstand Busking, where they get bands/artists to do live acoustic sets on largely disused bandstands in and around London (www.bandstandbusking.com). They get some top notch bands, so I’ve started plugging the website by playing a tune from one of their sets.
- “Down and Dirty with Dwyer” – The penultimate feature. I’ve got a friend called Colin Dwyer who has an insatiable appetite for grimy, disgusting music. Mostly electronic, heavily remixed, “beaty” heinousness. So, I thought I’d play one of his tracks each week, in the interest of offending and alienating as many listeners as possible. It’s wonderfully unpopular.
- “Poetry Corner” – I use this to inject some culture into my listeners’ otherwise destitute lives (and maybe help them recover from the previous segment). I read a poem. That’s enough to make them more cultured I think.
Either Stephen Fry or Ryan Gosling. Both sort of for the same reason, in that they’re beyond reproach. Stephen Fry is this universally revered British writer, TV presenter, comedian, messiah. He’s one of the most erudite and witty people in the world. I’d like to speak with Ryan Gosling. I would ask him how on earth he’s managed to seduce an entire planet. As a predominantly heterosexual man, I am completely besotted with him. I’m convinced he could slaughter scores of innocents and we’d all still forgive him. Perhaps even congratulate him on his slaughtering technique.
1. Yeasayer – Wait For The Wintertime
2. Saigon – The Invitation
3. Bob Dylan – Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright
4. Neon Indian – Should Have Taken Acid With You
5. Damu the Fudgemunk – Truly Get Yours (Instrumental)
6. L.I.T. – My Own Worst Enemy
7. Dirty Projectors – Stillness Is The Move
8. Action Bronson – Nordic Wind
9. Fake Blood – Mars
10. Spacehog – In The Meantime