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Welcome to LondonPirates.co.uk!

ABOUT: This site is a huge resource of information about London's land based pirate radio stations.
The site is mostly concerned with the older pirate radio stations (i.e. those that began broadcasting between 1989-2000).
It's a place to remember the old  pirates and to exchange recordings, stories, images and information.

LAST UPDATE: August 25th 2011 (Updated with News & Flex FM info)


 
‘Kiss FM’ Book Reveals Inside Story Of London Pirate Radio Station’s Success

The inside story behind the success of KISS FM, the former London pirate radio station, is revealed for the first time by Grant Goddard in his new book ‘KISS FM: From Radical Radio To Big Business’ published 1 July 2011 by Radio Books.

The subtitle of the book is ‘The Inside Story Of A London Pirate Radio Station’s Path To Success.’

Buy at Amazon UK

 
Digital Switchover in 2015?
On July 8th Ed Vaizey, the culture minister, will give a speech to the Intellect Consumer Electronics Conference to confirm that the Coalition is to go ahead with the so-called “digital switchover”. Labour set a target date of 2015 for the change but many consider this to be too soon as it will mean millions of existing FM radios in cars and homes will become instantly obsolete.
Unlike the digital switchover to TV which started in 2008 offering a huge increase in the number of available free to view channels there seem to be very few benefits to entice consumers to digital radio. Upgrading to digital TV for most meant simply purchasing a low cost digital box to bolt into the existing setup however for the vast majority of FM radios this approach is either impossible or impractical. 
Click here for further reading at the excellent www.digitalradiotech.co.uk

Dream FM UK Pirate Radio 1994 (contributed by Lucas)
 

Rinse FM 100.4 Awarded Community Licence!
We are extremely pleased to see that the campaigning and hard work that has gone into Rinse FM looks set to pay off as they prepare to hit the London airwaves for the first time as a legal station. Established in 1994 and originally based on 100.3FM Rinse has proved itself as one of London's best radio stations catering for Dubstep, Grime, Funky, Garage & Drum & Bass.
Two of the things that help to differentiate Rinse from other London pirates are it's continued commitment to breaking artists and new musical genres and it's huge online presence backed up by a slick website, professional branding, iPhone app & podcasts etc.

Rinse has been collecting support via an online campaign since 2007 and it remains to be seen how they will survive whilst meeting the legal requirements that come with the licence. Ironically one of the last pirates to be granted a long term FM licence in London is Kiss FM which broadcasts just a few clicks away on 100 FM.  When Kiss launched with it's licence back in 1990 it had the financial backing of EMAP which enabled it to run a high budget advertising campaign. Rinse currently doesn't have such support and will also be somewhat restricted by the 25 Watts ERP community licence regulation but we have little doubt this will hold them back!

An official launch date or frequency are yet to be announced although there is already some speculation that the frequency could be 106.8 (currently used by Laylow FM).

Brian Belle Fortune author of the excellent "All Crews Must Big Up" (later updated as "All Crews") lists the ten pirates he considers had the greatest influence on the  Jungle/D&B scene.
Click here to read the article.

Cat Face investigates a pirate station in his neighbourhood!

Pirate Radio Documentary

This is an excellent new video that tells the story of pirate radio, filming from secret urban studios that transmit music from concrete tower blocks to the city, and meeting with DJs, station managers, rappers and MCs. There are featured meetings with DJ Scratcha from RINSE FM, MC Flirt from the old school KOOL FM, J2k, Jammer, and Logan Sama. The video shows how they stay underground and away from the authorities, while still setting the new music standard across London.

The video also sails to the source, where it all started – massive concrete and steel forts that sit at the mouth of the Thames River. Meeting the people who pioneered the spirit of pirate, and played the music that London wanted to hear. They set the standard, and when the authorities shut them down, pirate sounds went into the urban underground.

Click here to play the video

Ever wanted to be able to record an Internet radio stream live from your computer?

We show you how in three simple steps using free software applications WinAmp and Streamripper.

Click here to read our guide now!

London Pirates Survey 2009 - Survey Results

Over 600 people completed the London Pirates survey for 2009 and we are pleased to finally announce the results. Please click here to see the results.

It's clearly been a great year for several of London's stations with stations like Flex making a massive comeback and Ice Cold making significant improvements. Our previous winner back in 2007 was Point Blank by a fairly significant margin and it's good to see that they are still going very strongly this year. Despite having dropped down a little it seems that some other stations are now upping their game to compete by delivering new levels of sound quality and professionalism. The longevity and perseverance of Kool FM also shows that they are still clearly big in the game when it comes to attracting listeners!

Combining points from all categories gives us this years overall winner Flex, second place goes to Ice Cold and third place goes to Point Blank.

T-Shirts with 25% discount in 2010 January sale!
Future Freak are offering 25% off on all lines of merchandise for the month of January so there's no better time to buy a London Pirates T-Shirt or Hoody!

Future Freak garments are extremely high quality and can be individually customised using a massive number of colour combinations to suit your own style. Click here for more info!


Dream FM and Touchdown FM looking to make comebacks in 2009!

Two big stations from the early 90's are looking to make a return to the airwaves. It's looking likely that the new Dream will be an Internet only based station whilst Touchdown could be both FM and Internet. Launch dates for both stations are yet to be confirmed but we'll be keeping a close eye on developments. Both stations have set up Facebook groups where you can get involved or simply show your support...

DREAM FM  TOUCHDOWN FM

Flex FM Update
We recently published a notice about Flex FM's return, they are broadcasting online and 99.7 FM in London. Here is a selection of Redline & Feedback D&B shows recorded from their Friday sets...

Redline & Feedback Show July 31st 2009
http://www.megaupload.com/?d=RWSU9FSG
Redline & Feedback Show Aug 22nd 2009
http://www.megaupload.com/?d=IW0GUDI9
Redline & Feedback Show Aug 29th 2009
http://www.megaupload.com/?d=OILG0Y48
Redline & Feedback Show Sept 5th 2009
http://www.megaupload.com/?d=M8P8EJST
Redline & Feedback Show Sept 12th 2009
http://www.megaupload.com/?d=KKF0SELC
Redline & Feedback Show Sept 19th 2009
http://www.megaupload.com/?d=BCFMHZ41
Redline & Feedback Show Oct 2nd 2009
http://www.megaupload.com/?d=6MUJQ4ER
Redline & Feedback Show Oct 10th 2009
http://www.megaupload.com/?d=IY8Y5AA8
Redline & Feedback Show Apr 10th 2010
http://www.megaupload.com/?d=B6NX1ERB

Additional Podcasts are also available via the Flex FM website...
Flex FM Podcasts

Flex FM Returns (FlexFM.co.uk)

One of London's most well known pirates from the past has made a comeback for 2009.

Already running for over a month since it's return, there are many great names from the past and present to help you reminisce or discover new sounds.

There's a varied format starting Friday nights with D&B, then Saturdays cover House and Garage and finally Sunday is oldskool house/hardcore/jungle.

Check out their new website for further info.

Simon Dee Dies, Aged 74

Simon Dee, the first ever voice of Radio Caroline sadly passed away on Saturday 29th August 2009.


Kool FM celebrates it's 17th birthday!

Kool London 17th Birthday
Saturday 6th December 2008
Hidden Nightclub
Tinworth Street
Vauxhall
London
£15.00+bf

 

NEW CLASSIC DON FM RADIO SHOW:
With DJ Renegade and MCs Nasty, Stevie A, Otek, C-Wig, & Bouncer (1994).

With just three hours to go before the end of Don's month-long Restricted Service License, the studio was jam packed with the Don FM family, with some of the highest listener figures Don had ever seen.

They were determined to go out in style! (This recording also contains part of the Alvin Dee set that followed after).

Don is now back on air once again on 92.9 FM and streaming online at www.donfm.info

For more from DJ Ren, please visit: http://www.myspace.com/djrenfromdonfm



Tracklisting:

01) Original Nuttah (remix) - U.K. Apache & Shy FX
02) Johnny Jungle - Pascal & Kings Of The Jungle Remixes
03) It's your turn? (remix) - ID Needed
04) Digable Bass - DJ Rap
05) The Navigator - Aphrodite
06) The License - DJ Krome And Mr Time
07) I Can't Understand - MI5 a.k.a. DJ Crystl
08) Yeah Man (remix) - Dream Team - Joker Records
09) Hitman (remix) - Marvelous Caine
10) Unidentified White Label Promo
11) The Rumble (Mad Ragga John remix) - DJ Nut Nut
12) Unidentified White Label Promo
13) Streetfightin' Soul Boy - Potential Bad Boy & Chatter B
14) Dub Plate - DJ Renegade


THE PIRATE RADIO TOOLBAR:

Click here to download the free toolbar
wnload

The PIRATE RADIO TOOLBAR is the place where you can find all of London's pirates and the worlds finest webcasters all in one place direct inside your browser like a radio.
 _

Just like the LondonPirates site the pirate radio toolbar is run by pirate radio enthusiasts for the love of radio and good music!
To find out more about the toolbar and to help it continue growing please subscribe to their facebook group by clicking here.

_

DON'T PANIC!!! THE PIRATE RADIO TOOLBAR IS NOT SPYWARE!_ 

Featuring:
87.7 Uks Finest
87.7 Hightz FM
87.7 Desire FM 
87.9 Shine FM
88.1 Frequency FM
88.2 Rude FM 
88.4 Centreforce FM 
88.6 House FM 
88.7 Sunrise FM
89.4 Sweet FM 
89.6 Deep FM 
90.2 Point blank FM
90.8 Charge 
91.6 Lightning FM
91.8 Passion FM
92.4 De ja vu 
92.7 Freeze FM
92.8 Klash FM 
92.9 Klimax FM
92.9 Don FM 
93.8 Vibes FM

94.0 Touch FM
94.3 Obsession FM
94.6 Kool FM
95.1 Origin FM
95.6 Fresh FM
97.8 Cyndicut FM 
98.3 Rise One 
99.2 Dream uk 
100.0 Kiss FM (ex pirate)
100.2 True FM 
100.4 Rinse FM
100.8 Mixology FM 
101.3 Juice FM
101.3 Eruption FM
101.4 Telford Town Radio 
102.0 Chillin FM
103.0 Ice Cold Radio 
104.7 Sub jam FM 
106.6 Passion Radio Bristol 
106.5 Force FM 
108.8 Unknown FM

LONDON PIRATE RADIO SURVEY 2007:
The votes have been cast and the results have been counted!

Over 500 people took part in our independent survey to find out which stations made the best of 2007. To find the overall top 10 positions, the votes in all categories were totalled together to produce a combined score. As you can see the clear winner is Point Blank! The fact that Point Blank is so far ahead of the rest could be put partly down to the way they have attracted voters through web promotion, however for them to be in this position they must have a significant following so we can't take this away from them - hopefully next year more stations will do the same and we will have a more even playing field.

We feel that this is a very well deserved win for a station that is clearly doing an extremely impressive job at the moment. In terms of signal coverage, sound quality, consistency and general professionalism Point Blank is on top of the game right now. If we had to fault them at all it would be the lack of a decent website where listeners can interact (maybe a forum or chat room would be a nice addition in 2008?) .

There are several other stations who made a marked impression in the survey, it's nice to see that both Don and Centreforce are doing so well since making there recent return to the airwaves. Passion and Don have a joint second place score of 105 points followed by Kool FM in third.

Top 10 London Pirates (of the 46 listed in the survey)

Position Station Score
1 Point Blank 1125
2 Passion/Don 105
3 Kool 78
4 Freeze 68
5 Centreforce 67
6 Rude 38
7 Ice Cold 37
8 Origin 31
9 Subjam 22
10 Shine 21

As well as finding the best stations, the questions in the survey were aimed to find out which areas of London have the most pirate radio listeners and which musical genres are currently the most popular (although due to the high number of Point Blank voters this has been skewed towards House and West London so you might want to bear that in mind!).

To see the full results of the survey please click here

NEW SITE: www.Spicefly.com
There's now a new website offering classic pirate radio sets for free download and a chance to vote for your favourite stations from years gone by, check out the all new Spicefly.com!
 
1st ANNIVERSARY!
This month LondonPirates.co.uk are celebrating our first birthday! We'd like to take this opportunity to say thanks for all your messages of support and contributions towards the site!

Also celebrating an anniversary this month is Point Blank FM who are now into their 13th year of broadcasting in London. PointBlank

PIRATE RADIO: AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH
Feederz sets out to dispel some common misconceptions and reveal the truth about pirate radio in Great Britain. Click here to read the article.

OFFSHORE PIRATE ANNIVERSARY:
This year marks the anniversary of an act that was passed to close down pirate radio stations that broadcast from ships moored off Britain's coastlines such as Radio Caroline and Radio London. Using AM transmitters with 10-50 Kilo Watts of power meant that their signals could be heard throughout most of central Europe. Almost all of the pirates at the time ceased to broadcast, the two ships of Radio Caroline (North & South) made a defiant move to Holland where they continued to broadcast into 1969. The Act which was passed on August 14th 1967 marked the end of an era in pirate radio broadcasting and in 1990 Radio Caroline (founded by Ronan O'Rahilly) was forced to cease broadcasting from the sea (although to this day it still broadcasts via satellite radio and the Internet!).










How do offshore pirates compare to land based pirates?
Maybe it's simply because of their age, but for some reason the offshore pirates of old tend to be seen in a more favourable and romantic light than the land based pirates of today. However the main driving force behind both forms of pirate radio is exactly the same
. That is to deliver free and groundbreaking music to their audiences with a minimum of regulation or interruption.  The reason pirates have moved in land is two fold, firstly there is no longer free water where stations can broadcast outside of the UK's territorial limits and secondly the move away from AM to FM which means that the transmitter covers significantly less range and therefore needs to be situated much closer to the listeners. 

Although times have moved on and the music has changed considerably the demand for free broadcasting and listening still remains. The pirates of old created names such as Tony Blackburn, John Peel, Kenny Everett, and Dave Lee Travis whilst the land based pirates of today have brought us names such as Norman Jay, So Solid Crew, MC Skibadee and Ms Dynamite.

Related Links
View a collection of images from Radio Caroline
The official Radio Caroline homepage
Offshore Pirate Radio

 
PIRATE REVIVAL!
Two of London's biggest ever stations have returned. The almighty Don FM, Flex FM and the early pioneering Centreforce have returned to the London airwaves.

We're extremely excited about these new developments and will return soon with more information about the histories behind these big names and their plans for the future.

Don FM have joined forces with the long running Flex FM to form the United Pirates Of London and look set to be back with a bang bringing something very special to the FM dial once again (perhaps this is the kick up the arse some of the more complacent/stagnant stations needed). Livestreams are currently in a test transmission phase and they have even created a dedicated toolbar to add to your browser (click here to download it: www.don.fm/toolbar/dontoolbar.exe)

The FM frequency is still unconfirmed at the time of writing this so we suggest to keep an eye on their forum for more information at www.donfm.info. As soon as the frequency is made official we will update you right here! 

- *UPDATE* - the new frequency is 104.2FM  

Centreforce was one of the very first land based pirates to regularly play house and other forms of dance music, established in 1988 on 88.3 it has now returned to 88.4. Although the lifespan of the original Centreforce was relatively short, the fact that they were doing something so different so early on made them stand out. This helped them to establish a name that has stood the test of time. Another station broadcasting in this early era was Sunrise - both were followed shortly afterwards in the early nineties by the likes of Fantasy, Dance, Kool, Trance, Touchdown and Don.

We'll be keeping a close eye on both of these stations and will be looking forward to see how many of the original DJ names make a return to the dial alongside the newer talents. Good Luck Guys!

LONDON PIRATES T-SHIRTS!
Pirate radio headz can now reprazent by wearing the official London Pirates merchandise. Choose from a selection of high quality garments including T-Shirts, Hoodies and Record Bags (available courtesy of Future Freak) Double sided T-Shirts start from just £12 plus £2 p&p.

To order yours now simply follow the link below to the Future Freak website, then choose your garment type, size and colours.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER!

 

Click to enlarge

1ST AUDIO CLIPS ADDED!

 
 

The first Don FM and Touchdown clips are now available to download simply click through to the Audio page. This is just the tip of the iceberg for the audio clips that will become available over the next few months.

DON AUDIO
TOUCHDOWN AUDIO

  
   KOOL FM BIRTHDAY!
  

   Click Here to see the Kool FM video feat. Eastman and Profile

Kool FM recently celebrated it's 15th birthday and OMFG! Who was there?
What a wicked night it was : ) We spent plenty of time in the oldskool room listening to Jinx & Funky Flirt but the D&B in the main room was also absolutely firing all night long. Out to the full crew who reprezented and made it a night to remember. 

See the pics here now on DontstayIn.com


DON FM RECORDINGS!
One of the main things that LondonPirates will offer is the ability to share and download past recordings of Pirate stations broadcasting between 1989-2000. We are currently in the process of organising and uploading recordings from one of London's premier stations from 1994-1997 Don FM. Click Here for a preview of what's to come.

Established in South London by Nasty V and Ezee D Don's main frequency of transmission was 105.7. Don's popularity grew so quickly that in 1994 it was to become the first ever Jungle station to acquire a 28 day legal Restricted Service Licence (RSL). Unfortunately the exorbitant cost of licensing in the UK and the restriction in not being able to run an RSL back to back meant that Don was unable to continue broadcasting legally. After spending some time campaigning on AM Richard Branson's Virgin Radio succeeded in obtaining a long term licence on 105.8 in 1995. Don returned after it's RSL broadcasting on 107.9. Don eventually passed on but Ezee D and some of the other crew turned their attention to it's younger sibling station Flex FM 103.6 but that is where this story ends and another begins. 

MASSIVE RESPECT TO ALL OF THE OLD DON FM CREW!
Be Don Or Be Gone!  



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