I am pleased to be able to report that the second volume of Philip Bryer's contributions to the notorious Sony Award-dodging late night hit ICRFM radio show Why The Long Face? is now available at a reputable online bookshop near you. For almost all of our five year run on air Phil's lugubrious monologue, presaged by an announcement that we were handing over live to the studios of Radio Somerset and heralded by the curtailed intro to Rickie Lee Jones' Chuck E's in Love*, marked the mid-point of the show, giving us a chance to reflect, regroup and, if nothing else, put the kettle on and relax, say as a couple of PG Tips chimps given the keys to a broadcast suite might do. Bryer's slot soundtracked the consumption of innumerable cakes, a plethora of sweets and many, many cigarettes - these were the days when you could still smoke without fear of one of your lungs exploding, although an early episode cured us of that particular misconception. In written form it presents itself as a series of vignettes, snapshots, selfies even. From Led Zeppelin to Laurel and Hardy, he walks a pith-strewn path in his William Connor gumboots and Keith Waterhouse mackintosh. Why not join him for a stroll?
*Just as you're expecting her to start singing co-curator Neale burst in with a barely-compressed "...Bryyeerrrr!". I heard the intro on the radio the other day and was almost surprised to find that there was still a song following on behind it.