Coronavirus update: View cancelled events here
Celebrating Steve Barker's On the Wire  Tickets | The Continental Preston  | Sun 19th September 2021 Lineup

Celebrating Steve Barker's On the Wire tickets

The Continental in Preston

Sunday 19th September 2021

2:00pm til 11:00pm

Minimum Age: 18

A gig to celebrate Britain's longest-running and best underground music radio show - On the Wire.

This event has already happened!

This event occurred in September 2021. If you're looking for a upcoming event, try the links below:

Reviews of this event

Average rating:



Click here to view all reviews or add your own »

Celebrating Steve Barker's On the Wire on Sunday 19th September 2021

Steve Barker’s On the Wire has been broadcasting from Lancashire to the rest of the world weekly since 1984, until recently via BBC Radio Lancashire.

OTW is the longest running, and best, underground music radio show, carving its own furrow and doing its bit to make Lancashire the well-known centre of the universe. Originally, in the days of AM/FM radio, OTW only sneaked over the Pennines and south of Manchester in fine weather or dubbed onto C90 cassettes, but in the last 20 years the show has consolidated its global reach with each edition being made accessible everywhere via the worldwide web.

The outlier music featured on OTW has evolved over the years, although dub and roots reggae have been a constant feature, often from Adrian Sherwood’s On U Sound label, who also provided the OTW theme tune, Dub Syndicate’s instantly recognisable Ravi Shankar No 1. Early on Steve mixed this with a lot of hip hop, underground rock, jazz, blues and R’n’B. More recently he’s concentrated on contemplative sounds; atmospheric electronic music, and primitive guitar instrumentals, plus interventions from regular contributor Michael Fenton and once a month funkology from Pete Haigh and Andy Madhatter. Steve always puts the music first and you might be half an hour or more into an episode of OTW before he appears, as the Guardian put it “back-announcing eight or more records in a row with occasional gnomic comments.”

OTW disappeared from the Radio Lancashire schedules in March 2020 as part of the reorganisation of BBC local radio programming which happened during the COVID outbreak. Since then, whilst being ‘rested ‘ by the BBC, Steve and the rest of the On the Wire team have continued to post editions of the show to Mixcloud, with links being posted weekly via the OTW webpage It is still unclear what the future will be for specialist local radio, but what is certain is that On the Wire will carry on whatever happens.

The Continental and Tuff Life Boogie are delighted to be involved in organising this gig to celebrate some of the great music that Steve has been championing recently on the show and help to persuade the BBC to think again and return one of Lancashire’s finest exports back to its rightful place in the broadcasting schedules.

Afternoon session – Concrète Tapes and Them There Records showcase (Free Entry)

concrete tapes.jpg

It was too tempting not to program something for the 2pm til 5pm Sunday afternoon slot that On the Wire memorably occupied in the 80s and 90s, so we’re kicking off the day with a selection chosen by two premier underground labels from Preston that Steve regularly features on the show. Expect immersive electronica from Concrète Tapes and peripheral and experimental pop from Them There. There will be live sets from acts on each label and DJ selections from the head honchos Joe and Carl. A money can’t buy experience, so its free entry!

Evening session (Tickets £10)

Kicking off at 6pm, the evening session features three purveyors of various shades of solo guitar, all of whom have featured heavily on OTW in recent years.

Dean McPhee


West Yorkshire based electric guitarist Dean McPhee plays a Fender Telecaster through a valve amp and effects pedals. He has been perfecting his art over the last 10 years, with occasional bulletins in the form of LPs on the Blast First Petite and Hood Faire labels. Expect fluid finger-picked melodies combined with atmospheric drones and trance inducing loops. Dean will sit down and you will tune in and drift out.

Bhajan Bhoy


Ajay Saggar, honorary Lancastrian now based in Amsterdam, is an old friend of On the Wire, having featured on the show in various incarnations over the years: first with legendary Preston act The Dandelion Adventure in the late 80s and through the next 3 decades with Donkey, The Bent Moustache, King Champion Sounds, Deutsche Ashram and The Common Cold. The last four of these acts have illuminated various Tuff Life Boogie events at the Continental in recent years.

Bhajan Bhoy is Ajay’s latest, solo, incarnation, and moves on from the textured guitar flava of Deutsche Ashram and combines it with an arsenal of oblique strategies, found sound and atmospheric samples from the Brian Eno text book. Bhajan Bhoy’s debut LP ‘Bless Bless’ picked up bucketloads of acclaim this year and looks set to be Time Lord Ajay’s most successful incarnation yet!

Gwenifer Raymond


Gwenifer recently put out her second album, ‘Strange Lights Over Garth Mountain’ on the acclaimed Tompkins Square label in Autumn 2020 and is basically one Jools Holland appearance away from being the next big thing in roots music. You should not miss this opportunity to see her in an intimate venue.

Growing up in Wales and now based in Brighton, Gwenifer specialises in sparse American primitive instrumentals drawn from the roots music of Mississippi and Appalachia. In her own words:

“I spent all my teenage years playing either guitar or drums in various punk and rock outfits around the Welsh valleys, but around that time I was also getting seriously into older stuff, Dylan, The Velvet Underground and the like. Through those cheap compilation CDs you could get then, I found that a common influence amongst these guys was pre-war delta and country blues, as well as Appalachian music. Eventually I stumbled upon Mississippi John Hurt, Skip James and Roscoe Holcomb, and they became the holy trinity of musicians I so wanted to able to play like. Eventually, I tracked down a blues man in Cardiff who could teach me and it was in studying these guys that I was introduced to John Fahey and the whole American Primitive thing.

I’ve always loved being in bands and the sonic chemistry it produces, but at the same time it’s always a bit of a compromise that those sounds in my head have to pass through and be translated by someone else’s. Sometimes it can be for the better, but sometimes not so much. American Primitive was the first time it had occurred to me that you didn’t really need anything more than one solo instrument to fully express yourself, especially when those feelings and moods refuse to be articulated in words, sometimes it’s a mystery to yourself what it is you’re expressing. I still play in hard rock and punk bands and love to wail and hit my guitar with a complete lack of any subtlety or nuance, but in the end I think that all these things are really part of a circle, feeding back into itself. It’s all just a lineup of strange mutations.”

Music Genres: 

Acoustic, Alternative, Indie, Rock

Please note: The event information above has been added by the organiser. Whilst we try to ensure all details are up-to-date we do not make any warranty or representation as to the accuracy or completeness of the information shown.