❉ Take a chance on McBain!
We’re big fans of podcasts here at We Are Cult, and we’re always looking for more shows to subscribe to. So if you’re looking for ear candy, we’re here to help!
This week: Paul and Stevo tell us all about podcast Hark! The 87th Precinct, a read-through of Ed McBain’s 87th Precinct novels.
What’s your podcast about?
Paul: At the core it’s a sequential read-through of Ed McBain’s 87th Precinct novels – the greatest police-procedural series ever written! He wrote over fifty books in fifty years and they’re a shared passion between us three (Me, Morgan and Stevo) but despite their importance, they’re becoming less and less well known, so we’re here to make a song and dance about them, and probably be quite silly doing it.
[n.b. Ed McBain is a pseudonym of Evan Hunter, perhaps best known for his book The Blackboard Jungle and for writing the screenplay of The Birds.]
If you had to describe your show in 10 words or less, what would you say?
Paul: Ed McBain’s 87th Precinct Novels Read By Three English Idiots.
Stevo: Discovering Links Between Ed McBain And The Carry On Films
Which episode would you recommend for a first-time listener? Do you have a favourite episode?
Morgan: I haven’t listened back to them – No-one likes the sound of their own voice.
Stevo: It’s just the sound of us two going ‘Uh?’ and ‘Oh’ whilst Paul chats away.
Paul: I’d say it’s the Episode we did about the book “Killer’s Choice” – the title is Episode 5: The High Road and Scotch Eggs, which perhaps gives you some idea about the direction the discussions take. It gets pretty silly, pretty quickly.
What inspired you to create this podcast?
Paul: Chatting about books has been one of the props of our friendship over the past twenty years and that’s never changed. Also, I’ve been involved in the DIY music scene in Liverpool for years, as has Morgan, so the attitude of ‘if you want to make something, just make it’ has always been important to us. Really, it’s about friendship, as much as it’s about the books, and sharing what you love.
Which guests have you had on your podcast so far?
Paul: No-one yet, but we really want to include more people, even if it’s peripheral to the McBain books (although we’d probably force them to read one, or watch an adaptation). We’ve had some listener contribution via questions from friends and followers. If you want to contribute in anyway, we love hearing from people who’ve got collection-obsessions (books, comedy, music especially). Send us a message!
Who would be your dream guest?
Stevo: Perhaps the author Lawrence Block. He’s very much of that world that McBain worked in, as well as being a great author himself. He knew McBain, so he’d be very interesting to chat to.
Morgan: Ron Harper, who played Detective Bert Kling in the 60s TV adaptation. Or Peter Falk, but he remains stubbornly dead.
Paul: The podcast and comedy legend Paul F Tompkins. I’d like him to come on and improvise a character we could question – perhaps a Stool Pigeon relating the history of Stool, er, pigeonery?
Which equipment do you use for your podcast set-up?
Paul: I put together a portable kit, although we haven’t gone anywhere with it yet, based around a Zoom H6 recorder, which is a ludicrously adaptable and quality piece of recording equipment. We use some basic Behringer dynamic mics and desktop stands, all neatly packable away into a case. With a good recording device or computer at the heart of it, you don’t need to spend much at all to make a podcast. I mean, if Rode Microphones want to send us some ProCaster Mics and boom stands, we’d happily explore the differences in quality…
What would you say is the best length of time for a podcast episode?
Paul: I like a good hour podcast, one you can get through when wandering around on your lunch-break, or on the way to or from work or wherever it is you spend your time. If it’s a show with sponsor adverts, or natural segments, then anything up to about an hour and half is okay.
Which podcasts (other than yours) would you recommend we listen to?
Morgan: Turned Out A Punk podcast is great, as is The Mortified Podcast – tales from people sharing their teenage diaries and obsessions.
Paul: Spontaneanation – the funniest podcast on the planet, plus one that has an amazing range of contributors and voices. Wine And Crime is a great true crime (and drinking) podcast. Then there’s SMERSHPOD for Bond-based japes and the perennially interesting RHLSTP (RHLSTP!).
Stevo: Our friend Pete Martin runs a fantastic ‘vinyl-only’ playlist podcast called Old Rope on Mixcloud.
Where is your podcast available to listen to?
Paul: Everywhere (nearly!) – iTunes and Stitcher (please rate, review and share!), as well as our host site, Hearthis.at. We’re listed as Hark87Podcast on nearly all the things. Visit our blog at Hark87Podcast.blogspot.co.uk for the definitive list and book lists, biographical info and the like.
What is the future of podcasting as a creative medium?
Paul: Exciting! It’s great that people are creating new things and are finding ways to connect with others to share their passions, or to express themselves. I like it when Podcasts can find a way to incorporate a live-show element as well – people like to hear stories told well by interesting people and the ‘off-book’ nature of the podcast allows that, especially in the ‘not quite stand-up/not quite a radio-show’ setting. The only problem is finding ways to get your podcast known to people and to convince them that, even if they don’t know anything about the subject matter, to take a chance and listen and share in the experience.
Stevo: Take a chance on McBain! We don’t always drift off into talking about Bernard Bresslaw.
❉ Visit the Hark! The 87th Precinct blog at Hark87Podcast.blogspot.co.uk
❉ Download or stream past episodes and subscribe to future episodes of Hark! The 87th Precinct via iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/hark-the-87th-precinct-podcast/id1179080344?mt=2&ign-mpt=uo%3D4
❉ Have you got a podcast? Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like it to be featured.