Podcast of the Week: The Strange Brew Podcast

❉ This week: The Strange Brew Podcast – The stories behind the greatest music ever recorded.

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: Jason Barnard tells us all about The Strange Brew Podcast – one of The Daily Telegraph’s ‘podcasts you need to be listening to’

What’s your podcast about?

Each Strange Brew Podcast features musicians and producers who talk about the songs that shaped their career. Guests are predominately British or influenced by the British rock and pop scene from the 1960s and 1970s – a period where popular music was arguably at its most ground breaking.

If you had to describe your show in 10 words or less, what would you say?

The stories behind the greatest music ever recorded.

Which episode would you recommend for a first-time listener? Do you have a favourite episode?

My interview with Ken Scott, recording engineer and producer for The Beatles, Elton John, Lou Reed and David Bowie is a perfect show for the uninitiated. It’s very clear from Ken’s story that keeping mistakes made in the studio are integral to making the sound of the records ‘human’. With a clinical sound you typically end up with a weaker and far less interesting track.


Speaking to Allan Clarke, former lead singer of The Hollies is a personal favourite. Allan was retired when I spoke to him and rarely does interviews. I recall that he spoke to Steve Wright for Radio 2 and me. He spoke so vividly about the incredible music that he made.


What inspired you to create this podcast?

Andy Morten, a writer for Shindig! Magazine, made an excellent podcast over 10 years ago called Toffee Sunday Smash. He had an incredible knack for digging out amazing but obscure ’60s psychedelic music. I wanted to play some of this rarer material but add the more popular music from the era to make a more accessible podcast. Eventually the artists who made some of the music I featured wanted to come on and it’s evolved from there. Andy guested a few years later which was nice.

Which guests have you had on your podcast so far?

I’ve recorded over 100 episodes so I’ll highlight just a few: Eric Stewart (10cc), Gilbert O’Sullivan, Eddy Grant, Rita Coolidge, Glen Matlock (Sex Pistols), Geoff Emerick (The Beatles engineer) and Colin Blunstone (The Zombies). I have some brilliant ones in the pipeline including James Williamson of Iggy Pop and The Stooges, Richard Oakes of Suede.

Who would be your dream guest?

Paul McCartney, Pete Townshend, The Rolling Stones! An ex-Stone has actually been on the podcast but I’ll leave readers to find out who that is.

Which equipment do you use for your podcast set-up?

A large 32 inch monitor – great for editing, Blue Snowball microphone and an Alienware Alpha micro PC – powerful but quiet.

What would you say is the best length of time for a podcast episode?

90 minutes – a good length to go in depth but retain interest. However some of mine now approach two hours! Thankfully I can see that my listeners stay to the end.

Which podcasts (other than yours) would you recommend we listen to?

Sodajerker provides a great insight into the songwriting process. It has a much broader span of music but I think listeners of each podcast will find something to like in both. Interestingly they interviewed Andy Partridge of XTC whilst I spoke to XTC’s other songwriter, Colin Moulding. They make great companion episodes.

Take It Away – The Complete Paul McCartney podcast is a current favourite. The guys there really do a huge amount of research into every show and their passion for the music is clear.

Where is your podcast available to listen to?

As far as I’m aware The Strange Brew is available to from all the main podcast outlets including iTunes, PlayerFM and PodBean. Please do give the show a review and a rating if you like it.

The Strange Brew website has every episode available to download plus a massive library of written interviews, including with new artists: http://thestrangebrew.co.uk/

What is the future of podcasting as a creative medium?

I’ve been podcasting for almost 10 years and only now is it breaking into the mainstream. It’s a very exciting time for its creators and listeners – with a dazzling mix of content meaning that there’s something for everyone. I hear Google are doing some innovative development on podcast searches which could exponentially increase podcast reach.

I hope to keep on doing this for another 10 years if I can. It really is a joy to talk to the artists who made the music that has helped shape my life and countless others.

❉ Follow The Strange Brew Podcast on Twitter: @StrangeBrewPod

❉ Download past episodes or subscribe to future episodes of The Strange Brew Podcast on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/the-strange-brew/id335487744?mt=2

❉ Have you got a podcast? Email wearecultcontent@gmail.com if you would like it to be featured.

Become a patron at Patreon!