Published on, Aug 2015


RTRFM’s Radiothon kicks off this Saturday with a massive opening party. Daniel Cribb catches up with some of the station’s presenters to get the lowdown on all the action.

There’s been a lot of talk surrounding the state of the WA live music scene of late with a series of venues closing their doors over the past 12 months, but you needn’t look any further than RTRFM and their annual Radiothon to see that all is well on the Perth music landscape.

“It’s true that we’ve lost some venues lately, but I feel their absence will create space for growth and evolution of the Perth scene. The more people that make their pipe dreams a reality, the better,” says Siamese Dream presenter Jesse Yuen.

“As long as artists are passionate and they get involved in what they’re doing, the scene itself will be fine,” Poster presenter Adam Trainer chimes in. “Getting the music out to wider audiences is always the key to ensuring the sustainability, viability and hopefully also the expansion of the music scene.”

And that’s exactly where RTRFM comes into the equation. Jade Nobbs, who oversees the El Ritmo, Soulsides and Golden Apples programs, says many of the presenters at the station often shape their own personal record collections based on the shows they host, which, as you can imagine, consumes a large amount of time and money. “[Radiothon] is the one time of year when listeners have the chance to show their support for the constant labour of love that RTR presenters pour into their shows, week after week. It’s important, because it lets us know that the hard work we do — generally for free — is valued by the community,” Nobbs explains.

“RTR provides a space and a vision for the nourishment and nurturing of local musical talent, and this means not only bands, but also DJs, broadcasters and persons of substantial musical taste.”

The community station relies heavily on funds raised during its annual Radiothon to stay afloat and continually bring WA punters some of the best local music the state has to offer. In recent months, RTRFM has diversified its presence, dishing out visually appealing live videos under the title The View From Here, which sees a new band pop by each month to deliver a stripped-back performance of a couple of tunes.

The View From Here series showcases a diverse mix of bands and reinforces the station’s stance on covering all bases. “Without RTRFM, tonnes of talented, up ‘n’ coming local artists would lose the chance to break into the music industry,” Cloudwaves host Dani Marsland explains. “Without RTRFM, tonnes of bands that are now touring Australia, and the world, may never have made it to our ears. I also just enjoy the fact that if you love any kind of left-field, non-commercial music — be it club, bands or electronic — you can find a family to share that love and fully support your passion in sharing it with others, at RTRFM.”

“There’s simply nowhere else, either in traditional broadcasting or online, where you will hear as much local music being played, local gigs being talked about and the local community being celebrated,” adds Trainer.

“One of the things I love about WA music is the fact that whether or not artists follow a current trend, dedicate themselves to an established style or try to break the mould, the music always seems to be coming from a genuine place. That’s the only trend worth following.”

Radiothon aims to up the number of subscribers the station has, but even just attending the opening party goes a long way by not only showing your support for the work the station does, but also the live music and the bands that make it happen.