For more informations about the following DVDs/Blurays go to: https://www.offshoreechos.com
Or write to: Offshore Echos PO Box 1514 London W7 2LL England
Here are all reviews by Martin van der Ven:
Volume 19 – The Radio Atlantis Story
With Radio Atlantis, you actually have to distinguish between two radio stations: the Flemish one (all programmes were recorded on land and broadcast from the MV Mi Amigo in 1973 and the MV Jeanine in 1974) and the English-language one (live from the MV Jeanine in 1974). The Flemish programme seemed professionally made, with the jingles in particular quickly becoming catchy. The English-language programmes, on the other hand, were for me a highlight in the history of offshore radio, despite the poor reception in the west of the Federal Republic of Germany. What Andy Anderson, Steve England, Dave Rogers, Dave Owen and many other colleagues achieved here is second to none. It was a lively firework display that was unparalleled in the radio world of the time and, in my estimation, could hardly be compared with the offshore stations of the 1960s. Even the competitors RNI and Radio Caroline suddenly seemed like plain home cooking in comparison. Unfortunately, there was very little information for the fan at the time and hardly any photos, let alone videos. Much was left to the imagination and the ears. All the more the new DVD/Blu-Ray outshines everything that has been published about Radio Atlantis so far. Francois Lhote, Chris Edwards and Steve England have succeeded in welding together rare and often unknown material from all kinds of archives into a fascinating two-hour film that can evoke feelings of astonishment, sheer fascination and, above all, melancholy in the viewer, as it immediately becomes clear: This time will never come back. In summary, an unconditional recommendation to buy!
Volume 18 – Radio Mi Amigo Story
In the Benelux, Radio Mi Amigo is, next to Radio Veronica, probably the offshore station that evokes the most memories, but also a lot of emotions. Not coincidentally, there have been numerous reunions in the past almost 5 decades, especially in Flanders, and several Radio Mi Amigo reincarnations are broadcasting on the Internet. Many Mi Amigo disc jockeys from the offshore era also seem full of nostalgia and enthusiastically participate in such projects. Radio Mi Amigo was active on two radio ships during the period 1974-1979. The OEM team has done an excellent job of comprehensively and almost completely documenting the history of this impressive radio station. This two and a half hour video consists of a fascinating firework of video and sound recordings with countless photos, jingles, tunes and recordings from the exciting history of the offshore station. One gets the impression that really every historically significant aspect and every employee are mentioned in sound and vision, and even the short time span of the broadcasts from the MV Magdalena is looked at in particular detail. As with any OEM production, a goosebump feeling immediately sets in with the viewer. The time in “exile” in Playa de Aro is presented in particular detail, with many video recordings in excellent quality, but also countless newspaper clippings, photos and interviews. Without any doubt, the new DVD (or even Blu-Ray) should not be missing in any collection.
Volume 17 – Radio Caroline Story – The English Years (1974-1980)
For me, the period from 1974 to 1980 was Caroline’s best ever, especially because of their album music format and presenters like Stevie Gordon, Ed Foster, Martin Fisher, Tom Hardy, Stuart Russel, Mark Lawrence, Richard Thompson and Mike Stevens (to name but a few). Hand on heart: Can you remember any video recordings of Radio Caroline from that time? Or good quality photos? Now you have the opportunity to take a nostalgic trip back in time to almost 50 years ago. Francois, Chris and Bill from OEM have undoubtedly made the best of the difficult situation that there is indeed very little film footage in good quality. For decades, everything literally played only in our ears. Now we have the opportunity to get to know the faces behind the voices. The now released film has become a two-hour-long surprsing bombardment of countless photos, video clips, historical recordings and everything else that shaped those years.
I guarantee for wistful goosebumps feelings. In other words, this DVD/Blu-ray is indispensable for any offshore radio fan. All respect, the people from OEM have done a super job (again!).
Volume 16 – Radio Caroline Story – The Dutch Years (1968-1974)
For the 16th time already, Offshore Echos surprises us with a firework of photos, film clips, interview clips, radio recordings, jingles and tunes – this time on the subject of Radio Caroline in the period from 1968 to 1974. One could think again: There is not much material, but far from it! Francois Lhote has again found hundreds of photos, many of them in colour. We see little known video material, for example of the mutiny on board the MV Mi Amigo at the turn of the year 1972/73, and it goes into the depths of offshore history, to questions that many interested radio fans can hardly answer spontaneously: Who spoke at the Free Radio Demonstration in London in 1969? How concrete were the plans for Radio Caroline’s TV station? What is a Mickey Mouse mast? Why wasn’t the sex programme of Candy magazine broadcast? Why did the triangular mast fall into the North Sea? Which Neil Diamond LP was Radio Seagull named after? Questions about questions – here you will find expert answers. Once again I got goose bumps several times when I saw this fascinating film. (By the way, it was striking that apparently nobody had gone to the hairstyle since 1968, especially Ronan.) In summary: The ideal Christmas present for offshore radio fans!
Volume 15 – Radio Northsea International – Part 3 – 1973-1981
Part 3: After the first two parts of the big RNI documentation I was even more excited about the last and third part. And this part appealed to me quite differently, even more touched me. Because you feel from the beginning: Here an era comes to an end, a certain political will drives a successful project to the wall. The perfect juxtaposition of video recordings in black and white and in colour, supplemented by countless photos in excellent quality, interesting audio recordings, jingles and more recent interviews is something we are familiar with from earlier products. But this time a shiver ran down my spine, the very close end of RNI brought tears to my eyes. What a pity that this great chapter in the history of offshore radio ended so painfully in Libya. In summary: This DVD/Bluray completes an absolutely worth seeing trilogy!
Volume 14 – Radio Northsea International – Part 2 – 1971-1972
Part 2: When RNI came back from the ashes as a phoenix in February 1971, I was ambivalent. The best broadcasting time was now reserved for Dutch hits and disc jockeys like Jan van Veen, who appealed rather to older housewives. But I was quickly taught a better lesson: RNI soon developed a fascinating mix of lively English language evening broadcasts and a professional Dutch programme, which also included exciting live broadcasts from the radio ship Mebo II with new formats. And the dramas of the first year also continued: a fire bomb shook the ship in May 1971, and in November the anchor chain broke. The several-day attempt with “RNI 2” in September 1972, on the other hand, was just a nice comedy. Future-oriented structures had long since been established, so that RNI initially seemed indispensable in the European broadcasting landscape. The new DVD/Bluray comprehensively depicts all this in the well-known excellent quality. Once again, a captivating masterpiece has been created that gives the interested viewer a comprehensive impression of all the events during 1971 and 1972. Colourful video recordings, crystal-clear studio and FM recordings, countless jingles and photos form an overall absolutely recommendable product that should not be missing in any collection.
Volume 13 – Radio Northsea International – Part 1 – 1970
When I was 15 years old, I watched RNI’s programmes feverishly every day (unless the frequency had to be changed again…). What a thriller it was! There were always new excitements, the trip of the Mebo II to the English coast, the English jamming station, the influence of RNI (Caroline) on the British elections, the hijack attempt of Kees Manders and the unexpected, sudden closedown in September. At that time I had hardly any photos, let alone videos of that exciting offshore radio station. In my fantasy I imagined what the Deejays looked like, the ship, the mast. I would never have let myself be fooled into thinking that almost 50 years later I could watch everything I had heard on medium wave in the best quality on a modern television. And that’s exactly what this fantastic DVD/Bluray offers: unique, exclusive video material, hundreds of photos, the jingles, countless recordings in FM quality. I am thrilled. An indescribable sensation of goose bumps, as if time was turned back and you experience everything first-hand as a spectator once again. This DVD/Bluray should not be missing in your collection either. It is particularly recommended!
Volume 12 – The Radio Hauraki Story
As a teenager I regularly made tape recordings of my beloved offshore radio stations. One highlight was a recording of an NSGDX broadcast by A.J. Beirens about Radio Hauraki. Again and again I listened to the recording where the ship Tiri stranded off the Great Barrier Reef. “We’re on the rocks… I love you Mum and Dad.” Radio Hauraki at the other end of the world: For me that was David’s fight against Goliath, but also part of the youth movement against the establishment. The dramatic “1111 Days At Sea” led to a victory against the authorities, and Radio Hauraki was the first and only offshore station to succeed in obtaining an official license on land while still broadcasting form the high seas. You can now relive the fascinating story of this radio station up close with the new DVD/Bluray from Offshore Echos, and I promise you: You will get goose bumps when watching the Tiri on the rocks. Once again a highly professional oeuvre has been achieved containing amazing video material, hundreds of photos, countless recordings and jingles and above all the music of the years 1968 to 1970. I guarantee you will be thrilled. This DVD/Bluray should not be missing in your collection either. It is particularly recommended!
Volume 11 – The Radio England Story
To be honest: When the recent DVD arrived I thought that our friends from OEM wouldn’t be able to top their former products. First of all, I was astonished to realise that the duration of this new DVD was 114 minutes as I initially doubted that there was enough material. But believe me, I was definitely disabused. I thankfully watched another offshore radio documentary which was as thrilling as a crime movie. There were hundreds of pictures, several in-depth interviews, countless on-air recordings, tunes and jingles – all of them in superb quality. A lot of material proved totally new both for my eyes and ears. You immediately got the impression that there were experts at work. It never ceases to amaze me how much exclusive video footage has again been collected which is without doubt putting the cherry on the cake. To summarize I take my hat off to Francois Lhote, Chris Edwards and Steve England. This DVD/Bluray is another must for every offshore radio fan, recommended as a five star product!
Volume 10 – Radio 270
I had the privilege to be one of the first viewers of this DVD which in my eyes is a sensational product which is dedicated to the late Leon Tipler. You will find incredible footage of the radio ship Oceaan VII including the aluminium mast, the studio, the transmitter, the galley, the record library, the mess room and the cabins. You’ll be astonished to watch unpublished video material mostly in colour. There’s the Oceaan VII in severe storms and in the safe harbours of Scarborough and Bridlington plus the often adventurous and sometimes dangerous tender trips. The deejays having fun on the deck, playing practical jokes, catching fish, making a trip in a rubber dinghy, typing the news, making announcements and entering the tender boats. You might get the strong impression that during their 15 exciting months of broadcasting, these watery wireless heroes always had to suffer from rough weather but never gave up until the very end on August 14th. Listen to the reminiscences of Wilf Proudfoot, Don Robinson, Paul Burnett, Roger Gale, Noel Miller, Leon Tipler, Mike Hayes, Guy Hamilton and many others. See hundreds of pictures, stickers, press cuttings and most of all hear the sound of this unique offshore radio station off the Yorkshire coast with its jingles, promos and music. This DVD/Bluray is a must for every offshore radio fan, recommended as a five star product, without doubt another collectors’ item!
Volume 9 – Radio Scotland
A DVD/Bluray about Radio Scotland? You might of course fear that there’s not enough material to fill a whole DVD, as only sparse footage and a negligible number of pictures is commonly known. But despite every objection Francois, Chris and Bill have managed it (again)! Contrary to all possible expectations, this brandnew product includes an exclusive compilation of countless pictures (lots of them in high resolution and never seen before), multiple press clippings, off-air recordings (several in studio quality), promos and tunes. And you will of course be amazed at doubtlessly every video snippet that has ever been recorded. Having watched those fascinating 62 minutes I was most of all impressed to feel the excitement, the love of radio which characterises all dejays, crew members and technicians having worked for this unique offshore radio station. In sum a definite must-have for everyone being interested in offshore radio. Recommended as a five star product, without doubt another collectors’ item!
Volume 8 – The Wonderful Radio London Story
This product with fascinating footage includes an exclusive compilation of pictures (lots of them in high resolution and never seen before), off-air recordings (several in studio quality), promos and tunes. But most of all the video footage has to be pointed out. Francois Lhote has once again succeeded in collecting nearly every sequence that has ever been produced on Big L. Have you ever seen footage showing the fitting out of the MV Galaxy being fitted out and its mast being ercted in Miami (Florida)? Here’s your chance. This new product is a nostalgic highlight of a breathtaking DVD series that is produced with a definite feeling for every detail worth knowing. You will watch and see every deejay that has ever worked on the ship, hear the sound of the mid sixties, listen to the famous Big L jingles and recognize all those theme tunes. By the way my wife who normally accepts my excitement but isn’t too much interested in any watery wireless matters kept on sitting before our TV set just until the end after more than two hours… In sum a definite must-have for everyone being interested in offshore radio (again!). Recommended as a five star product, without doubt another collectors’ item!
Volume 7 – RADIO INVICTA-KING-390/RADIO ESSEX/BBMS-RADIO TOWER
This product with 105 minutes of fascinating footage includes an exclusive compilation of pictures (lots of them in high resolution and never seen before), off-air recordings (several in studio quality), promos and tunes. But most of all the video footage has to be pointed out. Francois Lhote has once again succeeded in collecting nearly every sequence that has ever been produced on the Red Sands Fort, including original footage. All in all a definite must-have for everyone being interested in offshore radio (again!). When watching the OEM “Revisited” videos I regularly become highly impressed. Recommended as a five star product, without doubt another collectors’ item!
Volume 6 – RADIO & TV NOORDZEE from the REM island
These 80 minutes include an exclusive compilation of pictures (lots of them in high resolution and never seen before), off-air recordings (several in studio quality), promos and tunes. But most of all the video footage has to be pointed out. Francois Lhote has once again succeeded in collecting nearly every sequence that has ever been produced on the REM-eiland, including original footage broadcast by RTV Noordzee. All in all a definite must-have for everyone being interested in offshore radio (again!). When watching this brand new OEM video I soon became highly impressed. Recommended as a five star product, without doubt a collectors’ item!
Volume 5 – RADIO SUTCH/CITY
When watching this OEM video I soon became emotionally overwhelmed because I have scarcely ever seen such an impressive film relating to offshore radio. These 80 minutes have been packed full of an exclusive compilation of pictures (lots of them coloured and in high resolution), off-air recordings (several in studio quality), countless jingles, promos and tunes. But most of all the video footage has to be pointed out. Francois Lhote has succeeded in collecting nearly every sequence that has ever been produced on Shivering Sands and its stations Radio Sutch and Radio City. You will be surprised to find detailed interviews with Screaming Lord Sutch, Dorothy Calvert and Kitty Black. And you will watch good quality footage of the infamous bording party and the tragedy of Reg Calvert’s death. All in all a definite must for everyone being interested in offshore radio. Highly recommended!
Volume 2 – RADIO Nord and RADIO UYLENSPIEGEL
I had th privilege to be one of the first viewers of the Blu-ray version and I must tell you that I was speechless having watched that overwhelming collection of videos and pictures accompanied by an amazing collage of jingles and airchecks, most of them in superb quality. It has become a fascinating movie with rare and precious footage from more than 50 years ago (large parts even in colour). Highly recommended!