When I heard about Mark Radliffe’s cancer diagnosis, my heart sank. I’ve had a fondness for his taste in music and the manner in which he presents it, since he played Veruca Salt’s ‘Seether’ for my daughter, on his radio show, in 1995. In fact it was the opening track on the playlist. His opinion? “Corker!”
I love his sense of fun. Like the time he did an impression of Liam Gallagher between acts, during coverage of a Glastonbury Festival. Stood there at the microphone, knees bent, head tilted upwards, shifting his weight from leg to leg whilst whining, “Glastonbury? No, it’s shite. (pause) It’s alright.”
Despite his natural effervescence, his upbeat tweets and positive demeanour, he must have been fearing the worst. I had a lesion on my tongue investigated in 1996. Who would have thought that such a short, inoffensive word like ‘biopsy’ could induce such a severe loss of balance, but it did. It was lucky I was sat down. Luckier still, that I drew the benign ticket, unlike Mark Radcliffe.
A good decade after the Veruca Salt request, I had the pleasure of having a brief chat with him at the Cambridge Folk Festival. He was enjoying a glass of Bombardier in the late afternoon sunshine, and I was after an autograph for the cover of my newly acquired Family Mahone CD.
The man is a delight. I wish him a full and speedy recovery, and a return to banging the drum!