Arts Q&A: BBC Radio Ulster presenter Steven Rainey on The Flaming Lips, Fleetwood Mac and Joe Abercrombie

Jenny Lee puts performers and artists on the spot about what really matters to them. This week, BBC Radio Ulster presenter Steven Rainey

Steven Rainey presents The Cruise on BBC Radio Ulster

BBC Radio Ulster presenter Steven Rainey


When did you think about a career in writing and broadcasting and what were your first steps into it?

I'D ALWAYS been interested in writing, but never considered that I could make a career out of it. But my love of music led to me writing music reviews. The big moment was when a friend was asked to review a challenging Scott Walker album, The Drift, and passed it over to me as he hated it. I got stuck in, and here I am 14 years later.


Best gigs you've been to?

The Flaming Lips at Electric Picnic in 2009. The fact that I happened to have worked my way onto the stage with them might have had something to do with it.


Fantasy wedding/birthday party band?

Full orchestra, playing the soundtrack to Conan The Barbarian.


The record you'd take to a desert island?

Tango in The Night by Fleetwood Mac. It was one of the first records I owned, and it's never strayed too far from my stereo.


And the book you'd take to a desert island?

The Lord of The Rings by JRR Tolkien. I made a bet with a friend in school that I'd never finish it and I'm still on that journey.


Top three films?

Planet of The Apes (1968), Apocalypse Now (1979), Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979)


Worst film you've seen?

I utterly hated Bohemian Rhapsody


Favourite authors?

Lee Child and Joe Abercrombie – if Tolkien had been done by Tarantino, it might end up like Joe Abercrombie.


Sport(s) you most enjoy and top team(s)?

I'm aware that sport is a thing, but that's about as far as I go.


Ideal holiday destination?

I left my heart in San Francisco, but my soul is in Arizona.


Pet hate?

Why do men wear short trousers, rolled up, with no socks on? What is the point of this?


What's your favourite: Dinner?

I've never met a cheeseburger I didn't like.


Never been too fussed on desert, but if you've got some ham and cheese, I'm in.


I love a good whiskey, but I'm also partial to a glass of prosecco.


Who is your best friend and how do you know each other?

My wife, but she's recently been challenged by my pug puppy, Toby. They're a perfect double bill.


Is there a God?

I've never been overly religious, but I've always felt that you'd need to be very confident indeed to say that there isn't a God. I like to keep an open mind about these things, and hopefully there's still a bit more of my own journey for me to find out.

Steven Rainey presents The Cruise, Sundays on BBC Radio Ulster from 4pm – 5pm, and also available on BBC Sounds.

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