Tom Ravenscroft interview

BBC DJ Tom Ravenscroft is currently presenting ‘On Track with Seat’ on London TV

Interview, Music feature

BBC DJ Tom Ravenscroft is currently presenting ‘On Track with Seat’ on London TV, which invites bands such as the Manic Street Preachers and the Duke Spirit to cut a live session directly to the up-and-coming ‘vinyl record’ format.

He had fiery baptism into live music.
One of the earliest concerts I can remember was one of the first ever Nirvana gigs in London, the famous one at the 100 Club. I was very, very young indeed. I must have been a little kid –I spent the whole evening on my dad’s shoulders. It wasn’t that busy, but I remember loads of guys, and no one had tops on. And it was very noisy. I can remember it being kind of quite violent, and coming back home and thinking: ‘What the heck was that?’

He has an old-school boudoir.
‘Hilariously, a friend of mine came into my room at my mum’s house the other day and was like “Wow, your room is still like a child’s room.” I still have Fall posters up. I used to buy, posters from this American website when I was a teenager. They had these Curve posters that were billboard-size, and I had two; they’d cover the whole wall of you bedroom. So I had two walls in my bedroom that were just Curve posters.’

He was a school dinner lady.
‘I was a dinner lady for about four years. It was a very humbling experience. I used to go to the slightly crappy, slightly frightening state school in the local town, and then when it finished at 3.30pm I would cycle to the local private school to serve them dinner. I think their food was shittier, mainly because I was making it. I did that for years; it was a humbling/ humiliating experience, serving food to kids your age and slightly younger. But I managed to buy a motorbike out of it.’

He’s a public service information film waiting to happen.
‘I recently decided it would be a good idea to chuck an empty crate of fireworks on to a bonfire that was surrounded by children, not realising that there were clearly loads that hadn’t gone off. Lots of my friends who’ve got babies weren’t that impressed. There was a moment where there were adults diving military-style and pinning kids to the ground, thinking: I’ll sacrifice my own eyes.’

He hates Jack Russells.
‘I got attacked by a pack of Jack Russells once –I think they only come in packs. It was at the private school up the road. I snuck into their adventure playground, which, bizarrely, seemed to be patrolled by a pack of Jack Russells, and one of them found me. I’ve hated them ever since. If you’re gonna buy a dog, don’t buy a dog the size of a cat.’

He has a spooky psychic sister.
‘Whenever my sister dreams that somebody’s going to die, they do, which is quite troubling for her. So I’m quite glad I don’t. I rarely see anything coming, quite frankly.’

He has a great deal of difficulty getting home.
‘Me and my friend got a cab from Newington Green to Belsize Park; we fell asleep and ended up at Stansted. We found out afterwards that the guy driving us had been consuming a lot of salvia whilst he was driving and was out of his mind. He was singing a lot. He then pulled over a police car to ask for directions. We were in the car for four hours for a 15-minute journey. . Most of the taxis that I get from the BBC on a Friday night are often quite similar to that. I had an absolute lunatic last week, in fact –the guy had no idea of where he was going, so they sent out a taxi to pick me up from my taxi.’

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