Garth Brooks returned to Ireland this month and the nation was divided. He’s either the greatest thing since sliced bread or the worst thing since…oh I don’t know…Garth Brooks? Like him or not he puts on a great show and he’s got one or two decent tunes.
In fairness, anyone we’ve spoken to who has gone to any of the concerts so far have had a ball. It’s all fairly straight forward. Throw on your blue jeans and a pair of boots, (cowboy if you have them) a checked shirt (I believe the Americans call call them plaid), jump on a bus full of excited country music fans from your local town, grab a Stetson from a vender on the way in, grab a beer from the bar and prepare to be wowed. Sing along (you’ll know all the words), a bit of line dancing and that’s it. A tried and tested formula for a great night out.
You see the thing is, hate or love the marmite of country music, one thing he always manages to bring to this country (whether he’s annoying the residents on Jones’ Road or delivering his man of the people messages at photo ops and press conferences); the one thing he always gives us; the one thing we love… something to talk about!
That’s all the Irish people want, something to talk about. That’s why the GAA does so well. We love it. The actual games are only a small part of it, it’s the pre-match chat, the post-match analysis, the controversies, the rule changes, the referees, that lad from Kerry who wears the skinny jeans. Off The Ball on Newstalk could survive weeks on a controversial decision made by that bloomin’ ref in the club match in Roscommon. We don’t even know the teams, but we want to hear all about that controversial decision made by the man in black with the whistle.
What are we talking about? Content. It’s all great content. That’s what Garth Brooks and the GAA give us, ‘content’. If you’ve ever worked in a TV studio or near a radio show, this is a word you’ll often hear. Content. It’s what keeps radio shows going. To build a great radio show you need great content. Joe Duffy gets great content from his callers. Morning Ireland’s content is a bit more…well…serious. The breakfast shows need the funny content and the sports shows in the evening obviously need the sports content. Pat Kenny’s content can vary from chats about recycling to book reviews with yer wan who used to be in Fair City. Ray Darcy loves a bit of content from the local postman who’s retiring, great stuff, get him on the phone, have a lovely chat and that’s your content sorted for at least ten minutes.
Thankfully we, the Irish people, love good content and that’s what keeps the top radio shows on their toes. We’re very critical. We know when we’re being had, and we want to be entertained. It’s us, the Irish people, who make radio in Ireland great. We love to have something to talk about with our pals. To do that, we need content. Great content. We get that from the radio. That’s what draws the listeners. That’s what makes Irish radio advertising work. From great radio content comes lots of great things.
So the next time you’re listening to the radio and they mention Garth Brooks and you roll your eyes to the skies, remember, even if you’re giving out about it, it’s something to talk about… it’s great content… and we love it!