North WestRadio & PodcastsReview

After The Tone Podcast Live – HOME, Manchester

Reviewer: Jo Beggs

During lockdown in 2020, Scottee had baked just as much banana bread as a person can take, when his radio producer friend Debbie Kilbride called to see if he fancied making a podcast. The result was After The Tone, a late night virtual pub where folks get together to chat, laugh, share their stories and where Scottee and his invited guests light-heartedly solve listeners’ problems. Now in its tenth season, After The Tone, which airs on BBC i-player along with all the usual podcast platforms, has won the hearts of listeners everywhere, and is rated in the top 2% of podcasts worldwide.

For the first time, After The Tone gets a live recording. Scottee is at home at HOME, the Manchester venue where he was Associate Artist in 2018, developing his brilliantly abrasive show Class. Tonight’s entertainment couldn’t be more different. It’s a cosy love-in of a show, as Scottee plays amiable host to a room full of fans. Performance artist Harry Clayton-Wright joins him on stage for ninety minutes of confessions, revelations, tall tales and the occasional serious reflection on life.

The format is a kind of phone in, with listeners leaving voice message questions, stories and advice, prompting comment from Scottee and his guests. For this episode there’s also a bundle of ‘confessions’ from the audience written on post-it notes pre-show. The contributions prompt discussion on everything from whether you keep your eyes open while you’re having dental work to the best drag names, from the toxic atmosphere in gyms to computer facial recognition. The mood changes seamlessly from hilarity to poignant as everyday problems are given the consideration or contempt they deserve. There’s a brilliantly supportive atmosphere all round, especially when the conversation turns to mental health, body image and queer identity, subjects Scottee has shared much about in his performance over many years. While he’s in charge this is very much a safe, and empowering, space for those discussions.

The content of the conversation remains ‘BBC approved’ albeit with a ‘strong language and adult themes’ warning, although a song about unorthodox sexual practices from regular listener nana JLF, who’s travelled all the way from Edinburgh to be here, probably won’t make the final cut. Either way, it will be well worth a listen.

Reviewed on 4 February 2023

The Reviews Hub Score

warm, good-natured fun

Show More
Photo of The Reviews Hub - North West

The Reviews Hub - North West

The North West team is under the editorship of John McRoberts. The Reviews Hub was set up in 2007. Our mission is to provide the most in-depth, nationwide arts coverage online.

Related Articles

Back to top button
The Reviews Hub