A portrait of Modern Rock’s benchmark chronicler and commentator

Words by Neil Mach and Claire Lloyd

GuyB is the rock chronicler signposting a new generation of guitar music in the UK. As a patriarchal and honest observer, and a confirmatory preceptor of the rock‘n’roll renaissance, GuyB is an enthusiastic and supportive music historian, a brilliant portraitist, a concerned anthologist, and a highly resourceful commentator for what he calls ‘modern rock’ – a new chapter for rock with a forward-looking agenda, that is socially relevant to the world today rather than an dated nostalgia for rock’s past glories.

GuyB is about the stories behind the music – and his signature 60-minute interview specials marry the words and the music – putting the people, the dreams, the challenges under the spotlight in a human and engaging way.

As 2020 drew to a close, Guy’s radio work was recognised on a national level when he was shortlisted as Best Music Presenter at the National Audio Production Awards, in the company of top broadcasters from national shows – including Grammy-Award-winning country musician Brad Paisley (TBI Media); Lauren Laverne (BBC Radio 6 Music); Mark Kermode (Bauer’s Scala Radio); and Snoochie Shy (BBC Radio 1 Extra).

Sample Mash: Interviews

“Guy has shown himself to be a tastemaker in the scene. His show is loved by listeners and bands alike - and when he recommends a band, the industry sits up and takes note.”

Sky Hunter

"Guy is a radio voice for artists he believes in. His unbiased approach, unaffected by dictated playlists and stats, fuels the fire behind his impact.”

Lynne Jackaman

“Guy is the finest DJ anywhere. Mixing Monty Python/Kenny Everett style surreal humour with music, he has massive appeal to all audiences and it’s done with such a beautifully light and irreverent touch that one simply can’t fail to be won over.”

Hoss Thompson

“I've never been so into a radio show since Tommy Vance, or when Pete & Geoff used to make me laugh on my way to work.”

Regular Listener

Sample Mash: Wellbing Fest 2020

The evolution of a benchmark interview series

His much-applauded “Great Music Stories” was built-up over six years to become an essential part of the rock ‘n’ roll ecosystem with thousands of fans. October 2020 marked the 900th artist interview hour special. Adding in a further 2,000+ interview shorts, great Music Stories has become the reference-point interview archive charting the resurgence of a new rock music in Britain today through a new generation of young bands.

Since the start in 2015, GuyB’s mission & passion has been to chart and analyse the stories around the people who make the music. 

In this way, he acts as an important musical soothsayer and rock emissary. 

  • He’s comfortable with field work; he meets musicians where they live, operate and perform 
  • He tracks an artist’s story over time through key chapters of their story
  • Bands often do their first interviews with GuyB, who champions the unappreciated or less well known (he likes to tell the story of the underdog) 
  • He cultivates connections (national and international) with new and established artists and helps artists to network

The marriage of interviews and a signature radio show

For some years GuyB has used radio as a platform to share and air many of his Great Music Stories feature hours. At the beginning of lockdown in March 2020, Guy set up his own weekend radio station from ‘the rock caravan’ in a field in far flung Sussex. At a time when media across the country were closing and then home bound people needed something to brighten the day, GuyB took his interview series out on his own media platform.

In the months that followed, he gained critical recognition for a run of special interview series on brutally topical issues – the life of working musicians, the future of grassroots venues, mental health in lockdown. The summer was crowned with two full-weekend music festivals on Guy’s radio platform. The second these proved to be possibly the biggest ‘online’ grassroots festival of the summer, drawing sets from 105 UK and USA bands and a weekend audience in excess of 24,000. This period showcases two important parallel features of GuyB’s evolving work – a track record for producing benchmark feature interviews, interwoven with a radio show style and character that has attracted a cult following across the UK and abroad. GuyB’s Friday show has proof of concept in creating a rock radio show that appeals to a non-rock mainstream audience – and tellingly, around 25% of Guy’s listeners during lockdown were from beyond the UK

Sample Mash: The Spirit of Wildfire

A reputation for originality and quality

Guy B’s focus with his weekly radio show is always head-down – a focus on doing something original, immersive and engaging for next week’s broadcast. The show has attracted a significant loyal audience that tune in on the dot at 5pm every Friday. Listener engagement has always been a key aspect of the Friday show, the listeners counted as participants in shaping the flow of the show – and in doing so presenting the advantages radio can have over streaming and podcasting. For years, young bands across the country had fed back that they struggle to cope with the Twitter snowball for a week when they’re on the show.

Many listeners, artists and industry figures have come to regard the Friday show as a benchmark radio show for the genre – the show’s output punching above the platform’s relative size or resources. Within the radio industry, Great Music Stories has three times been shortlisted for best music production at national radio awards and won two regional awards. At the end of 2020, GuyB was shortlisted as best music presenter in the company of four national BBC and commercial radio shows at the prestigious UK Audio Production Awards.

Whilst more people are broadcasting now than ever before – partly a result of technology and partly a result of lockdown – GuyB’s show cuts through the white noise with a widely regarded consistency of originality and clever programming.

A taste-setter for the industry

Before broadcasting plaudits, Guy’s work has built up a track record for breaking the music others then pick up. Hundreds of singles have been premiered on GuyB’s show, many rising acts did their first radio interviews with Great Music Stories and GuyB is widely regarded for having helped really nurture and break a number of bands who have since broken into the rock mainstream.

Guy doesn’t just spin tracks – his commitment to really get behind bands and give them concerted attention over time is an important factor in helping to get bands noticed. Here the interplay of an engaging radio show with in-depth feature hour interviews combine well to give music fans the chance to really get under the skin of a band or artist.

Industry Comments

“Guy’s shows are a rare breed these days, because they give new and, in many cases, previously unheard acts a chance of exposure to an audience that both trusts his choices, and has come to expect him to unearth new talent before anyone else does. Without his help, a band like Massive Wagons would have struggled to find an outlet – Guy can take enormous credit now that they are an established Top 20 act, because he was championing them from the beginning. It’s for this reason I feel his shows are so important – they genuinely champion new and developing acts, and they genuinely make a difference for new talent looking to get heard.”

Former Head of Label, Earache Records

“Not only does Guy provide a platform for grassroots acts, he catapults them forward. The coverage from Guy’s show has helped various emerging acts get signed by bigger labels and one of them went on to achieve a Number 16 in the UK Charts. We need more people like this.”

Rock People Management

"Guy is an incredible supporter of emerging talent who works tirelessly to give artists an engaging platform to tell their story and get to the heart of what it's really like to be a musician in the digital age."

Lightning in a Bottle Management

Artist Comments

“Without wanting to appear ungrateful, there are times when a list of upcoming interviews can bring on a strong urge to run the other way. But when Guy's name is on your call sheet you tend to brighten up because you know you will be taking part in an engaging conversation that will be fun and never predictable. He's got a quick wit and an excellent sense of humour.”
Danny Vaughn
Danny Vaughn
“Sometimes the best things in life are invisible. When it comes to Great Music Stories, the radio show GuyB has produced since 2015, we don’t see Guy doing the heavy lifting behind the scenes, nor are we aware of his Herculean efforts, but the results are heard and appreciated loud and clear by our music-loving ears. Thanks, Guy, for making a visible difference to the airwaves.”
Sari Schorr
“Guy and his show have managed to help launch the careers of many bands in the emerging rock scene. His loyal listeners are rewarded with engaging, fun and interesting content - which is always fresh.”
Verity White
Verity White
"The support and love that Guy Bellamy gives to the musicians that he features on his show is currently second to none. He's one of the most supportive and enthusiastic guys we've met through our journey so far. Whoever chooses to get Guy on board is in for a real treat"
Ryders Creed
Ryders Creed
“GuyB has been shining a light on and championing the grassroots rock scene for a while now, especially women in rock, who often get forgotten from the mainstream stations. What I love when I chat to Guy is that no interview is the same, you never know what to expect, it’s always complete madness filled with humour, yet a deep love for the scene and you chat like you have known each other your whole life.”
Elles Bailey
"Guy is a radio voice for artists he believes in. His unbiased - unaffected by dictated playlists and stats - approach fuels the fire behind his impact. Over the years I have both observed and been involved with the authentic growth and organic reach of his Great Music Stories show, which has truly come into its own in 2020 when listeners have felt the need to connect more than ever. I guess you could say his listenership is like one big family. Radio needs more characters like Guy"
Lynne Jackaman
Lynne Jackaman
“GuyB is one of those unique and vital souls who nurture the growth and exposure of new bands carving their way into the vast cavernous halls of the music industry. His devotion to spreading the gospel of music to the world and bringing bands he believes should be heard by a bigger audience is a motivation and inspiration to new groups and artists getting a foothold on the hopeful rise to the top of the pyramid.”
Blurred Vision
Blurred Vision

Listener Comments

“Guy’s show is always high-octane, combining the spontaneity and insane ‘off-the-wall’ genius reminiscent of Kenny Everett with the musical insight and championing of new bands like Bob Harris or John Peel, produced and presented by Guy in his own inimitable way - catchphrases, in-jokes, and all. The pièce de résistance of Guy’s shows are the lively and slightly mischievous interviews revealing the stories behind the music and the personalities of the members of each band.”

“GuyB’s Friday night rockshow is unmissable. He's created a community - locally, nationally and internationally. His Wellbeing Festival was a truly unique experience, one that will be discussed and remembered for years to come. We all adore him.”

“Guy’s rock show has become essential listening for me as I know it has to everyone who I have met through the show. And this includes the bands who become friends too because what Guy does is get everybody involved and you feel a part of the whole experience. When he interviews them, they really respond to him and it makes for quality listening. Last but not least are the laughs, they come in bucket fulls.”

“Guy's Great Music Stories show on a Friday is genuinely the highlight of my week. I hear music and band interviews that I wouldn't hear anywhere else, the music is fantastic and the interviews are such fun. The support he gives to up and coming bands is unrivalled, he's often well ahead of others and is very well respected by bands and fans alike. The community that has built up around the show and his tireless work has turned into a real community of friends who often meet up around the country. I don't just want to listen to Guy's show every week, with the awesome music and great sense of humour, I NEED to, it makes me smile so much and should be available on prescription!”

“My drug of choice is Guy Bellamy’s Great Music Stories Rock show. It’s fair to say that it’s changed my life; not just the new material, or the truly unique interviews, but the interaction between him and the listeners. It’s unlike any other show that I have heard, and is rewarding to both the listener and the artist.”

“I've never been so into a radio show since Tommy Vance, or when Pete & Geoff used to make me laugh on my way to work. I have made many friends through the show. Guy's unique form of presenting never fails to raise a smile and most of the new bands he has introduced me to are ones I now buy tickets for. The respect that Guy earns from the bands, and in the rock industry in general, is huge. Guy's interview technique is such that bands are able to chat easily, they are always fun and informative.”

“12-months ago, I came across Guy's rock show. I started listening every Friday. What I heard blew me away. Someone so passionate about what he was playing and sharing with the listeners, the interviews, the laughs, the engagement! As a result, I started going to see these bands and I got to know these bands, some now are personal friends. Along the way I met more people that also listen to Guy’s show. I have discovered so much new music, so many new friends just because of one passionate radio DJ who loves what he does and believes in what he does and wants to share it with everyone. If that's not community I don't know what is.”

“Guy’s show is something that entered my life just over three years ago and immediately became more than just a radio broadcast - it was an unmissable part of my week from the first listen, and is more rewarding by the week. It's not just the time given to relatively unknown (to me) artists, or the outstanding interviews, but a key part is the interaction with people that I now consider "my family". Loyal, supportive, open-minded and above all passionate. Bottom line - my week is incomplete without Guy Bellamy delivering the goods."