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Punk isn't dead and it's alive and well in Mile Cross

PUBLISHED: 22:11 07 May 2019 | UPDATED: 22:11 07 May 2019

Mark Blenkiron fell in love with punk music as a teenager, now he runs an online radio station dedicated to the genre from his garden shed in Norwich. Picture: Neil Didsbury

Mark Blenkiron fell in love with punk music as a teenager, now he runs an online radio station dedicated to the genre from his garden shed in Norwich. Picture: Neil Didsbury

Archant

You may not know it but from a garden shed in Norwich, an independent radio station is keeping punk music alive for thousands of fans 24-hours a day.

Mark Blenkiron fell in love with punk music as a teenager, now he runs an online radio station dedicated to the genre from his garden shed in Norwich. Picture: Neil DidsburyMark Blenkiron fell in love with punk music as a teenager, now he runs an online radio station dedicated to the genre from his garden shed in Norwich. Picture: Neil Didsbury

Set up by Mark Blenkiron -also known as Marco Blank- in 2014, Rebel Radio UK broadcasts a mixture of punk, new wave and alternative rock to fans across the world via mix cloud and its web site, Rebel-Radio.uk.

A life-long music fan, the 55-year-old first came across punk when he was a teenager and has never looked back.

He said: "I was 13 in 1976 when the Sex Pistols came onto the scene, when I heard them I spent everything I had on their records.

"Punk is as vibrant now as it's ever been, I still go to several gigs a week, he said.

Mark Blenkiron from Norwich broadcasts live punk radio shows from his garden shed studio in Mile Cross.
Picture: Neil DidsburyMark Blenkiron from Norwich broadcasts live punk radio shows from his garden shed studio in Mile Cross. Picture: Neil Didsbury

Taking a job at Tower Records, a vinyl and music store in Piccadilly Circus, London in his early 20s, Mr Blenkiron continued to foster his love of music while doing a job which allowed him to meet some of the most famous artists of the day.

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He said: "I had a fantastic time at Tower Records, I met lots of famous musicians, for example Nick Cave and Prince, I made sure they were all looked after when they came to sign records."

Leaving Tower Records after seven years to set up his own merchandise company, a business he still runs today, Mr Blenkiron moved to Norwich in 2009.

He said: "I used to DJ in a couple of places in London and I had a bit more spare time when I moved to Norwich.

"One of my friends from Brighton has a radio show, and I listened to one of his shows, it's quite a simple thing to start up," he said.

Recording a three-hour show as often as he can from his garden shed, which was "quite simple" to transform into a radio studio Mr Blenkiron said he enjoyed recording the shows and regularly receives thousands of listeners.

He said: "It's kind of personal but when you get a show that just flows that's good, it's not just playing one song and then another.

"My particular skill is making a three-hour show just flows from hard punk to psychedelic to rock," he said.

Still regularly performing DJ sets at various venues around the country, Mr Blenkiron also recently helped BBC television presenter and naturalist Chris Packham to perform his first live DJ set at Undercover Festival, a punk and alternative music festival held in London in April.

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