If you’re a fan of Philly’s thriving music scene and Irish culture in general, you should be tuning in to CRAIC radio, a new program hosted by two Dubliners turned Philadelphians — Fergus “Fergie” Carey and Sean Timmons. “Craic” (pronounced “crack”) is the Gaelic word for gossip and the spirited duo fills in listeners on all that’s buzzing in Philly music and more through a distinctly Irish lens. We chat with Carey and Timmons about what to expect from the show and how Philly and Dublin are actually quite similar.
How did you two initially meet?
Sean Timmons: We actually met at somebody’s party. I can’t remember the guy’s name.
Fergus Carey: It was Michael Toner’s 40th birthday or something. He’s an Irish-American actor.
Sean: Put the two of us together and you get the whole story. That’s why we’re on the radio.
Fergus: We have a shared mind.
What was the inspiration behind the show?
Fergie: One of the inspirations for us was that my favorite radio station seems to have a lot of repeats. If you listen in the middle of the night, they’re repeating their afternoon show. I was like, “Sean, we should do a show. Play music and talk to musicians.”
Sean: We’ve known each other a long time. We both know that we like music a lot. We both came from Dublin to Philadelphia. We love it here, we love Philadelphia, but we also feel like we have an outside view of things from time to time.
What’s the format like?
Sean: We have a couple different things that we do every week. One is called “Discovery Rediscovery” and the idea is that we can take a musician who might be known in this country for maybe one song. People here might think they’re a one-hit wonder and back over in Ireland, they could have a 25-year career.
Fergie: One of those bands we featured was Madness. They have so many hits and they’re a household name but they’re basically a one-hit wonder over here. The same with The Jam and T-Rex too — we feature all of them.
Sean: We also do “Concert of Note” and have a guest that we interview. Most times, they’re live in the studio.
How does Philly compare to Dublin?
Sean: They’re actually very similar. What I noticed when I first came to Philadelphia is although it is a big city, it’s like a big city, small town. You meet the same people.
Fergie: When people say, “You live in the fifth largest city in America,” I don’t think they imagine me cycling around on my bicycle waving at everybody I see. My friend Grace Gonglewski, the actor, says: “Philadelphia is very incestuous and very pedestrian.”
Be sure to tune in to CRAIC Radio every Thursday from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on PhillyCAM’s WPPM 106.5FM. You can also listen online at: phillycam.org.