Live TV at its Best

The most recent addition to the University of Westminster’s media and arts department has been born this week. Following the branding of the award-winning student radio, Smoke Radio and the successful student run magazine, Smoke Magazine, comes a brand new television channel written, produced, presented and directed by Westminster students. You guessed it, it’s Smoke TV.

Smoke TV launched this Wednesday and Thursday with two live shows, showcasing talented bands from the Westminster student body. I was invited to watch the live recording on Thursday by the headlining band from the show, “BOY”. BOY (Battle of You) are a five piece band playing pop songs with “the message of Riot Grrl”. Band members Melody, Nic, Tim, Rob and Hernan played five songs for the new station, which broadcasted the performance live across the Harrow campus and online, including new song “Rebecca”. BOY put on an excellent show and were extremely entertaining.

The Mac Twins. Picture courtesy of

The shows were hosted by, former drama school students, “the Mac twins”. The  identical Scottish twins, Lisa and Alana Macfarlane hosted the show extremely professionally and with great charisma. The twins rolled with last-minute changes brilliantly and presented with a great quirky style.

Great  professionalism was shown from the entire station during the “open-mic” section of the show. With thirty-seconds to go before the show went live, the first singer in the open-mic show hadn’t arrived at the television studio. In a last-minute scrabble, Singer-Songwriter Ben Goold volunteered to play his song, “Keep on Singing”, despite only being a member of the audience for the show. As Ben stepped on stage he introduced himself to the presenters and crew so they could prepare a last-minute introduction. There were murmurings from the audience “what if he can’t sing?” Their questions were quickly answered as Ben confidently began playing in his acoustic/indie style. His performance was greeted by a huge round of applause and was a credit to him and the excellent improvisation and innovation of the Smoke crew.

Ben Goold playing at The Mist

Smoke TV continued to impress me with its chatty, relaxed style, that’s perfect for the student audience. The camerawork was sharp and the multi-camera studio was operated to perfection, creating a slick final product. You can watch Smoke TV content at their website or join in on their Facebook page.

BOY are playing at the Good Ship in Kilburn on Wednesday 28th September or you can hear their music on their website. Similarly, you can hear and download Ben Goold’s music on his soundcloud or on Facebook


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