By Sophie Sadler
Former bar owner and DJ, Craig Lee Timmis was all set to start a commercial radio station when the Coronavirus forced everyone into lockdown.
He adapted his plans to create a community life-line that is going from strength to strength. Craig has lived in the Algarve for just under 20-years and was the previous owner of bar Havana and the Kula bar in Carvoeiro.
He was a club DJ in the late 90s for 7 years, “I would play anything from ´70s funk through to hard house, rock and Indie. I played house music on vinyl, we didn´t have computers back in the day.” He spent 3 years as a presenter on Malibu surf FM, which was set up in Newquay in Cornwall by a newspaper company. “I presented a Rock Show in the evenings and the Indie show, it eventually became Atlantic FM and was then sold on to a global company.”
After retiring as a bar owner, he dreamt of starting a walk-in interactive station for locals, tourists and local businesses.
“I originally came up with the idea as a commercial venture and the launch date was going to be the week of the Black and White Party, as there is a large crowd and it would have been a good time to publicise the radio station.”
But for now, because of lockdown and the cancellation of the Black and White Party, Craig is broadcasting from home to give the English-speaking population of Carvoeiro some much-needed interaction with each other.
“I’m looking for listener’s input, to do their own shout outs, as at the moment as I think it would be nice for family members to hear each other’s voices over the airways. The response has been great my phone never stops pinging, the emails come in and people or using the station. I have a few friends who own businesses in Carvoeiro and I run their adverts free of charge as I know it’s going to be very tough for the businesses once this is over.”
This is not a pirate station, Craig has his PRS licences in place and doesn´t need an FM licence as it is not broadcast on a frequency.
If you are bored and fancy yourself as a DJ, he is also looking for volunteers to send a 2-hour show or podcasts. DJ Rider has jumped on board and sends Craig his brilliant 2-hour Friday night 9 Rock show for which he is very grateful. Craig also wishes to thank Dean Moore who is also helping Craig fill the airwaves with great tunes.
“As soon as lockdown is lifted I will be looking at premises in the town centre to see if I can boost spirits and hopefully make a small business, but for now it is running purely for the people at no cost to anybody and I think the music is quality.”
Craig´s dream after lockdown is a walk-in station in the heart of Carvoeiro so it can be about the community and he will even invite tourists to walk in and say what they love about the area. Craig would also encourage other businesses to send in recordings to promote themselves when they re-open.
So which tunes are getting Craig through social isolation? “It’s hard to say any particular songs, but I do like Jamiroquai, Chemical Brothers, Pulp and the Foo Fighters.”
To connect to the radio simply go to www.carvoeiroradio.com and click on Play.