Channel 93.3 Welcomes NHC
By Lindsay Longacre
I have quite the affinity for trying to meet the bands that I like. Whether it’s trying to meet them as they leave a venue after a show, paying for a preshow meet and greet, or entering contests when they come to San Diego, I do the absolute most to try and meet the bands that I like. This was the case when I found out that New Hope Club, a three-piece band hailing from the UK, was going to be doing a performance for a select few fans at the Channel 93.3 radio station this past February. They were traveling to various radio stations around the States to promote their latest single, “Let Me Down Slow,” before the release of their self-titled debut album and San Diego was set to be one of their stops.
I discovered New Hope Club during the second half of 2019 and instantly fell in love with them. It probably has to do with the fact that they have British accents, are all relatively good looking, and sing songs about love – typical boyband obsession qualities for me. Three very talented vocalists, musicians, and songwriters make up the band. Blake Richardson serves as the band’s frontman and rhythm guitarist. George Smith steps in as the band’s lead guitarists and vocalist. And finally, Reece Bibby takes on the role of bassist and vocalist. At the young ages of 20 and 21, the boys have young ladies all over the world swooning. I, myself, am a big Blake fan.
A select number of fans would be treated to lunch, an acoustic performance, be able to sit in on an interview with the station’s night DJ, Ethan Cole, and then get the opportunity to meet and take a picture with the guys. The only way that you could attend the event was either by listening and calling into Channel 93.3 or by entering through a link on the station’s website and hoping that you were chosen as a winner. Considering that I really, really, really, wanted to meet and see New Hope Club, I did everything I could to win this contest. I entered the online link every day from the moment the contest was announced until the last day to enter and I listened to the radio whenever they said to call in – I tried to call while I was at work and even went and sat in my car in my parking spot just to listen to the radio so that I knew when to call in. I only got through once when I called and ended up being the fourth caller when I needed to be the ninth. Three days before the day when New Hope Club would be at the station, they said they were no longer taking phone winners. I had accepted that I was not going to see and meet the band. But then I won!
A day before the event, my friend Kiki texted me and asked if I was going to see the band. I told her no, that they didn’t pick me when I called the station. At that moment, I decided to check my email just in case I had won through the link on the station’s website, and what do you know, there was an email from the station. I was going to meet Blake, Reece, and George. If Kiki hadn’t texted me and asked me if I was going, I might not have seen the email and missed the event all together because I already thought that I hadn’t won.
About 15 of us showed up at the station the afternoon of February 6th to meet New Hope Club. When we arrived, they gave us lunch and had each one of us write down a question for the band because they were going to choose a couple to ask during the station’s interview. We could hear the guys soundchecking while we were eating, and everyone was anxious to go inside the lounge. Once we were allowed in and took our seats Ethan came out and introduced the boys. They came out, took their seats, grabbed their guitars, and began playing for us.
They started with their song, “Permission,” did a cover of “She Loves You” by The Beatles, and then finished their performance with, “Let Me Down Slow.” Ethan then talked to them about their new album that was set to come out on Valentine’s Day, how their journey has been from starting the band, living together, and touring places all around the world without even having an album out, and what fans could expect to happen after the release of the album. There was even a fan question regarding tacos, considering that we were in San Diego. You can watch the whole interview with Ethan here.
After the interview with the station, the moment that most of us fans were waiting for came – the time when we would get to meet and take a photo with the guys. We all lined up and awaited our turn to get to talk to Blake, Reece, and George. Because I would say that Blake is my favorite, but I really do love them all, I knew that I needed to stand by him for the photo. When it was my turn, I hugged and said hi to Reece, then hugged and said hi to George, and finally melted and swooned when Blake hugged me and asked if I enjoyed their performance and said he was glad I could make it. I know that he probably said the same thing to everyone at that meet and greet, but I pretended it was just for me. I smiled at him as we pulled away from our hug and told him I was so glad to be there as well and that their performance was great. I stood between Blake and George for the photo and it still remains to be one of my favorite photos I have with a band I’ve had the opportunity to meet.
I tend to tell everyone that I never win anything, but this is the second time I’ve won a contest from Channel 93.3 [the first time was to attend a secret Jonas Brothers performance when they first announced that they were a band again], so I guess I should stop saying that. I’ve come to learn that sometimes if you really want to attend something, go those extra lengths to try and win the contest. I’ll definitely continue to sit in my car to call into radio stations to win contests, even if I have nowhere that I need to go.