For the past year or so, I’ve been listening to the Distraction Pieces Podcast, by Scroobius Pip. This is part of the Distraction Pieces Network set up by Pip himself. Pip started off his media career doing spoken word at open mic nights. It was on this circuit that he met Dan Le Sac, who provided electronic beats to Pips words. This projected them both into the British Hip-Hop scene and have allowed both to carry on to bigger and better things. For Pip, this included starting his own record label, Speech Development Records, and Podcast network.
So for those that don’t know, a Podcast is essentially an episodic recorded ‘radio’ show that you subscribe to. Podcasts have been around since the mid 00’s but it’s a format that I never really took notice of until recently. You can either download or stream the Podcast from a device of your choice.
So what makes Distraction Pieces so special? To me, it’s the ‘Indie’ anything goes ethos behind Distraction Pieces. Although sponsored by Speech Development Records, the podcast relies on the sponsorship of other companies. This means that you can listen to new Podcast episodes completely free, at least once a week, with only a short advert at the start. It gives the Podcast a real independent feel. Pip uses this freedom to bring you a personal story from each guest and isn’t afraid of approaching any topic.
Second to this, are the guests. While Pip isn’t a household name, he’s made his name known on various touring circuits and has gained a lot of friends in high places. For example, his very first Distraction Pieces guest was Russell Brand. With guests from all walks of life, such as Simon Pegg, Kurt Sutter, Gail Porter, Flux Pavillion, Chris Jericho, John Bradley, Kathy Burke and many more, you’re bound to find someone you like for your first listen.
Alongside the big celebrity names, Pip isn’t scared of using Distraction Pieces to speak about the big issues. One recurring issue is mental health and the stigma surrounding it. It’s surprising just how many of the guests have suffered in one way or another at varying levels. He also discusses death and how it shouldn’t be such a taboo subject.
On top of this, there have been various specials such as with the Prince Charles Cinema, Greenpeace and even a refugees story of how they escaped their war-torn country.
However, what really makes Distraction Pieces stand out to me, is the tone. Somehow, Scroobius Pip manages to make you feel like you’re sat there with him and his guest. It sounds like two friends having a chat over a coffee. There’s something in the way that Pip makes his guests open up that draws you in.
With each episode lasting roughly an hour, it’s great for your commute to work. I even find myself listening to an episode while getting about my daily business from time to time. Before you know it, you’ll be looking through for your next episode to listen to and you’ll be just as hooked as I am!
Some of my personal favourite guests so far have been Ed Skrein (Deadpool, Game of Thrones), Carla Valentine (Mortuary Technician, Medical Museum Curator) and Howard “Mr. Nice” Marks (Welsh Drug Smuggler, Author). A real mixed bag!
As far as a starting point goes, I would suggest picking 3 episodes:
- First, go for a name you know and are fairly familiar with, you’ll probably be surprised at their story. I know I was with some of them!
- Next, go for a name you’ve heard, but don’t know much about. I’ve found some of my favourite episodes this way.
- Finally, listen to a completely random episode. Pick a guest or topic that you have no clue about. I hope that like me, you’ll find yourself suddenly get completely immersed!
You can find the Distraction Pieces Podcast online as well as via the Podcast app on iOS as well as Acast app on Android.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on the Distraction Pieces Podcast. Have you listened to any episodes? Which are your favourites? What other podcasts do you listen to and why? Hit me up on Twitter or in the comments below and let me know what you think 🙂
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