Welcome to the home of the Rest is Noise, the podcast on a mission to assign a song to every concept, person, people, place or thing in the universe. We believe each and every one of them - from arsenic and Clement Attlee, to zucchini and Zorro - deserves a soundtrack. Subscribe and you can hear four music obsessives do battle for a new topic every fortnight.

Ian and Sarah gearing up for an episode...

Ian and Sarah gearing up for an episode...


TRIN referee: Martin Dickie

Weened on a diet of Chicago House, UK Garage and Enya from an early age, Martin recognised his path through music might be off course when his brothers ridiculed him for his appreciation of Cornflake Girl. At the University of Hull, where he became music editor for Hullfire Magazine, he was among a rare group to frequent indie disco Yo-Yo and house night Deja Vu, both on Friday nights at the Welly Club. This usually resulted in frustration when, because of the lengthy stairway between rooms, he'd miss Waterfall and/or Strings of Life. Two years in Japan yielded a preoccupation with Enka music before, back in London, Techno became a primary distraction. Having said that, he is still trying to flush a year's worth of Reggaeton from his system following a recent trip to South America.


Regular contestants

  • Sarah Gill: Music therapist & cellist for indie rock band Madam (Shilling Boy)

    Sarah was raised in the East Midlands in a family of musicians, but soon left behind her classical training, tempted by the glamour of the mid- to late-Nineties indie scene and the sticky floors of Nottingham’s Rock City. Since undertaking the esteemed role of the Alternative Music Society Transport Secretary at Durham University, Sarah has lent her services to various musical outfits, most currently for the darkly lyrical (and critically acclaimed) Madam (www.madamband.com) as cellist, saw-ist, tiny keyboard-ist and backing vocalist. By day she is a music therapist and by night is a regular on the London live music scene. In her spare time she can be found listening to Radio 4 or drinking through bouts of existential despair, often both at the same time. Guilty pleasures include Meatloaf and Dire Straits.


  • Hazel Sheffield: Music and business journalist (IndependentGuardianBBCVice

Hazel became a journalist at university when jiffy bags of review CDs provided welcome respite from the relentless cheese peddled by the student union. In the decade since, she has interviewed The National, Radiohead, Arcade Fire, Al Green, A$AP Rocky, Tori Amos, David Byrne, St Vincent, Phillip Glass, Laura Marling, Pharrell Williams, Chuck D, Vampire Weekend, Sleaford Mods, Moby and more, and reviewed enough gigs to seriously curtail her hearing in old age. Her favourite show was watching Arcade Fire from the Pyramid Stage for an NME Glastonbury cover story in 2015. She loves record stores and once made a documentary about the last days of legendary Greenwich Village record store Bleecker Bob's. 


  • Richard MacKichan: Music and travel journalist (Independent, Mr & Mrs Smith)


  • Paul McAllister: Former editor, sigur-ros.co.uk

Paul’s childhood bedrock of the Beatles, Neil Young, and the Motown catalogue was the grooming he needed to fall head over heels for twee-to-the-point-of-creepy indie-pop legends Belle & Sebastian in his teens. Other love affairs from this period included Oasis, Interpol, The Libertines, White Town and Joy Division/New Order (who, taken as one band, would be his all-time favourite). But it’s his love of all things Scandinavian that would be the making of Paul. Firstly, his indie connections landed him a summer at Erlend Oye’s house in Bergen. And then his Sigur Ros fansite, designed with Icelandic collaborator Björn Erlingur Flóki Björnsson, was adopted by the band as their official webpage. Much touring with Jónsi and the boys followed. Last year, the site won an award. Some of Paul’s fondest musical moments: hearing Eminem perform so loudly at the Milton Keynes Bowl that he could hear the show from his bedroom; taking his mum to see the Hidden Cameras who pranced around onstage in gimp masks; discovering that the imagined band name of ‘Wolfox’ was in fact the collaborative pseudonym of two gay rappers in Brussels; and travelling to New York to see Drake, only to discover the Canadian megastar had cancelled the show due to a damaged ankle.


  • Ian Wilkinson: DJ & geogo

From an early obsession with the Beach Boys inherited from his parents, Ian has been interested in exploring the nooks and crannies of the musical landscape ever since. After cutting his teeth in a series of 'almost but never were’ bands such as Malagola, King Kong Company and To The Boats..!, Ian retired from the music industry to focus on educating our nation's youth. In recent years, Ian has turned his attention to DJing, and has helped promote nights such as All My Friends and Go Bang!. In his head he is manning the decks and witnessing the excess at the Paradise Garage. In reality, the biggest crowd he’s played to has been at the Indietracks closing party (2014, 2016 and 2017).


  • Nathan Lee: Callipygian philosopher

Nathan was lucky enough to see some of the musical greats live at a very early age. Part of a hash-fudge dynasty that spanned the length and breadth of Glastonbury’s Green Field, Nathan was running around festivals and watching musical greats before most kids could roll a joint. At the age of eight his mum took him to see The Velvet Underground perform on the Pyramid Stage. At fourteen, he went to his first festival on his own, became a Chai Wallah for three days and returned proclaiming Maxi Jazz the greatest front man in the world. Early exposure to live music did not prevent him making formative missteps, however, such as a brief but ill-advised obsession with the Counting Crows. This eclecticism set him in good stead for an appreciation of music that shunned the narrow tribalism of his peers. That's why he didn't have any friends. Growing up in a city whose only real scenes were nu-metal, ska-punk or a brutally bad combination of the two, Nathan set himself against these trends and instead embraced the fey indie-pop of the likes of Belle & Sebastian, Prolapse and The Stooges. He set up a club night that was really just an excuse to take drugs and dance to My Bloody Valentine in a space bigger than his front-room. Although its original incarnation died, Nathan continues this DIY ethic by putting on the occasional club night like every other talentless shit-bag in London with more than 100 records. More recently Nathan has taken a keen interest in the deep cuts of Karl Marx, Emma Goldmann and Noam Chomsky, and is still struggling to reconcile the role of pop music with emancipatory and revolutionary politics. Nevertheless, he is convinced it has fuck all to do with John Lydon. 


Artwork by: Scott Mulhern

Scott is a freelance cartoonist/graphic designer from Peterborough. He has had work displayed at pop-culture exhibition, Mondes des séries télé: fans, personnages et univers imaginaires des fictions télévisuelles contemporaines, at the University of Montréal, Canada. He sells products on redbubble.com/people/scottmulhern and is currently working on his first comic book. You can view more of his work or contact him on facebook.com/ScottMulhernGraphicDesign


Theme music by: Ben Stevenson

Alongside bass duties for the Orange Vaudeville Society, Ben is a songwriter and producer.





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