In the late 70s and early 80s there were many short wave pirates broadcasting from the UK, and one of the most popular was Empire Radio.

They first took to the air on 28th May 1978, broadcasting on 6200 kHz Short Wave, with the slogan “Serving a Free United Europe”. This was later changed to “The Voice of Alternative Broadcasting in Europe”.

Regular, monthly, broadcasts were made for nearly 3 years, and attracted a loyal audience across much of Northern Europe. DJs included Albert Hall, Mike Thomas, Rick St James and Dave Cooper. Up to 100 letters per month were received from as far afield as France, Belgium, Holland, Germany and all Scandinavian countries, in addition to the whole of the UK.

Some Empire Radio DJs also did shows on local medium wave pirates such as Radio Free Birmingham at the time, so when Empire stopped regular broadcasts they decided to start their own local stations. Mike Thomas became Keith Rogers, and set up Sounds Alternative, while Dave Cooper (along with Rick St James of Empire) established EST (Electronic Sound Transmission).

Sounds Alternative broadcast to the West Midlands on Medium Wave between 1980 and 1985, while EST broadcast to the West Midlands on FM between 1981 and 1984.

Although regular Empire Radio transmissions ceased at the end of 1980, it never quite went away and still made spasmodic broadcasts. The most recent was in 1999 – Still with the same old crew! Also, one of Empire and EST’s biggest fans set up Crystal Radio on Short wave in the mid 80s, which would also sometimes feature some of the Empire crew!

For more information about EST then why not read the full EST story as written by Dave Cooper, Albert Hall, Tim Shepherd & Nick.

Click Here to read the full EST Story

More on Sounds Alternative can be found Here

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Artwork

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Audio

Empire Radio – Dave Cooper – 30/12/7940 mins
Empire Radio – Mike Thomas – 6/4/8052 mins
Empire Radio – Dave Cooper – 28/8/8255 mins
WKAT – Test Transmission – Feb 198128 mins
EST 94.3 – Dave Cooper, Paul Matthews & Martin 13/9/8160 mins
EST 94.3 – Martin, Linda & Dave Cooper – June 198231 mins
EST 94.3 – Sally Slapcabbage – 12/6/8347 mins
EST 94.3 – Music Time – 31/7/8339 mins
EST 94.3- Dave Cooper – 2/10/837 mins
EST 94.3 – Linda, Nick & Alice In Wonderland – 12/2/8494 mins
EST 103 – Albert Hall & Sally Slapcabbage – 1 – 198462 mins
EST 103 – Albert Hall & Sally Slapcabbage – 2 – 198460 mins
EST 103 – Mike Farrall – 8/7/8450 mins
EST 103 – Kingmaster – 25/12/8447 mins
EST 103 – Mike Farrall – 25/12/8447 mins
Crystal Radio – Clips – 19841 mins
Crystal Radio – Bob Barton – Show 1 – March 198431 mins
Crystal Radio – Bob Barton – Show 2 – March 198431 mins
Crystal Radio – Bob Barton – Show 3 – May 198430 mins
Crystal Radio – Bob Barton – Show 4 – May 198428 mins
Crystal Radio – Bob Barton – Show 5 – June 198426 mins
Crystal Radio – Dave Cooper – Show 1 – June 198544 mins
Crystal Radio – Dave Cooper – Show 2 – June 198545 mins