“It’s better to regret something you have done than something you haven’t,” said the Butthole Surfers in ‘Sweat Loaf’. The punk-rock slackers are an apt reference point for the DJ formerly one half of Mark & Lard, Marc Riley, during his humble acceptance speech for an honorary degree from the University of Salford.
He can call on nearly 40 years in the industry under his new mortar board hat, including a baptism of fire playing bass guitar with The Fall for five years despite Mark E Smith’s notoriously high staff turnover. Thanks to the opportunity presented by the close proximity at MediaCityUK of BBC’s radio studios to the University of Salford media campus, Riley has been passing on his wisdom to students and has even helped to establish the online music show, All Shook Up.
Recognisable both as the voice of BBC 6 Music’s evening slot and as a face about town when supporting new bands playing gigs in the city’s most intimate venues, his advice for the next generation of music industry hopefuls was to “use the building blocks in a creative way while taking every opportunity with both hands and a tight grip.”
He added: “The moral of the tale is to do what you’re good at, but if – like me – you’re not particularly good at anything, do what you love.”