XFM started life on 12th November 1991 as Alice’s Restaurant broadcasting on 106.4MHz, later on 107.1MHz.
Community licence awards forced XFM to move to 107.9MHz in February 1999, a frequency which unfortunately suffered from cable test-tone bleed for quite a while, resulting in the station only being able to broadcast from 6pm on weekdays – but they later became available for most of the day, not to mention 24 hours a day on their webcast which also included video – enabling you to watch as you listen!
After the infamous Black Tuesday raids in May 2003, which cleared Dublin of most of its unlicensed stations, XFM broadcast very rarely – usually at weekends. The station still broadcast online.
XFM are a quite unique station to listen to. There is no playlist and they have a presentation style and musical output you just never hear anywhere else. Listening to XFM is almost like having the presenter(s) in the room chatting with you.
When on FM they tended to make less noise than other stations…so much so, you hardly knew they were there. Somehow, that gave the station a mystical quality and as a listener you did feel part of an exclusive club.
This was the playlist on opening day November 12th 1991:
Nirvana ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’
Sheep on Drugs ‘Motorbike’
Blur (unknown and unsigned at the time) ‘Oily Water’
Fortran 5 ‘XX21’
Throwing Muses ‘Red Shoes’
The Breeders ‘Safari’ (pre release)
The Orb ‘Reefer’
Kitchens Of Distinction ‘Innocence’
Thrill Kill Kult ‘Leather Sex’
Nine Inch Nails ‘Head Like A Hole’ (Clay Remix)
EMF ‘I Believe’ (Foetus Mix)
Lush ‘Tiny Smiles’
Curve ‘Already Yours’
This Mortal Coil ‘The Jeweller’
Dead can Dance ‘Host of Seraphim’
- 107.9MHz: – April 2000 (Recording)
- 107.9MHz: – September 2002 (fmlist.org)