Rock and Metal Radio Stations in the UK

Whether you’re looking for some rock anthems to help make the commute to work a little less awful, or if you fancy a head-banging session after a tough day, there are plenty of radio stations to give you your rock or metal fix! Here are some of the best ones available in the UK on FM, DAB, online or on your TV.

Absolute Classic Rock

Website: absoluteradio.co.uk/classic-rock

This radio station is part of the Absolute Radio tribe and would be a great choice for people who commute a lot. Playing classic rock from a variety of decades, you’ll be singing along in no time at all.

The station first debuted on DAB digital radio across London in 2000 with the name Virgin Radio Classic Rock, but was rebranded as Absolute Classic Rock in September of 2008. It was an internet-only radio station before launching on DAB, but now you can listen on a multitude of devices anywhere you please.

Absolute Classic Rock has spread out from its original London boundaries, taking over Gold (a Global Radio-owned station) in the North of England and then even further to areas of Wales.

Absolute Classic Rock has previously hosted many DJ’s including the likes of Alice Cooper, Richard Skinner and Tommy Vance. Now, you can tune into Dave Berry’s breakfast show, Frank Skinner hilarious chats on a Saturday and many other presenters bringing you classic rock from the 60s-90s right up to the present day.

How to listen:

  • DAB – 11B (Greater London)
  • Sky – 203
  • Virgin Media – 952
  • Smart TV
  • Apple TV
  • Xbox 360
  • Online: Website, TuneIn, app

 

BBC Radio 1

Website:bbc.co.uk/radio1

One of the most-listened-to radio stations in the country, Radio 1 has been broadcasting on FM radio since 1967 but only started 24-hour broadcasting in 1991. Their general daily music ranges from pop to rock to hip hop, with genre specific shows available to listen to after 7pm.

For rock and metal, you’ll probably want to tune into Huw Stephens, who plays music from new and alternative artists from 11pm (Mon-Fri). Annie Mac often plays indie and a bit of rock too, so she might be a good choice to listen to from 7pm (Mon-Fri). On a Sunday, make sure to turn on the radio to listen to the Rock Show with Daniel P Carter at 7pm, for a mix of rock, metal, indie and more.

Radio 1 can be listened to wherever you are in the UK on FM, DAB, online or on your TV. You can also listen again to programmes on the Radio 1 website (just in case you miss your favourite show).

How to listen:

  • FM – 97.7-99.7 (UK) 97.1 (Jersey)
  • DAB – 12B (National)
  • Freeview – 700
  • Freesat – 700
  • Sky – 101
  • Virgin Media – 901 (907 in Ireland)
  • Online – Website, TuneIn, app

 

Kerrang! Radio

Website: planetradio.co.uk/kerrang

If you’re after all-day rock, then Kerrang should suit your ears nicely. Owned by Bauer Radio, Kerrang is available across the UK via Freeview and on other online platforms. This rock radio station was once broadcast on FM across the Midlands (2004 until 2013) but has now stopped to make way for Planet Rock. It was also broadcast on DAB for a while, but this ended in May 2018.

With presenters like Johnny Doom, Loz Guest and Alex Baker, you can listen to a plethora of rock sounds – punk, metal, death metal, nu-metal, screamo, emo, alt rock, glam rock… the list goes on. If you like your music on the heavier side, then definitely listen later in the day!

How to listen:

 

Planet Rock

Website: planetrock.com

Planet Rock first hit the airwaves in 1999 and was threatened with closure in 2008, unless someone bought it out. It was purchased and remained on air uninterrupted until it was sold again in 2013 to Bauer Radio. Planet Rock took Kerrang!’s space on FM in Birmingham and became available on DAB in 2016, though the service is limited to certain areas of the UK.

The clue is in the name with Planet Rock – you can expect tunes from all of the genres which fall into rock, with DJs such as Alice Cooper, The Hairy Bikers and Joe Elliott (of Def Leppard).  Many of Planet Rock’s presenters are members of some of the best rock bands in history, so they know their stuff when it comes to rock and metal music!

If you’re a lover of those epic songs which are just that bit too long for normal airing times, then tune in to Mark Jeeves – playing some of the longer tracks of the rock scene on a Sunday from 8pm.

How to listen:

  • FM – 105.2 (Locally in Birmingham)
  • DAB – (Limited/no service in certain areas of the UK)
  • Online – Website, TuneIn, app

 

Radio X

Website: radiox.co.uk

This rock radio station is a little similar to Absolute Classic Rock, playing music from across the genres, only you will also hear some of the best new tracks on Radio X too. Starting life as Xfm in 1992 and acquired by Capital (now part of Global Radio) in 1998, it was only in 2015 that Radio X became the new branding for this station.

Previous presenters of Radio X (Xfm) have included Zoë Ball, Zane Lowe, Russell Brand, Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant. Currently you can tune into Chris Moyles, and John Kennedy amongst others and listen to a mix of indie, rock and popular music.

If you like hearing independent musicians and plenty of classic tunes, then this will be the station for you. If you like your metal a little more, then maybe Kerrang would be better suited.

How to listen:

  • FM – 104.9 (London) 97.7 (Manchester)
  • DAB – 11D (England/Wales/N.Ireland)
  • Freesat – 723
  • Sky – 113
  • Virgin Media – 960 (923 in Ireland)
  • Talk Talk TV – 621
  • Online – Website, TuneIn, app

 

The Arrow

Website: thearrow.co.uk

The Arrow is owned and run by Global Radio, with sister stations including Capital, Classic FM and Smooth Radio. This station is dedicated to playing classic and contemporary rock music and has been doing so since 2008, but has more recently been limited to online streaming and DAB in Greater London.

This station plays a non-stop stream of music, with relatively few advertising interruptions and no presenters or DJs, so if you’re not a big fan of chatter and just want the songs, The Arrow would be well suited to you.

Streaming online is an easy way to listen if the station isn’t available on DAB in your area. Their website is very basic… in fact it consists of a single page, so finding the link to listen is as simple as possible. Expect a mix of old school rock classics and more recent favourites – everything from The Rolling Stones to The Killers and all that’s in between!

How to listen:

 

TotalRock

Website: totalrock.com

Rock and metal music all day, every day – TotalRock is an independent radio station based in London, founded by Tommy Vance in 1997 as Rock Radio Network and changed to its current name in 2000. This name was changed again in 2012 to Bloodstock Radio and then back to TotalRock in 2014… and this isn’t the only journey this radio station has made.  Currently HQ-less, TotalRock broadcasts remotely from a variety of destinations with a whole host of DJs taking charge of different shows throughout the week. Presenters include Malcolm Dome, Dom Lawson and many, many others.

With a mix of old and new rock and metal, this radio station is perfect for the rockers of the UK (and the world – available to listen live online)! TotalRock also have a YouTube channel showcasing live music and interviews with musicians within the rock and metal scene.

How to listen:

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