I really really hate 6Music. I am forced to listen to it in the office all day. Every day.
What’s also very annoying is that quite a lot of people I know like it. When I was at GCap the first thing I used to look at when the RAJAR‘s came out was to see whether Planet Rock was still beating 6Music. Generally it did, and that made me happy. It wasn’t as if I really liked Planet Rock that much either. It just pleased me that more people listened to a significantly less well funded station. Now, I know that’s not very nice. It’s just the way I felt.
It would be easier to hold my moral high ground if 6Music hadn’t got any better since it started. But annoyingly it has. When it first started generally every link would sound like this: “here’s a B side from [an unknown] single from an amazing [unknown] artist. Only twelve copies were pressed and I own eight of them”. This would be at 11 o’clock in the morning. Even through my winge-tinted spectacles it’s obviously better now and at least has some stationality and music flow. It does, however, reak of being white and middle class.
Case in point, they just played House of Pain, Jump Around. It’s a brilliant song. A great one to dance into a nightclub to, and go ‘woo’ when those opening chords hit. A song that brings back memories, is passionate, revolutionary. But it was just played in a segue. I don’t doubt that the jocks have passion for the music, indeed House of Pain was played by Steve Lamaq, but it’s just executed in the same way that a muso would flick through some albums in a record shop, find one he liked and then nod his head and smile. It just makes it seem part of an all-knowing club that i’m not a part of.
The exellent thing about digital radio is that there’s choice and I think it’s good that there’s a station that I don’t like and other people do. I just think the danger with 6 is that it’s going to appeal to a hardcore white, middle-classed audience and never grow its audience that much further. If it’s the BBC station between Radio 1 and Radio 2, the one that celebrates ‘music’, it needs to move away from its obsession with indie-gold and embrace, Radio 3 style a true cross-section of popular music*.
*yes, yes, specialist shows exist but daytime should be the true incarnation of great music from the last 30 years.