To begin with, you can listen to BBC 6Music from outside the UK – it’s available on the BBC iPlayer. So if you love music and don’t listen to 6Music, listen up.
It’s become a bit of a running joke amongst my friends that I have taken this long to write properly about my love for this wondrous radio station. I’ve been a fan for, well, not the whole decade it’s been on air – but probably for eight or nine years. 6Music has nourished my existing music tastes – and expanded them. I didn’t think I liked 90s hip hop. Turns out I dance at my desk every time it comes on. Anyway, enough about me…
BBC6 Music is the place to be for music fans who’ve grown away from Radio 1 but who aren’t quite ready to settle into Radio 2. It’s for those, young and old, who want to listen to new music beyond the charts; and caters well for those with a niche taste who wouldn’t hear their favourites anywhere else. It was the only station in my ten-person workplace that had something for everyone.
For the initiated who are reading this out of curiosity, here’s an example of some of the songs I heard whilst cooking my dinner today (FYI, I was listening to Lauren Laverne’s show from 23/4/12):
The Avalanches – Since I Left You
Graham Coxon – What’ll It Take
Cate Le Bon – Falcon Eyed
Zulu Winter – Silver Tongue
Pavement – Summer Babe
The Cure – Love Cats
The Dandy Warhols – Everyday Should Be A Holiday
I hate to say the C-word but, well, you just can’t get Cooler than that!
Here Are My Top 6 Reasons To Love 6Music
The 6Music playlist is mostly formed of new releases from the worlds of indie, rock, folk and alt-pop. It crosses over with the playlists of Radio One and Radio Two but with a lot more focus on what’s new and exciting. My list of artists I want to check out whose songs I’ve noted from the playlists is out of control.
The Niche Shows
Beyond the playlist, you have real niche shows. Stuart Maconie’s Freak Zone is the first thing that springs to mind – a weekly show that’s been described as “the weird, the wonderful and all that’s in between”. There’s no playlist to be found on the Freak Zone. Cerys’s Sunday morning show mixes a bit of playlist with country and folk; and Craig Charles’s Funk and Soul show is the perfect Saturday soundtrack.
The Live Sessions
Everybody wants to play live on 6Music. They had Graham Coxon, Anna Calvi, Orbital, Paul Weller and Public Image Ltd – and more – in their anniversary week alone!
The presenters on 6Music are basically music royalty. You have radio legends like Steve Lamacq, Mark Radcliffe and Marc Riley (although, sadly not the latter two together – no neeeeeeed). You have regular presenting slots from rock greats like Huey Morgan, Guy Garvey and Jarvis Cocker… they even had Bob Dylan for gawd’s sake!
Video Killed the Radio Star? I think not.
Adam and Joe
Adam and Joe are presenters, but they get their own section. Because I say so, and because there’s no better radio double act. They are utterly British in their self-deprecating humour, stupid jingles and unique ability to tap into our dark secrets and make them funny.
Segments on the Adam and Joe show include such things as ‘Popropriation’ – when you find youself singing your life to the tune of a pop song, e.g. “lock the taskbar” to the tune of “Rock the Casbah”. My personal favourite was when they asked the listeners to send in their secret public pretending; like when you pretend to be an undercover policeman if you feel unsafe when walking at night – I thought it was only me that did that!
Sadly, Adam and Joe are not presenting a radio show at the moment…but, was it just me, or was there a hint of a return when they popped into the Lamacq show for the station’s birthday?
It’s A Survivor
6Music got *this* close to closing down in 2010, after apparently not having enough listeners to justify its costs. Turns out a bit of publicity was just what it needed, and the coverage of the closure threat grabbed people’s curiosity – and those people stuck around. It now has 1.44 million listeners a week. Are you one of them?