6 Reasons To Love BBC6 Music

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 Playlists
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
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?

  • Jyoti Mistry

    I love 6music. I started listening to it about a year ago thanks to Lauren Laverne (I love her!) and I think it’s an excellent radio station. I do wish though that it wasn’t a digital station because I can’t always listen to it, but I guess that’s my only qualm with it. I can only say that I wish I had started to listen to it earlier, but better late than never, right?!

  • Peter McDonald

    If Carlsberg made radio stations they would probably make 6 Music – the best radio station in the world IMO!

    Everything about it makes me happy, and because it’s so diverse it’s brilliantly accessible for anyone with alternative tastes (that’s not just alternative rock either). I think it’s the single best creative decision the BBC has done in the last 10 years. Except perhaps bringing back Dr Who… 😀

  • Lizzy Andrew

    I loved Mark and Lard, I was so happy when Radcliffe moved to 6 Music, with only Steve Lamaqc sandwiched between his show and Marc Riley’s. I would love it if they did a show together again, even just as a one-off. Having said that, Radcliffe and Maconie are pretty ace too. And Lauren Laverne played TLC earlier. How fricking awesome is that?! Plus their Glasto coverage is second to none. I was so so happy when the station was saved.

  • Kate Johnson

    Umm no mention of Mr Keavney? Surely the best rubbish breakfast show in the world – his Matt Intros have me crying with laughter every morning, which is the best way to start any day in my opinion

  • Liza Baron

    Ooh I’ve only recently become a Keaveney convert…although the earworms feature is EVIL!

  • Amber Barnes

    I am now one of them. :) Now I have another new way to find music, great. Thanks for the article. Huw Stephens is currently on the station.

  • Melissa Hess

    I absolutely love listening to BBC radio.

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