In a typically lazy fashion for myself, I have been combining two topics in one this weekend.
In the first instance, there is the previously-mentioned impending cancellation of 1/4 of Radio 2′s Radcliffe & Maconie Show’s weekly output from four days to three. In the other, there is the BBC’s decision to completely get rid of Radio 6/6Music – a station dedicated to playing the sort of stuff that generally doesn’t get played anywhere else, and anyone who has been anywhere near Twitter of late will no doubt have seen the “Save 6Music” banners across everyone’s avatars of late.
So rather than mope at the loss of Thirsty Thursdays in the company of Mark & Stuart, I have been seeking out 6Music-based alternatives and have already come up with a couple of belters.
Freakzone is presented by Stuart Maconie early on Sunday evenings, and is a refreshing (if occasionally terrifyingly odd) alternative to Songs of Praise – anything that is completely off-kilter can be found here, and even if it’s not for everyone’s taste, it’s a joy just to know that such a show currently exists as part of the UK’s public service.
Also on Sunday is Elbow vocalist Guy Garvey’s Finest Hour, which as far as I can ascertain from merely listening to one show, is the man himself doing nothing more than playing records that he likes from his flat. And this is why it’s so good to listen to – unemcumbered by playlists, pluggers or adverts, it’s just someone being enthusiastic about the music he loves to listen to, and it’s a shame that this seems an odd concept when put alongside more popular programming.
The rest of the station could be drivel for all I know, but for now it looks to me as if the loss of these two programmes alone is enough to oppose the closure of the station. At least the campaign to keep it going is large enough to get people interested to give it a go and maybe even like it (as indeed I have done this weekend), and it’s also a thrill to see that the campaign now has an unofficial anthem by the wonderful Half Man Half Biscuit, the title of which is also the title of this post and is just the sort of thing that simply doesn’t appear on the airwaves since John Peel sadly passed on.
So the next time you see a “Save 6Music” banner, do what I did and have a listen to find out what the fuss is all about. You may well be pleasantly surprised.
EDIT: Turns out that there is a campaign underway to get Half Man Half Biscuit’s Joy Division Oven Gloves into the charts next month, in a similar vein to Rage Against the Machine’s Xmas No.1. Facebook types can mosey on over here to find out about it. And more from me about the brilliant and wonderfully funny Half Man Half Biscuit at a later date possibly.