Let’s get this straight, the idea of 6music is fantastic- a whole radio station carved out in the image of the late and great John Peel, a place where diversity rules and a whole wide ranging gamut of alternative music is celebrated, or at least we though that was the idea.
Of course, no-one really expects this to be true, but it’s a wonderful notion. There are some great shows on 6music and as a sort of hip radio 2 it works fantastically.
Maybe we were mistaken to expect it to be a John Peel styled radio station. A modern version of the great Peel session would be a fantastic thing but maybe not possible.
John Peel seemed to play everything from African music to death metal, from weird noise to indie pop and his shows were adventures into sound. These days there is nothing like that on mainstream radio and alternative music has become homogonised and blandly boring. It’s become alternative in word only, why have Coldplay at number one in the readers poll when you could have U2 or Take That? When did alternative music become so sensible? like a warm old pullover or a pair of comfy slippers?
6Music still has its moments but I guess marketing means that things have to be cleaned up. With a diet of mainly indie music and certainly not of that noisy rock stuff or anything too off the wall or even a bit noisy, 6music is a hip easy listening station and does that job very well but it is not diverse or truly alternative. There is nothing wrong with that of course, it’s just that many people thought it was something else. There are some great DJs there and you do hear bits of good stuff…
Recently 6music polled its listeners to find their favourite songs and the results have been quite telling. it’s not that the bands are bad, it’s just they are all polished indie bands who in the main are not really that alternative and also, like Coldplay, had the marketing and the twitter numbers to make sure they got voted up high in the poll. There are some great things in there, who could deny Johnny Cash or feel a certain rush with Artic Monkeys or a glow of pride for British Sea Power but please don’t tell me Coldplay or the National’s polished, slick, mainstream pop dressed up in indie clothes and marketed as alternative is alternative…
The equivalent poll to this in the late seventies would have been Fleetwood mac winning best alternative band in the middle of the post punk wars…
1. Coldplay – Clocks
2. Arctic Monkeys – I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor
3. Elbow – One Day Like This
4. The National – Bloodbuzz Ohio
5. The Killers – Mr Brightside
6. The White Stripes – Seven Nation Army
7. The Flaming Lips – Do You Realize??
8. Johnny Cash – Hurt
9. British Sea Power – Remember Me
10. Radiohead – There There