The boss of Radio One George Ergatoudis, has declared that rock music is back – odd since it has been huge for years without any help at al from the BBC. They may not have played rock, or metal or  heavier indie music but the form has been consistently selling out huge stadiums with Radio one and six both being full of Fear Of Rock and declaring the music ‘too raw’
George has suddenly noticed the music is actually pretty big and tweeted…
“At @BBCR1 our music research has been showing amazing results for rock in recent weeks @royalblooduk @LTAmusic @youmeatsix @MalloryKnoxband”. 

Gee, thanks George….it took market research, whatever that is, to tell you what anyone who goes to gigs already knows…next step is maybe play the music on daytime, maybe the TV could follow and Jools Holland can plonk his piano along to black metal…

 

5 COMMENTS

  1. The ‘retreat from rock’ has been a curious phenomenon in the media for a few years now – and the BBC has been one of the key drivers.

    Little by little, rock music in all its forms is being withdrawn from the BBC’s music output. Specialist rock shows have been junked (Bruce Dickinson’s Friday Rock Show on 6 Music was canned in 2010; the Radio 1 Punk Show was axed earlier this year). Aside from occasional appearances by acceptably safe indie guitar merchants like the Arctic Monkeys, playlists tend to be rock-free zones. Even non-playlist shows are now biased away from rock – particularly *new* rock.

    You’ll hear vintage tracks by the likes of the Ramones or X-Ray Spex quite frequently on 6 Music, but you’ll hardly ever hear contemporary artists working in the same musical area. If anything, there’s a bias towards MOR-folkie stuff – it’s interesting how many of the artists that are invited in for live sessions on 6 Music shows tend to be winsome acoustic acts, while bands that plug in and make a racket rarely seem to get a session.

    You’d think that Louise Distras would be a shoo-in for a Marc Riley session – I mean, she’s acoustic and all – but it hasn’t happened yet and probably never will. Unless Louise tones things down a bit and comes up with some gentle ballads, in which case she’d probably pass the 6 Music Don’t Frighten The Horses Test.

    Occasionally, the BBC’s policy of retreating from rock lands the corporation in an awkward position – as happened this year, when Metallica were brought in aslast-minute Glastonbury headliners.. The BBC was suddenly obliged to give an unashamed, loud-as-fuck rock band extensive coverage – which did rather point up the uncomfortable fact that loud rock bands normally get next to no coverage at all. Metallica, of course, went down very well with the Glastonbury crowd, and with the BBC’s viewers and listeners – proof, if proof were needed, that big noisy rock bands can easily appeal to non-specialist audiences. So why not include a healthy dose of rock in the BBC’s overall music output? People actually *like* this stuff!

    The ideal situation, I suppose, would be for the BBC to run a selection of specialist shows which between them cover the rock waterfront, and dig deep into their particular musical areas. Then, include selected rock tracks on the playlists and in general music output (sessions, etc) as a matter of course. That’s not a radical proposal – the BBC operated in just that manner for years. Artists from Siouxsie to Saxon started out as new acts played by specialist presenters like John Peel and Tommy Vance, then tricked down to more mainstream shows, ended up on the daytime playlists, and in the charts.

    But that’s exactly the policy the BBC has decided *not* to follow nowadays. Specialist shows are being killed off; overall music output is being blanded-out. If artists like Siouxsie or Saxon emerged today, they’d probably get no coverage from the BBC. Those doors have been quite deliberately closed.

    All this has happened without anyone from the BBC explaining the thinking behind the policy – or even acknowledging that it’s going on. The sudden pro-rock conversion of George Ergatoudis rings very false, given that his remarks come a a time when, in general, the BBC is busily ushering rock out of the back door.

    My guess is that he’s just blowing smoke. A few pro-rock statements designed to cover up the overall retreat from rock might fool the media – I fully expect to see a few headlines along the lines of ‘ROCK IS BACK!’ any minute now. But rock never went away – the BBC just decided to retreat from it. And the retreat continues…

    • No wonder…I rather isten to ramones and XRaySpex than to any identy-lewss zeros mimicking them. Nothing has changed in rock in 30-40 years…. it’s just boring 9few exceptions of course)

  2. 6 are pushing Royal Blood who sound like any number of hard rock bands who’ve been around over the past few years but happen to have hipster beards and wear snapback caps. As a station they try too hard not to offend the sensibilities of the coffee shop crowd. They shelved the 2 hour rock show but with Craig Charles and Huey have 5 hours playing clasdic soul and funk. I get that on my local commercial radio station.

  3. 6 should be renamed Folk FM!! It’s appalling now compared with when it first started.They dismiss all new rock, metal, punk, reggae, yet they will happily play old stuff that won’t shock it’s middle England listeners.
    Keeveney interviewed Slash on his show recently, I mean when have they ever played any Velvet revolver, Guns and Roses etc. Radcliff also interviewed Biff Byford of Saxon a couple of years ago. Same again when do they play Saxon. Think they had him on just to take the piss.
    When Killing Joke released the Absolute Dissent LP in 2010 I contacted 6 to ask them to start playing it. I mean it’s the original line up back and releasing a phenomenal new album. I got a reply back after 2 weeks!! asking what track I want playing and on which show. I just thought Oh F++K OFF/.What’s the point.

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