Friday, June 29, 2007

God Save The Clientele

I wrote a belated review of a gig by The Clientele that I went to in April.

I just wanted to start using's journal space for gig reviews.

Friday, June 01, 2007

6 Mix Dumbs Down

6 Mix is a really cool slot on 6 Music, where a special guest is invited to program an entire show and is given free rein to play whatever tracks they like. I’ve discovered many new artists from the show in the past. I normally only listen if I’ve heard of the guest and think they’ll play something interesting. They’ve had sets by Jose Padilla, Lamb, Coldcut, Ladytron and loads of other interesting people. However, the last one I listened to (Richard Colburn from Belle and Sebastian) was ruined by the playing of jingles and redundant comments from the host (Asha), IN THE MIDDLE OF THE TRACKS.

I haven’t listened for a while, but the last time I did, the guest had control over the output and could decide whether to back-announce tracks one at a time, or maybe play three in a row, or even not make any comments at all (the playlist is on the web next day if something piqued your interest). Now, the guest is seemingly not allowed to talk directly to the audience at all, but is ‘interviewed’ by Asha every few tracks.

The last straw on this show was when Asha blathered on about nothing for about a minute right in the middle of Yello’s electro masterpiece “Bostich”.

I don’t have any objections in principle to track announcements, or even the odd jingle reminding me what station I’m listening to (even though that can be irritating). But they should be kept strictly near the beginning and end of tracks. On this kind of show, a particular personality and flavour is communicated through the music itself – that’s the whole point of it. It feels patronising, like they think we can’t handle some free creative output without having to have it continuously explained.

This comes on top of the axing of Radio 3’s Mixing It early this year which was another tragic episode of killing off unconventional and diverse programming. You can read a slightly sinister account of the presenters’ experience of the cancellation here.