Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Eclecti Avenues

Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Eclecti Avenues

Article excerpt

"Hello, hello, hello. Come in and shut the door after you; it's a little bit illegal what we're doing. Put your coat over there ... it's good to see you! Glad you could make it. Do you want a drink? Lager? You're joking, aren't you?"

So began a recent Sunday Service from Jarvis Cocker on BBC 6 Music. The riff, spoken in his low, rumbly voice, meandered between songs, eventually extending into an invitation to 6 Music's virtual tenth birthday party, "because what would a radio station be with no listeners? Kind of a bit rubbish."

Cocker's show is always a bit like this, his wayward thoughts interleaved with songs you've never heard before by bands you didn't know existed, or songs you know well, covered by bands you've never heard before, or songs you hate, turned into songs you love when covered by a band you thought no one else had ever heard of. It's like an archaeological dig, unearthing treasures at every turn.

6 Music is sometimes criticised for being this kind of station - one for the music fan of a certain age and disposition, the High Fidelity-type compulsive cataloguer and mix-tape-maker, the obsessive. Its diehard fans would like the station to delve even deeper into the weird (not content with Stuart Maconie's shows Freak Zone and Freakier Zone) and be a true "specialist" station for an audience of three. But the joy of 6 Music is that, as a casual listener, you might turn it on and find the music eclectic, verging on bonkers, but you will almost always find something intriguing and new-to you. …

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