Good cover choice for 6 Music

A few years ago, I encountered Jo Good hosting a report from some summer festival or other on one of the MTV channels. Her clear passion for the music combined with an intelligent and, most enjoyably, surreal sense of humour left its mark on me and I duly noted the name and resolved to keep an eye and ear out for her in the future. Her barely disguised ridiculing of some of the cheesier soft-porn offerings found in the dance music countdown, The Galaxy Chart, which it turned out she also hosted, was a refreshing alternative from the customary ‘that was… this is…. aren’t they both amazing?’ style of MTV presenting.

jp jo 6music

Some time later, Good turned up at Xfm, having previously been networked around numerous commercial stations doing a live music programme sponsored by one of the big mobile phone companies. This struck me as a remarkably good fit, although her stint there didn’t last all that long in the end. As the playlist got ever more strict and depressingly predictable, it seemed that Xfm was determined to dispatch, or drive out, most of the decent on air talent and Jo’s show was shown the door.

Last year, she then popped up on her ‘local’ commercial station, Key 103, doing weekend lates, playing NOW albums on shuffle. But then, in a stroke of genius, the 6 Music chiefs opted to use Jo for some cover on the station and a perfect match was uncovered. With sufficient musical freedom to influence and shape the sound of the programmes and a core playlist of splendid stuff, it meant that you weren’t only listening for the bits between the songs. Whereas many DJs are criticised for not caring about the music or for not communicating honestly with their audience, Jo sounds like an intelligent, articulate, fanatical consumer of music who is simply speaking to like minded people and loving every second of it. Her approach to her shows on 6 Music so far has been hugely endearing, her genuine love of the station and its audience so audibly clear for all listening. She’s back on the station from tomorrow (Sunday 14th March) for six days solid, 10am-1pm, firstly filling the slot freshly vacated by Jon Richardson and then as part of a week of cover for Lauren Laverne. I suspect she’ll do the remaining couple of Sundays before Cerys starts in April, but I don’t know for certain. In light of recent news about the station, it seems a little odd to describe Jo Good as a rising star at 6 Music, but the controllers would do well to ensure that we get to hear more of her in the future. If you can have a listen at some point this week, I really recommend you give her show a go. Last time she was on, Jo caused me to buy the Beyond The Wizard’s Sleeve remix of Midlake’s ‘Roscoe’ and an album by Margo Guryan, entitled Take A Picture’ and both are well worth a listen. In that sense, she fits in perfectly with the culture of the very best shows on 6 Music – Gideon Coe, Steve Lamacq, Marc Riley, the Freak Zone – in that she’s a trustworthy voice in the wilderness of discovering music that’s new to you. Exactly what the BBC should do, no?

If you would like to be outraged, turn to page 4

What an odd week it’s been. On Wednesday afternoon, I was sitting in Dublin airport, a sizeable snowstorm visible through every window, sipping what was alleged to be tea and flanked on all sides by the moral outrage of the British press. The TV in the hotel had Sky News, so I’d caught moments of the scandal as it unfolded by, even now, I can’t quite believe how it was escalated so quickly by the delightful, intelligent and well-rounded individuals who work for the Mail.

If  I might just, briefly, focus on the point that I believe to be key to the whole situation. Prior to the papers getting hold of the story, there had been five complaints, and only two had come immediately after the show had aired. Now, it’s also worth stating that what Brand and Ross got up to in that particular programme should not have been broadcast. But, I think it says a great deal about what that show must have been like that such content only provoked two complaints from its actual listeners. Thus, the people tuning in for that particular programme were, almost entirely, untroubled by that incident and felt it was in keeping with what Saturday night on Radio 2 offered.

I could spend several days writing about the people who are willing to be engineered into moral outrage by the very people who claim to want to protect our delicate little minds from such filth, but I’ll try and keep it brief. If what was said was humiliating for Andrew Sachs‘ granddaughter, then why on earth did the Mail decide to take something that had only been heard by a little under half a million Radio 2 listeners and reprint it for the benefit of the masses?

That Russell Brand, he’s outrageous. The things he says aren’t fit for the good people of Britain to hear. Why not read them instead?

It’s typical Mail reportage.

So-and-so went to a film premiere last night looking really slutty. Here’s a fucking huge picture of her so that you can examine exactly how slutty she looked. Hands on the table at all times, please.

As someone who struggles with the notion that God guides us all through our daily lives, I’m tempted to try and organise 10,000 complaints about Songs Of Praise. I find it offensive to my beliefs and, although I’ve never seen it, they sing songs about God and bang on about him being a redeemer and stuff. Honest, I read it in the paper. Then again, I could engage my brain for, ooh, maybe five seconds, and realise that this programme isn’t for me. That’s why I haven’t watched it and it’s why it hasn’t actually offended me. There, that was a really unnecessary crisis averted, wasn’t it?

On Thursday night, Newsnight gave over the first thirty minutes of the show to this story. Thirty minutes! Still, it’s not like a super-power is about to appoint a new President or anything, is it? Emily Maitlis appeared to want to leave Mark Thompson as close to death as her sense of humanity allowed during her interview and actually bothered to quote a fairly typical Frankie Boyle crack from Mock The Week at him twice, in the hope that he would condemn that and give the hacks something else to find some fake ire over.

I know that this blog is essentially about music, but I get a lot of my musical info and awareness from some of the BBC’s outstanding broadcasting. The Beeb means a lot to me and the access I have to it is something I cherish. The thought that this story will lead to an even more timid BBC than we already have, post-phone-in scandal, genuinely troubles me. Not as much as Fox News does, mind you.