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Robin Ince on radio – never mind the bollocks, here’s BBC 6 Music

Robin Ince turns on BBC 6 Music to drown out the sound of the world falling apart. Idles, Ibeyi and Hinds are just a few of his new favourite bands…

The BBC news and current affairs department continues to confound me. The strange decisions on the stories it promotes and the people it is addicted to giving airtime to, such as the TaxPayers’ Alliance and Ann Coulter, will make conspiracy theorists of us all before long. Each morning, I depress myself by turning on social media too soon and observe the usual trending outrage about The Today Programme and the mollycoddling of some lickspittle promoting chaos capitalism under the guise of the will of the people. To save the few remaining tendrils of my sanity, I take advice from Derek Jarman’s punk film Jubilee: “As long as the music is loud enough, we won’t hear the world falling apart” and listen to Shaun Keaveny on BBC 6 Music instead.

Keaveny has an eccentric, bleary-eyed naturalism, no excessive joie de vivre and snap, crackle and pop of breakfast bonhomie, something far more engaging than that. It doesn’t feel like a performance, but someone rubbing out the sleep dust from their eyes and noticing they still have a few pork scratching granules in the corner, having stayed out for just one pint too many on a work day. His interviews are unpredictable and interested, the music never too predictable. The 6 Music A and B playlist currently includes Anna Calvi, David Byrne, Orbital, Slaves and Young Fathers. I am relieved that the BBC didn’t garrotte this station, perhaps they were merely testing us as Heinz do when they threaten the public with the demise of Salad Cream or sandwich filling, a test of our loyalty and desire. Even in my late forties, it feels good to pogo every now and again, even if the ability to conquer gravity and leave the ground gets more troublesome with each outing.

Even in my late forties, it feels good to pogo every now and again, even if the ability to conquer gravity and leave the ground gets more troublesome with each outing

My favourite song on the A list is Danny Nedelko by Idles. Only a few days ago, they had passed me by, but fortunately I was led to the BBC tent by Stewart Lee who insisted I was into the sort of treat we first experienced when hearing hardcore punk bands like Agnostic Front on John Peel when we were young and malleable. He was not wrong. We grinned liked fools at the chutzpah of Idles, a chutzpah which is backed up by lyrics which have been described as “shattering complacency”.

Stewart described it as “Snowflake Oi”, the raucous sound of people who will not take it any more and are not afraid to wear their angry cries for change and tolerance on their inky sleeve.

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Latitude’s BBC Tent had much that had and will be playlisted by 6 Music. The twin sisters of Ibeyi have been a revelation to me before, somehow they were a revelation again. Their riposte to Trump’s “Grab ’em by…” is the song No Man is Big Enough for my Arms, which includes a sample of Michelle Obama saying that you can judge a society by the way it treats its women and girls. Nothing I saw or heard was passive, it was there to vitalise, whether the splendid guitar pop of Hinds or the vague Lynchian ghostliness of The Breeders. In a smaller tent, I saw Grace Petrie sing her enchanting songs of rebellion and comradeship. It’s time she was on the 6 Music playlist too.

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