Look, you know it, we know it, and anyone with a record collection bigger than a clutch of Best-Ofs knows it; rock never died, rock never went away, and rock hasn’t ever really needed to “come back” in a meaningful way (creatively, at any rate). That doesn’t stop the inevitable cycle where every few years when a handful of bands with guitars muscle their way back into the spotlight a little bit a corresponding parade of broadsheet idiots emerge clutching newspaper columns and opinion pieces claiming “rock is back!”
However, one benefit of this resurgence in mainstream interest in all things heavy is the BBC Radio 1 giving extra attention to their excellent Rock Show. Daniel P Carter has been bumped up the schedule from his previous graveyard shift to a much bigger, better, and more high-profile 7pm-10pm slot on Sunday evenings. Do we need to tell you exactly why this is a great news? Well, yes, obviously – that’s the point of this article – but after last night’s debut 7pm show, we cobbled a short list together to encourage you to listen in on future weeks in case you weren’t already.
The Top 6 reasons why the Radio 1 Rock Show being on Sunday evenings is great:
1). True commitment to rock from Radio 1 is long overdue
Rock and metal has a somewhat disjointed relationship with “the mainstream”. On the one hand, heavy music has a long and powerful tradition of positioning itself outside of that mainstream – being “different” is a key part of our collective culture. Heck, it’s pretty damn near essential if you want to position our music as being in any way part of the counter-culture. At the same time though, heavy music fandom has often been in a perpetual huff at the lack of respect that it feels it deserves for both its longevity and consistent ongoing popularity. Well, guys and girls, the UK’s leading public sector national radio station sticking their Rock Show on immediately after the UK Top 40 chart show in one of the premier early-evening slots of the week is as good as it gets. This isn’t a token gesture; this isn’t a one-off Rock Week. BBC Radio 1 is giving our music the spotlight we say it has earned, and this is the chance our music has to really show it deserves it. Let’s not waste it.
2) Higher profile show = more cool stuff
The BBC Radio 1 Rock Show already has a strong pedigree when it comes to doing cool stuff. They’ve made better use than almost any other specialist show when it comes to recording brilliant live sessions at Maida Vale Studios (it’s no surprise that bands like Converge and Baroness gave their Maida Vale sessions commercial releases, such is their quality). The Rock Show team was integral to the curation of the various Radio 1 Rocks Week(s). They record and broadcast festival sets. They did all this when they were shunted off after the Witching Hour, and now they’ve been given a sexy new early slot. BBC Radio 1 believes in their Rock Show in a way they haven’t for years. Imagine the cool shit they will be able to do now.
3) There’s a whole extra hour of show now
However you choose to slice it, bumping the BBC Radio 1 Rock Show from two hours to three is great news. Two hours every week was simply not enough to showcase all the great heavy music – both new and classic – that is out there. Sure, we had some worries that the move to an earlier slot would precipitate a move in the general Rock Show playlist to stuff at the….lighter end of the rock scale. Yes, Gerard Way, Black Veil Brides, and Lower Than Atlantis all got played out, but then last night so Hang the Bastard, Khold, and an eleven-minute YOB song. Which brings us nicely on to….
4) No other radio show has this level of profile or diversity
BBC Radio 1 is the top of the tree as far as British national radio goes. That fact is indisputable. That makes the BBC Radio 1 Rock Show the single most important rock show in the UK, especially so now it is in a premium timeslot. That they are able to play the aforementioned Black Veil Brides and YOB in the same show is something to be celebrated. This isn’t a one-off situation; the Rock Show has been playing this kind of varied spread week-in week-out for years. By definition, as a BBC show, the Rock Show has to cater for as wide a range of “rock tastes” as it can. It can’t set its stall out in whatever quarter of rock is popular this week; it’s a show for all of us. And in case you’ve not caught up with the kind of content curation thing we’ve got going on here at Thrash Hits, we think that kind of variation is the best approach there is.
5) It’s on the iPlayer for a WHOLE WEEK after broadcast
Okay, so this isn’t a new thing at all. It was on the iPlayer when the show went out from midnight to 2am. Hell, it was super-useful that it was on the iPlayer when it was in its previous timeslot as it meant if we dozed off out of sheer exhaustion part-way through, we could catch up on what we missed the next day. But none of that takes away from the fact that if you didn’t listen in live to the show last night you can listen to it any time between now and next week’s broadcast for free (if you’re here in the UK) and that’s bloody awesome. Or if you did listen in, you can listen in again to the songs you really loved. The BBC make it even easier thanks to the Playlister App functionality they’ve got on their website – click on a track that was played on the show, and you’ll almost always be able to hear it right back again.
6) Let’s face it, staying up until 2am on a Tuesday morning was rubbish
We still resent having to get up to go work, but at least we can get to bed at a reasonable hour now.
The BBC Radio 1 Rock Show goes out live from 7pm to 10pm every Sunday night from now into the foreseeable future. Yep.