Thursday, November 15, 2007

Lamb to the slaughter

Bad news for all music lovers, I'm afraid. The excellent and entertaining Gideon Coe has been shunted from his daytime slot on BBC 6Music to make way for the appalling George Lamb. Sadly, Lamb is not the Eton-educated son of a viscount (this would at least give him some interesting stories to share rather than inane chatter). Instead, like so many of the BBC's presenters, he seems to have been chosen not for his aptitude or radio-presenting skills, much less his knowledge of or enthusiasm for music. No, like Stephen Merchant and Dermot O'Leary (and I can't fathom the appeal of either of these), he seems to have risen to his position solely on the basis of his telly work. Not that being good at one thing necessarily precludes you from being good at another; at 6Music Don Letts, Guy Garvey of Elbow, Craig Charles (Pebble Mill poet, crack cocaine enthusiast and Coronation Street cabbie) and even Sir Bruce Dickinson of Iron Miaden all preside over excellent shows because of their genuine enthusiasm for the music they play, and all of them more than make up for their lack of radio background.

Now I was prepared to give George Lamb (of whose existence I was unaware heretofore) the benefit of the doubt after he was parachuted into the ten o'clock graveyard slot on the station (the one now occupied by Coe). And like most occupants of the slot, he was instructed to play a mixture of old sessions, live appearances, old BBC In Concerts etc. I mean, how hard can that be? But I almost threw my DAB radio at the wall when he mangled the name of The Rezillos in his first week, before sniggering dismissively and admitting to his producer that he'd never heard of them (and from what I could infer, his producer hadn't heard of The Rezillos either). A similar incident happened the next time I listened, and Lamb cheerily admitted ignorance of Boo Hewerdine, whose recorded work was due to be featured later in the show. Now some may say George Lamb's unprofessionalism is refreshing, and that it breaks down the barriers between DJ and audience, that it's the antithesis of the slick Smashey and Nicey era. Well maybe.


Roo said...

I think your being a bit too lenient in your criticism! He really is annoying, it's not just his knowledge of music that is sparse, he doesn't really seem to know much at all! His presentation skills are stumbling and inept, both on Radio & TV. He's been put forward as Worst DJ Ever and there's currently a poll on whether George Lamb is any good here, which the fans of his seem to be winning on!

Aloysius Munn said...

An exchange on BBC6Music about a month ago:

DJ 1: This next song is The Smiths with Ba...Ba..Bar..Barb..Bar...Barbarianism Begins At Home

DJ 2: It's [italics] Barbarism.

DJ 1: What's 'barbarism'?

DJ 2: I dunno, but it's a great track from their second album, which I'm massively into, entitled "Hateful of Hollows"

Can you imagine the Moz faithful's reaction to that shite intro? Priceless. I had to laugh though - for me The Smiths and the Pixies were the antithesis of good music.

irkthepurists said...

Cut-and-paste gremlins (or, more likely, my own technological ineptitude), meant that my George Lamb post was cut short, as some of you have surmised; it did end rather abruptly. There was supposed to be a final paragraph, which is now lost in the innards of my PC, but yes, as Roo pointed out, I wasn't being nearly vituperative enough, and the final paragraph would have made some more general points about DJs being hired for their TV profile, before comparing Lamb to Vernon Kaye. I bet you're sorry you missed it, eh?

@Aloysius, which show was it? If it wasn't George Lamb, I'm guessing Natasha on Saturday mornings. And isn't Barbarism Begins At Home on Meat Is Murder?

BrianT said...

Radio DJ's eh? Call themselves bloody professionals!
Never heard George Lamb (or 'Lamby', as I bet his radio cronies call him) but I hate him already.
John Peel must be turning in his grave.
I must confess to rarely listening to the radio these days. Never seem to find the time. When I do, I look for Verity Sharp on R3, who always gets my vote.