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Norwich bands hit out at closure plans for BBC 6 Music

PUBLISHED: 14:00 04 March 2010 | UPDATED: 08:34 02 July 2010

The Kabeedies are among Norwich bands to have appeared on BBC 6 Music

The Kabeedies are among Norwich bands to have appeared on BBC 6 Music

Kim Briscoe

Key members of Norwich's music scene are joining the fight to keep BBC 6 Music running.

Key members of Norwich's music scene are joining the fight to keep BBC 6 Music running.

The BBC Trust has put forward plans to close the radio station, but today promoters and bands said it would strike a devastating blow to Norwich's musical talent.

Norwich pop indie band The Kabeedies have appeared on BBC 6 Music and are due to record an interview with Tom Robinson next week, as well as going in for a live session on Marc Riley's show on March 18.

Craig Hill, who manages the four-piece group, said: “Lauren Laverne on 6 Music played The Kabeedies new single, Jitterbug, about two and half weeks ago and within five minutes I had received an email from one of Europe's biggest promoters, and it's because they had the station on in the office.

“It's such an important part of the process that bands go through in trying to get radio play and to get noticed by producers and promoters further up the ladder.

“People within the music industry tap into it as a way of hearing emerging bands.”

Ian Johnson, co-manager of the Lost Levels and principal of Norwich's Access to Music centre, said the reaction of bands in the city to the proposed closure had been one of “horror”.

He said: “Radio 6 is the most important radio there is. Radio 1 is so commercial and the bulk of the daytime music is the same as so many other commercial stations.

“For bands that are also PRS (Performing Right Society) members it means they can get money for the airplay, which can mean a lot to smaller bands who are making no money except for a few sales.”

The fight to save BBC 6 Music continues to gain momentum as one supporter launched a protest song on YouTube and more than 100,000 people signed up to online campaigns, including a Facebook group against the move.

The service, which launched in March 2002, cost £9m to run in 2009 - roughly equivalent to one and a half times the reported cost of broadcaster Jonathan Ross to the BBC each year.

The BBC said in its review that money from the 6 Music budget would continue to be spent on original digital radio content. And it may transfer some of the axed shows to other stations, such as Radio 2.

Kingsley Harris, who runs the NR One record label, in Norwich, said almost all of its artists had enjoyed airplay on the station, and many had also done interviews and live sessions with BBC 6 Music.

He said: “I personally think it's a massive step backwards in the progress of national radio.

“They came up with a really brilliant idea to get unknown bands played on the radio and it's like listening to John Peel 24 hours a day.

“It's vital for new bands and it also has a brilliant variety of music.”

What do you think? Write to Evening News letters at Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich, NR1 1RE, or email eveningnewsletters@archant.co.uk

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