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December 02, 2006

Radio 1's Live Lounge on Tour

I’m often critical of BBC Radio 1’s output. At times it’s lazy, a bit dumbed-down even for its target audience and its weekend schedule is still rubbish.

But credit where credit’s due. This week Jo Whiley’s been travelling around the country with her Live Lounge while hosting other gigs in the evenings.

The Live Lounge is essentially a cupboard in the bowels of Radio 1 where bands go and play on Jo’s show. But this week she’s been going to the bands’ houses and hosting the gig in their house. It started on Lily Allen’s house boat (which made a long journey down the M6 go quicker) and ended with Noel Gallagher playing in a competition winner’s house.

Live Lounge CDBest of all, they’ve filmed the mini-gigs and put them online. Also in there were the Kooks, Lostprophets and the Ordinary Boys.

It’s a shame Radio 1 doesn’t do more of this sort of thing. The phenomenal success of a Live Lounge compilation CD should show just how popular live music is. Again, their recent gigs as part of the Electric Proms were brilliant, especially Kasabian at the Camden Roundhouse.

Now if they could just get rid of Vernon Kay…


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