Unless you have been living in Bahrain for the last month or so, you will be aware of the BBC's decision to cull the informative and musically-superior 6 Music digital station from its programming next year. Without the station, smaller labels with less-inferior bands will struggle for an outlet, as well as the collapse of the obvious musical history built up by John Peel, Andy Kershaw and Richard Skinner during the 70s and right up until 6 Music's opening (in 2002), which it has continued since.
Certainly one of the liveliest fore-runners and more humourous contributors to the ethic of 'making decent music with a bit of thought behind it' is Half Man Half Biscuit from Birkenhead. Their early works were a staple of Peel shows and include the albums 'Back In The DHSS' (and it's subsequent 'Again' follow-up) and 'Voyage To The Bottom Of The Road', as well as the indie 'hits' 'Dickie Davies Eyes' and 'The Trumpton Riots EP'. Their most recent album, 'CSI Ambleside' came out in 2008.
They have just sanctioned the use of the track 'Joy Division Oven Gloves' (I kid you not) for an awareness-raising attempt on the singles charts, with the sole-aim of supporting the maligned radio station. The re-release date for the track (it was originally on their 2005 opus, 'Achtung Bono') is April 6th with a target position on the charts as, um, number 6. 6 Music is also dedicating a few evenings this week to each band mentioned on the HMHB track, 'Irk The Purists'. Marvellous.
If you want to catch the lads live, they are playing the Cambridge Junction on Wednesday 24th March for £18.50 (includes fee) as well as announcing two more dates for the tail-end of the year. The first of these is in Preston on the 3rd October while afterwards they play a Christmas special on 16th December in Holmfirth, Yorkshire for a similar price.