Friday, May 23, 2003

LIKE A VIRGIN? NO, NOT MUCH: For reasons we shan't bore you with, we've found ourselves listening to Virgin Radio a fair bit this last couple of weeks, and it makes us miss Six Music so much we've wept a leopard from our eyes.
Rightly spotting that the repetition of most commercial radio drives people insane, Virgin pledge that they'll never play a record twice during the working day. Fair idea, except rather than using this as the basis for an adventurous playlist, they've somehow managed to remain true to their pledge without making it noticeable. So instead of hearing the latest Coldplay four times, you hear four different Coldplay tracks. And while the tunes might get put away after their play, the whole system is reset the next day, so - for example - Avril Lavigne's Complicated has been trotted out every day this week, despite being so old it gets to buy its own beers and voted in the last election (Green, but then it's young, you have to forgive it). So instead of coming away marvelling at the breadth of Virgin's playlist, you get the feeling like they're just as repetitive as Piccadilly, but a little less up-to-date.
And what sort of listener do they get? Every other advert seems to be for smoke alarms or - god help us - how to fry chips without destroying your house. Are Virgin's audience really at such risk of self-immolation?
FYI: Avril Lavigne has just come on.


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