Finding my tribe

Finding my tribe

124 days ago

Mods and Rockers, Soul boys and New Romantics, Punks, Rastas and Casuals. Music was a tribal affair when I was a young man. Things are a lot less regimented now, with fans mixing and matching their listening to a much greater extent. I think that’s a good thing – after all, there’s only really good music and not-good music (and even that can be subjective: one man’s Meat Loaf is another’s Poison).

That said, I’ve always found myself hard to pigeonhole musically, not least because anything I say to define my taste seems too limiting, ruling out large swathes of music that I love. But now, for the first time since my teenage years, I have found a new tribe that accurately (if broadly) sums me up. Reader, I am a 6 Music Dad.

It's a concept that I only recently became aware of, but the more I read of it, the more I recognise myself. 6 Music Dads are men who came of age somewhere between the 70s and the early 90s, we were big music fans back in the day, knowledgeable and committed until the arrival of families led to changed priorities. We’re broadly on the left of the political spectrum, we’re aware and respectful of gender politics, and at least a little suspicious and cynical when it comes to the establishment. We’re now keen to revisit our former musical haunts but – and this is the point where I knew they had me bang to rights – we’re not happy to solely wallow in nostalgia. 6 Music Dads wouldn’t be happy just listening to ‘oldies’ radio, even if we could guarantee that it would only play songs that we love – while we don’t want to let go of the past, we’ve still got that hunger to discover something new and exciting,

One of the consequences of setting out to write Dead Man Singing was spending months immersed in music from the 70s and late 80s (I’m not complaining – it was a joy to plunge myself into Dave’s musical milieu), but there was also something wonderful in emerging blinking into the sunlight to once again embrace the sounds of the 21st century. Great new music that satisfies and nourishes the soul is still out there in large amounts, and thanks to 6 Music I knew just where to find it. The following list is far from comprehensive, but I can heartily commend Hamish Hawk, Arlo Parks, Ezra Furman, Grace Petrie, Kae Tempest and Courtney Barnett, among many others.

Who am I missing out on? Recommendations in the comments please!

Steve Couch

Thanks Gore, I'll definitely check them out.


I love idles. The way Mary wallopers make me feel is wonderful. I highly recommend Jess silk. The new Newtown neurotics is old guys delivering.long after forgot about them.

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