August 9, 2000 17:02
OUR RADIO RUCKS!
[b]nme.com[/b] looks at the lengths fans are going to to get their favourite bands played on the radio...
The latest band to have their ratings boosted in the weekly Buzz Chart by over-eager fans is Hefner, whose new single 'Good Fruit' was disqualified from the vote last week after staff spotted it had jumped in popularity by over 400% in minutes.
Throughout each week, fans can visit the radio one website www.bbc.co.uk/radio1 and chose from ten tracks displayed on the Buzz Chart. The most popular song is then played on the Thursday night show.
A spokesperson for the Evening Session told nme.com: "We are vigilant about watching the Buzz Chart, and we have noticed clear incidents of irregular voting patterns. For the sake of fair play we excluded the band involved that week though we have tried to include them again at a later date."
She added: "We don't think that these block votes come from any one company associated with the bands themselves, but just over-enthusiastic fans. We are working really hard to defend the system against these cheats and we do reckon we'd sussed them out every time so far."
However the fans remain unbowed. One supporter of Utah Saints, who had used the block-voting method, said: "'Rigging the Buzz Chart ended up being more by accident than by design; the principle was that I wanted the band to win, to get a little modicum of publicity (one play!), to feel vindicated, for whatever reason, that I was a fan of a band who were popular and up-and-coming.
"The point was never to win-by-miles, the principle was just to come first by a few votes, to hear the song on the radio and think 'I helped', not 'I corrupted the system'."