The above "eek" is a natural reflex reaction on my part - the world it inhabits, in its purest form, is a place I would no more want to be than the world of (the thankfully now lost to me) Kerrang! TV and (the still sadly available) Scuzz. It's a working class territorially protective of its whiteness (and thus the BNP's natural heartland), and some of it is - even to me - terrifying (I'm not sure whether I want to see "Caramell Dancing" ever again - I'm sort of glad I saw it once, but the thought of it brings on a shudder between my toes that I don't want to repeat). It is also hard to forgive Clubland TV for its promotion of Scooter's thankfully unsuccessful collaboration with Status Quo (easily the former's worst ever song, because Quo, with all their petty, curtain-twitching rock'n'roll racism - and we all know that is the very worst, because most mealy-mouthed and hypocritical, kind of racism - represent the antithesis of everything that otherwise makes Scooter so great). Nor do I think Ultrabeat's more recent work is up to the standards of the heartstopping "Pretty Green Eyes" and the joyous mirage of "Feelin' Fine". But I still find myself watching it disarmingly often, because the disconnection of this wholly un-American music from tired old pseudo-rebellion overpowers any associations with the lost tribes of Burnley or Stoke-on-Trent (there is no attempt to pretend that this pop is something it isn't and cannot be) and because it gives songs as good as Gigi D'Agostino's "Bla Bla Bla" (almost a decade after the fact in that case, unbelievably) and Laurent Wolf's much more recent"No Stress" a time and space they have never otherwise been allowed in this septic isle. Indeed, at its best Clubland TV defies its own English provincialism and evokes a parallel universe of pop where the Channel is as narrow and the Atlantic as wide psychologically as they are geographically.
Yet it is still Channel U I always return to, because of all the music channels this is the one which best reflects why many on the Left supported deregulation of broadcasting in the 1980s - it is, in fact, what deregulated broadcasting ought to have been (and would have been in a Left-libertarian society) as opposed to what it generally actually has been (I will praise the post-1990 order of broadcasting to the extent that it has been an ally of convenience allowing a channel like this to exist, but not in terms of the ideology it was built on and which its most popular manifestations relentlessly promote). Unconnected as it is to any broadcaster which is forced to work under ludicrous expectations by a press which regards itself almost as Britain's true government, it can do what it does without the constant fear of official quasi-censorship being imposed on it. And of course Chipmunk, Tinchy Stryder et al are a pop in exile, a pop desperate for the place that the elite's retrenchment through pop denies them.
The one thing that unites Channel U and Clubland TV is, intriguingly, N-Dubz (who have a family connection to Mungo Jerry!). I suspect that might be an analogy for something more. Certainly, anyone who can unite pop's twin tribes, otherwise so divided in almost every aspect of their vision of Britain, cannot be ignored.