Front page


Funk Hunt

9 Jan 10 | Re: Unintended musical consequences

Have you heard the theme tune to Bargain Hunt? It’s this frenetic funk instrumental. I mean, obviously it’s not actually very funky, or if it is, it’s only in the way a member of its target audience might also describe a pair of stripily garish woollen socks as funky, ie nothing to do with actual funk at all. But all the innovations of funk are there - the ‘one’ rhythm, the syncopation, the wah-wah guitars, the staccato horn lines. All there, cats.

Come Dine With Me’s another one. What makes producers of populist, undemanding challenge-type TV programmes automatically bring on the funk when they commission their theme tunes? I like to imagine George Clinton, Bootsy Collins and Maceo Parker in their rehearsal rooms concocting the new super-heavy P-funk phenomenon, and wonder what it would have taken for them to dream that their ideas would end up soundtracking all this adequate TV fluff.

And what about QI? That’s a reggae one. Again, did Lee Scratch Perry and Coxsone Dodd and King Tubby think, as they slaved over four-track recorders and analogue tape delays, that they were creating sounds that, forty years later, would be deemed ideal to introduce a smugly conceived middlebrow panel programme? Will the maddening Fry vehicles of 2040 crank up to the sounds of spooked-out dubstep?

Personally I would like to see more theme tunes with lyrics written specifically about the programme in question. Bargain Hunt would be far more watchable if its funky signature was overlaid with a struggling r’n’b artiste singing some quality rhymes about the joy of discovering an underpriced Edwardian teapot. Should the producers be reading this, they should know that I myself would have no hesitation in agreeing to write suitable lines, if approached.

Posted by THE ATOMIC DOG at 19:19

[Back to main blog]

[Or dive into the blarchive...]

Take me home