On 4th January, the earnest but clueless Verity Sharp presented A Culture Show special on Icelandic progressive noodlers Sigur Ros. Ostensibly the show was a promotional junket for Sigur Ros’s new CD, which in turn is the soundtrack for their new concert film. So far, so good. However, it’s entirely possible to view this Culture Show outing as a way of hitching Sigur Ros’s music to the BBC branding juggernaut. After all, Hoppipolla was used as the trailer soundtrack for the BBC’s Planet Earth – so much so in fact, that the opening notes of the song have become familiar to the point of ubiquity (never a good sign for any band’s career).
Of course, it’s great that the BBC dedicates time to the lost art of music programming – however, if it wasn’t for the supposed marketing synergy that some bright spark at the BBC has detected, then it might be a different story. Why not just feature great music regardless of the fact that the band that makes it might NOT have a commercial/marketing relationship with the BBC? I guess that’s what Later with Jools Holland is for, or even (*shudder*), Top of the Pops (did it really make a re-appearance on Christmas Day with the also clueless Fearne Cotton, or was it those sprouts repeating on me?).