20 at 20: Punk Funk tracks

One of the joys of music is its limitless possibilities, not stuck in a box but ever evolving taking different influences, sounds, philosophies, ideas and creating something else – not intending to be the “next big thing”, just intending to be something else. As punk began to run out of steam, artists were looking elsewhere for influences to shape their sound. As Iain Ellis pointed out in his article for Pop Matters “When Punk Got The Funk” in October 2020:

“Moreover, because punk had reached sonic exhaustion in terms of its limited structural permutations, funk also provided the apparatus for a musical rebellion against punk music itself.

Whereas punk accentuated the electric guitar, funk emphasized bass and drums; whereas punk involved an all-in all-the-time approach, funk allowed instruments to engage in a conversation rather than all shouting at once. Employing these alternative approaches, punk broadened its musical scope.”

A number of the immediate post-punk artists turned to funk and the union was invigorating and energising, leading to a burst of creativity and was simply epic for the dancefloor.

Please note this is not intended as a definitive list, rather a selection of tracks which demonstrate just how funky punk turned out to be.

The Pop Group
‘Thief of Fire’
Y (1979)

Gang of Four
‘Not Great Men’
Entertainment! (1979)

A Certain Ratio
‘Shack Up’
The Double 12″ (1981)

Au Pairs
‘Set Up’
Playing With a Different Sex

Josef K
Fun ‘N’ Frenzy
The Only Fun in Town

23 Skidoo
Vegas El Bandito’
Seven Songs

‘Getting Up’
Pigbag (1982)

Talking Heads
‘Making Flippy Floppy’
Speaking in Tongues (1983)

‘You Make No Sense’
Come Away with ESG (1983)

The Higsons
‘Ice Age’
The Curse of The Higsons (1984)

Bush Tetras
‘You Can’t Be Funky’
Boom in the Night (1985)

Big Audio Dynamite
‘Limbo the Law’
No. 10, Upping St.

Liquid Liquid
Liquid Liquid (1997)

Radio 4
Dance To The Underground’

The Rapture

Delta 5
‘Mind Your own Business’
Mind Your Own Business (2009)

Parquet Courts
Wide Awake’
Wide Awake!

‘Shoot You Down’
Something To Believe In

The Lounge Society
Beneath the Screen
Tired of Liberty (2022)


God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.