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  • Writer's picturePhilip Bryer

Funk Soul Brother

Back in the nineties, I heard a single on the BBC’s London radio station which made such an impression on me that I set out for a local record shop to get my hands on it. The last time I had been that bothered about a single it had probably been Carly Simon’s You’re So Vain or Oh No Not My Baby by Rod Stewart. Just free of the working day in a particularly formal establishment, I was wearing a suit and tie and carrying a briefcase. I approached the counter and was met with guarded looks by the boys who lurked behind it.

“I’ve heard this record,” was my oddly nervous opening gambit. “GLR have been playing it. I think it’s called Funk Soul Brother?”

“Uh,” one replied, with a grunt, “it’s actually called Rockafeller Skank.

“Ah, is it?”

“Yeah, it’s by Fatboy Slim, he’s like one of the top remix DJs in the country.”

(His colleagues nodded in vigorous agreement.)

“Is he? Is he, er, really like one? Good for, um, Fatboy, er, what was it again?”

“Slim.” They deadpanned ‘Slim’ in unison and exchanged pained expressions.

“Have you got it then?” I asked. “Fatboy Slim’s record?”

“Nah, it’s not out till next Tuesday.”

I swallowed hard, I bent down to pick up my briefcase – Oh God! The briefcase! – and took the long, lonely walk to the door.

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