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Music

When Chris Packham referenced The Cure on 'Springwatch'

It’s hard to imagine what the alternative scene today would look like without the influence and foundation that The Cure helped solidify. From the late 1970s through to the mid-2000s, the Crawley band consistently reinvented their sound to push the boundaries of genres and bring forth something new with each album. 

Duly, their extensive back catalogue is an eclectic mix that cherrypicks from across the musical spectrum. Whether it be the chillingly gothic sentiment of their early works such as ‘A Forest’, the heady psychedelia of 1984’s The Top, or the pop-oriented sound of 1985’s The Head on the Door; there is much to love about the English goth heroes.

Like with any band of mythical stature, The Cure have lived through an oscillating career, to say the least. They’ve been left battered and broken by the trappings of fame, with drugs, drinking and excess threatening to destroy the band on numerous occasions. Somehow, however, they’ve always managed to bounce back. Much of this can be attributed to the determination and brilliance of frontman Robert Smith, who has been the band’s only consistent member since they were formed back in 1978. 

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The band released their last full-length album, 4:13 Dream, in 2008, but this hasn’t seen their relevance wain. If anything, with the rise in interest in all things gothic and emo, thanks to the likes of Yungblud, Olivia Rodrigo and even Billie Eilish, they’ve managed to retain their position as one of the most influential acts of all time. They’ve rightly found a place in the hearts of the new generation of consumers and budding musicians. 

It’s a testament to the work of Smith and the band that they’ve inspired countless generations with their music. Understandably, for a band so prominent, their gigantic fanbase contains a host of other famous faces, including The Smashing Pumpkins and Interpol.

They’ve also inspired many people outside of the music world, and one of the most notable is the presenter of the BBC nature series, Springwatch, and all-around good egg, Chris Packham. 

He’s such a fan of the band, in fact, that during the show’s 2010 series, Packham set himself the challenge of dropping in references to The Cure‘s songs whenever he could. He succeeded resoundingly. Over the course of that one series, he managed to pack in references to 34 songs, including ‘Kiling an Arab’ and ‘Just Like Heaven’, as well as more obscure cuts such as ‘Bird Mad Girl’. 

It was an utter delight for viewers to see the convergence of the appreciation of Springtime with the masters of gloom, and although it shouldn’t have worked, it did. Packham kept viewers on their toes as they anticipated the next time he’d reference the work of Robert Smith and Co.

Watch a compilation of all Chris Packham’s references below. 

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