X-Wing Podcasts: The Theme Tune

Half yearly podcast review looking at the theme tunes.

There has recently been some beef flying about in regards to who has the best theme tune in podcast world. So I’m going to wade in and give it my opinion on the X-wing podcasts that I listen to.

dennis waterman album

To rate this fairly I am scoring using the Waterman system. For those outside the UK the Waterman system is a mark out of six used for scoring theme tunes. Dennis Waterman is a British actor whose trade mark is to write and sing the theme tune of the television show that he is starring in. I have provided a link here to a Little Britain sketch which gives you all the background you will need if you feel to delve deeper. Just bear in mind that all actors, (and I used to work in the industry building sets and props) are rather small.

My musical tastes are rather varied ranging from, Metallica, the Kinks, A-HA, U2, Britney Spears, Kylie, Rolling Stones, Adele, Queen and if I could pick only one band, ABBA. I feel this more than qualifies me to rate the music employed by the various podcasts.

Scum and Villainy

One of my favourite podcasts that is snappy and not overlong. I previously wrote about how I found Sable Griffin grating to listen to but shortly afterwards realised that when he was not in an episode the show was lacking something. More so I realised that subconsciously he reminded me of my youngest brother if he was a podcaster and that was where my irk came from. It’s not you, it’s me. Also the group as a whole seemed to have blended better together on air.

More importantly the theme tune is a remix of the Imperial March with a 2000’s feel to it. A short version at the beginning then followed up at the end of the show by the whole version. The Imperial player in me digs this and it is a dramatic piece of music that sets up the show nicely.

4 out of 6 Watermans

dennis watermandennis watermandennis watermandennis waterman

Mynock Squadron

Its great that the Mynocks are churning out weekly epsiodes around the hour mark and still filling it with some interesting interviews from players around the world.

The Theme tume is remixed music from the bar scene in New Hope plus re-dubbed vocals from the Mynock scene in Empire. I have never been a big fan of the bar scene music but it does work in setting up the tone of the podcast.

4 out of 6 Watermans

dennis watermandennis watermandennis watermandennis waterman

Back to Dials Podcast

I like Back to Dials and would probably describe them as Mynock Squadron light or fat free. Certainly beef and bragging free. I would put a smiley face in but I don’t’ think the website has the capacity to do that, I lack the inclination to work out how and smiley faces and lol just aren’t me.

Now I like the tune which is like a late 1980’s early 1990’s rebel theme remix with a bit of Hank Marvin guitar thrown in at the end but it’s a bit over long and lacks a bit of punch.

3 out of 6 Watermans

dennis watermandennis watermandennis waterman

Gold Squadron

One of the new kids on the block and apparently suggested that they have the best theme tune. The show’s contents are good although the recording quality of earlier episodes were not great for listening to in car. Happily they have fixed this for recent episodes with better audio.

Personally the theme tune though sounds like a Starwars theme orchestral funeral dirge. Its not offensive but like the Back to dials podcast theme it drags a bit and gets me reaching to skip it. It overlong and not punchy.

2 out of 6 Watermans

dennis watermandennis waterman

Nova Squadron

Nova Squadron radio is always worth a listen as Paul Heaver has set up residence there and has got some decent recording stuff at last. Major Juggler has been absent of late and love or loathe the Maff Wing its always an interesting insight.

Nova don’t have a star wars themed piece of music but it’s a punchy rock number with pace that gets the ball rolling and tempo set. I do not feel in any way that the fact it is not Starwars related harms it.

4 out of 6 Watermans

dennis watermandennis watermandennis watermandennis waterman

Cloud City Radio

With a slight cast change they are still churning out the episodes. Like the epsisode length the theme tune is quite long. They did have a comment on their facebook page about the theme tune being too long but I feel the thing that saves it for me is the tongue in cheek over dubbing and that it is the piece of music from the force awakens trailer. I digged that tune on the second longer trailer.

4 out of 6 Watermans

dennis watermandennis watermandennis watermandennis waterman

Shuttle Tydirium

Another new podcast with quite a big episode output. Slightly different from the rest in aiming at the more casual player and looking at things like Epic and missions. Epic, the big free ships that come with the Tie advanced upgrade kit and Wampa and Agent Kallus packs do have a game system to use them in apparently.

The theme tune is a bit like a Jazz version of something the Kessel Run would do for one of it’s ‘adverts.’ The problem I have is that I’m not a Jazz fan, (unless we are talking about the robot in disguise), and its over long.

1 out of 6 Watermans

dennis waterman

3 if you like Jazz

jazzjazzjazz

Radio TcX

Another new podcast which is short and punchy, just like its theme tune which is like an early 1980’s Starwars theme synth mix. It has some nice little bit size articles just like the music.

3 out of 6 Watermans

dennis watermandennis watermandennis waterman

Kessel Run

Back into the swing of things after a bit of a lull late last year and the guys do not disappoint. The Kessel run have a decent home brewed starwars themed theme tune. Expertly mixed, containing humour and setting the tone for the show. It certainly would be my champion if it were not for one other podcast and their effort of theme tunes and ‘adverts.’

5 out of 6 Watermans

dennis watermandennis watermandennis watermandennis watermandennis waterman

186th Squadron Podcast

The guys from the 186th Squadron have upped their production rate a bit and continue to report from the variety of events around UK and Europe that they have been to. They also have the best theme tune.

A Starwars themed fest of a tune it runs at the perfect length setting up the feel of the show nicely. Completely and expertly made in house it sends a shudder down my spine when listening to it. The piece is atmospheric with stirring highs and gentle lows with a great middle eight. The running time of the theme tune might be a bit short for some but it blends seamlessly into the opening of the show to get the ball rolling.

6 out of 6 Watermans

dennis watermandennis watermandennis watermandennis watermandennis watermandennis waterman

The Champion

abba winner

So my theme tune champion is the 186th Podcast closely followed by the Kessel Run. This is of course just my humble opinion and I am sure many have a differing one as music in general is quite divisive a topic although as stated I have quite a keen ear. I would take this opportunity to thank all the podcasters for making their shows which fill the long drives or time painting ships, decorating the house or doing the washing up.

So in the words of Bjorn, Benny, Anni-Frid and Agnetha, “Thankyou for the music, and the joy its bringing.”

Closing Thought

I’ve always preferred Anni-Frid to Agnetha.

 

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