Thursday, January 15, 2015


Court jesters
Got home from work today and thought: 'It's Thursday, good, Top of the Pops...'. Once I got over the fact that TOTP effectively finished in 2006, that I hadn't watched it since the 90s and that I'm currently living in Mexico, the moment of madness passed.
However, it made me think how strangly essential a part of the week it was. You'd get home from school, or even work, and on it would go. The chart rundown, the miming, the gems mixed with garbage (or even Garbage), in the 70s the slick moves of Pans People contrasting with the shuffling around of a flared, limp-haired audience, in the 80s the trying-to-be enthusiastic presenters contrasting with the piss-taking of Peel & Kid Jensen as the Rhythm Pals…
I once appeared on TOTP, in 1990. Not as a performer (ha - now that would have been interesting), but because I knew someone on the staff and was intrigued enough to see how it was produced. It was quite a good episode actually: 808 State's Cubik, EMF's Unbelievable, Julee Cruise's Falling, Chris Isaak's Wicked Game, and probably some embarrassments. 
Speaking of which, at one point the exuberant floor manager forced me onto the stage with Anthea Turner who was wearing what appeared to be a court jester's outfit, and I had to jig around as if I really meant it, as if pop was all that mattered. There were times when that wasn't far off the truth, though this moment wasn't one of them.

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