18/04/2018

Top of the Pops 7 April 1983


Reviewed by Chris Arnsby. Simon Bates: "It's exactly 7.25. Welcome to studio 3 for a live presentation of Top of the Pops. Now, all the bands are here, though some of them may be miming tonight." Peter Powell: "But we start off! For starters! Right! We give you The Celtic Soul Brothers! This is Dexys!"

[24] Dexys Midnight Runners: The Celtic Soul Brothers. Two weeks of data are missing from BBC Genome. Hold me. Radio Times went unpublished in the weeks of 2nd and 9th April due to industrial action. This is only relevant because I use BBC Genome to give me a heads up on what editions of Top of the Pops were broadcast live. I wouldn't normally rely on Simon Bates to tell me the time and yet here we are. This is the second time round for The Celtic Soul Brothers. It was first released just over a year ago and peaked at number 45. Now, in the wake of Come On Elieen, it's been given a second chance. Watch out for the mystery man who kneels down at the edge of the stage, just beyond where violinist Helen O'Hara, is standing. He's wearing a smart shirt and tie, so I guess he's a member of the production team, but what is his job? He's there for the whole performance. He's not holding a camera although there is a cameraman lurking in the same general area. Maybe his job is to stop the audience becoming tangled in the camera cable? Or, it could be a sighting of the elusive Floor Manager Tony Redstone. 


[9] Culture Club: Church Of The Poison Mind. "It's a very special night on Top of the Pops because we're joined by a lot of the people from Fame," gushes Simon Bates. "Are they shooting another series Leroy?" "Yes*," confirms actor Gene Anthony Ray; who is professional enough not to look cross when called his characters' name. "Great, here's Culture Club," says Simon Bates wrapping up yet another in depth Top of the Pops exposé.

[3] JoBoxers: Boxerbeat. Next up it's Lori Singer who played Ariel Moore. She gets slightly more time to reveal that the Kids From Fame tour goes to Wembley, Birmingham, Brighton, and Israel. Who organised that itinerary? (John- Would be difficult if Israel was the second date between Wembley and Birmingham) Unfortunately this slice of Fame is interrupted by the start of Boxerbeat and it's time to break out the boxing gloves and stamping. Leader singer Dig Wayne repeats his trick of dragging the microphone stand around the stage but this time he avoids letting it fall into the audience.

[29] Twisted Sister: I Am (I'm Me). Look it's Carlo! You know Carlo, he played [checks IMDB] "the role of tender tough guy Danny Amatullo." Carlo thinks a lot of things are great; the tour, the fans. Sadly there's no time to find out his opinion of Twisted Sister. It's quite a performance. The lead singer looks like a frightening pantomime dame Bette Midler and he headbangs away while BBC safety approved thunderflashes detonate behind the stage.

[30] Michael Jackson: Beat It. Unsurprisingly Michael Jackson is on film. Top of the Pops cuts out all the bits of the promo with smoking and knives which would have played awkwardly at 7.25 in the evening.

[23] Tracie: The House That Jack Built. "This is Lee from Fame," says Simon Bates. For anyone keeping track I've glossed over Peter Powell's chat with Debbie Allen because... we'll let's just say I think we're all grateful that Simon Bates doesn't attempt the same level of eye contact with Lee. "Hi. How you doing. It's great to be here," is all Lee from Fame gets to say before Simon has to hand over to Tracie who wants to know "who owns the house that Jack built?" Apparently she does, and it's crumbling away, and it's the devil, and it's also sliding away. That's why you commission a surveyor's report. POP FACT: the 12'' version of the single went into a lot more detail about Tracie's attempt to hire a structural engineer for the subsidence, a priest for the devil, and a team of solicitors who specialise in property law. (John- Chris – is that actually a POP LIE?) 

[21] F.R. David: Words. Stage left of F.R. David is a blond-haired bloke who has snuck in a homemade sign. He obviously feels this live edition of Top of the Pops is his chance to get a message to the nation. Unfortunately he hasn't figured out how to tell when he's on camera. His first attempt comes when the camera is miles away on the far side of the stage. Attempt two is better but mistimed. The camera which was heading in his direction pans towards  F.R. David at the last moment. Will it be third time lucky? Yes. During a close-up off the bored looking dancer in black he flashes his sign again. What does it say? Damn this low resolution standard definition. "I love you Caroline... something... love always... something." Well that's sweet. Caroline, if you're reading this, let us know how you got on. (John- She married FR David).

[15] Nick Heyward: Whistle Down The Wind. The presence of Nick Heyward explains Simon Bates' gnomic comment about some bands miming tonight. The boy Heyward does good this evening and manages to remember when his own song starts.

[1] David Bowie: Let's Dance. I was obsessed with this promo film and the shots of the bar and people dancing; especially the slightly older man in shorts who dances with an ecstatic expression on his face and waggles his elbows. I thought this was the funniest thing I'd ever seen. Apparently I was so fascinated that I don't remember any of the other scenes with the Aboriginal couple, or the bit where a nuclear bomb explodes for some reason. Either I left the room once I'd seen the old man dancing, or I was too busy amusing myself by pretending to dance like him.
 [13] Big Country: Fields Of Fire (400 Miles). Zoo are briefly wheeled out for more faux country dancing.

* I have been asked to point out, in the interests of fairness, that Gene Anthony Ray actually says," Yes,we will be doing another one."


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