Top of the Pops 2 April 1987


Reviewed by Chris Arnsby. Gary Davies: “Hi. How ya doin'? I hope you're well because we've got one heck of a good show for you tonight. In the studio we have Curiosity Killed The Cat, we've got Ruby Turner, we've also got the Fine Young Cannibals.”

Janice Long: “And I'm dead made up because at number twenty one this week with the Irish Rover it's the Pogues and the Dubliners.”

[21] The Pogues & The Dubliners: The Irish Rover. Janice and Gary do an energetic jig as the camera pulls back in an impressive crane shot which goes from a close up of the hosts to a wide shot of the studio. But don't be fooled. No matter how made up Janice is, the demands of as-live recording mean there's no time for watching the performance. She and Gary have to dash across the studio and find their marks for the next link. The pair sneak off during a quick close up of Ronnie Drew, and are both gone before Shane MacGowan starts singing.


The cruel demands of Michael Hurll's running order mean there's no time for Janice and Gary to party but the crowd make up for it. They dance enthusiastically. The audience cheerleaders behind the band have been given flags and authentic Irish pom-poms. Meanwhile, Lighting Director Warwich Fielding lights the stage in orange and green.

Keep an eye on Shane MacGowan. Towards the end of the performance he manages to break his microphone. There's a point where Shane steps over to shake Ronnie Drew's hand and at the same time he decides to pop his microphone out of its holder and take it with him. Afterwards he does some awkward fiddling with the thing before he realises he can't put it back and pops it on the floor. Shane then puts his hands in his pocket turns his back on the audience and takes a couple of steps away in a nothing-to-do-with-me-guv move; to the great amusement of one of the banjo players.

Oh, and the caption at the end includes a big green shamrock. If only Legs & Co were still around they could all be dressed as leprechauns.

[5] Madonna: La Isla Bonita. On video. Internet lyrics lie and tell me Madonna sings “young girl with eyes like the desert,” when she's clearly singing “young girl with eyes like potato.” (John- I’ve always thought that though of course potatoes do have eyes!)

[22] Curiosity Killed The Cat: Ordinary Day. Janice seems very up tonight. Is this the source of Gary's cryptic comment earlier that, “for the first time in the history of the BBC bar we've started to run out of Irish whiskey.” Janice has an alternate explanation, “I'm blowing myself because I still haven't recovered from dancing with the Pogues.” She claims. [Note for sensitive and/or smutty readers. The word blowing is accompanied by a hand-fanning gesture of her face, for anyone tempted to try and read in another meaning.]

Meanwhile, here's Curiosity Killed The Cat. Things that annoy me about Ben Volpeliere-Pierrot this week; 1) The stupid way he's waggling his bum at the audience at the start of the performance; 2) His stupid blazer.

Top 40 Charts: “I just love the way that Ben from Curiosity dances there,” says Gary hunching forwards like a Neanderthal.

[17] Fine Young Cannibals: Ever Fallen In Love. Back for the first time since January 1986. Then they were performing their cover of Suspicious Minds. This time they're performing their cover of The Buzzcocks.

David Steel (not that one, the FYC guitarist) is trapped behind a keyboard. Observe the way he jealously gazes across the stage at the other guitarist, Andy Cox, who is able to continue doing his silly rubber leg dancing.

Top 40 Breakers: [34] The Rainmakers, Let My People Go-Go; [33] Herb Alpert, Keep Your Eye On Me; [27] Whitesnake, Still Of the Night.

Once again the hosts natter over the start of the clips. Michael Hurll obviously prefers this to Stanley Appel's choice of just having the captions.

[24] Ruby Turner: I'd Rather Go Blind. Janice Long is still very hyperactive. “Do you come 'ere often,” she asks the bloke standing next to her. This bloke smirks and looks left and right repeatedly, as if he's checking to make sure his mum isn't watching.
At the end of the song Janice and Gary are slow dancing. “Why is it I always get the mate?” asks Janice.

Top 10 Charts.

[1] Ferry Aid: Let It Be. Mel & Kim get one week at Number 1. On 6th March 1987 the ferry Herald of Free Enterprise capsized shortly after leaving Zeebrugge. This record, raising money for the Zeebrugge disaster fund, followed less than a month later. There's an awkward tonal gear change. Coming out of the charts Janice is laughing and then has to compose herself while Gary explains the aim of the record. Both Gary and Janice do a good job of handling the sombre change of mood but, as with Band Aid, it's an intrusion of reality into a normally fluffy 30 minutes of pop. 

Performance of the week: The Pogues & The Dubliners: The Irish Rover.



No comments:

Post a Comment