Top of the Pops 30 March 1989


Reviewed by Chris Arnsby.
This is a live edition (kindly supplied by commentator Billy Smart, who is keeping these write-ups on life support by sending me the relevant episodes to download) so there's some pre-show chatter over the countdown clock. The talk starts in media res with someone briefing the crowd.

 “I don't wanna see no silly faces. None of that. All right we know its live. Still get your meet and...” (?)He's interrupted by someone else, probably Floor Manager Carmella Milne: “Stand by...”
[The two voices jumble over each other]
Male voice: “Somebody catch me... [giggles from the crowd]... no one.”
Carmella Milne: “Good luck everyone.”
Male voice: “Sorry about that... [inaudible]... look Dennis the Menace top... 
Carmella Milne: “Here we go ten, nine, eight...seven... six... five... four... three... ” Titles roll.

Gary Davies: “Hello, good evening, we are live on BBC1 and Radio 1FM we have five bands live in the studio tonight including Roachford, Fuzzbox, The Cult, and The The.”

Bruno Brookes: “Okay we start on Europe's number one TV pop show at number sixteen, Pat and Mick I Haven't Stopped Dancing Yet. Right down here.”


[16] PAT & MICK: i haven't stopped dancing yet. This is the first live show since the All About Eve incident on the 04/08/1988 edition. Mike Felton is credited with Sound this week and presumably he's watching the dials like a hawk to make sure that every moment of every song goes out correctly. It does although the hosts sound very murky. I initially transcribed Gary Davies opening remarks as “mumble mumble  live on BBC1...”

Only after repeated listening at loud volume (how the cat suffered) did I work out what he was saying. Presumably every pearl that fell from Gary and Bruno's lips sounded crystal clear in Mike Felton's headphones.

It's been a year since Capital FM DJs Pat Sharp and Mick Brown were in the studio with their charity record Lets All Chant, 28/04/1988. They're back again raising money for Capital's annual Help a London Child appeal. Do they need it this badly?

Pat and Mick have come along with a handful of backing dancers. And also on stage are a handful of audience members who have been lined up along the back of the stage and look simultaneously delighted and embarrassed by their moment of glory.

New camera angle. We get a couple of shots from the studio ceiling looking straight down on to the top of everyone's heads. Presumably this is a lightweight camera hung from the lighting grid.

[13] BANGLES: eternal flame. On video.


[25] ROACHFORD: family man. A live performance. There's a bit of variation in the lyrics across different formats. The single ends the first verse with the line “poncing all your money off some poor bitch.” Top of the Pops tames this slightly to “stealing all your money off some poor bitch.” The official video goes for “stealing all your money off some poor chick.”


[34] BROTHER BEYOND: can you keep a secret

[30] PAUL SIMPSON featuring ADEVA: musical freedom

[33] TRANSVISION VAMP: baby i don't care.

[26] THE THE: the beat(en) generation. “Fabbo,” is the verdict of Bruno Brookes.

[6] GNUS 'N' ROSES: paradise city. On video.


[11] FUZZBOX: international rescue. Not a repeat of the 16/03/1989 performance, although there's so little variation you could believe it was reused.

Mike Manning, on Lighting, has got hold of a new toy, a strobe light which casts repeated star shapes across the stage; I think the filter that casts this is called a gobbo, I don't care if that's not right. I like the term so I'm going to use it. Red flood lights fade in and out and colour the perspex bars at the side of the stage. The red stripes and flickering white stars gives a nice US flag effect.

[22] THE CULT: firewoman. Live in the studio, not that you'd realise it with the hard cut from Bruno Brookes to the band.

TOP 10:

[1] MADONNA: like a prayer. Third time out for the BBC's version of the video.

[10] KON KAN: i beg your pardon. On video. Simon Mayo and Anthea Turner next week.

 PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK: The The, The Bean(en) Generation.


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