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A bad influence on Reggie

8 Jan 10 | Re: Biggest music TV of the year

I want to review the music television I watched over Christmas. Everyone knows that now that Top of the Pops is gone there is no mass-audience music TV at all, and it’s not just TOTP either - I’d like to mention CD:UK and the Chart Show as well, or even Saturday morning kids’ shows like Live and Kicking: all gone, and each one a loss to the TV pop fan.

So I was excited to watch the Christmas Top of the Pops, and I even added an extra archaic touch by videoing it during my Christmas dinner and watching it later on. It was pretty good, and it looks like TOTP still has the appeal to attract a lot of the year’s big acts - Dizzee Rascal, JLS, Alexandra Burke and others all got big after the weekly shows stopped but still made the effort. In fact Robbie Williams even looked a bit out of place, despite being by far the most experienced TOTP vet on the programme.

The best performance was definitely Muse, who resurrected the spirit of the really old days of Top of the Pops by dressing in Christmas outfits and having Santa-suited disco dancers. It’s quite difficult to believe now that there was an era when the biggest actual rock acts of the day weren’t afraid to participate in a bit of variety entertainment, but it happened all the time years ago, before rock credibility became deadly serious business. I actually think that the idea of rock credibility is losing its power, so it’s good to see that Muse have picked up on the trend.

Bad points:

The New Year TOTP was much worse. Almost all the performances were by acts who had also been on the Christmas programme, making it obvious that the two had been filmed at the same time, and a couple of them were exactly the same! Dizzee at least could have done Bonkers as well as Holiday. Honestly! And the two live show clips didn’t feel like TOTP, though I suppose it was a compromise to get Gaga on there. The best thing about this one was the appearance of Tinchy and N-Dubz - one of the singles of the year, and one of the best performances on either show, by people who looked like being asked on really meant something.

Finally a word about Jools’ Hootenanny. I don’t mind admitting that I stayed in and watched the entire thing. Obviously Jools is annoying, and it’s very noticeable how he now somehow gets to add his boogie-woogie piano stylings to around 85% of the songs on a programme he used only to present, but it was pretty good. Paolo Nutini is the 21st century Rod Stewart. Dizzee looked awesome in the DJ and was even better than he was on TOTP. There was too much Al Murray and Paloma Faith, and not as much delicious friction as last year when some middle-aged guy, I forget who, embarrassed himself flirting with Duffy. Florence was really good. Boy George doesn’t quite have what he used to have. Rowland Rivron inexplicably showed up for the 19th year in a row: WHO IS HE? And the best bit of the night was Vic Reeves suggesting the Dizzee’s real first name was Disraeli. I never would have thought of that.

Posted by RICO at 19:07

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