To most Top of the Pops is but a distant memory. A memory of Fearne Cotton trying to ascertain the names of the new Sugababes, of Richard Bacon offending the lead singer of Cornershop and Gail Porter flirting outrageously with that one out of Toploader.
Going even further back it’s memories of Legs and Co, Simon Le Bon’s rolled up sleeves, Benny Hill’s Milkman, the dark days of Saville and Glitter and of it being pretty much the most watched TV show week-in, week-out throughout the 70’s and 80’s.
So what happened to it? Well, with the advent of digital downloads, MySpace and all that other futuristic crap it just wasn’t relevant any more – people didn’t want to wait a week to see someone perform or to find out who was number 1 – you just needed to log into your AOL account and it was all there – any time.
There are also a select few who blame POP itself for the demise of Top of the Pops – arguing that at one point it disappeared into obscurity under the heavy weight of guitar riffing indie bands and gun toting rappers.
Well that’s all tosh – pop is just as relevant and as popular as ever – as any visit to Mint Lounge in the NQ on a Friday night will tell you – their ‘Top of the Pops‘ night is still going strong and is still a fantastic night out.
The night started all the way back around 2013 by DJ’s Christopher Dresden Styles, Loz Newington and Chris Massey. The original idea behind the night was to create a great party atmosphere with tunes that were guaranteed to make you want to dance.
Therefore, the three DJ’s took it in turns each week to play an assortment of pop classics – not just the mega cheesy ones and not just the super obscure B-sides – a collection of everything – curating a night that got people up on their feet and kept them there until 3am.
The playlist defies genre and decades – as long as it can be classified as ‘popular music’ it’s in there. From Prince to Paul Simon, Little Richard to Notorious BIG, Taylor Swift to T-Rex, 5ive to Pharrell – it’s all about playing the tracks you know and love.
Personally I think this is something that is sorely missing from ‘clubbing’ nowadays – if it even exists any more. It seems like ages since I’ve been out to a club and just danced – with one banger after another – getting all sweaty and hoarse from the singing and dancing.
It sometimes feels like ‘pop’ can be seen as uncool or a bit of a dirty word – but fuck it – there’s nothing cool about standing around the edge of a dancefloor, doing and saying nothing while Africa by Toto comes on. Get up and get mucky I say.
Top of the Pops at Mint Lounge is still going strong and is certainly one of the most enjoyable evenings you can ever have in the Northern Quarter. It’s on every Friday from 10.30pm until 4am.
Top of the Pops @ Mint Lounge
Date: Every Friday
Time: 10.30pm – 4.00am
Cost: £4 entry all night