I’ve been watching the reruns of the 80s Top of the Pops since they first started airing on BBC4 for quite a while now and absolutely love them. It’s a great little trip down nostalgia road, and, if I’m honest, gives me a nudge in the direction of certain songs that appear here at some time or another.
There’s also the added bonus of the occasional appearances of John Peel hosting it, of course, coming across as your slightly put-upon grumpy uncle with his deprecating wit and withering intros.
When they first started rerunning the shows, there was one a week and it was shown on the same week anniversary of it having aired, which was something I loved: that this was what I was watching exactly twenty-five years ago. Of course, the shows got all out of sync for a while, as certain editions hosted by certain former Radio 1 DJs, weren’t able to be re-broadcast for fairly obvious reasons. They seem to have got it sorted out again now, and the shows appear to be pretty much in time with their anniversary, but for most of 2016, while I still tuned in, I found myself irritated that it didn’t quite work, that they showed a Christmas edition in the middle of the year. This struck me as being easy enough to resolve – just hold back a few episodes, or play an extra couple, until they lined up again. I began to wonder if maybe this was some kind of OCD I had developed where my enjoyment of a repeat was tarnished simply because the edition they showed in the final week of August 2016 wasn’t the same edition as they showed in the final week of August 1980.
I mention all this now, because today, January 27th 2017, is a very special day. It is the day that a film gets released which is the sequel to an era-defining film from 1996. And much as I loved that film, and much as I fully intend to go and see the new one, I feel a little niggle that whilst it is set twenty years on, it has come out just slightly later than the twentieth anniversary of the release of the first film. I feel safe mentioning this now, because I saw the film’s director, Danny Boyle, being interviewed the other day, and he said he was a bit disappointed they hadn’t quite got it out in time too.
I speak of course, of this:
I should stress that this is the only thing that irks me about the sequel. What I do find immensely promising is the fact that this almost happened ten years ago, but all parties agreed that the script then wasn’t quite good enough. Since all of the surviving originals and director are on board now, this gives me hope that “T2: Trainspotting” will be something a bit special.
I cannot even begin to tell you how excited I am about going to see this, to catch up with Renton, Spud, Sickboy and Begbie after all this time. The movie is loosely – very loosely, from what I’ve heard – based on Irvine Welsh’s follow-up novel “Porno”, which I really enjoyed, although I seem to be in a minority there. Part of me rather wishes they had actually called the movie “Porno” just so I could make a joke about going to a cinema to watch a Porno, but you can’t have everything I guess.
Not only was the original movie a quite brilliant, ground-breaking film (they showed it on TV the other night, and I found myself dragging myself to bed at 2am having promised my self I was only going to watch five minutes), it also had an era-defining soundtrack album (actually, it had two, but the second one really wasn’t a patch on the first), and for around six or seven months in 1996, pretty much every one had a copy of it.
You’ll all know it, of course; kicking off with Iggy Pop’s “Lust for Life” and featuring Underworld’s breakout hit “Born Slippy (NUXX)” it was an album which, with the benefit of hindsight, did more to make me start listening to dance music than anything else. Except ecstacy a few years later, of course, but that’s another story for another day.
Chief among the dance tracks on the album which caught my ear was this one, and to this day I find a massive grin spread over my face when I hear it.
If “T2: Trainspotting” is half as good as the original – and the reviews I’ve seen so far seem to agree it is at least that – then I know I’m going to love it. It’s pencilled in for me to go and see next week. I seem to have Wednesday evening free. I cannot wait.