Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Foster & Allen recall Top of the Pops appearance

Legendary Westmeath music duo, Foster & Allen appeared on ‘The 2 Johnnies’ podcast reminiscing about their Top of the Pop appearance in 1982.

Amongst many things spoken about on the popular podcast, Mick Foster and Tony Allen were asked about their flamboyant outfits when performing their number one hit single, ‘A Bunch of Thyme.’

Tony Allen recalled that their green outfits were partially inspired by a popular sports commentator, Jimmy Magee. Tony said Magee “was chatting to us and said, ‘lads, you should dress up.’ He said there was a film out at that time called The Barry Lyndon Film and he said that the costumes were medieval Irish and they would be brilliant for them.

“We said we would get them done in green for America. Of course, when we were in America, ‘A Bunch of Thyme’ went into the British charts.”

Mick Foster continued: “We had to come straight from America to do Top of the Pops. We only had the green suits and the media, of course, thought we had dressed up especially (for Top of the Pops), even though we had been wearing it for seven years.”

The duo recounted how there was a disagreement from the Top of Pops executives about Foster’s choice of instrument despite Foster being an accordion player.

He said: “Then they decided that on Top of the Pops, an accordion didn’t look too right, so they asked me whether I would use a guitar. I know about as much about a guitar as a pig did about a bank holiday.”

“I got shown three or four chords and thought they will do grand. Dexys Midnight Runners, a pop band were on straight after us and they had an accordion, nearly the same as mine and they were a pop band.”


As well as Dexys Midnight Runners on the particular episode in question, other acts to perform included Adam and The Ants, and The Boomtown Rats.

“Everybody was dressed up in something weird so we didn’t look out of place to the crowd on Top of the Pops,” said Mick. “The media decided we dressed up as leprechauns for the night.”

“A dance band was on who was number one, and there was a lad eating fire. There was a lad going around with a bucket of sand and a bucket of water in case the poor ‘man’ went up in flames.”

Mick concluded: “That is a long time now, 42 years ago.”

See the video here:

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