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The Red Hot Chili Peppers Top Of The Pops Special
The Red Hot Chili Peppers performed at one of their most unusual venues in April, 2006, when showcasing some of their most famous songs for the legendary British music TV show, 'Top Of The Pops'. The venue was the BBC carpark in front of the BBC Television Centre. The show was recorded, and later aired on the digital channel BBC3 in late May and early June. Viewers then had to press a red button to view the concert on the channel's interactive service, which ran on a continual loop for several days.
The rock/hip hop hybrid, 'By The Way', kicked off the concert on a snazzy stage, in front of a very young looking audience. Frontman Anthony Kiedis appeared in a black frock coat, black shirt, bright blue tie, and fingerless love/hate gloves. Bassist Flea was attired in a diamond patterned V-neck sweater and red trainers, guitarist John Frusciante in open-necked shirt and dark blue jacket, and drummer Chad Smith was all in blue, and wearing a baseball cap back to front. English soccer legend Gary Lineker was seen craning his neck at the back of the crowd, looking a tad bemused.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers current British hit single, 'Dani California', was the second song the band performed, featuring a swirling guitar solo from Frusciante on his battered Fender Strat.
The schizoid 'Charlie' came next, with Kiedis dancing away merrily. There was little communication with the crowd at this concert, but the band seemed to be having a really good time. 'Charlie' was followed by Frusciante switching to acoustic guitar, for a nice, gentle rendition of 'Desecration Smile'.
'Californication' was the fifth song, and began with a touch of duelling banjos between Flea and Frusciante, and was the best performance of any song on the night.
The penultimate song, 'Under The Bridge', saw a mellow, rousing performance, and by this time Kiedius had warmed up enough, on a chilly night, to be down to his white vest. The show ends with the rock/hip hop mix of 'Give It Away' - a prominent staccato guitar amidst a penetrating rhythm, during which song Smith discards his baseball cap to reveal his bald pate, and Frusciante is down to his blue shirt. Flea lives up to his name jumping manically up and down with Kiedius.
Passing buses, trains, and even a helicopter, all got a view of The Red Hot Chili Peppers at one of the strangest concert venues of this or any other year.
- Paul Rance/booksmusicfilmstv.com.
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