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Watch Faith No More's Mike Patton refuse to lip-sync on Top Of The Pops in 1990

Mike Patton on Top Of The Pops in 1990
(Image credit: YouTube / BBC)

If there’s one thing metalheads should know by now, it’s to never put constraints on Mike Patton. The Faith No More frontman has been pushing boundaries for some thirty years; not only do his main band tear down the barriers between metal, pop and funk music; he’s also dabbled in grindcore, opera and jazz in his downtime.

Back in 1990, British music programme and prime time mainstay Top Of The Pops made the mistake of telling Mike what the fuck to do. Admittedly, at the time, no one knew how eclectic a superstar he’d become. He was the baby of Faith No More, having joined the year prior, and was prepping for his first UK tour with the band when they were put on the airwaves.

Nonetheless, Mike quickly wiped his arse with the show’s notorious “performers must ‘play’ along to a backing track” policy. The quintet were doing the lead single of 1989’s The Real Thing, From Out Of Nowhere, and it’s instantly apparent their singer isn’t taking it seriously. He swings his mic stand about with reckless abandon before miming with the kind of zany facial expressions usually reserved for Jim Carrey getting his pubes waxed.

Still, he’s technically playing ball – until the pre-chorus hits. Mike mindlessly babbles during that first “Whoa-oa whoa-oa”, before going even more apeshit the second time round, darting his fingers down his own face before standing there in mock shock while his own vocal lines keep playing.

Unlike many of his musical peers, Mike never goes full rock star tantrum, preventing the performance from going totally off the rails. It still blatantly highlighted the Top Of The Pops artifice, though, walking so that Nirvana could run when they intentionally butchered Smells Like Teen Spirit on the show two years later

Have a watch of the classic footage below.

Louder’s resident Cult Of Luna obsessive was still at uni when he joined the team in 2017. Since then, Matt’s become a regular in Prog and Metal Hammer, at his happiest when interviewing the most forward-thinking artists heavy music can muster. He’s got bylines in The Guardian, The Telegraph, NME, Guitar and many others, too. When he’s not writing, you’ll probably find him skydiving, scuba diving or coasteering.