Thursday, 16 February 2012

16th February

1978: The birth of a legend. Kate Bush is held hostage by the orchestra going that little bit too slowly and all that dance training can't prepare her for the size and design of the stage rooting her to the spot, but the vocal ability stuns the audience into still silence, although often they're just like that anyway. Equally impressive is the gent at the front at the end with huge blonde hair. (As the caption says this is a repeat of this first appearance. The caption also gets the date of the repeat wrong, Kate did three different versions on the show, but we'll cross that bridge when we get to it) How hugely different it seems from the earthier delights of Darts. The pianist's got on the stage this time, while Den Hegarty... Den Hegarty. And how different the stage work of both to the studied nonchalance of Magazine's Howard Devoto. Where Tom Robinson Band - alright, Kid, calm down - fit into this narrative I can't quite decide, unless the Musician's Union sticker plays its part somewhere, but Tom could surely have found something more fitting than his school jumper.

1984: TOTP supported Slade to the bitter end, at least through their age of aiming at the stadiums. Jim Lea's never going to hit the right notes playing like that. The cooler kids had the Style Council, in a state where Paul had stopped passing notes on to Mick meaning the latter turning up in the cycling gear from the video only to find Paul in the shades and waistcoat he spent most (but not all, as we'll come to) of the decade in. Did Matt Bianco require dancers in cages? Regardless, it does seem the band didn't request balloons to be chucked at them, hence the lack of movement and the double bass player's constant vengeful bemusement. On Nena's debut you can't see her celebrated armpits at all, but she does sport a useless pink bandana and her guitarist engages in some thematic play-acting at the end.

1989: So by 1989 the Style Council had seen the winds of change and decided to embark on a new deep house direction. Weller proceeded to don flourescent shorts and debut the new style at a show at the Royal Albert Hall. It turned out to be their final gig and the album to go alongside it all was never released. In its TV visual version this meant duelling pianos, Paul singing side-on to camera and Dee C Lee leading the flock.

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