Thursday, 23 February 2012

23rd February

1978: Blondie's debut, and right from the off everything looks just right - pouting Debbie in big boots and forgetting to put on a nice skirt, the boys in neat suits. That is except bassist Nigel Harrison, who does without the jacket and as he's since taken legal action against the rest of the band was always likely to be the one to keep a careful eye on. The Legs & Co contribution is one everyone remembers, as dancing girls in school uniforms plus stockings and suspenders doing high kicks are wont to be (and this is before Hot Gossip made it to television), to Free's All Right Now. You couldn't get much further from any of that then Brian & Michael's Matchstalk Men And Matchstalk Cats And Dogs, from the days when earthy folk songs about industrially inclined painters could go to number one. Backing vocals by St Winifred's School Choir, lest it be overlooked.

1984: "I'm dying to know what Marilyn has under his cloak" Janice excitedly expresses. Janice, it's Marilyn. I think we can take an informed guess between us. It's more exciting than the song, which only serves to prove Marilyn really shouldn't be trusted to lead a gospel ballad.

1989: S'Express's continued attempt to try and find a way to express their work on the national stage this time led to toy pianos and at least three people doing nothing. She does know you're supposed to use both hands on a guitar's strings, right? And yet with just a live mike as aid Michael Ball can put a lot more effort in.

1995: Hosted by Peter Cunnah, who for a full decade and a half was the most famous member of D:Ream. The rather more assertive Damon Albarn pulled double duty, firstly amusing himself on keyboards while Elastica re-enact the Waking Up video as far as regulations and teatime family viewing will allow, then in the week they won a million (four) Brit Awards Blur performed Jubilee off Parklife. The cameraman fairly smashes through rows of bodies at the outset, while during the break Damon artfully/uselessly smashes up a laptop, the effect lost by the cumulative effect of a camera circling Graham and interspersed shots from behind the drumkit of the cameraman and his assistant circling Graham. Coxon finishes by taking a Polaroid of a camera. It won't show much, Graham. Such arty affectations are lost on PJ & Duncan, who in having to promote a single called Our Radio Rocks choose to sing live, presumably hoping two wrongs might occasionally make a right.

1 comment:

Wellieman said...

Hi Simon, just catching up with your 'On This TOTP Day' blog. Sorry mate, cannot remember the Legs & Co routine at all. But that's probably because one of the iconic TOTP performances of all time from Blondie had just taken place!! I was probably still flat out on my back dribbling. God I hope my parents weren't in the same room at the time.