Sunday, 26 February 2012

26th February

1964: With some of these earlier surviving performances you're not sure whether they actually do come from Pops, so unlike all other footage and photos do they look. Billy J Kramer & The Dakotas, for instance, are playing in a small studio with no apparent audience and have still photos of children edited in, which gives some of the lyrics an unfortunate Gary Puckett Young Girl air. Guitarists standing on boxes wasn't standard issue for 1964 either.

1981: One of the shows presently available in its entireity: part one has Status Quo doing their regular performance and Beggar & Co thinking they look like gumshoes when they actually look like flashers; part two has Kim Wilde's debut giving a generation of adolescents funny thoughts, the Passions too icy for their own good and Madness completely abandoning the concept of realistic miming; part three is highlighted by some energetic jazz-funk and bow tie flagrancy from Freeez; part four gives us Kiki Dee's future Bob Says Opportunity Knocks theme (written by one of the Chanter Sisters, 1976 fans) with her name in literal lights. That prop can't have been used too much for all the effort put into it.

1987: "This next song is very very loud!" Well, you have sound editors at your end. The Cult are the noisy beggars responsible, Ian Astbury, Russian hat aside, looking every inch the popular image of a hard rock singer. Mike Smith and Steve Wright discuss events afterwards much as you imagine they might. Fair to say the same can't be said of Level 42 in their big coats and with a keyboardist conversant in the two vital skills for the time of making faces at lurking cameras and playing different synths with each hand. Mental As Anything had an art-school background and an ironic post-modernity to much of their work but it's difficult to express those theories when you're one hit wonders, though it may explain the drummer's shirt jacket. The one stage left doesn't seem that keen on joining in with the frivolity.

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