1981: What a brilliant letdown this intro is from the mustard coloured trousered Peter Powell. A special Spandau Ballet film (the video to Musclebound, as it happened)! People flying in fron Tokyo! Surprises! But first, Bad Manners! Not just grabbing whatever the costume department had to hand any more, Buster's in full city gent gear which presumably would have had to be specially fitted. Imagine. We've mentioned before about how unreliable Powell could be - oh, you wait until 1977 hits his debut come November - but really, introducing the bowler hatted, shoulder shaking, could have requested the bigger stage if they really wanted Sugar Minott as "a little bit of disco" is so wrong it's unimaginable. Was Paul Nicholas' work in vain? Presumably Powell thinks Department S, featuring Vaughan Toulouse as a slightly disturbing Alvin Stardust, is hip hop. There really is almost too much to mention on this show: "one of the very best cuts of vinyl you can get in the shops" The Beat; a big rock/punk element from Girlschool, straight off their hit Motorhead collaboration, and the already superannuated in every sense UK Subs; a hint of the future from a skeletal The Cure with what seem to be dual basses; and a reminder what 1981 was actually like in the charts. That is to say nuts, with The Nolans outdone by the theme music from The Life And Times Of David Lloyd George, which reached number two and saw Legs & Co dancing to its Ennio Morricone theme, a kind of "you'll know it when you hear it" deal but still thoroughly unsuitable for anyone expecting usual Legs & Co business. The back projections show solidarity with the working man.
1992: Perhaps fortunately after that onslaught there's not a lot else online from that date - nothing at all from 1987, for instance. To fill the space here's some Kylie.
2006: Strange to think there was a time not so long ago that Rihanna's stage show was a DJ and a couple of independent, late arriving dancers. She's stadium ready though, judging by the keenness to traverse the front of the stage clapping as she goes. More notably, though, this was the week of probably TOTP's last genuinely noteworthy live performance, the slowed down, flight crew themed version of Gnarls Barkley's Crazy. The audience aren't sure what to do and Danger Mouse's hat doesn't really fit his huge hair, but otherwise it briefly proved the show still had talking points left to give up. For a bit.