Sunday, 29 April 2012

29th April

1971: One of the earliest regular shows to be retained in full, and one of the most interesting too in all sorts of ways. For one thing, The Faces got to do two songs, the first three minutes of slide guitar and Ronnie Lane comments of approval, the second showcasing Ronnie Wood's novelty guitar and Rod's pink jacket. It's a wonder McGuinness Flint and their banjo/accordion led rock'n'roll hoedown and Open University beard didn't quit on the spot. Elsewhere Lulu gets backing from Pan's People and a few hundred backing singers, two of whom spend part of the song dancing together (plus her then husband Maurice Gibb is one of the shadowy guitarists); The Mixtures vow to have a quiet but urgent word with their manager; and at number one in the chart countdown, the intro to the big hit by Dave & Ansil Collins get the director's camera change console pressing fingers working in a precedent to Daley Thompson's Decathlon levels of button mashing.

1976: Twelve year old Midge Ure in Slik has a certain cherubic quality to it even though he's trying to seem more like a man of class, borrowing Manuel & The Music Of The Mountains and feigning an interest in baseball style like that. The girl at the end has gone above and beyond the call of duty with her headgear, and if you watch behind the band from 2:45 you'll see the moment Tony spots her. What is there to say about Laurie Lingo & the Dipsticks? Nothing. That's what, nothing. Apart from that that's what the Ladybirds looked like.

1982: Yazoo set up as simplicity itself - singer, keyboard player, no flashing lights, no extraneous interruptions. Then Vince Clarke decides the Flock Of Seagulls hair look is the way forward. Someone should tell Alison her beret has slipped. Compare to Monsoon's fussy introduction of Indian influence to the mainstream, Sheila Chandra running the gamut of exotic poses. They've put the sitar player on a carpet raised just above the ground. It's a wonder the show didn't give the audience takeaway boxes to wave. At the other end of the indigenous spectrum another recent Eurovision winner pops by, so "let's hear it for Nicole!" But not for that turquoise jumpsuit.

1993: A show retained in two thirds of its length, and you're not missing much without the third. The first part kicks off with D:Ream, and yes, that is who you think it is, followed by a chart rundown including the Dave Clark Five and SWV in their work overalls. As for part two there's a track called Power Of American Natives which isn't as ill conceived as you may have feared, Inner Circle from the summer of synth-reggae and Robert Plant being a leonine Robert Plant.

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