Wednesday, 17 October 2012

17th October

1985: Most if not all Shakin’ Stevens performances are the same - he stands near the front of a stage, maybe one lightly dusted in dry ice, and does that sidestepping Elvis-shuffle for three minutes. Given the in-the-round stage to work, he goes no further than a little perimeter perambulation. Elton John can't do that, he's got a piano to play, so in his muted suit and glasses he has to rely on others to create the atmosphere for him. The audience, clapping above their heads and swaying like it's a power ballad, are keen to fill in.

1991: Slade made more TOTP appearances than any other band - sit down, Status Quo, we have statistics - so you can forgive them for drifting a little towards the end. On this final of 56 studio slots they dress as Fields Of The Nephilim and Dave Hill waves the fretboard in the cameraman's face. Once upon a time they'd have dished out far more than one branded scarf. And then, with all the space and expense they could ever want, Monty Python. Well, Eric Idle, really, plus a few extras, stuntmen and at least one crew member building his part up. Rhetorical question: where is he actually going at the end? It's going to have to turn round in a very few seconds.

2003: The appeal of Blondie was to some extent that Debbie Harry never tried to dance on the spot. Until 2003, that is. Kylie Minogue meanwhile did hardly anything but dance these days around then, even if the light show was substantially scaled down.

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