Wednesday, 14 November 2012

14th November

1985: Amid the neon and cheerleading of Hurll-era Pops the occasional guitar band could seem heavily out of place. Step forward Lloyd Cole & The Commotions, Cole somehow managing to both ooze charisma and essentially play mike stand musical statues. Paul King meanwhile preferred playing to camera than the audience, which makes sense but can't have been much fun if you were there at the front expectantly. He spends a lot of time with his fingers together too. At the end Mike Smith captures the aura of the mercurial David Byrne perfectly.

1991: A show most famous for the much trailed premiere of all eleven minutes of Michael Jackson's Black Or White video, including the bit where he smashes up a car and gets Points Of View correspondents' hackles up. In the studio Tina Turner slips on a jacket and a short dress and her body language attacks the front row. What Altern-8 lacked in such style they make up for in a huge backdrop, a workable live vocal and a hypeman on full blast.

2003: Pet Shop Boys became adept at fitting their show into the studio, and sometimes fitting a show around the song. Allowed to use big screens and their idea of what backing dancers should do, the only thing letting the side down is Chris' hair. The dancers for Outkast may be more linear and the stage set-up more basic but Andre 3000 in his lumberjack shirt, high waisted trousers and matching tie and braces - style icon, eh? - is all that's necessary to rouse the rabble. Black Eyed Peas have four frontmen and they can't manage that big a reaction. Also, you just wish Will.I.Am would take his own advice before the music has really started.

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