Saturday, 24 November 2012

24th November

1977: If Pan's People's nostalgia clip show staple is Get Down, what is Legs & Co's? I suspect it may be their interpretation of Jonathan Richman's Egyptian Reggae, giving it plenty of extravagant Wilson Keppel & Betty while Sue and Lulu, we're assured in that order front to back, take a strange kind of centre stage. Sue misses her cue at the end, though. And then out comes the snake, and how Pauline keeps a straight face for that bit must be one of the great wonders of television. Not that The Carvells were cashing in or anything but that's a lot of skateboard material, skateboarding film inserts and skateboarding lyrical references, relocating the Beach Boys to the skate park. Surfing, skateboarding, it's all of a piece. And look, someone in the audience has had the magical foresight to bring her own board. Bonnie Tyler sounds like she has laryngitis on top of the gravelly tone and gets overshadowed by her guitarist's foot on the imaginary monitor soloing.

1983: An appearance that begat a legend, The Smiths in full bloom. Look closely and you'll see the production team have anticipated his lack of interest by just not giving Morrissey a mike stand at all. As Simon Bates mentions here recreating the full TOTP set of the time in a smaller studio meant some amount of sardine-type packing while Paul Young and full company get the space to do all the joint hand-waving they fancy. Thompson Twins' Alannah Currie finally found a hat with a brim long enough for vertical take-off.

1988: Most dance acts would fill the stage with their mates prancing behind keyboards. Bomb The Bass' Tim Simenon, who is not most dance acts, makes do with some bongos and a reel to reel player. Nice of him to show up. Bananarama are occasionally credited with bringing vogueing to pop long before Madonna, except she never tried to make it into a full choreographed dance routine with aides and catwalk walks. You can probably tell which one of the three had just joined.

1994: In the new pop landscape Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine were taking no chances. Also dressed for a night out, classy punter rather than talent, Berri as featured vocalist with New Atlantic. Neither of the above may ever apply to Sinead O'Connor, whose shot at the start of this is certainly striking in a way a lurking band and an artfully ruffled curtain can never really be.

2000: Madonna lays the cowboy theme on a little thick. Keyboards would fall straight through normal hay bales, surely.

1 comment:

Steve Williams said...

Bates' reference to "a few problems" has always puzzled me, I've watched every clip from that show and haven't got a clue why he bothered mentioning it. Much like much Bates says, actually.