1979: My, there's a lot of Fiddler's Dram. Rather too many, you could argue, with three backing singers, a man playing air bassoon and one spare at the back by the drummer who seems to have just come for the ride, he's nowhere near any microphone or instrument. And please welcome Aslan on guitar. When the tempo increased, as with The Beat, that's when the set designers got to work properly with a flashing light show that'd make any mobile disco propreitor proud. Nothing I write here can add to the oddness that is Legs & Co's get-up for Status Quo, in the Monster Mash class of dressing up box raiding for vague thematic purposes. How come everyone scarpers when Pauline shows up? Who had to operate the 'clouds'?
1984: It's a real clash of the titans. In one corner, Black Lace and someone belatedly realising a song called Do The Conga should involve a conga line somewhere. A flying V? The very nerve of it. In the opposite corner, and presumably the second of Peter Powell's "party records", The Toy Dolls, wrap-round shades all round, an amount of assailing with balloons early on and top jumping on cue. And in a dressing room somewhere wondering exactly what her UK A&R had been going on about promising to get her on this show for years and then turning up to find it playing out like this, Madonna. No wonder she wanted to look inconspicuous.
2002: So you've sat through Black Lace and the Toy Dolls and come out no worse for the experience? Right then. Here's the Rainbow single. No, not Ritchie Blackmore. That Rainbow. Thank me later.