1977: Not often DLT can do one of his excitable intro and still make it sound underplayed, but such is the peculiar genius of John Otway and Wild Willy Barrett. The audience are right to be dumbstruck into an awed silence. More professionally and exciting DLT more openly if less fun, The Dooleys just never stop grinning. Some fine trouser suits going on in the band. Flick Colby obviously liked to pick up on the little details, as Legs & Co's Diana Ross routine is almost entirely based on its first line.
1983: As we've seen over the last couple of weeks the Slade revival was predicated on handing out a job lot of branded scarves to the Pops crowd and soft rock antheming their way into arms aloft and waving acceptance while Dave Hill wears a hat. Seems to have worked every time. Watch the dancer just after the minute mark who gets bored and disappears into the crowd before the power chords really kick in. It's not clear why Noddy has a West Ham colours scarf on his mike stand, they don't fit with the set or clothing or anything else. Ozzy Osbourne didn't need that sort of anti-camouflaging, instead forcing us back as observers with a genuinely unnerving stare throughout. Much like the bald bloke from the ascendant Flying Pickets, in fact.
1988: Rick Astley's learnt a neat trick, pointing his mike to the backing singers when it's their turn. They already have a mike each and are just too far away to capitalise, but it's the thought that counts. The cult of Chris Lowe is advancing, Pet Shop Boys having earned enough to buy a keytar and beret.
1994: No idea what that intro is, and presumably Sophie B Hawkins needed explaining who Lily Savage was before progressing. These were the days when the BBC could really afford to build a set, so they chose to build Hawkins a public park in autumn seemingly just for the hell of it, it doesn't match the song or her routine. Similarly, what's the connection between arcade games and Erasure? Apart from some of the synth sounds, obviously, but that's not usually enough and Vince's keyboard is in front of the machines anyway. Maybe they had a budget to spend by the end of the year. Another thing the set designers liked around this time were their cauldrons, plenty on hand for Roxette as if Marie were to be ritually sacrificed at the end.