Thursday, 6 December 2012

6th December

1973: Classic festive action from Wizzard, Roy Wood, a man given to outlandish dressing up at the best of times, going the whole hog with bleach, wig, make-up, woolly hat, the works. The two drummers vie for who looks the more ridiculous as a festive biscuit tin mascot, there's some waving of balloon animals and the children's choir making a pretend horn section are too frightened to actually mime their lines. All the fun.

1979: Odd show, this, of ten studio performances only two were of songs in the top 40. UK Subs' lightspeed run through a Zombies classic entailed them dressing as an unlikely biker gang. While his band have smartened up M's backing singer Brigit Novik seems to have confused her Chinese fan for a microphone. Just as louche, The Stranglers gather around a white baby grand and a couple of potted palm trees. Never louche in the slightest, Motorhead can only get begrudging bops from the front row, or at least those who can see over the drumkit and its double bass drums. The Damned are stopped before Rat Scabies gets to destroy his kit, which always looks like an inevitability, though the organist rivals him for overactive miming. Keeping on a theme Legs & Co also don leather jackets, for a slightly different aim, in dancing often in line to Michael Jackson. Unlike some occasions when they've strutted their stuff in front of an invited seated audience everyone appears to be into this one, especially the man in the cream jacket excitedly slapping his knee at 0:47. That, by the way, is Danny Baker.

1984: Shakin’ Stevens brought in Hank Marvin, in the days when Marvin guitar solos were a selling point, so the producer sticks him miles away from the stage. Until the end of his solo you'd be forgiven for thinking he'd been green screened in. Spandau Ballet's jackets represent all the main colours, Martin Kemp's red jacket giving him the appearance of a military member of Showaddywaddy.

1990: There were quite a few groups like Twenty 4 Seven around at the time, their selling point being you couldn't tell which were the hired dancers and which the studio singers. Probably none of the latter. Nowadays they resemble a pub covers version of Black Eyed Peas. Cliff Richard was on the Christmas chart warpath with the requisite big choir of backing singers, though their thunder is stolen by the face the flautist makes, plus Cliff's miming along. He wasn't quite ruling all yet due to the pernicious Vanilla Ice.

1996: Quite hard to tell who's the stylistic tribute fake out of No Way Sis and Peter Andre.

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