Thursday, 31 May 2012

31st May

1979: Who says TOTP didn't cater for all cultures? Quantum Jump introduce Native American funk to the mix, Chas & Dave Cockney piano escapades.

1984: It seems the whole thing was online once but this, including half of Ultravox and Madness, is all that remains in one piece. The Smiths clip survives on its own, featuring people behind DLT holding up razors and Morrissey with the hearing aid in.

1990: Fair to say that sylph-like figure is not the original singer with Black Box, especially as that's actually Martha Wash on vocals and she sued the production trio for royalties and contributed to legislation ensuring full credit for recorded vocalists. Don't know if Chad Jackson got into similar trouble, but he sorts out the sampled vocals issue with placards and innumerable people presumably doing something towards the cause however unclear that is. Nice sax work.

2002: Billy Bragg was on this, standing on a box in the audience as I recall, but surprisingly that's nowhere to be seen. Instead we offer A provoking mass air punching and Rhianna - no, not Rihanna, Rhianna - with her own little square to perform on.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

30th May

1985: Janice Long, dressed as a bridesmaid, mentions "Peely can't make it" - this was the day after the Heysel tragedy, which explains that - and then attempts to embarrass Stephen Tin Tin Duffy. Then she lets a pleb have her say on Billy Ocean, who in his carpet underlay suit is in danger of being swallowed by dry ice. Scritti Politti for their part get an extra layer of lens Vaseline.

1991: Anthea Turner has "always loved the name" of Pop Will Eat Itself, which doesn't suggest much about the music. Siouxsie & The Banshees work an Indian motif, while Kylie Minogue works a look that she probably imagines Siouxsie would, the waggling arse at camera in tight leather memorably signposting her veering in direction away from the girl next door years. Sonia never did any such thing but that jacket seems some sort of rock chick nod. Not a very convincing one, obviously.

1996: Hosted by Jeremy Hardy (with Jack Dee), surely the most implausible Pops host pre-2004 or so. Backstreet Boys do the high degree of difficulty dance moves, Peter Andre mixes various 90s himbo obsessions - six-pack, sportswear, wet look hair.

1997: The Spice Girls introducing Faith No More. Geri does the devil horns. Victoria appears to fancy Mike Patton. What brought us to this place?

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

29th May

1980: In a packed programme Liquid Gold ham it up no end, Elton John settles for simplicity (and a hat, and a hamfisted drum machine), Legs & Co's interpretation of Crown Heights Affair becomes a living thing with the aid of some pom poms and careful choreography (fans, not troupe), OMD invest in some natty orange slats and frying pans for drums, Stiff Little Fingers wear the colours and a besuited Lena Zavaroni, still not yet 17, is growing up fast in musical terms. And that was it for a while. In protest at the BBC shutting down some of its orchestras, the Musicians Union went on strike and kept the programme off the air for nine weeks. When it returned Johnny Pearson and co had been stood down, Michael Hurll had come in as producer and a glorious new chapter in the show's history was on the horizon.

1986: Janice Long and John Peel are really quite keen on Pete Wylie's presence on the show and he repays all with thematic backing dancers and a pop art bass. Peel has a celebrated comment/threat to make at the end. Here, by the way, is that chart rundown and some other bits and pieces, John pulling out a superb non sequitur for the first of the Breakers. The Real Thing were still hanging around and by now were able to some degree to get their outfits in some sort of harmony. Another minor piece of note in the last link - as Peel boasts he's off to see Bogshed, apparently that's a young Zoe Ball to his right in the golfing trousers.

Monday, 28 May 2012

28th May

1981: Hazel O'Connor tries to look stentorian while sitting down

1987: Disco medleys came into fashion at the start of the 80s, waned some time around Hokoed On Classics, then were subject to a one band revival attempt. That band were Mirage and their public face weren't so much dancers as side to side prancers. How different from The Housemartins and their "banana shaped song".

2006: The whole of this one is up, uploaded by a big and perhaps increasingly lonely fan of Preston, who co-hosts seemingly without having come across the concept of reading out loud before. Part one features Matt Willis going for a stagedive, chickening out at the last minute and ending up singing back at the stage to little effect, plus Corinne Bailey Rae doing none of that. Part two features the Zutons and Nerina Pallot, part three Nelly Furtado and Primal Scream, part four Sandi Thom and the celebrated Gnarls Barkley again.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

27th May

1976: Alice Cooper must have left something of an impression if Heavy Metal Kids are anything to go by. Watch for the bloke at 0:33. Meanwhile, given the frankly ungrooveable TVC15 by David Bowie to work something for, Flick Colby basically gives up and tells the blokes in the group to do whatever.

1982: Co-presented by John Peel and Debbie Harry. A dream ticket, though in what seems to survive in the public forum Debbie appears to be more a guest. It's cut short by the FA Cup final replay, hence Peel's comment at the end of the link into Genesis, Phil still multitasking. Peel debuted his famous 'LIVERPOOL CHAMPIONS' jumper here, and in case you wondered Smash Hits had the answer...

1993: Suede do with a small cloud of dry ice, Lenny Kravitz dons a hat and gets shot through a kaleidoscope, Tears For Fears get first refusal on the smart new video screen.

2001: What an odd show this was. From the not too glamorous sounding Pennington’s in Bradford, the show marked both the Music Live event and the twentieth anniversary of 1981 by bringing on some stars of the day to perform a hit - ABC, Eddy Grant, Midge Ure, Roxy Music - and a couple of newer bands to cover songs of the year, Reef riding roughshod over Start Me Up, Spooks taking on Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic. The big finish? Soft Cell.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

26th May

1977: The show was still being introduced to the exciting new sound of the year, The Stranglers' debut seeing quite some japes going, not just in Cornwell and Burnel swapping instruments but... well, watch J-J's miming carefully right at the start. Frankie Miller's Full House may have seen the odd Faces performance. There's a salutory reminder of the mind of DLT before Brendon take on an Abba song with plenty of clapping. Bryan Ferry's Tokyo Joe is tackled by Legs & Co with, um, Chinese symbolism. All the same, isn't it? Someone should certainly have seen to the big tear in one of those lampshades.

1983: The Police. In his first close-up Andy Summers looks on the verge of mass murder. Here's the chart rundown.

1988: Whole of this one's online, here and here, except for (as far as studio performances go) Scritti Politti. Debbie Gibson, Ofra Haza with her bank of televisions like a Dixons window, Hothouse Flowers, Mica Paris and Wet Wet Wet are all however present and correct.

1994: Bruce Dickinson's backdrop must have been tough to transport. Interestingly, he appeared in the studio as himself before he had with Iron Maiden - Paul Di'Anno and Blaze Bayley were the singers on the band's three visits to this point, Bruce only doing so once he rejoined.

Friday, 25 May 2012

25th May

1978: Disco-a-go-go! The Real Thing get a Floyd-aided Legs & Co leg up, shortly before the augmented troupe take on John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John. Heatwave meanwhile retreat into soul, and there's something a bit needy about their singer's grinning to camera. Even Cilla Black was making tentative steps in the dancefloor direction. Boney M, obviously, exist on their own plane. On a completely opposite tack, Black Sabbath.

1989: Not only did Lynne Hamilton have the Prisoner Cell Block H theme but her hat is better than Donna Summer's. Nice demonstration of the Sky EPG in that clip.

1995: Lee & Herring host. Listen carefully, remembering this is prime-time family television, to Richard's retort to Stewart's intro to McAlmont & Butler. Also, Nightcrawlers' John Reid looking ever more like a man hopelessly out of place and Michelle Gayle monograms her kit.

2001: Mark B & Blade, plus Grant Nicholas of Feeder who remixed this single, cause overuse of the quick zoom function. Musically, it's pretty much the same as Radiohead. Thom looks quite proud of his work at the end.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

24th May

1979: Is The Skids' Richard Jobson wearing a scarf, a tie or some sort of neckerchief? Whatever, it's nothing on the look Gary Numan gave to the nation on his debut with Tubeway Army. Legs & Co had Donna Summer's Hot Stuff to deal with and threw everything - belly dance outfits, swimsuits, crotch shaking - at it.

1984: Everton? Mocking Peel, are you, Janice? Wham! give their celebrated Katharine Hamnett togs exposure, compared to whom Alvin Stardust, still holding the mike like that, resembles a village school headteacher.

1990: The B-52s' only studio appearance and Fred is almost entirely useless. En Vogue believe in the later much abused power of harmonic acapella, drilled to perfection. The Don Pablo's Animals reworking of Shocking Blue's Venus, which reputedly neglected to credit its source, comes with some people who could be anyone, frankly. Someone attempts to get the audience going but without the crucial aid of a mike.

2002: Pink makes out she's some sort of hard rock chick, A1 make out they're a serious band with acoustic guitars and stuff, and Liberty X try to make out there aren't really blokes in the band.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

23rd May

1968: From a show co-hosted by Mickey Dolenz, Julie Driscoll, Brian Auger & The Trinity exude nonchalant Sixties cool.

1974: Here's a weird one in every sense. A scene shifters' strike meant sets couldn't be taken down - Blue Peter supposedly had to use a bit of a Doctor Who set - and bands weren't allowed to have drumkits or keyboards set up. What this meant, as seen on this small fragment of Cockney Rebel which is all that remains of the show, is some very odd looking performances.

1985: A overly well dressed Steve Wright introduces Go West with Peter Cox in the midst of violent spasms, Marillion and Gary Moore & Phil Lynott, Wright literally giving it the thumbs up before the pair in their red military jackets hold sway.

1991: T'Pau in what appears to be an attempt to sex up Carol Decker, Simple Minds' Jim Kerr having delusions of Bono and Beverley Craven exuding simplicity itself - piano, live vocal, no dry ice for once.

1997: One of Mark and Lard's two hosting gigs, notable for Placebo's Brian Molko picking out a little black number.

2003: Run for your lives, it's an immediately pre-Eurovision Jemini!

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

22nd May

1980: For his second appearance with the same song they built Jona Lewie his own set. Dancing in a new way indeed. No such niceties from UK Subs and even fewer from Cockney Rejects. Listen for the cheer when Mike Read mentions West Ham's FA Cup win. Junior Murvin took back a punk-covered song for reggae with some trepidation. Watch him try a move at 1:46 and struggle to get back up quickly enough. Before he brought Matthew along Karel Fialka was a quite scary, strident New Wave frontman with great keyboard players. How Flick Colby must have scratched her head when Theme From M*A*S*H* was allocated to Legs & Co. In the end, the word went out to just do whatever.

1986: Spitting Image's then number one The Chicken Song was actually in the studio, it says here, but no online record of that. Instead Simply Red, Mick Hucknall grasping his mike tightly with never a thought of how it looks.

1998: While Bus Stop coerced Carl Douglas into reworking his hit and looking about as far out of place while still enjoying it as he can, Lutricia McNeal got the director to use the blue filter.

Monday, 21 May 2012

21st May

1981: A load of rags and a full head of bouncy hair, that's Toyah. Speaking of hair, the Human League unveil the girls and the world's worst keyboard miming.

1987: While Fish of Marillion shows off his Rupert The Bear outfit, Whitney Houston brings the big voiced classy soul.

1992: Ce Ce Peniston brings her Madchester cap, Richard Marx a jobbing heavy metal band as backing.

1993: Still too big to come to the studio, Bon Jovi are "live in Glasgow". At 7.30? I bet it's not live. No such allowances made for Saint Etienne, noting the clever correlation between crown and cloak against Sarah's God Save The Queen T-shirt. Pete couldn't find anything, mind.

1999: For anyone attending this summer's Happy Mondays reunion shows, a warning from recent history. You'd think Super Furry Animals would make the effort, wouldn't you? Skunk Anansie say nuts to usual order and put the string section in halves down the front.

2004: Beastie Boys' only studio appearance, relatively late in the day but still on point. A more regular visitor, Morrissey returned to screams, many years after the fact. In between Will Young rarely fails to find a camera to address up and down his big catwalk.

2006: Co-hosted by Diarmuid Gavin. And they wonder why it went under. The Ordinary Boys vs Lady Sovereign make the most of their moment.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

20th May

1976: Busy week for the Ruby Flipper girls, not only putting in a shift to Wings but Patti looking all close-up soft-focus allurring over Robin Sarstedt's desert bureau (watch him piss himself laughing in the background of Diddy's link out) and Cherry whipping her hair back and forth to Mud. Showaddywaddy came with their own dancers.

1982: The never knowingly understated Peter Powell's on fine form introducing Rocky Sharpe & The Replays and ABC have the sharp moves and sharper suits, but this is not their domain. Not when Adam Ant is famously being given the run of three stages with a scenario each.

2005: Kelly Osbourne the electropop diva? Nearly pulls it off too, but for her own clear inhibition and those dancers, like a robot from 1984.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

19th May

1977: Kid did like his poetic intros. A show represented in full: part one features a largely seated Suzi Quatro, Linda Lewis in front of the early 80s BBC news graphics and Bay City Rollers on the way out; part two starts with Kid taking a ride on a camera before panning to Carol Bayer Sager, white of trouser, hands on hips, refusing to tell what 'he' does with bread, followed by Joe Tex playing around on Soul Train, Legs & Co taunting epileptics and Tony Etoria's "good disco fun", followed by the singular Joy Sarney. Imagine the orchestra having to re-record that. The real gold comes in part three as the Jacksons come "from the land of a thousand dances" and Michael decides he can trust a Top Of The Pops crowd with participation with inevitable consequences, then Bedouin trousers all round for Legs & Co's Shuffle, then Kid air guitars away as the Jam bring their "effervescent new 45" and those of their ilk - "a new rock phenomenon known as New Wave", which is fair comment as that's what the music press labelled them as at the time - to the show for the first time.

1983: Lots of dancing up and down in formation for D-Train, plus a very tall woman in the crowd. David Grant adds body popping to his soul repertoire, Dig Wayne of JoBoxers' limbs turn to rubber (what's going on at the very start?) and Vince Clarke of Yazoo comes up with an ever more ludicrous haircut.

1988: Sharing a charity double A side with Wet Wet Wet's With A Little Help From My Friends, Billy Bragg and Cara Tivey were invited on. Bragg, who'd been on a long tour, couldn't remember the words, taped them to the floor and watched the dry ice obscure them. Also on, Prefab Sprout, Aztec Camera with lively session backing singers and Derek B plus turntablism demonstration.

1994: The whole show, during which Alice Cooper enacts... something on Bruno. If you ask me, I think they've overplayed it. Otherwise 2 Unlimited, Bad Boys Inc, Seal in big headphones, Julia Fordham, East 17 and the first of many, many showings for Love Is All Around.

Friday, 18 May 2012

18th May

1967: Jimi Hendrix Experience on an appropriately patterned set.

1978: The uploader of this Plastic Bertrand clip calls him "a terrible sellout". It's subsequently turned out he didn't even sing the song, which puts a whole new angle on that. More credible punk is held up by The Stranglers giving the lighting man a workout and X-Ray Spex doing likewise for visual editing. Elkie Brooks' band are more lively than for Pearl's A Singer, but all manner of cake is taken by Guy Marks' self-penned oddity plus the Johnny Pearson orchestra.

1989: Only five months since she'd appeared on the show while heavily pregnant, Neneh Cherry back with another large medallion.

1995: Pulp debut Common People in a set that lovingly evokes the video while not giving the band much room. Across the studio Billie Ray Martin sticks wings on her dancers and gets them to enact some sort of love-based routine. Neither of these could top Robson & Jerome, the constant fly in the 1995 ointment.

2001: Still far too big to come into the studio themselves, Bon Jovi are presented in special live form. Think of the fun they could be having. Travis did, the setup loosely based on the video. Credit Fran Healy for choosing live vocals despite it all.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

17th May

1979: The Tubes had changed a little since their emergence as eminence grises of glam hard rock, by now TV-obsessed post-ironic new wave produced by Todd Rundgren. No wonder the audience have no idea what to make of it. TOTP's slow attempt to get attuned to heavy metal continues with Judas Priest and a leftover Christmas decoration. Max Webster and band have "come over water" and yet Max still chose those clothes. The new wave representation comes from XTC and Legs & Co providing as many interpretation of the little black dress as possible for Blondie.

1984: Womack & Womack in front of an illuminated Dulux chart.

2002: This first clip will need some explanation, and shows a lot of how Pops got it wrong around this time. When the Hives played Main Offender live they'd stop stock still at the end of the last proper chorus for about twenty seconds - here's an example from a US MTV gig. So they do the same on Pops... and the whole audience does likewise without explanation, or even many shots of the band to actually illustrate what's happening. If you didn't know, which is likely it looks like they've decided to get the audience to do it for no reason. (Which is true, of course). Hundred Reasons and The Cooper Temple Clause keep the pop wolves at bay but pop's not doing well from this week either, represented by the novelty of Nigel & Marvin - but that's only one bloke! And what are all the strips of cloth about? - Bellefire providing the answer to the Corrs/Westlife crossover nobody requested and the complete cut-and-shut pop-opera attempt of Russell Watson and Faye Tozer. Those who saw Cleo Laine on TOTP77 a couple of shows ago and thought punk would sweep MOR away, be careful what you wish for.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

16th May

1985: Jimmy Nail emotes, Kim Wilde rockabillies out in unconvincing leathers.

1991: Not to suggest times were moving quickly, but New Kids On The Block's attempt to include full-on rap into their moveset seems a touch overreaching. As you'll see at the end, Bruno Brookes has dressed appropriately for them. One upload brings us both Dannii Minogue and Jason Donovan, the former going for the old coat-removal trick, the latter sporting an unamped guitar. Cathy Dennis wanted some of Dannii's post-Kylie reflected glory too; Crystal Waters much less so but she still busts out some moves.

1996: Now Bez-free, Black Grape do what they can with the material. Host Ian Wright attempts to make up for the leering quotient.

1997: Like a purposeful attempt to fall between every single stool, North And South - a boy band with members playing synth and, like Busted far too early, a red-haired guitarist. No wonder the kids preferred Damage's Clapton cover.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

15th May

1980: This is what they want! Hands across the divide style, Tiswas' The Four Bucketeers throw the buckets not of water to a baffled audience. Filmed for Pops, Peter Gabriel puts on a rather more substantially thought out show. That means he doesn't have to witness DLT's shorts. Elsewhere there's a horseshoe arranged Squeeze, a guitar wielding Bryan guides Roxy Music through his idea of new wave and Legs & Co interpret Mystic Merlin in the always inevitable 'sexy devil' fashion, until the twist ending.

Monday, 14 May 2012

14th May

1981: A Cup Final special! Um, only because it was shoehorned into the half hour before the final. None of this is of significance to Thin Lizzy or a now smoke bomb equipped Tenpole Tudor.

1992: Del Amitri's Justin Currie borrows a coat from John Motson.

1999: See, Westlife? Backstreet Boys prove you can deliver an entire ballad sitting down in nice suits and not feel obliged to get up and walk to the lip of the stage.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

13th May

1971: The Hollies' Allan Clarke shows off his special trouser hems.

1976: How on earth would you explain The Wurzels to the uninitiated? He's not really playing that sousaphone, is he? Meanwhile it's the nightmare combination of DLT dancing and Paul Nicholas. Ruby Flipper got their own chance later on with Archie Bell and the Drells, and no surprise to see who gets the short shorts.

1982: Literally entering stage right, Simon Le Bon passes a man in a silly hat to join Duran Duran and their many shades of suit. The Associates too are dressed for the occasion, though one doubts Martha Laidly is really playing that violin like that. Joan Jett & The Blackhearts get the whole audience onside and punching the air along like Americans, while Fun Boy Three let the horn section have their moment.

1993: Tina Turner, live via satellite from Monte Carlo (!), where they have good amounts of arena reverb and a screen for her to stand behind for a big entrance.

2005: Hello, Amerie's band? We kind of worked out that's not actual percussion, it's a sample. Also, you forgot the guitar and synth parts. Thank goodness for bands who know what they need like Oasis with Liam in his Hopkirk suit. Or indeed Maximo Park, Paul Smith quite the surprise package. Nobody ever said "thank you, Top Of The Pops!" at the end of songs so passive-aggressively.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

12th May

1977: Well, this is fulsome, not to mention such an odd show Jimmy comes back on in a wig and suit halfway through claiming to be his own twin brother Percy and it seems par for the course. In 1977 they callled white funk bands Honky without prejudice, covering their gear in party poppers and streamers as if we'd missed their grand intro. Blue (not that one) are stuck away in a corner, the pianist having to find ever more acute angles at which to meet the camera with his gaze. "Ooh, Trinidad Oil Company!" indeed, and to think their Wolves colours-sporting steel band and their calendar-centric nature is only the start of an oasis of offbeatness as Percy cues up Legs & Co as flowers to Sue's bee in the name of Piero Umiliani's Mah Na Mah Na, Simon May misses pretty much every note and Martyn Ford Orchestra deal with disco in the way you'd expect an orchestra to, helped by the St Vitus' Dance of Ford himself. Watch for the point with which he cues up the sax solo. And then Mud go synthpop! Kind of. Dave Mount has grown a fine fake tache. Then a complete about-turn in stylistic and qualitative terms as Billy Paul in his big floppy hat has to recite the Malcolm X/MLK samples from the record himself and Dr Feelgood's Lee Brilleaux will take the whole audience down single handedly if he has to.

1983: This one is famous for the brief appearance of Agnetha Fältskog, and with body language like Tommy Vance's it's no wonder she'd soon become a recluse. Elsewhere, the Belle Stars in their monogrammed baseball gear. We've seen the Creatures' performance before, but having worked out that watching percussion for three minutes isn't in itself a televisular spectacular Zoo were pressed into emergency action.

1988: Run for the hills, it's a comedy song on Pops, Harry Enfield (and Paul Whitehouse, Charlie Higson and William Orbit, but nobody had heard of them then) having a handful of props and little idea otherwise. Even the forgotten novelty hit of the year Star Turn On 45 (Pints) had got their visual act sorted in advance, including much the same 'scratching' gags, and check that special end caption. Back in the land of the living Narada's backing isn't as much stylish backing vocalists/dancers as people along for the ride, and the vocal part runs out quite some distance from the end of this version.

1994: Iggy Pop on Pops? Yes, but it's not vintage rock and roll posing by any means. For that you'll need number one Stiltskin. Real punk anti-establishment, kicking over the amp stack and diving into the crowd with a live mike, from the band formed off the back of a session musician recording for a Levi's advert.

Friday, 11 May 2012

11th May

1978: The caption makes my Ian Dury & The Blockheads intro observation for me, but just along the running order is a more egregious debutant, Sham 69. Tom Robinson Band make up a still eclectic trio of punks, while the AOR radio quotient is restored by Goldie.

1989: Yazz, so big she affords her own overlaid close-up and has people go to Interflora for her. It's a wildly different scene from Stevie Nicks, and quite a bit more was spent on Stevie's dress. The hat, surely, wasn't necessary.

1995: Scatman John. There are no others. But he's miming the scat and not the proper vocals!

2001: Joining that highly select group of musical greats to have performed twice on the same show, Geri Halliwell in her boxer's shorts (not boxer shorts, handles for forks shorts like a boxer would wear) and also in some sort of tubular thing. Why do the audience scream as it's lowered? Do they think she lives like a hermit up there permanently?

Thursday, 10 May 2012

10th May

1979: They may have been the first punk singles band but the Damned weren't entrusted with a TOTP slot for two and a half years. Everyone dressed down as always, the good Captain especially. Sparks meanwhile hadn't been on since autumn 1975, in which time Ron hadn't got any less disturbing. Similarly, including the last bit, the Shadows, who'd continue to fly in the face of pop nostalgia convention by appearing on the show for a few years yet.

1984: A Rhythm Pals show but not much of it about, save for disco soul contender Terri Wells and her high maintenance quiff.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

9th May

1985: Get the feeling from this intro that John and Janice had seen some criticism of Pops presenting. They're introducing The Style Council with Weller's bass slapping and mild swear - there's kids watching! - and Curtis Hairston having a shot at the electro-soul market with the aid of a very neat moustache.

1991: Having given up on live vocals, Bernard Sumner also does away with the Electronic original in favour of a piano house remix and not giving Johnny much to do at all. T99 demonstrate how house was properly done back then - airpunching keyboard players and a woman in her bra badly miming.

1996: The lesser spotted Bear Van Beers introduces as only she could Blur, Damon exhibiting the sort of self-absorption typical of being screamed at like that.

1997: Another Eurovision UK entrant, Katrina & The Waves have a miniature Last Night Of The Proms.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

8th May

1980: Why not watch the whole thing? Part one has the Human League's debut with the original lineup, part two Prelude and Matchbox in their car, part three Peter Powell purposefully getting the Jona Lewie song title wrong (plus Kirsty Maccoll on nonchalant backing vocals) and a Cockney Rejects repeat, part four OMD and a Ruts performance repeated but not featured here at the time as it wasn't around on its own, and part five the Undertones getting to check first hand with the Human League in the green room.

1986: The Cure's Robert Smith might have actually just got out of bed; no such inelegance for Chas & Dave, even if they do have to share screen time with clips of singing snooker players.

1998: Freak Power stage a very convoluted kind of onstage house party; All Saints assume crash position. That guitar lick's played by Richard Hawley, y'know.

Monday, 7 May 2012

7th May

1981: All Legs & Co this week, firstly circling Shakin’ Stevens and his pink suit in their ballroom gowns, then illustrating Starsound's Stars On 45 in their skimpiest cheerleader-like outfits, then donning Spurs kit to blend in with the squad and Chas & Dave in de cup for Tottingh-Ham (yes, this is the re-edited version shown after the Cup final) Garth Crooks is there, finding the experience so fun he came back a year later.

1987: Depeche Mode's Martin Gore in the process of finding out what a guitar is; Sly & Robbie insist on having people play all the samples, including the pitchshifted vocals.

1992: Shorts and indoor plants all round for KWS

Sunday, 6 May 2012

6th May

1976: Mud's surprising late sideroad into disco (the first dancefloor hit penned by the man who'd write Can't Get You Out Of My Head and Groovejet), Cliff Richard in jeans so tight you can tell his religion (oh, wait) and the actively sickly JJ Barrie leaving even Noel taking the piss. Also, the Stylistics-soundtracked debut of the mighty Ruby Flipper.

1982: Football fever, not to mention a right crush backstage, with World Cup songs in the form of England's We'll Fly The Flag (not online AFAIK) and Scotland (John Robertson's cameo particularly worthy) plus Chas & Dave and Tottenham on Cup Final duty. Steve Archibald was alone in pulling double duty, only session singer extraordinare Tony Burrows matching that feat of appearing twice the same week with different acts. Elsewhere Junior meets his people, Tight Fit suffer thematic follow-up trauma and Patrice Rushen accessorises her headband. And in case that wasn't enough, Paul and Linda McCartney popped by to mark Ebony And Ivory at number one. Paul seems to be enjoying Bananarama.

1993: 2 Unlimited back when you could still get away with this kind of thing, while Ace Of Base make do with a big sign and some ersatz sax.

2005: Fearne Cotton introduces her at the wrong point of the link, but Gwen Stefani and her marching band coterie won't be stopped that easily. The Tears' Brett Anderson still thinks it's 1993.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

5th May

1977: Delegation present The Green Lantern - The Harmonic Soul Years. Legs & Co present The Eagles - The Spanish Crossdressing Years. And Joy Sarney? She's off somewhere of her own accord.

1983: The thousandth show, still archived in RealVideo by the long defunct TOTP2 minisite. Features plenty of old favourites, including Richard Skinner and David Jacobs introducing Radio 1's simulcast, some Rhythm Pal-age (at the start of the video clip that mentions Jonathan King) and DLT with a film of Noel when he looked slightly different. On stage are the Thompson Twins in a variety of hats of various fits, The Human League's Ian Burden in his 2000AD T-shirt, The Beat's Dave Wakeling spending half the song sitting down for no good reason and Spandau Ballet atop, followed by some Savile prescience. Oh, and for that week's Radio Times John Peel penned this.

1988: Magnum, the favoured band of the Amish.

1994: Opposite extremes, Killing Joke with lots of strobes, shouting and drop-D noise, Evan Dando on his own.

Friday, 4 May 2012

4th May

1967: A tracking-averse, blurry but frankly still live Jimi Hendrix Experience

1978: An overliterally choreographed Dooleys, nonchalant and overmanned Hi-Tension, Hegarty excelsis on Darts' behalf and Manhattan Transfer at the dressing up box

1989: KLF's Manual followers Edelweiss throw every Austrian thing they can think of at it, Debbie Gibson shows why teen idols have stylists these days and Kylie Minogue has a smart new bra.

1995: The Wildhearts have their end cut off by host Whigfield. A curious juxtaposition.

2001: Depeche Mode strip down the kit even further.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

3rd May

- Pretty inevitable a show hosted by Jimmy Savile would get a certain Undertones single, don't you think?
- Jimmy brings his special friend, a grown up Chief Tadpole and the debut of The Police before Sting learnt what mikes are for
- Mike Oldfield goes an approximation of disco; his guitarist tries it on

- The usual attention-all-shipping live in the studio New Order performance
- Human League, Phil examining the possibilities of George Michael-esque stubble and leather jacket over white vest plus a mullet

- Ah, Morrissey. No need for a band this time.

- Mad'Donna. Er, yes.
- What exactly are Sugababes' backing band doing here? It's clearly a sample! Lisa Snowdon pretty much just said so!

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

2nd May

- Jimmy troubled a young woman before Bay City Rollers unveil their short-lived cricket jumper phase
- Jimmy then debuts his special Alvin Stardust stance, the man himself getting his usual CSO screen
- The usual subtle understatement from Wizzard
- Do you think Abba's costumier had a favourite?

- Eurythmics, and Annie is strutting in the temporary belief she's Tina Turner or something
- Nobody there is quite sure what to make of a live performing New Model Army

- White robes, hoods, horns and sitars. This is what The KLF is about indeed.
- In trying to master not the world's most difficult dance moves Cathy Dennis frequently just forgets to mime
- Andy McCluskey of OMD surely too old for that leather jacket
- A notoriously overegged Eurovision UK entry by Samantha Janus, whose backing singers are doing most of the stage work

- Sleeper get an extra guitarist in so Louise can flutter her eyelashes at camera better

- Maybe they were short of presenting options this week as Cathy Dennis wasn't the most obvious candidate.
- Actually it's about the best thing on the show, thought for the sake of something we might as well include Robbie Williams the caner and Saffron of Republica's wayward live vocals.

- The in no way contrived tATu hadn't done UK Pops for All The Things She Said and it doesn't look like they're enjoying the motions much once here
- Realising they really didn't sound like a three guitar band, Busted stick Charlie behind the drumkit and hope for the best

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

1st May

- Mean Streets sartorially inspired Dexys Midnight Runners pick their instruments up from the floor where they left them

- Maxi Priest and his wine bar clientele brass section
- Mike Smith in his ironic shades and deadly serious lime green jacket introduces Princess and her purple rinse

- The first show with the reversioned Whole Lotta Love theme that lasted to the end. Meanwhile The Mavericks find the most elaborate sleeves you'll ever see
- Kula Shaker don't yet realise psychedelia isn't just props and a background