Friday, 3 August 2012

Get Set For Summer

When folk talk about music television shows from the 1980s nowadays it's generally the same old programmes that get a mention: Top of the Pops, The Tube, Whistle Test. But when did you last hear someone extolling the virtues of early 80s BBC Manchester Saturday morning kids' magazine programme Get Set For Summer? Not recently I'll wager. But then that's what makes this blog different: we're not afraid to talk up stuff that no one gives a toss about may have slipped out of fashion or the public's consciousness down the years.

And Get Set For Summer most definitely falls into this category. Presented by the unlikely yet quintessentially eighties pairing of Peter Powell and Mark Curry, this show went out on BBC1 during those quiet summer months while Swap Shop was resting and Noel Edmunds was recharging his batteries in his coffin in Transylvania.

I remember it from my own childhood but hadn't appreciated until now, revisiting clips of it on YouTube, just what a marvellously representative snapshot of the UK chart music scene of 1981-83 it provides. When a show gets Yazoo to provide its theme tune you really know it means business. And the number of bands it caught either in their pomp or just as they were about to go huge was impressive: U2, Duran Duran, Depeche Mode and - to use a typical K-Tel compilation album tagline from the time - many more...

Firstly, here's a diffident and giggly Simple Minds chatting to Peter Powell before performing a completely live version of King Is White & In The Crowd - on kids' morning TV! (They actually played out this show with a version of Sweat In Bullet - also on YouTube - if you please.) Watching these clips it's hard to believe that the band were only a couple of years away from becoming stadium rock monsters.

Next, Mark Curry chats to Clare Grogan about her role in Gregory's Girl - I can't believe I'd never realised that she'd been working as a waitress (but not in a cocktail bar) when Bill Forsyth spotted her and asked her if she wanted to be in the film he was about to make. This interview is immediately followed by Clare joining her Altered Images chums onstage for a jaunt through Pinky Blue. Lovely stuff.

And finally here are The Jam with a rousing and thoroughly live version of Funeral Pyre. I didn't really appreciate the greatness of this band until a few years later - I only had eyes for Madness in junior school - but goodness me could they wig out.

Sadly that seems to be about as much of Get Set For Summer that's available online at the moment. But who knows, one of these days maybe the BBC might finally get around to going through with its pledge of fully opening up its archive for public consumption. For now we can only imagine the treasures such a move would unearth.

11 comments:

Pip said...

Saturday morning kid's telly and the Modfather still sings "pissing their selves laughing". I bet no-one complained either. Happy days.

Kippers said...

Ha, indeed! Can you imagine the twitstorm if such an occurence occurenced now?

Mick said...

Weller swore in front of all those children and look how that generation turned out! And their children are on the Jeremy Kyle Show every day with their lie detectors and DNA tests. It's a disgrace!! I'm going to start a campaign with the Daily Mail for more censorship. And as for you Mr Kippers putting this filth on your blog - I'm outraged!!

Kippers said...

Quite right Mick. I can only apologise, not only to you but to all the tiny children left baffled and frightened by my actions in posting this filth. I honestly don't know what I was thinking. I've let you down, I've let the class down and, more importantly I've let the nation down.

Yours in (and an) absolute disgrace,

Kippers

Agatha d'Ascoyne said...

Oh! I have no memory of this whatsoever, despite being prime target audience material (aged about 10). Either I was traumatised by Weller's foul mouthedness and have erased it from my memory, or I was nursing a hangover. Thanks for the trip down should-be-memory-but-isn't lane!

Kippers said...

Not to worry! You were probably outside playing or something.

Mick said...

Now that I've calmed down a bit I have a question. Do you have a code for joining the Group of Death? As a previous player I can register automatically but my kids want to join. They claim I only got good scores when I followed their advice. Bloody cheek. Also the young Nepalese lad in the Co-op has bet me a large sum of money he can beat me. He's probably right so we shook on £1.

Kippers said...

Amazingly Mick, I was posting the very code you're after just as you were signing the guestbook! What are the chances?

Kippers said...

But great to hear you'll be bringing some new players along for the season. We'll show those whippersnappers howe it's done (probably).

Richard Mattocks said...

I'm sure the *original* 1st series of this had a theme tune by hazel o'connor. I have memories of them doing a behind the scenes feature where we saw her record it.

Kippers said...

Interesting! It's entirely feasible given the lifespan of the programme.