Monday, 28 December 2015

Sprout, Sprout, knock yourself out

Prefab Sprout knocking it out of the park with this live version of When Love Breaks Down from Whistle Test in 1985. Doesn't get better than this.

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Top of the Pops Christmas Day 1981

The first thing to say about this show is that it's presented by pretty much all the Radio 1 DJs of the time - Andy Peebles! Paul Gambaccini! Paul Burnett! - which means that alas two links feature Jimmy Savile (who appears to have turned up dressed as Geoffrey from Rainbow), which means it will probably never again be seen on British TV. A shame if so, as there are some memorable performances here and it would be easy to edit Savile out.

Honestly, there is so much to see: Julian Cope miming along to Reward dressed in what appears to be one of his mum's old frocks; Midge Ure doing Vienna in a gimpy leather cap with accompanying metal ch(a)in-strap. We know you're bald under there, Midge. There's also some quintessentially deadpan John Peel links; Colin Blunstone and lovely Kim Wilde singing live - albeit not together; Phil Oakey in full wonky-fringed mode, an inebriated-looking Adrian Juste introducing Kirsty Maccoll as "a little lady". Imagine being patronised in such a way by someone with precisely none of your talent.

Adam Ant reveals to Simon Bates that the highlight of his year was meeting the Queen. Phew, rock 'n' roll! Fans of Legs and Co should look away as show-offy usurpers Zoo prance about to the strains of Can You Feel It and O Superman; Steve Wright gets heckled by Chrissy Boy from Madness whilst introducing Toyah and Peter Powell invades Thereze Bazar's personal space (she should have kicked him in the knackers). There's also a communal rendering of All You Need Is Love over the end credits. All that plus The Beat, Depeche Mode, OMD and Altered Images with Clare Grogan done up like a Christmas tree. What more could you ask for?

video deleted by copyright killjoys

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

The Christmas Tree's On Fire

A salutary tale.

P.S. What's a tube sock when it's at home?

Monday, 14 December 2015

Cry Cry Christmas

Not only is Cry Cry Christmas by The Sweptaways featuring Magnus Carlson & The Gray Brigade my favourite Christmas song that hardly anyone knows, it may even be my favourite original festive song of the 21st century. And not just because for the most part they don't write them like they used to. This is simply brilliant.

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Oh Blimey It's Christmas

Hello again! Thought I might post a few less-obvious Christmas songs (if such things exist any more) here over the festive season - starting with this Frank Sidebottom effort from 1985, which spent a solitary week at number 87 in the UK pop 100 before plummeting to obscurity. The Christmas number one in this particular year was Merry Christmas Everyone by Shakin' Stevens. What a different place the world - or at least Christmas compilation albums - would be now had their two chart positions been reversed. Maybe Shaky would have had a film biopic made about his life starring Michael Fassbender or perhaps even Michael Sheen. We'll just never know now. Anyway, here's Timperley's finest with Oh Blimey It's Christmas.