26-03-81: Presenter: Richard Skinner (Thanks to POPSCENE for the running order)
(36) POLECATS – John I'm Only Dancing (backed by Legs & Co.)
(2) KIM WILDE - Kids In America (video)
(43) GRAHAM BONNET - Night Games
(23) HAZEL O'CONNOR - D-Days
(10) TONY CAPSTICK - Capstick Comes Home
(37) GILLAN - New Orleans
(13) LYNX - Intuition
(53) LENE LOVICH - New Toy
(54) BAD MANNERS - Just A Feeling
(20) THE WHISPERS - It's A Love Thing (danced to by Legs & Co.)
(11) LANDSCAPE - Einstein A Go-Go
(1) SHAKIN' STEVENS - This Ole House (backed by Legs & Co.) ®
(24) BUCKS FIZZ - Making Your Mind Up (credits)
"...and then there were 5!" As with their atmosphere-enhancing role accompanying Sharon Redd last week/night, Legs & Co. are once again deployed to go 'over the top' and position themselves in audience-land to rev the crowd up for The Polecats'cover version of David Bowie's sexually ambiguous No.12 from 1972 - John, I'm Only Dancing. The Legs cover positions themselves far and wide for this one, having initially deceived us that they were down to three, Lulu and Rosie are eventually located thrashing their blonde locks all over the place, a tight camera angle leaving the option open for the notion of one more dancer just out of shot. A second and final appearance for the rockabilly revivalists would occur two months on with Rockabilly Guy once more providing them with an opening act slot, which says much about why they never appeared again. Both that and the Bowie cover reached No.35 in the charts with one subsequent single, a cover of T-Rex's Jeepster failing to trouble the charts beyond No.53.
Such lowly chart positions didn't necessarily result in disqualification from the TOTP studios circa 1981, as testified by the current occupant of that No.53 position Lene Lovich with Bad Manners bubbling just beneath. For her appearance, Miss Lovich has borrowed Buster Bloodvessel's grass skirt for the occasion and arachnophobes ought to give her a wide berth for she appears to have an almighty, long-legged spider perched atop her head. Despite a slightly suspect 'bedroom' mention, her New Toy infers the ever expanding consumerism society with lyrics written by Thomas Dolby pointing towards cars, freezers and stereos.
Hoagy Carmichael, the early 20th Century American composer of Georgia on My Mind, covered in the 1950's by Ray Charles, was also the man behind New Orleans, a song on John Lennon's jukebox in the form of the well-known Gary "US" Bonds cover from 1961, which reached No.16. Given a metallic sheen by Deep Purple's Ian Gillan, back so soon after causing Mutually Assured Destruction , the jazz standard would attain a chart position one fewer than the Bonds version.
Playing Night Games is Graham Bonnet, fresh from a two year stint with Rainbow for whom his throat-shredding lead vocal appeared on 'Since you've Been Gone'. Come November, Night Games would open side one of his Line-Up LP which featured covers of Chuck Berry's Anthony Boy, The Ronettes' Be My Baby and Set Me Free by The Kinks. No.6 for tonight's offering with the legendary Cozy Powell on drums having accompanied Gillan from a journey over the Rainbow.
No.9 was fine for It's A Love Thing, accompanied by The Legs & Co. 5. Patti sings along, Lulu performs the 'I'm a little teapot' pose (short but by no means stout), Gill gets in a spin and as far as Hairwatch is concerned, Rosie's long blonde locks are now headed by a rather neat 'hat peak'.
'Ello Adorable Gillusion
A good edition, from the edited broadcast just gone, the only duds for me, were the Polecats, basically a Primark version of the Stray Cats, they'd be instantly forgettable, but for the incidental appearance of Legs & Co., Gillan, & Bad Manners, Hazel O'Conner was okay, but better was to come from her.
Tony Capstick, I actually enjoyed his performance, it was certainly different, but maybe would've fitted n better about five years earlier.
The cream of the crop were Bucks Fizz, even if they were just represented by the studio audience dancing, Landscape, Lynx, & Shakin' Stevens, I've never seen the TOTPs studio audience look so animated while watching these classic re-runs!, led by none other than Legs & Co., & speaking of them again, that was a great first main performance, since Pauline's departure just recently.
As usual Justin, i disagree with most of your TOTPs after match summaries, but i do agree with what you say about the studio audience and how animated they were. They were bopping away for all they were worth. They also seemed to be pushing the `not under 16` stipulation, as a lot of them looked under that age.
A good edition but that Polecats cover of Bowie's JIOD was an absolute disgrace. Also annoying was the 7:30 omission of the wonderful Lene Lovich in favour of that idiot Hazel O'Connor. Grant you, her later hit 'Will You' was a great song but Lene wasn't faking her act, she really is like that!
I won't be watching this till next week due to current limited it and tv circumstances - the one I am most interested in is Tony capstick, he was a real personality in the Sheffield area, sadly he had serious publically known long standing problems with alcohol (and guns) and eventually lost his contract on BBC local radio and didn't live long after.this period was a golden time for him, he had a show (capstick capers) on c4, but the show wasn't renewed, and his chart follow up (a Christmas single) disappeared without trace.
On a different note, a regular popscene poster has suggested flick appears in the landc sequence. - any idea if this is correct? If so, would this be the first management appearance since harvest for the world?
I thought the Polecats cover of Bowie was quite good! Bowie meets Rockabilly seemed to go quite well and the girls didn't look bored to me....then again I don't think I can imagine Rosie looking bored
I liked Capstick, it was a song (if you can call it a song) that I had totally forgotten but there is something about a raw South Yorkshire accent that you can't not like! Sorry to hear how he ended up too, Willoway.
I felt compelled to google Buster Bloodvessel last night - only to see if he was still alive - he really does look like a walking heart attack waiting to happen.
I agree. The ladies threw themselves into backing that opening number with real gusto. Just a shame we didn't get any proper close-ups of the girls giving it their all as they would have been worth seeing.
What a poor show. And regardless how much the girls might have enjoyed their dance, the Polecats cover was nothing but an insult to the ears! This show was so poor that I don't even know what to pick in the poll. In actual fact, none of the new songs deserve a vote. Gee I almost sound like Suefan!
Another poor show this week, it was only the fact that Legs & Co were on three times that made it worth staying tuned in for. Artists must have released singles at a far quicker pace back then, Gillan and Bad Manners have already had releases earlier in the year, not to mention Phil Collins, Visage and Adam & the Ants from previous shows, but I suppose in those days records sold a lot more so maybe it made sense for the company to put them out more frequently. For me, the only good thing about the Polecats performance (obviously apart from Legs & Co), was seeing a young Boz Boorer on guitar, who later on went on to join Morrissey in his solo career (maybe only of interest to me as a Morrissey and Smiths fan)!
This was quite a good show. Hated the Tony Capstick performance (if you could call it that). Obviously emulating the Hovis advert there. Never heard it before so obviously I did not see the original broadcast when it was first aired. Legs & Co were very good. Loved the Graham Bonnet song as I had not heard that since it charted and it was really good. Enjoyed watching Shakin' Stevens again too but I won't go too far on him. I really enjoyed the audience at the end too. They were really moving big time. Even Richard Skinner was enjoying himself and I could lipread him saying to those nearby "the camera's on you" and grooving that bit further but it looked really good. Felt a bit sorry for the young lad in the audience at the end though with the curly hair looking at the camera. He looked quite out of his comfort zone and I get the impression that he was encouraged to attend but really Radio 4 was more his scene. Full marks to Richard Skinner though.
Everywhere, wherever you look, manipulation rearing it's head.