We're now into a run of half hour originals from now til the end of August '77, bar a couple that are slightly longer. The reason? A re-run of Max Bygraves Says I Want To Tell You A Story. Next week's was 25 minutes in its original form, which would have to lead to a hell of an extended outro.
If you've got time you want to kill this week, look through the catalogue for the auction of Jimmy's personal belongings taking place in Leeds at the end of the month, including the Jim'll Fix It magic chair, the pottery likeness of himself wearing a kaftan and the mounted Brazil nut presented to him by a patient at Broadmoor. His turn at hosting this week, which he commemorates with a none more timely (for 2012) Union Flag embroidered tracksuit top, alongside the flags of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Not a cross of St George? Consistency, please.
Dave Edmunds – I Knew The Bride
Rockpile, really, so on bass and songwriting a man deeply embedded in punk already, Nick Lowe, makes his Pops bow. It's still the shaggy/Shaggy-from-Scooby Doo-haired Edmunds front and centre, or in this case front and above, the camera shooting right up his nose for the vast majority of the song. Few cutaways, little relief. Barely a sight of Billy 'not that one' Bremner's cowboy hat. By the end Lowe, presumably thinking he's more than likely off camera, has stopped playing with his left hand, only picking up a chord shape with the very last note. "Got my feet tapping down here" Jimmy exudes as much as he's capable of.
Tony Etoria – I Can Prove It
Long time since we've seen Jimmy dancing. Having pretty much used his guitar as decoration alone last time he was on, Etoria has abandoned it this time, meaning with no other idea of what to do he starts with his hands on his hips. He's also tightened his afro especially, which doesn't quite gel with his yellow neckerchief and extravagantly patterend shirt, like you'd find in the tiling of a kitchen at the time. A little wink on "ain't no way I can treat you like a queen" is surely transmitting mixed messages. As Etoria exhibits a kind of running action from the elbows when not singing the camera trolley goes on another maiming spree. One woman is visually manhandled out of the way by her partner, another in a 1930s errand boy's cloth cap checks on his friends' safety before realising he himself is in the firing line. People are, perhaps wisely, leaving the stage well before the end. "Yowee!" is Jimmy's appraisal.
Gary Glitter – A Little Boogie Woogie In The Back Of My Mind
ALRIGHT, SHUT UP NOW. Even if the song's not there he's far more like his old self then when we last saw him, big collar up and pomade alive, charging down the tiered stage, playing it right down the lens, overactive limbs a-flailing as lyric sign language that actually makes no sense against the lyrics, miming appallingly. But it's not the same, chiefly because where the Glitter Band used to be are an aged band of sessioneers, perhaps even plucked from the orchestra's numbers. The drummer, and there is only one, is clearly in his fifties and grins throughout as if to say, not unreasonably, that however he got to this stage in his life he's going to be on telly so he's enjoying it. This time when the camera makes its way through them young people merely turn and walk the other way, no matter how much the girl right at the front grins at them. And away from our prime-time pop sight Glitter goes for more than four years.
Carole Bayer Sager – You’re Moving Out Today
"I think we'll show some of the interesting people in town tonight" is Jimmy's cover for a third showing of this, not that any of whatever that means actually appears. Still we don't know what her ex could possibly do with bread.
Brotherhood Of Man – Angelo
You know how sometimes like minds seem to gravitate towards each other?
Obviously he's not a sailor, so indeed he's "a magic disc jockey of one of the more colourful varities", one who delivers the title in comedy falsetto. You'd think a DJ would want more of a plug than that, even someone like him. Especially someone like him. The blonde is blonder and flickier, the dark-haired one is more rouge tinted, but the two blokes have guitars rather than one being on piano so THEY'RE OBVIOUSLY NOTHING LIKE ANY OTHER BAND, ALRIGHT? Something no other band definitely did is their special move for the song, namely raising their left arm, first outwards, then backwards, to each chorus piano riff. It adds a certain flourish, if perhaps not as much as they expect.
The Stranglers – Go Buddy Go
Jimmy introduces us to a hangdog middle aged man who is apparently "the world famous Irresistible Dennis". This seems to come as a surprise to him, but he does waggle his eyebrows in a quite funny way. That may be his secret. He seems less sure about the third showing of this. If only someone had found a way to edit Blue's piano from out the back of the stage, or advised Hugh Cornwell not to wear something that looks like an apron. As we cut back to Jimmy people are actually dancing to it at last. "It's a good night tonight, as it happens. Heh heh heh" is Jimmy's tart comment.
Johnny Nash – That Woman
About quartering the BPM at a stroke, Nash has the afro thing right, matching it with muted greens and cool soul. Not that it's having the same effect on everyone, one hirsute youngster turned away from the stage until the shot changes and his friend, presumably watching the monitor, has to literally point him towards Nash. Others are clearly also waiting for a signal to turn away when safe. Neither does it help that when on the second chorus we get a shot from behind Nash the girl front and centre of the audience is extravagantly chewing gum and holding a conversation while the man next to her stares off into space at a 90 degree angle to the stage. All the while Nash continues pledging his love, oblivious as he should be.
Alessi – Oh Lori
No link, strangely, and this is Legs & Co's song for the week even though the twins were in the studio just a couple of weeks ago. They're either dressed in 1930s wedding dresses or as toilet roll holders, bonnets and off the shoulder flouncily tiered dresses the attire. Inside some sort of cage of glittery decorations it's all very lovely and cosy in a one for the caring mums/daughters way. Is that what we're here for? You decide.
Paul Nicholas – Heaven On The 7th Floor
"Wowee!" Jimmy exclaims while his shoulder is being assailed by a toy Paddington Bear. Paul abandoned the hat and cane. They must have turned out to be the lucky charms as this ended his chart career - and began/ended it in America, where it somehow reached number six despite sharing its production values with his previous hits. Maybe it's because he keeps referring to an elevator. It's that transatlantic touch. Having realised Paul can't come up with anything himself for the instrumental bits a close-up of a man playing a harmonica solo is overlaid as Nicholas waves his arms about and does some frantic hopping from foot to foot, knowing that he is somehow perhaps the only one he can get a TOTP audience moving. Jimmy meanwhile has Peter Frampton with him, shirt open to the waist, grin plastered on. As befits the traditional uncomfortable chat shot the interview lasts one question - "where've you been living?" - before Jimmy waves a picture we can barely see for both being out of frame or reflecting studio lights. Luckily he does know what the number one is, unlike some. Jimmy makes a joke about making him work hard. Then he makes it again.
The Jacksons – Show You The Way To Go
Oddly, despite having been in the studio not so long ago this isn't a repeat of that but a clip from their TV series, the second series of which had run on CBS in the first three months of 1977. As soon as Michael picks up the mike the screaming takes over the soundtrack almost completely, even though there only appear to be three people going mad on camera. More notably, the mass frantic applause we hear is from somewhere else entirely, as well as seemingly dipping in and out at virtual random, and it's not visually happening when we get a shot of the whole studio audience, some of whom are standing up waving their arms about but none of whom seem to be cheering or whooping all that hard. I sense skulduggery. Jimmy has "the Bournemouth raver", who seems to be a girl completely unphased by anything, to one side and another girl held in a tight headlock to his other. As T-Connection's Jamiroquai-must-have-been-listening Do What You Wanna Do soundtracks the credits her expression gradually changes from televisual experience enjoyment to panic for her health.