And in our weekly series of 'what are they playing at?', having skipped a Saville episode next week TOTP isn't on at all on 6th June, though it does definitely return the following week when of course it'll be back up to date, as it were. Why they couldn't have had a break next week for that purpose is their pregorative.
"This is one programme I can introduce standing on my head" quoth the Diddy. The picture flips. "See what I mean?" No, David, not technically.
Marmalade – Walking A Tightrope
And it's a jolt of anti-nostalgia immediately as Marmalade have a golliwog on their dual drum heads, shown in obliging close-up right at the start. No, Marmalade, that's Robinson's Jam there. (Obvious reasons, of course, but there's a huge character brand that hasn't made the collective memory leap despite being among the most famous there was in its day - I was watching Bob Godfrey's Oscar winning Brunel cartoon Great not long ago and he makes a cameo in that) Otherwise it's four grinning men of indeterminate hair volume, and in the case of the singer a luxurious full moustache, who'd had their big hit eight years previously, reformed in 1975 after that lineup fell apart, had scored a surprise top ten single in February and thought they could follow it with a slight concoction heavy on Radio 2 (as in what it was like back then) strings. They didn't. Plus point: the drummer looks like Noel Edmonds would had he been accidentally swapped at birth with a Bee Gee. "The only thing to offer Marmalade is a toast" says David, in a joke that looks far more workable written down than the way he delivers it. Then he tells a joke about a tightrope walker. He's on it tonight, ladies and gentlemen.
Tina Charles – Love Me Like A Lover
In blowsy frilly top and huge red skirt Charles comes across as less disco diva, more minor character in Little House On The Prairie.
Robin Sarstedt – My Resistance Is Low
David obligingly quotes the lyrics in introduction. With a costume and set borrowed from the Havana bureau, pot plants breaking out all over, and without dancing backup Sarstedt looks a little lost for staging, trying to exude international man of travel and mystery loucheness through being seated on wicker next to a table bearing a decent bottle and glass of rose. He just looks like he's waiting for inspiration to strike but this'll do for the rehearsal. Trying to add something to it a woman's face, presumably a Flipperite but we're no good at recognition, appears in overlay but all that does is make the director miss the appearance on screen of a camera. Then he takes a sip during the middle eight, after which he looks simultaneously sated, smug and distracted. Never a good look. As a last ditch effort, he looks to the side and grins to camera. By now he's clearly regretting not putting out the shorter single option. We get a brief look at him in the background once Hamilton starts again, and he's clearly broken down in laughter. He was a one hit wonder. You don't seem shocked.
Showaddywaddy – Trocadero
As a 'waddy guide we're well past Three Steps To Heaven but still six months short of kettle drum frenzy Under The Moon Of Love. Dual vocalists, one of whom sounds exactly like the R Whites Lemonade singer, but with just two guitars, one bass and one drummer, and it's one of their own so you'd think they'd have planned for that, two of the famously overmanned band are reduced to dancing duties, most of which the camera fails to pick up. Despite being a song about dancing with girls down the palais nobody would slash their cinema seat to something this thin. At this point in real life actual teddy boys were busy beating up punks. Showaddywaddy are still going with three original members, albeit two being a bassist and drummer. They're playing Summer Sundae festival in August on the same day as Wilko Johnson plays a smaller stage. It's like this very year all over again.
Wings - Silly Love Songs
Ruby Flipper's only appearance this week, and Diddy obligingly points out that it's just Cherry, Patti and Lulu. The whole male angle of the new team being sidelined three weeks in, then. That said, the girls are wearing bikini bottoms they might well have been shoehorned into and tops that pretty much do their intended job and use up no extra material. A group of candles is what passes for a backdrop. Before long the curse of Flick Colby Short Lead-In Time Choreography kicks in, quizzical looking around for "I look around me" a particular highlight amid the flailing and shaking. Meanwhile Ms Gillespie is confirmed as the queen of the cutaway close-up facial expression.
Mud – Shake It Down
David has two Mud fans with him, insomuch as they're wearing tinsel encrusted stovepipe hats and rosettes with Les Gray's face on. Somehow, and I'm fully aware of Rob Davis' subsequent CV (he's co-credited for this song), Mud doing funk disco is even more ludicrous a concept this week. This clip is from their Noel-fronted first appearance, but let the record show what was going on here.
IT'S JUST LIKE STUDIO 54. No green trousers this week, but the bassist still has that glove on and the guitar solo and breakdown are overlaid with that girl Cherry in some sort of Spanish influenced dress shaking that thing of hers again. The band look no younger or less cab driver-like either. They bow at the end, which is nice of them. "Have you ever shaken it down? You wanna try it some time, you could get to like it" David says, propositioning a much younger girl.
The Four Seasons – Silver Star
Same performance as last time. Check the tags for that.
Cliff Richard – Devil Woman
Not the same performance. Just before two of the girls surrounding him nearly contrive to throw themselves in front of a marauding camera David seems to think said woman is Cliff's confidante, even though the song clearly states that's really not what he wants. Worth noting Cliff's 'I'M NEARLY FAMOUS' T-shirt (over a wide lapelled blue shirt) promoting his album, which he distributed around his most famous friends so they could be seen wearing it at social functions, and indeed David is wearing a badge with the same slogan on. Now that's a level of viral marketing the likes of which that agency group Lost In Showbiz and Caitlin Moran are always going on about need to look into. Cliff's jeans are still far too tight for someone of his age and experience. "I think we've made 64 entries" he boasts afterwards. Neither host nor performer has anything else to say.
ABBA – Fernando
Again with that bloody fire. Still, won't be up there by the time we catch up with the series again. Diddy signs off with as many people as he can find from the show surrounding him. Les Gray is clearly eyeing up Tina Charles. Tina Charles, while maybe not having spotted him, is clearly terrified. I need someone from our fantastic commenting community to look at this and confirm what Hamilton says to Charles immediately before introducing the O'Jays playout, because it sounds spectacularly rude to me.
EDIT NEWS: Sutherland Brothers again, the Stones again and, with the re-run's third talkbox, a promo for Peter Frampton coming alive with Show Me The Way with his name in huge lights over the stage.