Obviously Den always dressed like that.
Tom Robinson Band – 2-4-6-8 Motorway
Not often we've started with a repeat visitor. Maybe Robin was impressed by the numbers punching the air, who respond in kind again along with a good proportion of clapping along at the start - though there don't appear to be a lot of people around this week - as the crane camera, given plenty of runway space, takes off, heads through a big cardboard ring and films Robinson, pink triangle badge again proudly worn alongside scruffy skinny school tie, from above. He seems quietly amused by the directorial concept. As you suspected they would eventually the first chorus sees a cut to a different band member with every number. The band seem to be playing totally live in accordance with the Musician's Union sticker on Tom's bass, going on Noel having to wait a moment or two too long waiting for them to pipe down.
Ruby Winters – I Will
First proper link and, dangerously, Noel's trying out a concept joke. "Here's a lady who used to be in the Four Seasons alongside Donna Summer". Takes a moment. Ruby's in a white room with a white piano, a white big chair, a white dress and, for stylistic variation, a red rose in her hand and a big pot of them next to the piano. "I remember when Bud Flanagan and Julie Andrews used to sing that" coos Noel. "I bet you do" retort a nation.
Roxy Music – Virginia Plain
No, hang on, that's not it. Reissued to promote a Greatest Hits, because reissuing songs that were hits five years earlier was pretty common then - we've only just seen Radar Love, remember - although Noel oddly doesn't mention it this is the iconic 1972 appearance of much costumage and glitter. You know the one.
No, hang on, that's not it either, and YES I CAN SEE HE IS. As well as all that there's lots of unselfconscious dancing from the audience so you can tell it isn't 1972. It gets cut off early, unfortunately. Well, look how many songs they're trying to pack into half an hour. If you count rundown and playout, thirteen!
Boney M – Belfast
And who could possibly pass up the opportunity of seeing this experience - "song" seems too reductive - again? Uniting Catholics and Protestants in common scorn.
Elvis Costello – Watching The Detectives
Or as Noel introduces him "the Red Shoes man", odd given Red Shoes wasn't a chart hit. As with Red Shoes Elvis is in full angry nerd mode, seeking out the camera as early as sees fit so he can stare it down, eventually leering right over the mike with full-on scary googly eyes for most of the second verse as if we committed whatever it is ourselves. Meanwhile Pete Thomas drums extravagantly mid-stage. "Watching all the detectives and things" is how Noel succinctly puts it.
The Bee Gees – How Deep Is Your Love
And then, Legs & Co ahead, Noel just goes for it. "This is where you have to get your rulers out and tape measures and your plumb lines and, ah, get measuring. Feel a bit silly now." What's he going on about? Presumably he's freestyling on the theme of depth, but - and maybe we've all seen too many DLT intros to bring this thought on - the mention of rulers was in an Adrian Mole sense. If it seems it couldn't get more obtuse Legs & Co oblige in what seems to be farmer's market chic - flat caps, waistcoats, check shirts, slacks, sensible shoes. It says here Flick chose the clothes herself to fit the mood, which makes you wonder what interpretation she saw in the song. Gill, Lulu and Rosie do a good line of thumbs jauntily placed into belt loops, I'll say that for the
Kenny Everett & Mike Vickers – Captain Kremmen (Retribution)
This is the show we would have got had BBC4 not found the rushes for the 1973 show back at the start of October, for this reason. Strange this gets such attention, Kenny was on Capital at the time and didn't start the Video Show until 1978 so it would have meant little to the vast majority of the audience. Noel doesn't even try to place it in proper context, instead working around the theme of Star Trek and - hey! - Patrick Moore. Sadly it's only the video, for which Ken presses some buttons, holds a phone to his ear and hangs on visible wires in a spacesuit. Vickers for his part appears dressed as a WWII flying ace prodding an organ in big gloves. How odd this whole venture seems.
Santana – She’s Not There
"There's an interesting story about this record - you listen to it and I'll tell these two ladies the story" Noel ventures before turning and animatedly miming something to two ladies wearing Tom Robinson Band stickers. It's probably more interesting than the grainy enormodome live clip.
Tina Charles – Love Bug/Sweets For My Sweet
The orchestra sound like they're being chased by bees, which is a good start. Tina's an old hand at this now, when not stuck in the gantry, but with her either recent or ongoing pregnancy she's been forced into a billowing marquee of a black dress. No matter how much of her particular standing on the spot and swaying a bit charm she plays up she can neither hide the nature of the song, which counts as a medley only insomuch as two lines of the latter are inserted towards the end, or the move she really goes for in the later stages of swinging her arms around as if trying to take off like a helicopter. A large number of people at the front of the stage, so in the worst possible position to get quickly to the other stage and see the next act, are wearing the T-shirt of...
Darts – Daddy Cool/The Girl Can’t Help It
Behold, the three fashion styles of doo-wop.
Yes, of course Den's jacket is fully shiny. The editing team are really getting their worth out of their new equipment, this week forming a rainbow-hued small arrowhead which Noel follows around the screen. "Double top! Double top!" he obliges at the last. They're back in the studio with some changes, one being the pianist is actually on the stage this time, another that Den, who otherwise is his usual reserved self, has no room to extemporise for his solo spot, ending up rolling on the floor before towering over the front row. Two girls right at the front by his feet obligingly look, bored, in the opposite direction. One of them, it turns out, is wearing their T-shirt! There's gratitude.
ABBA – The Name Of The Game
"You should have a look what's written on the front" he teases, to which his new friend unknowingly obliges.
Well, that's confusing. "Aw, you let the secret out" Noel laughs for some reason, as if it were advertising or some sort of outrage he were trying to hide, then back to the world's least convincing staring competition. Noel lists all the places we can find him, thinks of a few more ("it's my turn to turn the globe round between programmes..."), and Rod Stewart sees us out.