Well, this isn't the way I expected the impending backlog to be dealt with, at the very least of our present worries. Remember when this was a fun, carefree blog? That was a great eighteen months or so we had going back then, wasn't it?
I don't know if 20/10/77 will be shown again, because it might, you never know - the official word is merely 'postponed', though given he's been bailed til January it now seems unlikely. But in case, here's a Disappeared for that show, which I can skip through because Legs & Co aside every one of these will (technically, pending) be on again or has been on before. If it is eventually shown in some form, pretend you never saw this.
Showaddywaddy – Dancin' Party
Smokie – Needles And Pins
Dorothy Moore – I Believe You
Status Quo – Rockin' All Over The World (video)
The Carpenters – Calling Occupants Of Interplanetary Craft (Legs & Co)
David Bowie – Heroes
La Belle Epoque – Black Is Black (video)
Queen – We Are The Champions (video)
Tina Charles – Love Bug/Sweets For My Sweet
Roxy Music – Virginia Plain (no, really, it was reissued for some reason so they repeated the famous 1972 appearance)
David Soul – Silver Lady (video)
Kid! Ah, always trust Kid, even in a complex patterned dad tank top. Santana backs the chart and appears concentrating on a closed eyed solo, which about sums him up.
Slade – My Baby Left Me/That's All Right
We catch Slade on the precipice, endless US touring having cost them their way over here and this their last top 40 single for more than three years. Even with this there's some desperation given it's an Elvis tribute, two of his songs welded together into hard rock shape. To complete the Samsonite illusion, Dave Hill's gone and shaved his head. Even Noddy's luxurious mullet passes by the notice of most, although with the shine eminating from the Hill pate it might just be that people standing at a certain angle can't clearly see it.
Mary Mason – Angel Of The Morning/Any Way That You Want Me
In front of a hoop of lights, which really should have had a dog jump through when the song completely changes volume and introduces big timpani for full effect, Mason is making her own attempt at tonsorial attention, a very tightly wound perm that seems to move independently of its owner and makes her look like a lost member of the Abigail's Party cast. Otherwise it's the sort of performance those with stage experience knock out, Mason gazing lustfully down the camera and pacing away during an instrumental section before a sudden half-turn back when time to sing. Sawing strings, Ladybirds in full voice, the full cabaret arrangement.
Darts – Daddy Cool/The Girl Can’t Help It
Three medleys in a row! Even when the charts went mad for medleys in 1981-82 I doubt TOTP ever did that. "You may not believe your eyes when you see this next group but they're for real" is all Kid can say in advance accompanied by an extravagant wave of the arm, though having been weaned on Showaddywaddy and the like some people singing call and response in a line is highly believable. The pianist - sorry, operator of the "piano machine" - is on the floor next to the audience, which is odd as there seems to be room enough on the stage until Den Hegarty gets going, jumping around on the drum riser before taking over vocals with the sort of malevolent glint which is only leading one way. That way is on top of the pianist, and then falling over trying to retake the stage leading to his having to sing the last line while sitting down. As old rock and roll lags given their moment they're putting as much as you like into it. That said, half the audience can't wait to walk away from the stage, and perhaps not before time. "Wild sounds and scenes" adjudges Kid.
Ram Jam – Black Betty
Even Legs & Co are firing tonight, and while rock has never been a Flick strong point, leading to far too much aimless running about, it allows all sorts of signifiers - ripped black dresses, extravagant hair swishing and air punching, meaningful faces to camera. Of course, not everyone makes good business out of looking hard...
Rod Stewart – You’re In My Heart
"Hit sound number four... hit sound number three, actually". Kid must have been put out by being surrounded by women, knowing what people on Twitter would say 35 years into the future. It's a strange video as Rod and his spiky ladies' mullet sits and mopes in an expensive restaurant before singing into a fancy mirror as the maitre d' improvises a violin solo
Boney M – Belfast
Kid's on the stage looking back over the audience at us, which is strange but not quite as strange as what follows. After January's near death by non-miming they're taking no chances on their first visit since, three extra backing singers in carnival gear resembling bellydancing costumes and massive headgear made from what seems to be leftover material which reaches down to the floor at the back, while Liz Mitchell has donned antenna on top of a full bodysuit. As they've brought the band Bobby in his silver reflective suit isn't even the most expressive man on stage, guitar and bass heads and the heads of their players alike bobbing and waving all over the place. This is, lest we forget, for a song about the Troubles. Most of the audience look baffled, as well they might.
Tom Robinson Band – 2-4-6-8 Motorway
I'm going to embed this because of a) Tom's school tie knot, pink triangle badge and Musician's Union sticker, b) the all over the place air punching on the first chorus and c) the tone of the end of Kid's intro. Excited much?
ABBA – The Name Of The Game
Kid's still too excited for proper words, calling this the "highest chart charter". The video, wherein the couples sit around a dinner table, chat, play ludo and experience differing emotions.
Smokey Robinson – Theme From The Big Time
"It's a bit like the pop family Robinson" Kid inaccurately reckons. Truly, if Smokie weren't available the show had to make do with whatever was closest. Wisely for the full soul-funk sound Smokey's brought his own band with him, the pianist caught in passing close-up playing just above the keys without actually depressing them, as well as an all-aquamarine outfit for his Esther Rantzen tribute. (It's not, it was the title track for a Motown-produced film) Only tentative movement now.
Baccara – Yes Sir I Can Boogie
"Can you? I'd like to watch" Kid asks a female placed next to him. Please, Kid, not now. Not here and now. A repeat of their appearance follows, after which he has a guest. "If you were watching last week" ... er, yeah, Kid, about that... "you'll have seen the back of Radio 1's newest recruit - well, this week we're giving you a full frontal" before revealing... Peter Powell" In a Radio 1 247 T-shirt too, as tradition insists. Kid promises we'll see more of him next week before, surprisingly, the Sex Pistols' current top ten single Holidays In The Sun plays us out. Peter Powell as the way forward for Top Of The Pops in 1977? A cheap holiday in other people's misery indeed.