#71: March 19th 1981 – Shaky Of The Dorm

The latest episode of the podcast which asks; Whoops Scotties, Tasty Tarts Foster Grants or Allied For Carpets For You?

Oh yes – it’s back to the Eighventies we go, Pop-Crazed Youngsters, to a year where everyone was loaded into a cannon and fired into the dress-up box, or so we’re led to believe. One look at Peter Powell – who has turned up looking like he’s booked a week’s holiday on a canalboat through Hoseasons – will remind you it wasn’t quite like that.

It’s a boom time for TOTP, is early ’81: they’re pulling down Crossroads-level ratings week after week and they’ve got the Music TV field entirely to themselves, but – as this episode demonstrates – we’re not in the Yellow Hurll era just yet, and there’s a lot of dead wood to clear out. And, as the bill of fare tonight demonstrates, the Seventies are not done quite yet. 

Musicwise, it’s a proper melange of young and old.  Sharon Redd tries to be sexually overpowering in front of a grim tableau of gormless youths in visors doing the hand jive. The true icon of 1981 – The Man of Denim – spells out his five-year plan to tackle the social housing crisis in a special filmed broadcast. A punk lad gets dead excited at the sight of someone taking the stage in a PiL t-shirt, only to discover that it’s Dave ‘No, the other one’ Stewart.

The show takes a severe turn towards the elderly when The Who – fresh from their new LP being absolutely coated down in the music papers – followed by Legs & Co ‘neath a giant Scotch egg, and an encore performance of that paint pot on Phil Collins’ keyboard. But then! It’s the fresh, virile sound of Bucks Fizz in their first ever TOTP performance, followed by an actual video that looks like Proper 1981, by Strange The Clock. Duran Duran  pop up for a repeat of their TOTP debut, and then, Oh God, it’s Toyah again, followed by Bryan Mirror and his new single, I Remember Johnny Lennon. 

Neil Kulkarni and Taylor Parkes join Al Needham in order to throw some bricks and petrol bombs at 1981, pausing along the way to discuss Masonic tombolas, Grange Hill tube station, the career of The Who in egg form, the damage that the American Syd Little wrought upon the charts, and – unfortunately – Breakfast television-related masturbatory shame. SWEARING! AND A BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!

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