Sunday, April 05, 2009

The Rezillos: Top of the Pops

A few weeks ago there was a lot in the papers about Google and the Performing Rights Society failing to agree a deal. We were told that British surfers would soon be blocked from viewing Youtube music videos.

Then the story went quiet and I thought no more of it. Until yesterday, when I tried to view a music video and was told "This video is not available in your country". So maybe it has started.

While you still can, enjoy this single from 1978. The Rezillos were an Edinburgh band whose personnel at one time or another rejoiced in names like Luke Warm, Fay Fife, Johnny Terminator, Hi-Fi Harris and William Mysterious. The also changed their name to The Revillos for a time, for reasons no one quite understood.

The Rezillos history is given on their website:

In 1978 The Rezillos made their debut alongside Siouxsie and the Banshees on Top of the Pops, performing their alternative offering of the theme tune.

They'd formed two years earlier at Edinburgh College of Art, through a shared love of Sixties garage rock and the Spectoresque girl-group glam of The Ronettes and the Shangri Las.

The Rezillos immediately found themselves inadvertently caught up in the punk movement, if only because they didn't prescribe to fifteen minute slabs of tedious progressive rock.

This performance of Top of the Pops does not come from Top of the Pops, but from a show called Revolver:

Revolver's most innovative element was designed to evoke the confrontational atmosphere associated with punk gigs. Peter Cook was invited to guest on the programme on the strength of the notorious Derek and Clive recordings, which shared with punk a kind of adolescent, deliberately puerile nihilism. In the guise of the seedy manager of the rundown nightclub rented out to the TV company, Cook would appear on a video screen, sneering at the acts and antagonising the studio audience.

You can just catch a glimpse of Cook on the screen at the start of the video.

I remember this single from the time and also that Tony Blackburn did not like it.

Well, I did.

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