Tuesday, 25 April 2017
667 The Montreux Golden Rose Pop Festival
First viewed : 28 May 1984
This was a big pop shindig bringing together artists to lip-synch their recent hits at the Montreux Casino ( the venue immortalised by Deep Purple's Smoke on the Water ). With Noel Edmonds as host, it came over as an extended edition of Top of the Pops broadcast in three parts, the first on Bank Holiday Monday.
Being a trans-European broadcast the hits featured had to be popular across the continent so there was no Style Council or Smiths but the likes of Julien Clerc, The Dolly Dots and Nino De Angelo - none of them worth investigating - got on the bill. The biggest act there were Queen who got to perform an extended set although you suspect the main reason they accepted the invite was that Freddie only lived up the road from the venue.
The following year's festival wasn't televised, probably to avoid spoiling the build up to Live Aid six weeks later although Simon Bates reported from it on his morning show on Radio One.
The 1986 one was relegated to BBC Two and notable only for Frankie Goes To Hollywood giving a first performance of their crap new single "Rage Hard " and then mock-trashing the set to try and divert the attention of the underwhelmed audience.
I'm not sure I bothered tuning in to the last one in 1987. broadcast over two nights on BBC One. In hindsight, it has a tragic significance as featuring the last stage performance by Mel and Kim. Mel Appleby collapsed in a restaurant later that evening and left Montreux in a wheelchair , never to get on stage again.