Saturday, March 12, 2016

Tunnel vision

How is it, exactly, that I wasn't aware that The Tube was recorded in Newcastle? Only recently I was lamenting my home town's contribution to music - and yet here's an article arguing that it hosted a show that "changed the TV landscape", introducing irreverence and an element of spontaneity and the unknown in place of the earnest respectfulness and careful stage-management of the likes of The Old Grey Whistle Test and Top Of The Pops.

There's little evidence that The Tube - the subject of a new exhibition at Newcastle's Discovery Museum - actually inspired musicians and bands in the immediate vicinity, but, for co-presenter Jools Holland, the fact that the programme was "made in Newcastle was one of the most important things. I don't believe it would have been as good if it had been done somewhere else". Producer Chris Phipps has gone so far as to claim that the show marked "the beginnings of the cultural rebirth of the Quayside and the city" - perhaps overstating the case, but an interesting contention all the same.

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