Just compare, not the performances or the songs, but the way these two perfomances are broadcast...
Here's Spiritualized on Later With Jools with their classic song, Broken Heart.
And here's Roxy Music on the Old Grey Whistle Test with their classic song, Ladytron.
On the Story Of The Old Grey Whistle Test, Jools is quoted as saying his show is the grandchild of Whistle Test.
Of course he's wrong. They're like chalk and cheese.
Whistle Test is so much more intimate. The tv viewer is not being patronised. There is no ego about the presenter. Bob Harris is in the studio but in the dark, an unobtrusive presence. He hasn't got a piano right there in the middle of the studio saying "THIS IS MY SHOW". He lets the music speak for itself.
And a Whistle Test performance is not a LIVE performance in front of a LIVE studio audience. There is no audience. The band are playing as if in a real recording studio. And that's what makes this kind of tv so much more exciting. You feel like you really are a fly on the wall, just you, watching the band create. You're not being told you're part of a big live audience and that THIS IS HOW LIVE MUSIC IS.
I don't care if not all the Whistle Test performers were playing everything live. Whether they were playing to a backing track. So what? That's what happens in studios. It's what it looks and sounds like is what matters.
Sorry Jools, but I'd rather see Jason Pierce in a small studio with a few of his mates, singing to a backing track, than all the clever slow zooms and pans to backing singers and violinists, trying to give the appearance of "live" music in a cavernous space filled with idiots with free tickets who'll applaud any old shit. It just doesn't cut it on tv. If I wanted to see live music I'd go and see The Fall. And I really couldn't be bothered to see them any more.