Think it's fair to say there was only one question on the minds of the TOTP1977 nation after Thursday night's first show...
Who the hell were Contempt? What was so fascinating before Thursday, and has continued to fascinate those who care ever since, is in this information age nobody seemed to know anything about them bar a few meagre technical clues on a discography page, and certainly nobody knew or remembered what it sounded like - precious few Google hits for the song title, as stated in the recap not even the estate of its producer Martin Rushent knew anything, yet clearly so much was thought of them by someone in a power of responsibility and influence that they got to open Top Of The Pops one week. Luckily, over the last 48 hours details have begun to emerge, some from the bassist's daughter on the doyouremember forums (and she didn't believe his claims until the repeat), so consider this your primer on a band who you've never heard of before (and this goes as much for hardened pop/chart watchers who were there at the time) and almost certainly never will again.
Contempt were Howard Paul (vocals), Chris Jarrett (guitar), Robin Langridge (keyboard), Nick Pallett (bass) and Stuart Skinner (drums). Pallett had been in Dandelion Records band Principal Edwards Magic Theatre; Paul had fronted Asylum, who played with the likes of Sailor, Camel and UFO around 1974-75 and had through which he'd gained a reputation for adopting a 'stockbroker' image, something as you can see he maintained. Asylum are described here as "reminiscent of Genesis with shades of Steve Harley" and having "a tremendous sense of theatre". After they finished Paul retreated to open mike nights and through links made there formed a new band. By June 1977 Contempt were touring with the Kursaal Flyers, one press release claiming Money Is A Girl's Best Friend "wasn't typical", though as it mentions Queen influences and RP accents it can't be that comparatively outlandish.
In fact Polydor, who'd been due to release the single a day after TOTP, messed up distribution so it didn't chart at all and as a result didn't back the album despite it already being recorded with Rushent. A few months later the members physically fell out and Contempt came to a halt. As for later work Paul released a cover of Mack The Knife on Elton John's Rocket label in 1979, Jarrett is credited with guitar and programming on Toni Halliday's pre-Curve solo album, while Langridge went on to help launch Karel Fialka - he's one of the people in the background here - as well as play with natural bedfellows Ofra Haza and Ivor Biggun, and before any of that had, in a continuation of Thursday night's theme, been in a blues band called Punchin' Judy. A documentary short directed by Asheq Akhtar won the London Film Award presented by Tamasha Theatre Company earlier this year, and here it is. The Polydor red 7" he holds up? Yes, that's it:
Now, who were Glamourpuss?