Video Roundup: Remembering The Old Grey Whistle Test

Video Roundup
Janice Headley

On September 21, 1971, The Old Grey Whistle Test premiered on the UK's BBC2 channel, a weekly music program featuring live performances — like if KEXP's YouTube channel was broadcast on TV. Unlike its trendier predecessor Top of the PopsOGWT focused more on rock, welcoming guests like The Who, Queen, Dire Straits, and other more "classic" artists. But in its later years,The Old Grey Whistle Test was also where many punk and new wave acts got their first television exposure. On the anniversary of the show's debut, KEXP looks back at some of these breakthrough performances featuring some of our favorite artists:

Siouxsie & the Banshees, 1978

XTC, 1978

The Cars, 1978

The Buzzcocks, 1978

Talking Heads, 1978

Blondie, 1978

The Damned, 1979

Blondie, 1979

The Ramones, 1980

P.I.L., 1980

U2, 1981

Siouxsie & the Banshees, 1982 (featuring robert smith of the cure on guitar!)

Bauhaus, 1982

XTC, 1982

The Fall, 1983

Cocteau Twins, 1984

Cocteau Twins, 1984

Cocteau Twins, 1984

R.E.M., 1984

R.E.M., 1984

The Cure, 1984

Depeche Mode, 1984

Siouxsie & the Banshees, 1985

New Order, 1985

New Order, 1985

The Ramones, 1985

Let's Active, 1986

The Smiths, 1986

The Replacements, 1986

U2, 1986

INXS, 1986

The Cult, 1987