Friday, 3 July 2015
Almost the weekend, sweeties - and fingers crossed there's going to be some great weather to look forward to...
After the dressing-up excesses of last week's Gay Pride, I feel we should stick to wearing something more subtle. Just some papier mâché peacock-feather shoulder-pads and an Egyptian frock... like Miss Amii Stewart!
Jealousy? There will be some. Thank Disco It's Friday!
Thursday, 2 July 2015
And so, farewell to one of the greatest purveyors of the musical genre known as "Easy Listening".
For a quarter of a century - all the way from the Beatles to Madonna - Val Doonican held pride of place on our prime-time Saturday night TV screens. With his comfy jumpers, his "Perry Como-esque" reassuring lightness of touch, and of course his "trademark" rocking chair, he sang classic standards and Irish comic songs with consummate ease, solo or in duets with his myriad range of guests from both sides of the pond.
Such as Rosie Clooney...
Val was incredibly popular in his day, recorded more than 50 albums, and was rarely out of the UK charts in the 60s and 70s. Among his big hits were Walk Tall, Elusive Butterfly, What Would I Be, and this one - Morning:
- A popular touring musician, his "big break" was in 1963 when he was booked to appear on Sunday Night at the Palladium - which led to the offer of his own television show.
- Val surprisingly provided Gaelic-influenced backing harmonies for Led Zeppelin's The Battle of Evermore.
- His 1967 album Val Doonican Rocks, But Gently knocked the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band off the top of the albums chart.
- Apparently, Val was a member of the fictional "orchestra" backing The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band.
- He only stopped performing in 2009, after six decades in showbiz.
RIP Michael Valentine "Val" Doonican (3rd February 1927 – 1st July 2015)
Wednesday, 1 July 2015
Officially "the hottest July day since records began", today was certainly a hot one (we sat in the garden till the moon was up, enjoying the perfume; and avoided sitting on anything leatherette, like our sofa).
Hot weather in the UK, unusual as it is, brings out many good things - bare-chested buff boys, flowers, dragonflies, a reason to buy ice-cream - and some bad. Principal among the latter is the profusion of shit articles in what laughingly passes for "the media" these days (increasingly run by bored interns who write incessant articles about rubbish they read on Tw*tter). Here are a few examples:
The patronising health advice - see here. We know it's hot. We are sweaty and thirsty. We are also grown-ups. Fuck off.
The panic! drama! meltdown! non-story - a specialism of Mein Kampf and Daily Excuse. They haven't yet blamed hot weather on gays or immigrants, but I am sure they will get round to it.
The "it's hotter than Madrid/India/Miami" cliché - used everywhere, including here. So, on one day every decade we can claim to be hotter than somewhere else? Ho hum.
The dubious link between heat and sport, to please the blokes - like this.
...and some absolute codswallop masquerading as humour and ending up as a pointless, boring waste of time - such as this.
It will inevitably rain tomorrow.
Look out for predictions of Biblical floods, exaggerated delays to sporting events and pictures of young women in wet summer dresses.
And they wonder why the days of "traditional media" are predicted to be under threat...
Tuesday, 30 June 2015
Monday, 29 June 2015
Phew, it's a scorcher... Summer is here with a vengeance it seems, and I am taking full advantage of the glorious weather in the extensive gardens here at Dolores Delargo Towers [I'm off an extra day - mainly to recover from the excesses of Saturday's Gay Pride.]
To celebrate the sunshine on this Tacky Music Monday, what better than tomorrow's birthday girl Miss Lena Horne and her Brazilian Boogie?
Have a good week, folks!
Lena Mary Calhoun Horne (30th June 1917 – 9th May 2010)
Sunday, 28 June 2015
It's official! Yesterday was the biggest Gay Pride in London yet, and it remains the largest one-day event in the capital...
"Our Gang" did us proud, adhering to our own theme - chosen by a vote every year when we gather at September's Proms in the Park (to see out "The Season"); giving us a full nine months to shop and prepare - of "white, feathers and diamonds".
We started the day with bacon butties and champagne at our friend Sal's pub before gathering our skirts and heading to our usual "spot" near Selfridges to watch the parade before choosing our moment to join in.
White is a difficult theme to manage. It is an unforgiving hue for anyone "of a certain age" and carrying any kind of additional weight as a consequence. However, I think we looked rather spectacular, if I say so myself. [Even if we were particularly grey with filth from London's streets by the end of it...]
Seemingly half the world was there - even after we joined (at least an hour in), apparently the paraders went on for ages afterwards, and the West End was absolutely packed to the gunnels with party animals. There were more than 250 organised groups taking part in the parade itself; we merely "gate-crashed" it. We celebrated with drag queens, Muslims, Sikhs, Goths, trans men and women, older gays, Scouts, firemen, the Armed Forces, church-goers, gay boxers, footballers, singers, swimmers, lady-boys, masters and slaves, Muscle Marys, pretty "chickens", bankers, policemen and everything else under the rainbow...
...and even Royalty!
It was a stupendous day.