Sunday, 2 August 2015

A true "national treasure" departs

RIP Cilla Black, probably Britain's best-loved all-round entertainer.

Very sad news indeed - the flags are at half-mast here at Dolores Delargo Towers.

Here are some of her most memorable moments...

Anyone Who Had a Heart:

You're My World:

Step Inside Love:

With Miss Dusty Springfield back in the 1990s - Heart and Soul:

Winning the BAFTA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014:

And, finally - that Royal Variety Show performance with Lily Savage and Barbara Windsor:

Cheers, chuck! It was a "lorra, lorra laughs".

Priscilla Maria Veronica White (27th May 1943 – 2nd August 2015)

Saturday, 1 August 2015

The outdoor life

Scenes from our annual picnic in Regent's Park today...

...well... almost...

Friday, 31 July 2015

I could muster up a little soft-shoe gentle sway

From WhatsOnStage:
Scissor Sisters' Jake Shears has revealed he is working on another musical, but this time he's teaming up with Elton John.

Shears, who currently stars as Greta in the LA production of Bent, wrote the musical adaptation of Tales of the City which premièred in San Francisco in 2011, and his second show will be a collaboration with the British icon.

He told The Advocate: "I'm working on my second musical now with Elton John. And it's making me realize when writing lyrics and stuff, it's giving me another perspective on writing for theatre that I never had. I feel like I'm getting a lot out of this, even just from the perspective of writing for theatre.

"I'm just learning a ton."

Sir Elton is no stranger to theatre, his previous work for the stage includes The Lion King, Billy Elliot and Aida, and it's not the first time he's collaborated with Shears either.

He co-wrote the band's 2006 hit I Don't Feel Like Dancin', which was a number one hit in eight countries.

Pushed on what the musical would be about, Shears wasn't giving anything away.

"I wish I could say! We haven't made an official announcement about it, but I'm very excited."
Exciting news, indeed!

Which provides me with a perfect excuse (as if any were needed) not only to feature the delectable Mr Shears with his top off, but also to play the Sisters' classic. Again:

Wake up in the morning with a head like ‘what ya done?’
This used to be the life but I don’t need another one.
You like cuttin’ up and carrying on, you wear them gowns.
So how come I feel so lonely when you’re up getting down?

So I'll play along when I hear that special song
I’m gonna be the one who gets it right.
You'd better move when you're swayin’ round the room
Looks like the magic's only ours tonight

But I don’t feel like dancin’
When the old Joanna plays
My heart could take a chance
But my two feet can’t find a way
You'd think that I could muster up a little soft-shoe gentle sway
But I don’t feel like dancin’
No sir, no dancin’ today.
Don’t feel like dancin’, dancin’
Even if i find nothin' better to do
Don’t feel like dancin’, dancin’
Why’d you pick a tune when I’m not in the mood?
Don’t feel like dancin’, dancin’
I'd rather be home with the one in the bed till dawn, with you.

Cities come and cities go just like the old empires
When all you do is change your clothes and call that versatile.
You got so many colours make a blind man so confused.
Then why can’t I keep up when you’re the only thing I lose?

So I’ll just pretend that I know which way to bend
And I’m gonna tell the whole world that you’re mine.
Just please understand, when I see you clap your hands
If you stick around I’m sure that I'll be fine

But I don’t feel like dancin’
When the old Joanna plays
My heart could take a chance
But my two feet can’t find a way
You'd think that I could muster up a little soft-shoe gentle sway
But I don’t feel like dancin’
No sir, no dancin’ today.
Don’t feel like dancin’, dancin’
Even if i find nothin' better to do
Don’t feel like dancin’, dancin’
Why’d you pick a tune when I’m not in the mood?
Don’t feel like dancin’, dancin’
I'd rather be home with the one in the bed till dawn, with you.

You can’t make me dance around
But your two-step makes my chest pound.
Just lay me down as you float away into the shimmer light.

A perennial favourite here at Dolores Delargo Towers.

No matter how I try you always keep me waitin'

Prospects are good, weather-wise, for the impending weekend. Just as well, as our gang is amassing by the bandstand (no musicians unfortunately) in Regent's Park tomorrow for our annual celebratory picnic for my sister's birthday. The weather here has been so autumnal lately, that we live in hope no brollies and windcheaters will be necessary...

To get ourselves in the mood for a party (as is our wont), why not start by leaping around the back-streets and record stores of outer London wearing a comfortable jumpsuit? Just like yesterday's birthday boy Phil Fearon (and Galaxy) in this amazing "no expense spent" video! What Do I Do?, indeed:

Thank Disco It's Friday!

Phil Fearon (born 30th July 1956)

Thursday, 30 July 2015

A must-have travel guide

Going on holiday? Courtesy of the Telegraph, here's an invaluable guide to insulting the locals - without even having to move away from the bar!

1 Chin Flick
Meaning: Get lost
Used in: Belgium, France, Northern Italy, Tunisia
In France, this gesture is known as la barbe, or “the beard", the idea being that the gesturer is flashing his masculinity in much the same way that a buck will brandish his horns or a cock his comb. Simply brush the hand under the chin in a forward flicking motion. While not as aggressive as flashing one’s actual genitalia, this gesture is legal and remains effective as a mildly insulting brush-off.
Note: In Italy, this gesture simply means “No.”

2 Idiota
Meaning: Are you an idiot?
Used in: Brazil
A South American gesture indicating stupidity, this requires improv skills and an actorly flair. To perform, put your fist to your forehead while making a comical overbite. The gesture is most effective when accented with multiple grunts. When executed correctly, you will be rewarded with appreciative laughs, though not, perhaps, from your subject.

3 Moutza
Meaning: To hell with you!/I rub shit in your face!/I'm going to violate your sister!
Used in: Greece, Africa, Pakistan
The Moutza is among the most complex of hand gestures, as elaborate and ancient as a Japanese tea ceremony. Perhaps the oldest offensive hand signal still in use, the Moutza originated in ancient Byzantium, where it was the custom for criminals to be chained to a donkey and displayed on the street. There, local townsfolk might add to their humiliation by rubbing dirt, faeces, and ashes ("moutzos" in medieval Greek) into their faces. Now that the advent of modern sewage systems and anti-smoking laws means that these materials are no longer readily available, the Moutza is a symbolic stand-in. In Greece, it is often accompanied by commands including par’ta (“take these”) or órse (“there you go”). Over the years, the versatile Moutza has acquired more connotations, including a sexual one, in which the five extended fingers suggest the five sexual acts the gesturer would like to perform with the subject’s willing sister.

4 Five fathers
Meaning: You have five fathers, i.e., your mother is a whore
Used in: Arab countries, Caribbean
If you are looking to get yourself deported from Saudi Arabia – possibly amid a riot – you can do no better than the Five Fathers gesture. The most inflammatory hand gesture in the Arab world, this sign accuses the subject’s mother of having so many suitors that paternity is impossible to determine. To execute, point your left index finger at your right hand, while pursing all fingers of the right hand together. The insult is extreme and almost certain to provoke violence.

5 Corna
Meaning: Your wife is unfaithful
Used in: The Baltics, Brazil, Colombia, Italy, Portugal, Spain
Informing a friend that his wife has been unfaithful is an unhappy and delicate task. Fortunately, in many countries, it is simple to do: one simply gives him the Corna. A very old sign, the Corna dates back at least 2,500 years and represents a bull’s horns (bulls were commonly castrated to make them calmer).
Be warned that while the gesture is used throughout the world, its meaning varies greatly from country to country. Should you be on the receiving end of the gesture, before you cast out your wife, remember that your pal may simply be saying she is a fan of American college football or heavy metal bands.

6 Write-off
Meaning: I am ignoring you
Used in: Greece
The literal translation of st’arxidia mou, the phrase that accompanies this gesture, is “I write it on my testicles.” And while there may well be people who, out of a strange psychological compulsion or simply boredom, actually write on their testicles, here the threat is simply metaphorical and tells the subject you’re ignoring him. One needn’t possess testicles to use the gesture, which is employed by men and women alike.

7 Cutis
Meaning: Screw you and your whole family
Used in: India, Pakistan
Should you find yourself in India or Pakistan, wishing to insult not just your host but your host’s entire family, look no further than the Cutis gesture. Its origins are unknown, but its effect is swift and severe. Simply make a fist then flick the thumb off the front teeth while exclaiming "cutta!" (“Screw you!”). In short order, you will find himself ejected from the premises, your mission to offend thoroughly accomplished.

Taken from Rude Hand Gestures of the World, a guide to offending without words by Romana LeFevre.

An invaluable read, methinks.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

There she go, there she don't

Time for a timeslip, methinks...

Our TARDIS has turned up in this week twenty years ago - a musical landscape of dubious distinction, to be sure (I mean - who remembers, or wants to remember, such "classic" artists as Robson & Jerome, Dana Dawson, Shaggy, Diana King or Method Man?). However, 1995 was, as I recall, a faboo year for dance music - and not least among the classic "bangers" that summer was this one...

Here's Jinny (whatever happened to them?) and keep Warm:

There she go
There she don't
You don't want to
You don't need to
Feel the warmth

Keep keep warm
Keep keep warm
Keep warm

Keep keep warm
Keep keep warm
Keep warm

Appropriate advice, given that this is supposed to be the end of July and it feels more like October...

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Why don't you love me like the other boys do?

Typical - just in time to be too late for my "regular irregular" update on newer music du jour, comes the most magnificent collaboration in ages between three of our faves here at Dolores Delargo Towers!

Brought together by London-based Aussie expat DJ-ing sisters Mim and Liv Nervo (who also wrote When Love Takes Over for David Guetta and Kelly Rowland), here's the once-in-a-lifetime team of Kylie Minogue, Jake Shears and Nile Rodgers and The Other Boys:

How fab is that?!