Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Des fleurs de ton jardin

Unlikely though it may seem, given the fact the the UK has looked more like Narnia lately than a "green and pleasant land", today is the Spring Equinox, referred to by some people as "the first day of Spring". Brrr.

At least we can now bask in the knowledge that from tomorrow onwards, our days are officially longer than our nights, and it will soon be Summer!

To hurry those dreams along, how about a little something from today's birthday girl (and house fave here at Dolores Delargo Towers), the lovely Miss Natacha Atlas?

Pourtant j’étais très belle
Oui j’étais la plus belle
Des fleurs de ton jardin

On est bien peu de chose
Et mon amie la rose

Roses? Soon...

Monday, 19 March 2018

J'aime le coq

It was a horrid, icy weekend, and I spent as little of it as possible outdoors (apart from for fag breaks; Dolores Delargo Towers #4 is a smoke-free abode, much to our chagrin...) - but it was a productive one, as I began the task of hanging our vast collection of pictures. I tackled twenty-five assorted autographed photos, framed theatrical ephemera and Art Deco prints - and a full scale mirror - and started fitting others into their frames ready to hang in the next round. The place looks more like home already...

This morning, I desperately need a good lie-in in the warm bed - but was instead jolted out of my reverie by the realisation that it was time for work again. Bah!

Never mind, eh? To cheer ourselves up on this Tacky Music Monday, I have delved into the weird world of Scopitone (again - it is one of my minor obsessions) for a dose of jolliness.

Usually the home of the dodgiest go-go dancing dolly-birds in the business, for your delectation I have instead focused on the boys - and there's quite a bit of cute French flesh on show to warm us up in this double-bill!

Ooh, la-la!

Have a good week, peeps.

Sunday, 18 March 2018

Brass-bollock weather

We've had quite enough, now!
Winter has entered its 18th consecutive fucking month, the Met Office has confirmed.

With sleet, rain and snow forecast for the weekend, meteorologists have admitted that the weather is so cold that it has frozen time itself, with no thaw in sight.

A Met Office spokesman said: “It’s March now, but that’s just what we call the month. It makes no difference to it still being winter.

“The time dilation effect caused by the absolute brass-bollock weather we’re suffering means that winter has gone on forever and will continue to go on forever, until all we can remember is winter.

“Occasionally it will merely piss it down while not being absolutely freezing, and we’ll all be pathetically grateful for two days before it returns to being utterly foul with an Arctic wind.”

Martin Bishop of Cleveland said: “We’re British. Winter is the only season we deserve.”
The Daily Mash

Of course.

As we suffer, once again, miserable freezing conditions and can merely watch as all our potted plants shrivel and die, we desperately need something - or someone - to bring us a bit of cheer.

And who better to do it than that stalwart of British entertainment [and very cute when he was young], Mr Kenny Lynch, who celebrates his 80th birthday today?


Many happy returns, Kenny Lynch, OBE (born 18th March 1938)!

Friday, 16 March 2018

Tonight is party time, it's party time tonight

As is usual in the UK, all the promising sunshine and mild air that gave us hope that Spring was actually here is set to evaporate on the weekend, with a drop of 12C in temperatures to almost zero, and the risk of more snow. So much for any plans to do some sorting in our new extensive gardens, after having pruned the weed trees to let in the light, as the pots may need to be sheltered again rather than moved to their permanent positions...

Hey ho, there's plenty of stuff to do indoors - and a weekend is a weekend is a weekend, after all! Let's retrieve our most outlandish glitz'n'bling 80s outfits out of the back of the wardrobe, grab a silver fan, and pose along with the lovely ladies of Class Action, who know a song about that...

...and Thank Disco It's Friday!

Enjoy, dear reader...

Thursday, 15 March 2018

I feel used

We're having another timeslip moment again, dear reader!

A rift in the space time continuum has dumped us (again) in 1997 - the year of Tony Blair, the loss of Hong Kong to China, "the McLibel case", the killing of 62 people at the Temple of Hatshepshut in Egypt, Katrina and the Waves, Titanic, Madeleine Albright and "Mad Cow Disease"; the births of South Park, Maisie Williams, Harry Potter and Channel 5; and the deaths of Laurie Lee, Billy Mackenzie, Gianni Versace and Princess Diana.

In the news in March '97: Pablo Picasso's Tête de Femme was stolen from a London gallery (but was later found); The Sun newspaper controversially "swapped sides" and pledged its support for Blair; thirty-nine members of the loony "Heaven's Gate" pseudo religious cult committed mass suicide in the USA; scandal erupted in Papua New Guinea when it was discovered that British mercenaries were being engaged by the PM to oust his opponents; in the ascendant were Comet Hale–Bopp (literally), Tara Lipinski (who, at 14, became the youngest women's world figure skating champion) and The English Patient (which won the Best Picture Oscar); but Jermaine Stewart (of We Don't Have To Take Our Clothes Off fame) became the latest casualty of AIDS. In our cinemas: Mars Attacks!, My Night with Reg and The Portrait of a Lady. On telly: the Comic Relief telethon, Formula One racing (for the first time shown on ITV after it won the rights) and Family Affairs (on the new Channel 5); and both Midsomer Murders and Teletubbies were first broadcast.

And in the UK charts twenty-one years ago this week? Naturally, it was the Spice Girls who ruled the roost at Number 1; while No Doubt, Fugees, Sash!, Bee Gees, Kula Shaker, Mark Morrison, Eternal, No Mercy and Ant & Dec made up the rest of the high numbers. However, just arrived outside the Top Ten, and destined to forever be an exemplar of '90s club-dom, was this one by the Sneaker Pimps (another fave here at Dolores Delargo Towers) - and whatever happened to them..?

...but it was (of course) the marvellous remix [in the "Decade of Dance", everything had to have at least one remix, if not 27!] by flavour-de-jour Armand Van Helden that really made this a classic [I remember dancing to it on many an occasion]:

I'm everyone - I feel used
I'm everyone - I need you
I'm everyone - Hang your label on me
I'm everyone - Paint it black and white and easy
I want perfection - I'm real need
I've seen attention - See through me

I'm everyone - Sticks in me
I'm everyone - Sticks with me
Call on me - Spin spin sugar
Crawl on me - Spin spin sugar
Stinks on me - Spin spin sugar
Twists for me - Spin spin sugar

I've seen attention - See through me
I want perfection - I'm real need

I'm everyone - Sticks in me
I'm everyone - Sticks with me
Call on me - Spin spin sugar
Crawl on me - Spin spin sugar
Stinks on me - Spin spin sugar
Twists for me - Spin spin sugar


Wednesday, 14 March 2018

What say, you, we go out on the town and swing, baby? Yeah!

Connections, connections...

Two milestone birthdays today, and both with a link to Swinging 60s London.

Maurice Micklewhite - aka Sir Michael Caine - is a stalwart of British cinema, and he blows out 85 candles on his cake today! He rose to fame as the super-cool "Harry Palmer" [a working-class equivalent of James Bond] in The Ipcress File, as the eponymous "Jack-the-Lad" Alfie, and (of course) as Cockney wide-boy "Charlie Croker" in that archetypal British 60s classic The Italian Job...

...the latter blockbuster [always on telly here, particularly over the Xmas-New Year break] featured a score written by another towering figure with whom Sir Michael shares not merely a birthday, but a birth-date - Mr Quincy Jones, composer, producer, orchestrator and a man who has worked with just about everybody (from the Dorsey brothers to Michael Jackson; from Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald to Patti Austin and Chaka Khan)...

...then in the 1990s, a "tribute" to the Swinging 60s became a massive cinematic success, and Quincy's addictive Soul Bossa Nova was resurrected for the occasion:

[...and Sir Michael appeared in the second sequel...]

Yeah, Baby, Yeah!

Sir Michael Caine, CBE (born Maurice Joseph Micklewhite Jr., 14th March 1933)

Quincy Delight Jones Jr. (born 14th March 1933)

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

It's a Spandex world

Some people manage to combine both things

"Leggings are in and pork pies are out" was the headline that caught my eye today...

It's not as interesting as it sounds, of course; merely an announcement of the latest revisions to the "basket" of goods that are used to help calculate the cost of living in the UK by the Office of National Statistics.

Any excuse, really, to post my fave leggings-based song of all time:

Monday, 12 March 2018

Just take a deep breath, a sip of champagne

Oh dear. Not only has it been a gloomy, drizzly start to the week, but we lost two cultural icons in one day - from very different ends of the spectrum, admittedly.

First off (and following in the footsteps of the slew of "national treasures" who went last year), another of the mainstays of British light entertainment for the past seven decades, a master of the quick-fire gag (he made the Guinness Book of Records in 1974 for telling jokes at a rate of 10 a minute for more than three hours) as well as of slightly surreal comic lunacy and even ventriloquy, Sir Ken Dodd died at the ripe old age of 91. A true all-rounder, he was not only renowned for his crowd-pulling (and often five hours long) stand-up shows, but also had a massive career as a singer - his song Tears outsold everyone except the Beatles, becoming the third biggest single of the 1960s! And here he is:

He was followed in his journey to Fabulon today by the master of the art of "smart, wearable couture", favourite designer of style icons such as Audrey Hepburn and Jackie Kennedy, Hubert de Givenchy.

Inevitably, I have featured the great man as an "exhibit" over the Dolores Delargo Towers Museum of Camp before - see here, here and especially here.

Obviously, he never sang. However, on this Tacky Music Monday, we feature the most famous song to name-check him...

Here at La Cage we live life
How should I put it? On an angle
Just take a deep breath, a sip of champagne
Open your eyes and what do you see?

It's rather gaudy but it's also rather grand
And while the waiter pads your check, he'll kiss your hand
The clever gigolos romance the wealthy matrons
At La Cage Aux Folles

It's slightly forties and a little bit new wave
You may be dancing with a girl who needs a shave
Where both the riff-raff and the royalty are patrons
At La Cage Aux Folles

La Cage Aux Folles
The Maitre d' is dashing
Cage Aux Folles
The hat check girl is flashing
We import the drinks that you buy
So your Dom Perrier is Canada Dry

Eccentric couples always punctuate the scene
A pair of eunuchs and a nun with a marine
To feel alive you get a Limousine to drive you
To La Cage Aux Folles

It's bad and beautiful, it's bawdy and bizarre
I know a Duchess who got pregnant at the bar
Just who is who and what is what
Is quite a question at La Cage Aux Folles

Go for the mystery, the magic and the mood
Avoid the hustlers and the men's room and the food
For you get glamour and romance and indigestion
At La Cage Aux Folles

La Cage Aux Folles
A San Tropez tradition
Cage Aux Folles
You'll lose each inhibition
All week long we're wondering who
Left a green Givenchy gown in the loo

You go alone to have the evening of your life
You meet your mistress
And your boy-friend and your wife
It's a bonanza, it's a mad extravaganza
At La Cage Aux Folles

Hubert was probably incredibly proud...

Sunday, 11 March 2018


I've been pruning trees today (as well as shopping and pottering through more of our boxes) - and now, even after a nice bath, I am aching in places I didn't even realise I had places...

Never mind, to wind down after a busy weekend, how about a little trip to the West End (circa 1968, by the looks of it), with some suitably groovy music - courtesy of the excellent Soft Tempo Lounge? Of course:

[Music: Just A Little Midnight Swim by The Butterflies]

Saturday, 10 March 2018

Yippee-i yippee-i-ay

Exactly the kind of 80s album cover we love to try and emulate in photos

It has been a rather busy day, having arisen at 6.45am, travelled to Portsmouth to spend the day with Mother (lunch, a walk by the sea-side, rummaging through charity shops and junk shops - it all went very well), and only got home about an hour ago...

However, in a rather interesting weekend for nostalgic music, not only has Robert Smith (as curator for 2018) announced the initial batch of acts in his chosen line-up for this year's Meltdown Festival - including the Psychedelic Furs, Placebo, Nine Inch Nails and Manic Street Preachers - but I discover (with a "Gulp!") that yesterday a certain Mr Martin Fry of the legendary ABC celebrated his 60th birthday!

So, by way of a tribute, here is one of their timeless classics:

[That video is - ahem - something else, is it not, dear reader?]

When your world is full of strange arrangements
And gravity won't pull you through
You know you're missing out on something
Well that something depends on you

All I'm saying
It takes a lot to love you
All I'm doing
You know it's true

All I need now
There's one thing
Yes, one thing that turns this grey sky to blue

That's the look, that's the look
The look of love
That's the look, that's the look
The look of love
That's the look, that's the look
The look of love

When your girl has left you out on the pavement
When your dreams fall apart at the seams
Your reason for living, your reason for leaving
Don't ask me what it means

Who's got the look?
I don't know the answer to that question
Where's the look?
If I knew I would tell you

What's the look?
Look for your information
Yes, there's one thing, one thing that still hold true
What's that?

That's the look, that's the look
The look of love
That's the look, that's the look
The look of love
That's the look, that's the look
The look of love

That's the look, that's the look
The look of love
That's the look, that's the look
The look of love
That's the look, that's the look
The look of love
(Look of love)

If you judge a book by the cover
Then you judge the look by the lover
I hope you'll soon recover
Me, I go from one extreme to another

And though my friends just might ask me
They say, "Martin, maybe one day you'll find true love"
I say, "Maybe there must be a solution
To the one thing, the one thing we can't find"

That's the look, that's the look
Sisters and brothers
That's the look, that's the look
Should help each other
That's the look, that's the look
Ooh, ooh Heavens above

That's the look, that's the look
Hip hip hooray
That's the look, that's the look
Yippee-i yippee-i-ay
That's the look, that's the look
Be lucky in love
Look of love


Friday, 9 March 2018

Party, party time again

This has been a particularly long and tedious week, and I, for one, will not be sad to see the back of it. Hils, Crog and I are off to Portsmouth at some ungodly hour tomorrow to visit The Mother (it being Mothering Sunday this weekend, and all), so any further embellishments planned for Dolores Delargo Towers #4 [and more on that in due course, no doubt] will have to be slightly curtailed.

All that aside, it's still a weekend, and - pissing rain or not - that is still a cause for celebration! What better way to bring on the party spirit than with His Hairiness himself, Mr Mick Jackson (the man who wrote Blame it on the Boogie), and his paean to having fun?

Thank Disco It's Friday!

Have a good one...

Thursday, 8 March 2018

Every one from A to Z

Only one song to play on International Women's Day, really...

I'm every woman, it's all in me
Anything you want done, baby
I'll do it naturally
I'm every woman, it's all in me
I can read your thoughts right now
Every one from A to Z

I can cast a spell
With secrets you can't tell
Mix a special brew
Put fire inside of you
But anytime you feel
Danger or fear
Instantly I will appear, 'cause

I'm every woman, it's all in me
Anything you want done, baby
I'll do it naturally
I'm every woman, it's all in me
I can read your thoughts right now
Every one from A to Z

I can sense your needs
Like rain on to the seeds
I can make a rhyme
Of confusion in your mind
And when it comes down
To some good old fashioned love
That's what I've got plenty of, 'cause

I'm every woman, it's all in me
Anything you want done, baby
I'll do it naturally
I'm every woman, it's all in me
I can read your thoughts right now
Every one from A to Z

I ain't braggin' 'cause I'm the one
You just ask me ooh and it shall be done
And don't bother to compare
'Cause I've got it
I've got it, I've got it, yeah


Wednesday, 7 March 2018


A middle manager who says ‘interweb’ instead of ‘internet’ is a joy to work with, it has been confirmed.

Colleagues of team leader Richard Jones have expressed their delight that he persists in using the term, as well as ‘amazeballs’ and ‘jus sayin’.

Employee Sasha Thomas said: “Richard is such a brilliant guy – his language choices demonstrate that all day, every day.

“He says ‘nom’ every lunchtime while he’s eating his pasta salad and then tells us about something ‘amazeballs’ he found on the ‘interweb’. He’s awesome.”

Other staff members have highlighted Jones’s inspiring commitment to linguistic playfulness during challenging moments.

Office manager Tina Graham said: “He was giving a speech about making several people redundant last week and managed to slip in an ‘obvs’ and a ‘jus sayin’.

“That’s commitment. What a cool dude.”


Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Thought for the Day

"Faster than a speeding bullet!"


Monday, 5 March 2018

Dulces sueños

Groo. The alarm clock has gone off again, waking me from dreams of warm sunshine and palm trees; replacing them with the depressing grey, damp, dank morning light of Wood Green...

Hey ho, let's redress that situation this Tacky Music Monday - in the glittering company of one of our fave Spanish divas, Señorita Carmen Sevilla!

Oh, that's better.

Have a good one, sweeties!

Sunday, 4 March 2018

La Primavera?

Until yesterday, this was the view from our kitchen window

It's been quite a busy weekend, all told - most of yesterday was taken up just building one wardrobe, and today has been a bit of a "doing day" as well: sorting through crap we'd been carting around in those handy, "tuck-'em-away-under-the-bed" boxes since the move before last... and we've just waved bye-bye to our first official visitors at Dolores Delargo Towers #4. Now it's time for some relaxation.

Among our birthday celebrants today [as diverse a mix as usual, including silent film star Pearl White, theatre impresario Joan Greenwood, national treasure (and presenter of astronomy programme The Sky At Night from 1957 to his death in 2012) Patrick Moore, the inventor of both the gas mask and the traffic signal Garrett Morgan, singer and actress Patsy Kensit, author Alan Sillitoe, conductor Bernard Haitink, actress Paula Prentiss, cod rock'n'roller Shakin'-bloody-Stevens (70 years old today!) and Chaz (formerly Chastity) Bono] is a genuinely great talent.

Happy 340th birthday to the prestigious Baroque composer Antonio Vivaldi!

To help calm us down in an appropriate manner for a Sunday, here's something of his that is both optimistic and soothing. Spring is just around the corner, folks!


Saturday, 3 March 2018

Good God! I can't help it! Agh! That's just the way that I feel

I started the task at 1pm, and - with a much-needed hour's break for fish'n'chips - just finished our second wardrobe at almost 10pm! IKEA may be cheap, but build-it-yourself flat-pack furniture is a complete and utter bastard.

Thankfully, I have been helped immensely in my task by the faboo music being played on BBC Radio 2 all day - including this rather catchy number from Prince protégé (and old fave here at Dolores Delargo Towers), Miss Janelle Monáe [whose Tightrope was one of my "Songs of the Year" in - gulp - 2010]...

One of the coolest women on the planet, methinks. I love this!

Now, to hanging the clothes in their rightful place at last...

Friday, 2 March 2018

Totty of the (perfect) day

Another day, another milestone - and today, scarily, it is sex-god Daniel Craig's turn to hit the "big 5-0"..! I'd help blow out his candle.

Mr Craig shares a birthday with a mixed bag of luminaries including Smetana, Desi Arnaz, Kurt Weill, Rebel Wilson, Dr Seuss, Chris Martin from Coldplay, Mikhail Gorbachev, Gates McFadden, Karen Carpenter, Jon Bon Jovi and Lou Reed - and it is the latter to whom we turn, to help us get into the party spirit for the weekend...

...or rather, to a dance cover of the great man's classic Perfect Day (with a video of sunshine and blue seas about which we can only dream, here in only-slightly-thawing-out, dank North London) - and, with that, Thank Disco It's Friday!

"Drink Sangria in the park"? I somehow doubt we will be.

Thursday, 1 March 2018

Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Hapus!

It's Saint David's Day, cariads - the day when all things Welsh are supposed to be celebrated, apparently. As it happens, all anyone across the UK has been thinking about today is the dreadful weather [it was -5C during the day today here in London, but thankfully the thermometer is slowly starting to rise; there are still blizzards and ice everywhere North of here, however], so there has been little chance of waving one's leek around!

Dim ots, on with the music, methinks - here are a few of our fave Welsh artists, doing what they do best! First up, help yourself to a bit of Sir Tom...

...one of Dame Shirl's shining moments:

...Miss Jenkins, her amazing tonsils, and a plethora of safety gays:

...some Cerys Matthews:

...and to finish (a bit of a surprising one, this), how about one of Wales' grandest, Dame Siân Phillips - singing?!

And, in case you feel the need to use any Welsh phrases on this special day - try this handy guide!