Friday 30 January 2009

Queen of Copla

Tomorrow we will be in Spain again, and I can't wait! Even though we do spend the majority of our time doing nothing much in particular (that's what holidays are all about after all...), we have done plenty of exploring, and absorbed some of the cultural influences of that fabulous country over the years.

Not least of those is our enduring love for that most adored of Spanish divas (those that are still with us, that is), the lovely Isabel Pantoja. I am sure I have written about her before, but suffice to say that La Pantoja is to Spain what Liza Minelli is to Broadway - a timeless icon for gays and old ladies alike, her stage inevitably always coated with flowers thrown to her during every performance.

Born in Seville, home of Flamenco, to a family steeped in that tradition, it was inevitable that Isabel would become a performer. She hit the heights in the late 70s/early 80s, her success rivalling other grande dames of Spanish music such as the late Rocio Jurado. And her position as an iconic figure was ensured when - tragically - her husband, top bullfighter "Paquirri" was killed in the ring. Even recent scandals (her current husband the mayor of Marbella was imprisoned for corruption, and Isabel was implicated and later cleared) cannot dent her position as "Queen of Copla", and she continues to sell out massive concert halls and basks in the adulation of her audiences to this day.

So popular is La Pantoja that some of her classics have been remixed for a younger dance audience, and she continues to be played in the gay clubs in La Nogalera in Torremolinos today...

Thursday 29 January 2009

Monica vs the drag queens

As we count down to Spain, I came across this fantastic video I just had to share! One of Spain's top singers of the moment Monica Naranjo, having what looks like a fun time with a load of hysterical travestí.

Possibly the campest thing I have seen on video for a while, and just right to get me in the mood for the bars of La Nogalera...

Wednesday 28 January 2009

"Isn't Dubai in Angola?"

I paid a long overdue visit to one of my old favourite websites "Tube Gossip" - a random collection of things overheard on London Underground journeys - today, and it is still as fabulous as ever.

Here's a recent selection...
  • "I know I shouldn't be gloating at a teen mum's expense but I just hate her so much."
  • "I think she's the friend of a naval officer."
  • "I'm too old for that. I've already done all my rebellion and dressing up."
  • "...and talking of fat, sour-faced, miserable old cows..."
  • "So let me get this straight? You're asking me out on a date so you can get to know my boyfriend?"
  • "Leona Lewis... yeah, she thinks she's sizzling, but she looks like an Afghan Hound."
  • "We wont have time for dinner, so I’ll pick up something in Tesco. Some Flumps or something."
  • "Isn't Dubai in Angola?"
  • "He has more gin than hope these days."
  • "What would you rather save? The whales? Or the banks?"
And my favourite:
  • "It's not racist because chavs aren't a race."
Overheard on the Tube

Tuesday 27 January 2009

The axeman cometh?

It's all change at Radio 2 with the appointment of a new controller Bob Shennan. But what future will this fabulous station have in his hands?

Arriving back at the BBC after he jumped ship for the ill-fated Channel 4 venture into radio (which has now been shelved by the station as part of the reaction to its financial crisis), Bob Shennan has a background in sport and news, but little previous experience of music radio. According to the Guardian, insiders have questioned his lack of music background, although he was appointed by two executives who themselves have no prior radio experience – the director of audio and music Tim Davie, and the creative director Alan Yentob.

Big decisions need to be made at Radio 2, not least who will replace Terry Wogan as he retires from the breakfast show. All the big bets are on - gawd help us - Chris Evans to take over, despite Our Tel's obvious contempt for the ginger one. And bearing in mind the "populist" stance of the man who wielded the axe at Radio Five Live on some of its more traditional and long-running shows, bringing in "big name" presenters to boost the ratings instead, there could be some more nasty surprises in store for the UK's most popular radio station.

Shennan's rise to success in the BBC was remarkable, from sports journalist to controller of Radio Five Live in ten years, and while at the helm there he raised their audience to over seven million listeners. But he had his critics. One of the people who launched Five Live Tim Luckhurst stated that the station had lurched downmarket under the control of Shennan, and had declined "from news pioneer to a bounteously funded competitor for commercial chat radio."

So what exactly will this man do now he has his hands on Radio 2? I dread to think what will be the fate of some of my favourite shows - Malcolm Laycock, Desmond Carrington, Russell Davies and David Jacobs - let alone respected daytime broadcasters like Ken Bruce.

'Cos they're old, see? And that Wossy, well he's a laugh, innee?


Monday 26 January 2009

You'll ride my rainbow in the sky

Monday, and my mind turns again to tacky music. So here, for your delectation, is none other than the lovely Pia Zadora!

Pia was a child actress and half-arsed singer when, at the age of 17 she married 49-year-old billionaire Meshulam Riklis, who launched her as the "face" of Dubonnet (one of his companies). She continued to be supported by him in film and TV roles (including a cameo in John Waters' original Hairspray), had minimal success in the music biz, duetting with Jermaine Jackson on When the Rain Begins to Fall in 1983, and became most noted for archetypal 80s chugging dance numbers.

Less tacky, however, was her eventual move into singing showbiz standards, even recording an album with the London Philharmonic Orchestra. We have a copy of one of those albums I Am What I Am, and actually despite her name being synonymous with kitsch, it isn't bad at all...

Let's all have a slapping good weekend...

Just because it's a Friday, and we're all feeling a bit folorn at the shocking loss of legends Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson in one day, I felt we needed a bit of cheering up... so I just had to share - THIS!

Sunday 25 January 2009

A Gallic gay icon

I may be a week late for celebrating the birthday of the great French diva Dalida, but in France the queens never miss such an opportunity to pay tribute to the campest of their home-grown icons.

Not only was she celebrated after her death with one of the most outrageous tombs ever (pictured above), but a whole area of Montmartre was re-named Place Dalida in her honour, complete with a bust cast in bronze! (I can't imagine the burghers of Cardiff doing the same for Shirley Bassey when she goes...) We visited to pay our own little homage a few years ago.

Anyway, apparently every year on her birthday Dalida parties are held across France, and on the anniversary of her death her tomb is knee-deep with flowers. Other queens find a more inventive way to pay their tribute:

And thanks to Madame Arcati for finding these works of genius:

And here's the lovely lady herself with her classic Salma ya Salama...

Dalida official website

Saturday 24 January 2009

Hush hush, eye to eye

I was listening to Gaydar Radio today, and they played a tune that really brought back some memories... The disc in question is a dance version of the classic Kajagoogoo number Too Shy by Swedish band Physics - featuring none other than Limahl himself.

Back in my closeted early 80s period, I had a massive crush on the lovely Limahl, stupid hair and all! It's the eyes don't you know... And having done a bit of research I find that the spiky-haired one is still looking good, even if he has just celebrated his 50th birthday in December!

Here is the original (and still superior) version of that classic from one of the earliest of all boy bands - just take a varda at the fashions!

Limahl website

Friday 23 January 2009

You'll never feel depressed...

As I look forward to hosting my Sparkling Leaving Party tonight, here are couple of my favourite numbers to help celebrate the occasion.

First up, the most stylish musical comediennes in the business we call "show"...

...and this slice of brilliance from the movie Better Than Chocolate!

Party time!

Thursday 22 January 2009

Somebody's watching me

Last night's Polari "Stalkers' Night" was another in a continuing series of fantastically entertaining nights out for the thinking queen! Our hosts Paul Burston, resplendent in apparently "lesbian stalker" wig and hat, and Dom Agius looking cool and mysterious (and just the sort of stalker most boys would love) hosted magnificently, with an eclectic mix of choons from Cole Porter to Grace Jones via Blondie, provided another fab lineup of entertainment all on the stalker-ish theme...

Our opening speaker was VG (Val) Lee, whose pithy wit was perfect to deliver one of her short stories, about a downtrodden lover who wreaks deadly revenge upon her domineering partner - suffice to say, you won't want to investigate haunted churches in a hurry with her around! Then Dawn Right Nasty treated us to a little insight into her obsession with stalking trannies - from Pete Burns to Justin Bond. We collected copies of her obsessive fanzine Tranny Hag, which contains a wealth of hints and tips for the stalker, as an aide memoire in case the trend catches on.

Karen McLeod was a hoot - arriving as she did, complete with balaclava and stalking camera, to the theme tune from The Pink Panther. Her tale In Search of the Missing Eyelash is about a spurned obsessive breaking into the house of her ex, who had started a relationship with a man - shock horror - dubbed "Fat Neck" by our heroine. Once inside the house, she sets about collecting some souvenirs... "Her fluff was a deep blue-grey colour with strands of blonde hair matting it all together. If I'd had enough time to collect more it could have made a tartan scarf for winter."

But our final treat before the disco resumed was the statuesque Prestige, who, not content with singing her very own Stalker number, proceeded to entertain the masses with a pole-dance, which sent crystals flying everywhere - literally, as her coat caught a table full of glasses! Performance art at its very best, I say!

I love Polari nights, and I really look forward to the next one on 18 February, which is apparently "Dorothy Night"! All together now, "We're off to see the Wizard..."


Wednesday 21 January 2009

I'm gonna getcha getcha getcha getcha

I am looking forward to Polari tonight - this gay literary salon is becoming a regular fixture in our social calendar. Tonight's theme is "Stalkers' Night", and to that end I have chosen a fairly appropriate number from one of my all-time fave bands...

I'm excited...

Tuesday 20 January 2009

The caged bird sings

As the world's media goes into a frenzy over the inauguration of Barack Obama, and dear old Maya Angelou is wheeled out to give some pearls of wisdom (Read her Notes to a President on the BBC website), I feel it isn't my place go into the deeper significance of this momentous occasion. Many others will say it much better than I.

Suffice to say that the election of America's first black president is indeed a sea-change in the history of the so-called "Land of the Free". And this tiny example of the early career of Maya Angelou herself can only serve to illustrate the fact. For back in the 1950s, when Calypso music was a new craze, it is a little-known fact that Maya was a successful singer of that genre. I recently acquired her album Miss Calypso, and it is really good!

However, when it came to portraying this typically black style of music, what did Hollywood do? Why, produce a practically all-white film to celebrate it, of course... Shocking really, but it just goes to show how times have really changed:

Monday 19 January 2009

I'm worse at what I do best, and for this gift I feel blessed

My mission statement: To bring the tackiest music to the masses.

Today's attempt to brighten up a damp Monday is...

How low?

Sunday 18 January 2009

A little voice..?

Happy birthday to the multi-talented Jane Horrocks, 45 years old today.

Possibly best known for her wonderful role as the ditzy Bubble in Ab Fab, Jane has entertained us in a whole string of different genres - from the seriously odd Nicola in Mike Leigh's Life is Sweet, to doing voices for a number of animated classics such as Crapston Villas and Chicken Run, to her acclaimed stage appearance as a neurotic overprotective mother of a disturbed child in Stephen Poliakoff's Sweet Panic.

But in my opinion, her greatest screen moment came with her spectacular portrayal of the title character in Little Voice where she revealed previously unknown skills as a powerful singer, with an uncanny ability to impersonate some of music's biggest musical stars - Judy Garland, Shirley Bassey, Billie Holiday and Marilyn Monroe.

It is an astonishing performance. I was blown away by the fact that all the voices were indeed Jane's own. The film itself is a bit of a mixed bag - but what could easily have been a clichéd gritty Northern rags-to-riches story is saved by the brilliance of the performances. Jane's introverted character, dominated by her dead common randy bitch mother (Brenda Blethyn) and mother's sleazy nightclub promoter boyfriend (Michael Caine), blossoms when she gets to the stage; and wins the heart of the lovely Ewan McGregor in the process... A must-see film!

Little Voice on IMDB

Here's her classic Judy:

And here's a little example of Jane Horrocks' vocal dexterity that I put together:


Saturday 17 January 2009

Beauty is in in the eye of the beholder

Now here's a beauty tip for all the ladies out there - Dame Edna Everage has released a new range of cosmetics for MAC!

With "looks" such as Coral Polyp, Kango-Rouge and Possum Nose Pink, surely we are seeing a renaissance in true glamour...

I'm not making this up you know! Read more about it.

Friday 16 January 2009


On another site I posted this image of the US "style consultant" Bobby Trendy as a caption contest. It provoked a bit of a response. Submissions so far include:

Tony: "Renowned jewel thief Bobby Trendy leaves Tiffany's trying to look inconspicuous."

Lance: "Provincetown - Style Consultant?"

Vontanner: "What on earth did I just sit in?"

My own submission is not just "Glitter and Be Gay", it is (as is is my wont) accompanied by a video that illustrates exactly what I think I mean by that...

Thursday 15 January 2009

Cutchi, Cutchi!

Happy birthday today to the outrageous Charo, Hispanic entertainer, guitarist and plastic surgery fan. This woman is 67 years old yet appears to model her "look" on a young Brigitte Bardot, not entirely successfully.

They don't get much tackier than the "Cutchi Cutchi Queen"..!

Charo official website

Wednesday 14 January 2009

The final curtain

Take a bow, the night is over
This masquerade is getting older
Light are low, the curtains down
There's no one here
There's no one here, there's no one in the crowd

So we wave goodbye to The Astoria this week - with an aptly-named "Demolition Ball" tonight. We have had some great nights at G-A-Y there over the years, dancing on podiums, queuing for hours to see Geri Halliwell, seeing the first public performance of Steps and the last performance of all three original members of Bananarama...

The Astoria Theatre was built by Edward A.Stone and was a conversion from a former pickle warehouse. The theatre was built in 1927 with a large auditorium capable of seating 2,000 in some comfort. It operated as a cinema until 1976, when the building was converted (against the trend at the time) into a venue for live performances.

Although some very major bands played there over the years, The Astoria was always a run-down venue, occupying as it does a rather undesirable position next to a busy road junction and opposite the ghastly Centrepoint complex. Its saving grace came when G-A-Y took over certain nights of the week, packing in the punters.

Yet despite this success, we are going to lose one of the biggest central London auditoriums for the sake of public transport... It is a crying shame!


Tuesday 13 January 2009

It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing!

Watching the fab BBC4 retrospective The Swing Thing on replay tonight, I was blown over by the fantastic "Lindy Hop" dancing on display.

So here are a few clips I found on the web, posted as a tribute to these remarkably talented dancers...

And here's a more contemporary male couple paying a fitting tribute to the genre, in one of the most fantastically sexy camp dances I have ever seen...

The Swing Thing on BBC4.

Monday 12 January 2009

More bizarre connections - an old Biddie

Here is an example of how connections work - and how the proverbial penny drops eventually...

In the latter half of last year, I developed a bit of an obsession with the fantastic TV show Beautiful People, the adaptation of Simon Doonan's memoirs - read my blogs here, here and here. One of my favourite characters in the whole series was Simon's best friend "Kylie" - who in the original book was named "Biddie".

For some bizarre reason this week I was reminiscing about the early 80s [when don't I?!], and recalled some of the classic concerts I went to see in that era - Siouxsie & the Banshees, Toyah, Gary Numan, Duran Duran, Marc Almond and Ultravox among them. With particular reference to Duran Duran, I recalled being extremely impressed by their support act, the very bizarre Biddie and Eve.

Then the penny dropped!

Yes - the "Biddie" of that long-lost arthouse duo is indeed the self-same "Biddie"/"Kylie" of the Simon Doonan memoir... Whew!

Biddie and Eve were stalwarts of the Blitz club in Covent Garden just at the time when Punk was handing over to the New Romantics, and had a three-year residency there until the club closed. They mixed with all the biggest artists of the day, including Spandau Ballet, Steve Strange and Rusty Egan, and supported the Durannies and others on tour. Boy George was merely the hat-check boy at the club.

Here's an example of the stylish genius of Biddie and Eve - with their own singular take on the Cilla Black classic You're My World:

And a wonderful retrospective of the career to date of Mr Biddlecombe:

Then, as an added treat, I found out from Dress Circle music shop that Biddie himself (James Biddlecombe) recently released a new album of cabaret music. So of course I had to buy it! And it is a wonderful collection of campness, with beautifully kitsch renditions of classics such as Ashes to Ashes, I Wanna Be Evil, Vienna and Mink Schmink.

Buy your copy of (The Mysterious) Mr Blonde from Dress Circle today!

But, fittingly, the last word goes to Mr Doonan himself:

James Biddlecombe... j’accuse!!!!
As I listen to the menthol-cool vocal stylings of James Biddlecombe, I cannot help but marvel at the paradoxes which enrobe the persona of this truly mysterious performer. A question forms in my mind: How can someone who sounds so innocent and so pure be so horribly guilty of so horribly much?

Guilty? Yes, guilty, I say, beyond a shadow of a doubt!

The list of James Biddlecombe’s heinous crimes is a long one:
  • He is guilty of having entertained large groups of people in locations as diverse as sunny Ibiza and rainy Chipping Norton.
  • He is guilty of having made people chuckle until their foundation garments popped. (And, that was just the men!)
  • He is guilty of having sat on people’s laps – uninvited, no less! - while he sang to them.
  • He is guilty of having used his voice – that ethereal God-given instrument of his – to titillate and to mesmerize.
  • He is guilty of having upstaged both Blossom Dearie and Eartha Kitt, even though both chanteuses were thousands of miles away at the time.
  • His is guilty of having an award-winning voice which has never actually won any awards, but should have.
  • He is guilty of having attired himself in tantalizingly suave suits in shockingly bright colors.
  • He is guilty of having allowed his audience to forget the trials and tribulations of their unspeakably dreary lives.
  • He is guilty of having replied, “Madame, I’d love to!” when once asked by a drunken toothless crone to sing ‘Fly me to the Moon.’
In short, James Biddlecombe is guilty of criminal vocal fabulosity!
I rest my case.
Simon Doonan – author of Beautiful People
Biddie's official website

Sunday 11 January 2009

Flash Trash

Good heavens! Feeding my obsession with trashy Euro music, I was alerted to this magnificent Spanish diva by fellow obsessive Joe at the now sadly demised Poplicious blog.

Remarkably, she was not successful in her attempt to represent Spain at Eurovision 2008. Words truly fail me...

La Prohibida on MySpace

Saturday 10 January 2009

And the moon and the stars were the gifts you gave

Today we celebrate the 70th birthday of a lady with one of the sweetest soul voices of the last century, Roberta Flack.

Emerging alongside so many of her contemporaries - Gladys Knight, Minnie Riperton, Candi Staton - from the black gospel tradition, in an era when civil rights were still in their infancy in the USA, the young Roberta received a scholarship at the age of 15 (unheard of at such a young age for a black girl) to attend music college and hone up her already incredible vocal and musical talents.

After a period as a music teacher in an all-white school, she was "discovered" by the classic soul jazz piano player and vocalist Les McCann, and in the early 1970s she became one of the world's biggest selling solo artistes. With songs like The first time ever I saw your face (written by Kirsty's dad Ewan McColl), Feel like making love, Lovin' you is such an easy thing to do and of course Killing me softly, and collaborations with the late Donny Hathaway and, later, Peabo Bryson, she remains one of the most respected singers in soul music.

Personally, I cannot listen to Killing me softly since the bloody Fugees ruined it a few years back ("one time"), but here are some other examples of this remarkable lady's talents:

It's like a heatwave burning in my heart

We celebrate this week 50 years of Motown Records, the label that launched (predominately) black music into the mainstream - not just in America, but across the world.

Pioneered by no less than Dusty Springfield over here in the UK, the label spawned huge international success for artists such as Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin, Michael Jackson... And the rest is history!

So here are just three of my own favourites from their huge and extensive back catalogue...

Classic Motown website

Dusty Springfield and the Motown invasion

Friday 9 January 2009

Something for the weekend - Kinsey Sicks!

I think we're well overdue for a little exposure of "America's Favourite Dragapella Beautyshop Quartet" on this side of the pond...

The Kinsey Sicks are a group of close-harmony singers, whose line in piss-taking campness has long been a favourite of mine. Oh, and they're drag queens as well.

I've picked out a little selection of their extreme talent for your delectation. Enjoy!

Kinsey Sicks on MySpace

Thursday 8 January 2009

A pantheon of gods

Two of the greatest artists of all time share a birthday today - Dame Shirley Bassey (72) and David Bowie (62). It is difficult to even contemplate making a link between these two all-time favourites of mine, poles apart as they are. But, in this fascinating article from 1976, journalist Derek Jewell does just that - and it is as apt today as it was way back then at the height of their respective powers...

Sunday Times | May 9 1976

Shirley Bassey and David Bowie on successive nights. So contrasting, yet so similar. She a peach in maturity; he fragile as a stick insect, and just as elusive to discern, define, deny. Similar? Certainly. Both are children of our time, climbing out of Tiger Bay and Brixton, and so, enabling audiences to identify with them, are archetypal popular music idols.

She feeds middle-aged fantasy, epitomized in beautiful songs like Yesterday When We Were Young. He encourages a younger army, bored with their external characters, to seek within themselves alternative egos; as artist-hero, he kills off his past roles - Ziggy Stardust, spaceman, bisexualist, rebel - like clockwork, with only the orange coxcomb of his hair for continuity. His disciples dutifully ape him.

Both, too, are beyond normal criticism, defying purely musical assessment. Bassey over-sings (but thrillingly) and cannot perform except with total commitment. Bowie over-plays (but rivetingly) and demands attention by his extravagant idiosyncrasy, which is as professionally adamantine as hers. She devours the audience; he incites it. Each earthquakingly demonstrates the power of personality.

Shirley Bassey sang, in all, to 25,000 at the Albert Hall last week. Tuesday, second house, was an outstanding triumph. Standing ovation after standing ovation, the emotion aroused by her beauty and her passionate singing flooding the arena. She is at her peak. She still goes over the top sometimes, which is Bassey magically being herself, but she knows more about light and shade than ever. She whispers the final note of The Way We Were; within Something, the orchestration leaves momentary sounds of silence. Her world conquests are richly earned.

David Bowie entertained 50,000 at Wembley. On Monday, after a boring surrealistic movie, greeted with cynical derision, his casual entry was spellbinding. He has murdered Ziggy, appearing glitterless in plain black trousers, waistcoat and white shirt, looking like a refugee from Isherwood's Berlin cabarets. The lighting, with Bowie trapped in harsh white cross-beams, was rock's most brilliantly theatrical effect. He sang 14 songs, and when the hundreds of mini-Bowies leapt on seats, miming every gesture, he played with them, smiling. He's rejected soft orchestrations (as on Space Oddity) for a thunderous R & B backing, which is tiresomely flairless. It ruined Stay, the best of his Station to Station album. But Bowie's personal performance was monstrously successful, more of a charged-up crooner than an Alice Cooper rival.

Is he sinister? There are, undeniably, visual Nuremberg overtones. Bowie-obsessiveness is sterile. But mostly, I suspect, he's the prisoner of his own publicity, his need to keep changing his image. Musically, he's limited as yet. It's where he ends up that matters. Meantime his own lyric, 'Fame, bully for you, chilly for me, gotta get a raincheck on pain', may yet be his epitaph.

And, after a bit of research, I find this song is the only one that has been covered by both artists, with - obviously - very different interpretations...

Wednesday 7 January 2009

Fast food?

Today we celebrate speed demon Lewis Hamilton's 23rd birthday. No, I am not suddenly becoming a born-again racing car fanatic - I post this for no other reason than he is prime totty, and because I want to...

Lewis Hamilton on Wikipedia

Tuesday 6 January 2009

Not such an old bag

Our Glorious Leader™ Madge is looking fabulous in her latest photoshoot for Louis Vuitton handbags.

Working once more with Stephen Meisel, the photographer who worked with Madge on her Sex book, rumour has it she was paid in the region of $10 million to be the face of the campaign. Pocket money, dear...

Read the Daily Telegraph article

Monday 5 January 2009

Mystery, sabotage, ice skating... terror amongst the sequins!

Fifteen years ago one of the campest of all real-life sporting dramas took place, and in the world of figure skating, no less...

In 1994, someone dramatically took a hammer to the legs of the reigning US figure skating champion, the glamorous Nancy Kerrigan, effectively in an attempt to prevent her from taking part in the Olympics. World media erupted when it turned out to have been a plot involving her bitter rival Tonya Harding, and a legendary real-life soap opera was born!

Read the BBC coverage

Such was its notoriety that the saga was recorded for posterity as a made-for-TV docudrama called Shattered Glory...

But all good stories have to come to an end. Apparently "the victim" Kerrigan turned out to be a real bitch, and "the villain" Harding rose above the blame for the kneecapping incident as her ex-husband and cronies got convicted for it.

The lure of fame, fortune and success eventually took over and were exposed when in 1998, Kerrigan and Harding cashed megabuck cheques to appear together for a US television interview called Breaking the Ice.

So all that is left is the satire...

Bring back Sonja Henie, all is forgiven!

Sunday 4 January 2009

The future’s bright, the future’s electronic?

Naming some of their "hot picks" for musical success in 2009, the BBC predicts the soundtrack to the next twelve months will be electronic - a throwback (or tribute) to the glory days of the early 1980s synthesizer experimentalists.

BBC Hot Picks 2009

So, intrigued by this concept (being a child of that very electro era myself), I thought I'd investigate some of the names on their list. Amongst the usual studenty, arthouse dross and faux-"street" artists, these three rather piqued my interest. See what you think...

La Roux:

The rather cute Frankmusik:

Little Boots:

I wish them every success, but in the meantime, here's a taste of some real 1980s electronic music masters at work...

Saturday 3 January 2009

You can get yourself clean, you can have a good meal, you can do whatever you feel...

Can it really be thirty years since this slice of the cheesiest pop EVER was number 1 in the charts?

It is scary how the time flies...

Friday 2 January 2009

My Discarded Men

Just because the end of this year is a collection of peculiar thoughts, and one of them is the death of Miss Kitt, I feel I have to post this little gem of a number.

Others who are sadly missed, who also died in 2008, include:

Paul Newman
Estelle Getty
Sir Edmund Hillary
Jo Stafford
Heath Ledger
Bobby Fischer
Richard Widmark
Arthur C Clarke
Bettie Page
Yves St Laurent
Cyd Charisse
Barry Morse
Yma Sumac
Charles Wheeler
Mel Ferrer
Elizabeth Spriggs
Roy Scheider
Charlton Heston
Sydney Pollack
Harold Pinter
Harvey Korman
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
Van Johnson
Paul Scofield
Miriam Makeba
Bo Diddley
Michael Crichton
John Phillip Law
Anthony Minghella
Levi Stubbs
Isaac Hayes
Vampira (Maila Syrjaniemi)
Brad Renfro
Suzanne Pleshette
Dody Goodman

RIP, all.

Thursday 1 January 2009

Happy New Wawa!


At our riotous singalong and dressing-up New Years Eve party, the "Wawa" remix of the latest single by the Sugababes turned out to be just about the only modern song we played - it is definitely the song of the moment.

Happy New Year!!