Wednesday, 13 November 2013

More fabulous Ferreting

"They were looking for singers in the style of George Formby or Vera Lynn. I was a bit more like George."

We know a good night out when we find one here at Dolores Delargo Towers. And so it came to pass, a mere week after laughing our tits off at last week's Ferret Up The Arts show (with the eponymous Eve Ferret and her guests Celia Imrie, Fidelis Morgan and Mzz Kimberley) that Paul and I (and little Tony and Wayne) trolled into town again for another helping!

We adore Eve. She is our favourite "Blitz Kid". (And there was a smattering of true originals from that heady early-80s era again in evidence in the audience)

Once more we hooted at Miss Ferret's hilarious self-deprecation and patter, her pride in her peignoir, and the carefully-nurtured chaos that is her brilliant cabaret - everything from Crazy Horses and This Town Ain’t Big Enough for Both of Us to the catchiest-of-catchy "signature tunes" I Am The Diva and Diva's Tea Party, with Billie Holiday-esque vocals here and a bit of Piaf there for good measure...

Her guests this time around were again typically eclectic - and first up was the (very nervous) Vauxhall Tavern stalwart, Mr Alp Haydar. A singularly sexy man, he has a lovely singing voice, and Miss Ferret evidently adores him (even though he appeared somewhat out of his depth in the spotlight glare of a West End audience).

Speaking of adored... Our second guest Miss Adele Anderson has a very special place in our hearts indeed. Candid these days about her transition from the boy Eve knew decades ago to being a long-serving member of our favourite all-girl cabaret group Fascinating Aïda, Ms Anderson specialises in singing the kind of subtly acerbic torch songs we love, such as these:

Pigalle from Adele Anderson on Myspace.

My Voice from Adele Anderson on Myspace.

Why try to Change Me Now from Adele Anderson on Myspace.

Having captivated the audience with her divine presence, Adele was rejoined by Eve and the two ladies did a killer version of Eartha Kitt's I Want To Be Evil, which was utterly brilliant. Once we reached the break, we were buzzing (as was everyone else outside having a fag). But lawks-a-mercy, there was a magnificent treat in store in part two...

For alongside Eve's own miscellany of musical delights, she proudly introduced the last of her trinity of talents to the stage - none other than the legendary Miss Hazel O'Connor!

Miss O'Connor, together with such post-punk-popstrels as Toyah, Adam Ant, Lene Lovich and others of that ilk, experienced a meteoric rise to chart stardom in the early 80s (at around the same time that Biddie and Eve were witnessing the parallel ascendancy of the electro-tinged New Romantics) but unlike such survivors as Siouxsie or Nina Hagen, her time at the top was relatively short-lived. Nevertheless, her unique brand of impassioned theatricality has left a lasting influence on all our lives (we who were there at the time, that is), and I genuinely never, ever thought I would get to see her live.

Her voice - never hugely powerful even in her heyday - has obviously mellowed a lot nowadays, but she has cleverly adapted her smoky register to a more jazzy, bluesy sound (almost in the manner of the Goddess Marianne Faithfull), and her rendition of God Bless The Child was sublime.

But it was when she sang her absolute classic Will You that the shivers really travelled up and down my spine (even when Miss Ferret appeared at the back of the stage "artistically" twirling her fluorescent streamer!). One of the most poignant ballads of its age - if not of all time - I was immediately transported back to an era when (as now) I could mouth every single word and nuance, and it was all so incredibly meaningful...

You drink your coffee,
I sip my tea,
And we're sitting here, playing so cool,
Thinking, 'What will be, will be.'

And it's getting kind of late now,
Oh, I wonder if you'll stay now,
Stay now, stay now, stay now,
Or will you just politely say 'Goodnight'?

I move a little closer to you,
Not knowing quite what to do and I'm
Feeling all fingers and thumbs,
I spill my tea, oh silly me.

It's getting kind of late now,
I wonder if you'll stay now,
Stay now, stay now, stay now,
Or will you just politely say 'Goodnight'?

And then we touch, much too much,
This moment has been waiting for a long, long time,
Makes me shiver,
Makes me quiver,
This moment I am so unsure,
This moment I have waited for,
Well is it something you've been waiting for,
Waiting for too?

Take off your eyes,
Bare your soul,
Gather me to you and make me whole,
Tell me your secrets,
Sing me the song,
Sing it to me in the silent tongue.

It's getting kind of late now,
I wonder if you'll stay now,
Stay now, stay now, stay now,
Or will you just politely say 'Goodnight'?

One of my favourite songs, ever. As it appeared to be for most of the audience, as the great lady had people on their feet cheering as she left the stage, and left Eve to carry on the show - gin shots, flying mangetout, hobby horses, drums, nylon frou-frou and all...

An unmissable experience! We thanked Miss F for her magnificence, and chatted briefly with Ms A and Mr H after the show. Unfortunately Miss O'C had left the building, leaving only pre-signed CDs in her wake. Which was a shame. We wanted just to bathe in the hallowed glow of such an icon.



  1. It was a great night, bonkers in the best possible way, the audience almost as impressive as what was happening on stage - I was sat next to PinkieTessa whom I Googled when I got home.

    Eve is a star, I discovered Adele, got both her CDs signed and Hazel is always good, it's the third time I've seen her and if you get the chance to see her do a full show you should, she usually does stop after shows to sign CDs and pose for photos.

    See you tonight - x

    1. Sweetie - everyone was there! As well as PinkieTessa, I spotted Andrew Logan (see here and here), Sue Tilley and Scarlett who was in "Jubilee" with Toyah and Adam Ant, but none of us could put a name to the face of that tall lady who was outside smoking...

      Let's wait and see who we can spot in the Purchell Room tonight! Jx

  2. Eves fabulous fabaret! What a great evening of entertainment! I will never see petit pois and mange tout in the same light again and i look forward to a big second helping!

    Its true Hazel does usually stop behind to meet the audience but she had an early start the next day going into the studio to record her next album. It will be out in Spring and she'll be touring it in March and April. Dates will be announced soon on her website I have seen her numerous times and she really pulls the punches. If you go along to see her you will definetely get to meet her!

    1. Eve was marvellous, and so was Hazel. I would love to see both again, of course... (And we are also considering booking to see Fascinating Aida at Xmas as well.) Jx

  3. Great blog! You have captured the brilliance and quirk of the evening!

    1. Thank you, my dear - we had a fab time, and great to have few drinkies with you afterwards... Jx


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