Saturday 30 September 2017

Lions, 1; Rugby, nil

Rugby players? Arses!

The utter stupidity of some people never ceases to amaze me.

News arrives today of Wales rugby player Scott Baldwin, who has had to miss a crucial game in his team's tour of South Africa - because he was bitten by a lion, while trying to pat its head!

His own coach said: " fairness it was nothing to do with the lion... I don't know what sort of wildlife show Scott has been watching where you can pat a lion on the head as if it's a kitten.

"It's probably one of the silliest things I've even been involved in, but thankfully he is OK and hopefully he will be back up and running in the next couple of weeks."

Any excuse, really to play a long-forgotten classic from proud-silly-haircut-wearers, (the post-Limahl) Kajagoogoo, methinks:

Friday 29 September 2017

Taste the forbidden fruit

At this time of year, it always feels like a race - to try and get as much sunshine whenever it appears, in the sure and certain knowledge that there won't be much of it in the months to come. True to form, all week while I've been stuck in the office, London has had some lovely warm sunshine. Today, and likely for the whole weekend, it is bucketing down. In the words of Father Jack: "Arse! Feck!"

Never mind, eh? A weekend is still a weekend, and we could always stick a few rhinestones onto our galoshes to cheer us us up. Alternatively, we could writhe around suggestively with some plastic chairs and a helluva lot of eyeshadow, just like the much missed Hot Gossip - and Thank Disco It's Friday!

Lord knows what dear old Quincy Jones made of this.

I knew I was captured
By the rhythm of the magic flute
Pulling and urging me
To taste the forbidden fruit

And though I felt naive
I did not want to leave, fever was in the air
And all of us sudden and I didn't care
And no reason why, I just had to testify

What makes you feel like doin' stuff like that?
What makes you feel like doin' stuff like that?
What makes you feel like doin' stuff like that?
What makes you feel like doin' stuff like that?
Do it, do it, do it, do it, do it, do it, do it, do it!

You know you want to...

Have a good weekend, dear reader!

Thursday 28 September 2017

More bucks and bangs

A Rabbit has thanked Hugh Hefner for making people think he is a sex symbol, not just a boring herbivore.

Rabbit Roy Hobbs said: “Before the Playboy logo, people had a much more mundane image of rabbits as slightly manky-looking brown things that amble around eating vegetation.

“And to be honest, that is quite accurate. For example I’ve spent this morning squatting in a field nibbling at grass and occasionally looking startled.

“But thanks to Hugh, the world associates rabbits with high-class orgies, cocktails, celebrity breasts and driving around really fast in sports cars.

“While in reality I am very shy. It comes with being quite low in the food chain.”

He added: “Maybe one day I’ll have a rabbit version of the Playboy Mansion. Basically a massive sex burrow with hot and cold running carrots.”

The Daily Mash

Of course.

And, right on cue, fresh from the home of all things soft-focus, gorgeous and exotic - Soft Tempo Lounge - we have a snippet of one of the most notorious (and eternally-remembered) "soft-porn" films ever made, Emmanuelle (starring the late, great Sylvia Krystel). With some smooth music, naturally:

[Music: Spring Rain by Bebu Silvetti]

Mr Hefner would have approved.

Hugh Marston Hefner (9th April 1926 – 27th September 2017)

Wednesday 27 September 2017

More bang for your buck

I honestly thought I had travelled through some kind of wormhole to April Fools Day when I read the following in the Independent today:
Poundland has launched its own £1 sex toy range.

The range, called Nooky, follows the success of the discount retailer’s £1 Bullet vibrator which became a best-seller in 2016.

The Nooky line of products will include a “Finger Fun Stimulator, Vibrating Love Ring, Joy Ring, Sexual Vitality Supplements For Her, Supplement For Men and Pure Lube.”
Talk about "cheap thrills"! [And as some wag commented: "How will Pound-Stretcher possibly respond to this?"]

Speaking of Cheap Thrills, while searching the interwebs for some appropriate music to accompany this - ahem - stimulating news, all I could find was some badly-sung rubbish by the enigmatic-yet-ultimately-talentless SIA and that itinerant mumbler Sean Paul.

But, undeterred, my meanderings uncovered (as is my wont) a far more interesting version of said song - sung in the native language of Kerala in India!

This is my kind of "cheap thrill"...

Tuesday 26 September 2017

By 'eck, Our Vera!

"You've heard of the Bride of Frankenstein? Well I'm the husband of Vera Duckworth." - Jack Duckworth

"You haven't heard about the time she used real toads in Toad In The Hole? And poor Jack's never been the same since she did coq au vin..." - Kevin Webster

"I don't think our Jack would like you to do that, coz 'e's a bit possessive about parts of my body. But I don't know why, coz e' hasn't touched 'em for ages."
- Vera Duckworth

"I live in a very funny area, me. I'm quite normal compared to most of them who live round our way." - Vera Duckworth

And so, farewell then, Liz Dawn, who brought the common-as-muck battleaxe Vera Duckworth to our screens. The capers and bickering of Vera and the hapless Jack were a staple of prime-time telly - as British as fish'n'chips, immediately recognisable as the type of people your mother wouldn't want you to mix with, but endearing nonetheless.

The demise of yet another of the genuinely entertaining character actors that made Coronation Street what it was - part-soap, part-black comedy, loved by millions - leaves all the more room for the current crop of writers to continue turning the show into a maudlin shadow of itself, populated by former pop singers and "reality TV" trash and crammed with overdone storylines, gratuitous nastiness and improbable melodrama, I suppose.

Corrie needs people like Vera, not people who look like they've just stepped out of a Spice Girls video.

RIP Elizabeth Dawn (born Sylvia Butterfield, MBE, 8th November 1939 – 25th September 2017)

Monday 25 September 2017

The legs have it

Sharing, as she does, a birthday with such unlikely bedfellows as Heather Locklear, Dmitry Shostakovich, Ronnie Barker, Silvana Pampanini, Michael Douglas, Mark Rothko, Pedro Almodovar, Christopher Reeve, Fletcher Christian, William Faulkner, Will Smith, Catherine Zeta Jones, Jodie Kidd and Mark Hamill, the late, great Miss Juliet Prowse provides us with the perfect way to shake off those blues and get ourselves ready for another week of tedium...

Have a good one, dearies!

Juliet Anne Prowse (25th September 1936 – 14th September 1996)

Sunday 24 September 2017

Give them a twist a flick of the wrist

Merely because the wonderful Paul O'Grady (under sufferance, I might add) played them on his Radio 2 show this evening, so I am reminded of the "wonder" that was Pinky and Perky - the squeaky singing pig-puppets that I remember so well from my childhood. So I just had to share...

First up, the song Mr O'Grady gritted his teeth through - their version of a traditional sing-along Music Hall standard:

...followed by something that I am not entirely convinced is the genuine article, but made me chuckle:

  • The puppets were the creation of Czechoslovakian immigrants Jan and Vlasta Dalibor [Vlasta only died last year at the grand old age of 95], who apparently chose pigs because they are a lucky symbol in the Czech Republic.
  • Their vocals were sung by session singers such as Michael John and Mike Sammes [omnipresent backing vocalist in the 60s and 70s, whose harmonies appeared behind an eclectic range of artists including Olivia Newton-John, Ken Dodd, Engelbert Humperdinck, Tom Jones and even the Beatles; and whose Singers voiced the theme tune to Stingray and numerous advertising jingles], then speeded-up.
  • Appearing as guests on top-rated kids' classics such as Crackerjack, and in a succession of their own shows (both on the BBC and ITV), they were a massive staple of children's telly over three decades - and even appeared on a US television show alongside The Beatles and Morecambe and Wise.
  • Their double-side 1971 single Bridget the Midget/Rosetta was the very first record I ever owned [I have an excuse; I was only eight]!
  • For some bizarre reason only known to the sort of unimaginative types that commission such things, Pinky and Perky were "reimagined" in 2008 as a CGI "cartoon" series. [Why?!]

Saturday 23 September 2017

"Do" of the day...

...belongs to the esoteric, and ultimately forever-destined-to-be-a-"fringe"-artiste, Miss Danielle Dax!

Sadly, even I (a great aficionado of the music of the post-Punk, pre-Goth, "dressing-up" 1980s) needed to be reminded of her existence. But she is rather faboo, so I'm happy with the re-discovery...

Danielle Dax (born 23rd September 1958)

Friday 22 September 2017

Golden dreams were shiny days

Oh dear. We've hit one of the dreaded landmarks at this time of year (the other being when the clocks go back next month) - the autumnal equinox, when nights and days are the same length. From now until March (gulp), all we have to look forward to is creeping gloom...

Sod all that, dears - we have a weekend in our sights, and the party starts right here!

...courtesy of a very appropriate song from Earth, Wind and Fire - so get your most outrageous multi-coloured and sparkly jump-suits out of your closets, and Thank Disco It's Friday!

Do you remember the 21st night of September?
Love was changing the minds of pretenders
While chasing the clouds away

Our hearts were ringing
In the key that our souls were singing.
As we danced in the night,
Remember how the stars stole the night away

Ba de ya, say do you remember
Ba de ya, dancing in September
Ba de ya, never was a cloudy day

Ba de ya de ya de ya
Ba de ya de ya de ya
Ba de ya de ya de ya de ya

My thoughts are with you
Holding hands with your heart to see you
Only blue talk and love,
Remember how we knew love was here to stay

Now December found the love that we shared in September.
Only blue talk and love,
Remember the true love we share today

Ba de ya, say do you remember
Ba de ya, dancing in September
Ba de ya, never was a cloudy day

Ba de ya, say do you remember
Ba de ya, dancing in September
Ba de ya, golden dreams were shiny days

Love bells was ringing
Our souls were singing
Do you remember, never a cloudy day

Have a great weekend, folks!

Thursday 21 September 2017

And take your Pimms with you!

Smokers have reclaimed their rightful ownership of all outdoor territory surrounding pubs following a drop in temperature.

The end of summer means beer gardens have finally banished seasonal interlopers who are only outside because ‘it’s a nice place to be’, leaving al fresco nicotine dens to the hard-bitten ashen-faced addicts they were created for.

Roy Hobbs, a permanent fixture in the garden of the Red Lion in Stoke-on-Trent, said: “Go on, piss off and take your Pimms with you!

“They come out here, invading our domain with their smiles and their cheery conversations and their healthy skin tone. By August you couldn’t move for people drinking gin and tonic and playing Despacito on their phones.

“They didn’t respect our culture of puffing away in near-silence huddled under the heat lamps. They brought kids out here. Kids. Acting like it was made for them, not like Dave only cleared all the barrels and his Rottweiler out of here post-smoking ban.”

Hobbs added: “They’ve buggered off now until at least May. Our kingdom is our own again. Desolate, sunless and empty.

“Ah, that’s a lovely fag.”
The Daily Mash

Of course.

Wednesday 20 September 2017

When you meet someone who doesn't follow all the rules it changes everything you do

Lordy. Another "pop idol" of my youth has turned 60 today - Miss Alannah Currie, one third of the incongruously-named Thompson Twins.

The "Twins" were one of my favourite acts in the heyday of "the decade of dressing-up", the 1980s - and this song was definitely one of my most adored things in 1983...

I hear you laughing in some other room
And it makes me feel locked out
You say my passion often stifles you
And you need to move about

But I was taught that boys need girls and girls need boys
You say that's not true
You'd rather fool around than be alone with me
Well, that's alright for you

Cause you got love, love
Love on your side
Cause you got love, love
Love on your side
Cause you got love, love
Love on your side
Cause you got love, love
Love on your side

I've bought you sentimental roses
But you gave them all away
I've played you all my favourite records
Then we spent the night in talking, talking all the time...

You sent me home
I was so surprised to find that after all
It doesn't hurt to be alone

Cause you got love, love
Love on your side
Cause you got love, love
Love on your side
Cause you got love, love
Love on your side
Cause you got love, love
Love on your side

Well all the things you say make perfect sense to me
Somehow I'm still unsure
Then I catch myself going through the same old rhapsody

And I don't understand just what I'm doing to myself
I guess that's nothing new
Cause when you meet someone who doesn't follow all the rules
It changes everything you do

Cause you got love, love
Love on your side
Cause you got love, love
Love on your side
Cause you got love, love
Love on your side
Cause you got love, love
Love on your side


Happy birthday, Miss C.

Tuesday 19 September 2017

The blue dress didn't stay on long

There was a glimmer of warmth today, immediately followed by showery black clouds - and now that the sun has set, the sky is as clear as crystal (meaning it is going to be bloody chilly!). Welcome to autumn, indeed.

Never mind, let our minds wander once again, courtesy of the ever-faboo Soft Tempo Lounge, to more exotic and glamorous places... Such as 1960s Italy, in the company of a woman who could not behave more like a gay man if she tried - a cruisy pick-up while "walking the dog" in the bushes of a park, a shag, a disco, lots of booze and more shagging. Oh, those Bohemians!

This is worth it for the decor alone...

[Featured: Music for night people by Artie Butler]

Monday 18 September 2017

Stealing people's mail

Sometimes it does seem like technology conspires against us...

After all the debacle with the blackmailing thieves of Photobucket laying waste to our blogs - see here and here - a new problem recently raised its ugly head in the equally sinister world of Microsoft. On the weekend Madam Arcati found he had not received any emails at all since at least midweek, which we reported to the geeks at the place laughingly called "the help desk" (who basically repeat the usual mantra of "clear your cookies", "check your Junk Mail folder" etc, etc) - then today found he could not send any emails either. I got home, and found the latter had happened to me...

Then I read the news headlines:
"We've identified that a subset of infrastructure was unable to process requests as expected, which caused general service availability to drop unexpectedly" Apparently.

"We've redirected requests to alternate infrastructure to restore service, and we're monitoring the environment while connectivity recovers." Whatever that means.

"Additionally, we're investigating an issue in which users are unable to send email messages."
So we weren't being "victimised" after all. I need not have spent days fruitlessly tweaking the computer, the browser settings and all that...


At least Blogger is still "up" so I can have a rant...

Haha, you better believe it

Looking out of the window, it couldn't look more autumnal if it tried. On the whole, I'd rather be in bed...

Never mind, continuing a bit of a "theme" that developed over this weekend - OTT musical numbers from strange places - we're off to the Netherlands [I wish!] this Tacky Music Monday for something particularly mind-boggling to give us that "oomph" we need to wake up and get back to work!

Glass of "Champagne", anyone?

Have a good week, dear reader.

Sunday 17 September 2017


With the heart-warming news that Serbia's pioneering out-gay-woman Prime Minister Ana Brnabic has openly defied the traditionalist bigots of the Balkans by leading Belgrade's Gay Pride march, so I went on an exploration of my own - into the esoteric world of Serbian music.

And joy of joys - I discovered the simply faboo Olivera Katarina. In her day, the lady was the most popular singer-actress in the former Yugoslavia (and, allegedly, was "the only woman Salvador Dalí knelt in front of", after he attended one of her sell-out concerts in 60s Paris) - and she's right up our streets, dears!


Saturday 16 September 2017

Moda, vuelta izquierda

Having just booked our February holiday in Benalmadena, I feel in the mood for a celebration...

I know this sort of thing is usually much more at home on a Tacky Music Monday, but how can one resist the espectacular that is Raffaella Carra hosting a stage-full of crap flamenco dancers, children and safety gays, with a tribute to the music of Seville? Not me!

¡Hola, Raffaella! indeed!

Friday 15 September 2017

Oh oh catch that buzz

The madness that is London Fashion Week has begun again - expect dozens of shots of bemused Londoners and tourists gawping at ridiculously-clad beautiful tall people milling around the Strand...

As we look forward to such a glittering weekend, to get the party started what could be more appropriate than one style icon (Grace Jones), paying due deference to another (Bryan Ferry)..?

Thank Disco It's Friday!

Have a good one, dear reader.

Thursday 14 September 2017

Wednesday 13 September 2017

Your (Magic) Fly's down

Timeslip moment again...

We have been unceremoniously ejected from the "Death Star" and dumped in the middle of September 1977 - Silver Jubilee year (again), the year of Punk, Jimmy Carter, the Tenerife air disaster, the National Front, Donna Summer, the "Son of Sam", Star Wars, Lynsey De Paul, Virginia Wade, the Vietnam-Cambodia war, and the births of Apple Computers, Orlando Bloom. Princess Anne's son Peter Phillips and Claire from Steps.

In the news this month forty years ago: the Voyager 1 space probe was launched off to the outer reaches of the Solar System (and is still there, sending signals back to Earth on its trek), the last guillotine execution took place in France, the Red Brigade continued its terrorism in Germany with the kidnap and murder of industrialist Hanns Martin Schleyer; in the ascendant: Freddie Laker (who launched his new budget airline Skytrain), Atari (which released its pioneering home video game console, soon-to-be-home of Space Invaders and Pac-Man) and Ford (whose Granada Mark II arrived on our streets); but the greatest of the Glam Rock trailblazers Marc Bolan was killed in a car crash in West London. In our cinemas: Smokey and the Bandit, New York, New York and Truffaut's The Story of Adele H. On telly: The Krypton Factor , It'll Be Alright on the Night, Secret Army.

And in our charts this week in '77? The world was still mourning the death of Elvis Presley, and his posthumous Way Down continued its five-week run at #1. Contenders to the top slot included David Soul Silver Lady (eventually to get there in October) and Jean-Michelle Jarre Oxygene; also in attendance were the aforementioned Miss Summer, The Floaters, Carly Simon, Candy Staton, Meri Wilson and Brotherhood of Man. But frustratingly held at the #2 slot again was this amazingly influential synth number by Space [surely the inspiration for Daft Punk?]...


Tuesday 12 September 2017

Whatever next?

Fans of BBC show Strictly Come Dancing are unsure whether they could accept single-sex couples doing something as deeply heterosexual as ballroom dancing.

After judge Craig Revel Horwood predicted same-sex couples would appear on next year’s show, some ballroom dancing fans claimed it might make ballroom dancing appear somehow gay.

Stella-guzzling ballroom dancing fan Stephen Malley said, “I’m like most blokes in Britain. I like beer, birds and ballroom dancing.

“Now, I don’t have a problem drinking beer with gay people, or watching gay people play football but when it comes to ballroom dancing, I’ve got to draw the line.”

Fellow Strictly fan, Mary Fisher added: “Gay people doing ballroom dancing? Whatever next? Musical theatre? Ancient Greece? Grindr?

“They should stay where they belong, in the army or doing cage fighting.”
The Daily Mash

Of course.

Monday 11 September 2017

Speaking of "bad dogs"...

I may be off another day (a bit of a catch-up after Saturday's Proms in the Park festivities), but I couldn't let a Tacky Music Monday go by without revisiting this one!

We saw Gilbert doing this song in the flesh in Hyde Park. He never mentioned the most famous of all "interpretations" of his biggest hit - can't imagine why not...

It's Pan's People and their canine friends, of course!

Told you once before
And I won't tell you no more
Get down, get down, get down
You're a bad dog, baby
But I still want you around

You give me the creeps
When you jump on your feet
So get down, get down, get down
Keep your hands to yourself
I'm strictly out of bounds

Once upon a time, I drank a little wine
Was as happy as could be, happy as could be
Now I'm just like a cat on a hot tin roof
Baby, what do you think you're doing to me

Told you once before
And I won't tell you no more
So get down, get down, get down
You're a bad dog, baby
But I still want you around, around
I still want you around
Hey hey hey

I don't give a damn
And I'd like you, if you can
To get down, get down, get down
You're a bad dog, baby
But I still want you around

Once upon a time, I drank a little wine
Was as happy as could be, happy as could be
Now I'm just like a cat on a hot tin roof
Baby, what do you think you're doing to me

Told you once before
And I won't tell you no more
So get down, get down, get down
You're a bad dog, baby
But I still want you around, around
I still want you around, mmm

The perfect combination to start a gloomy autumnal week, methinks - have a good one, dear reader...

Sunday 10 September 2017

All day and all of the night

Wow. We had another excellent day of entertainment this year's Proms in the Park yesterday - in spite of the wind, the showers, the depleted number of attendees from "our gang", Tony Blackburn and all...

The closing party fo the extensive Proms season has long been a highlight of our social calendar here at Dolores Delargo Towers, serving as a most fitting end to the "Summer Season", and the herald of the "Autumn/Winter Collection" to come. For many years, we have attended en masse, but this year it was just Madam Acarti, Baby Steve, Houseboy Alex and I. We still managed to bring enough provisions for a siege, however, and had a hoot, to boot!

Having got through the security blockade (very early, considering the doors weren't supposed to open till 3pm), we made our usual dash and bagged a spot in our usual area close enough to the stage, but not hemmed in, and cracked open the booze. Oh, and food, too.

Holding court over the early section of proceedings was the annoying longest-serving DJ on Radio 2 Tony Blackburn. We ignored his inanity, as he introduced the opening act - the rather cute and immensely talented Hungarian pianist Peter Bence - a world record-holder for the most piano key hits in one minute (765) - who treated us to some examples of his mastery with a selection of interpretations of rock and pop hits by the likes of Sia, Queen and Michael Jackson. Like this one:

It did rain. Quite a bit, for a while. But the wind soon blew the black clouds away, in time for our next act.

After resounding applause, Mr Bence gave way to the universally popular and brilliant Texas! With a back-catalogue such as theirs - including Black-Eyed Boy, Summer Son, Inner Smile and (of course) the anthemic Say What You Want, and with the charismatic charms of lead singer Sharleen Spiteri, the audience was singing and dancing along. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed their set.

Up next was the very talented and energetic cast of the musical Five Guys named Moe [based around the boppy jazz music of bandleader Louis Jordan], which, with the incorporation of brilliantly choreographed and instantly recognisable numbers such as including Is You Is Or Is You Ain't My Baby? and Choo Choo Ch’Boogie, was excellent entertainment indeed!

Speaking of sing-and-dance-alongs... Our final act on the "daytime bill" was the one we had been looking forward to the most - those incomparable "party faves", Steps! We sang, we attempted their famous dance routines, we whooped and cheered! Celebrating twenty years this year since they first formed, they whipped us all into a frenzy with a cavalcade of hits such as One for Sorrow, Last Thing on My Mind, Story of a Heart (written by Abba!), After The Love Has Gone, Neon Blue and their barn-stormer Tragedy. [One comment on the whole thing, however - despite all the rehearsal (we heard Steps while we were queuing), why was the sound so shit? The BBC should be ashamed.] Here (with some very shaky hand-held phone-camera work by someone in the 40,000-strong audience) they are, performing Stomp:

As the screams from the audience subsided and the sun began to set, it was time for the break, and the inevitable trek to the loos. For the second half we had a far more sensible MC, the lovely Michael Ball who (inevitably) opened with a song. But it wasn't he who was the "proper" opening act. Oh, no - that honour went to the booming tonsils of the superb Sir Bryn Terfel, with a couple of fabulous numbers including the Welsh folk song Ar Hyd y Nos (All Through The Night).

But then it was his turn to give way to another "national treasure" - the powerhouse that is Elaine Paige! She sang (beautifully) an eclectic clutch of songs, including Radio Ga Ga by Queen, Piaf's Hymn to Love (If you love me, really love me), and As if We Never Said Goodbye from Sunset Boulevard. Sadly missing from the set were such "hand-wavers" as Memory, Don't Cry For Me Argentina or I Know Him So Well. Which left us feeling a bit deprived, really.

Bryn came back to the stage to perform a fabulously OTT rendition (complete with a milk churn as prop) of a song with which we all identify - If I Were a Rich Man from Fiddler on the Roof. Superb! Again, he handed over the baton - this time to that unlikeliest of '70s pop superstars, Mr Gilbert O'Sullivan. Never a "house favourite", nevertheless we all knew ever word to every song he performed - and sang with gusto to such "classics" as Matrimony, Nothing Rhymed and of course, the eternally popular Get Down:

This year, our "hosts" BBC Radio 2 celebrate fifty years as a broadcast station (previously known as "The Light Programme"), and here is the lavish celebratory video montage they put together for the occasion, which is fab:

[Needless to say, it was "Our Tel" Terry Wogan - long-time host of Proms in the Park - who go the biggest cheers.]

That over, it was time for our headliner, the legend that is Sir Ray Davies, erstwhile leader of The Kinks (looking slightly frail). Regardless, he managed to whip up a storm with a romping set of hit after hit, including Sunny Afternoon, Victoria, You Really Got Me, All Day and All of the Night, Dedicated Follower of Fashion, Days and, fittingly, Waterloo Sunset:


However, of course, no "headliner" can compare to the riotous entertainment yet to come, as we transferred our attentions from park ("Hello Park!") to the Royal Albert Hall ("Hello, Hall!"), starting with a rather wonderful Finlandia performed by the BBC Symphony Orchestra [in celebration of the centenary of Finnish independence]. Then, without further ado it was time for the traditional Grand Finale - opening with the hugely popular "Sea Songs":

Swedish Wagnerian soprano Nina Stemme stormed onto the stage dressed as a Valkyrie to deliver Rule Britannia:

After the impassioned speech by conductor Sakari Oramo, we braced ourselves for the lung-bursting, flag-waving, foot-stomping final numbers - Land of Hope and Glory...

...and Jerusalem:

Thus, with fireworks, Auld Land Syne and the National Anthem, that was it. Farewell to another great evening, and farewell to summer...

Same time, next year?!

Saturday 9 September 2017

To live so pleasantly

The sun is (finally) shining, and we're getting ourselves in order for the marathon Proms in the Park extravaganza today - with appearances from Gilbert O'Sullivan, Elaine Paige, Sir Bryn Terfel, Texas, the cast of Five Guys Named Moe, Steps...

...and Sir Ray Davies of the Kinks!

There is, of course, only one song I could play to get us ready for spending seven hours in Hyde Park...

And I love to live so pleasantly
Live this life of luxury
Lazing on a sunny afternoon
In the summertime
In the summertime
In the summertime

Not quite "summertime", but fingers crossed it'll stay fine all day!

Friday 8 September 2017

Somewhere there's heaven

I may be off today (getting stuff in order for tomorrow's "end-of Summer-Season" spectacular, Proms in the Park!), but I always like to end any week in a certain fashion...

How about yesterday's birthday girl Miss Gloria Gaynor, resplendent in yards of silver lamé, performing a dance version of one of Ella Fitzgerald's signature songs?

Who am I to disagree?!

Thank Disco It's Friday!

Somewhere there's music
How faint the tune
Somewhere there's heaven
How high the moon?


Have a good one, peeps!

An open letter to Photobucket

Sent today...
Dear Mr Rupert Murdoch (and all his employees) at the late, dearly lamented Photobucket,

Ever since June 2017, when - without warning - you cancelled the links to literally thousands of my photos that were linked to, and formed the backbone of, my blogs - and did the same to millions of the site's users across the globe - you committed a heinous crime. In most legislatures, the withholding of something until a ransom is paid is called BLACKMAIL. To you, the withdrawal of a remote hosting service unless every user pays you almost $400 seems like "good business practice". You will never learn, will you?

When you and your acolytes at News Corporation took over one of the most popular social media networks in the world, MySpace, the arbitrary and spiteful changes you made there also alienated millions of users. Sound familiar? That site became a wasteland of abandoned profiles, and even though it exists in name today, was basically murdered - allowing one of your business rivals Mr Zuckerberg to "make a killing" out of your failure.

Now you have turned your "make money at all costs; stuff the people" philosophy to another of your acquisitions. For almost a decade I, and so many others, trusted Photobucket as a safe pair of hands for what more recently became known as "cloud storage" of my collated photos and images. Yes, people may have used its facilities to remotely link some of those photos to other sites, but this was done in the knowledge that the site permitted this function. Some, such as I, even paid you a subscription for greater bandwidth and storage, safe in the knowledge that Photobucket's business aim was to continue as one of the world's most popular picture sites.

It is no longer that.

I have painstakingly removed all links from my blog to your site. I have removed every photograph and video I ever uploaded. I have cancelled my direct debit. You will close my account forthwith.

And while you are at it, you can take back your disingenuous "International Customer Appreciation Weekend" email (with its appalling grammar and misspelt "IndepandAnce"). Take back your stupid slogans like "Welcome to the Family". I don't want to be related to you. Take back "for the love of photos" and "We are our history; We are our future".

You have stuffed your own business's "future". You are indeed "history".



Thursday 7 September 2017

Can, canned

I never was a fan of controversial "modernist" composer Karlheinz Stockhausen, nor of the experimental "Krautrock" band Can (the slightly warped product of two of Stockhausen's pupils). However, I was aware of Can's influence, and in particular that of their erstwhile "knob-twiddler" Holger Czukay, who died on Tuesday - not least for the fact that many an artist of the late '70s and early '80s in that eclectic genre known as "alternative music", such as Talking Heads, Public Image Ltd, Joy Division, The Fall, Julian Cope or any number of post-punk black-trenchcoat-wearers, cited him as an influence in their musical development; and in his time he collaborated on projects with the likes of Peter Gabriel, the Eurythmics, Jah Wobble, David Sylvian and Brian Eno.

Of course, there is only so much avant-garde experimental music that one can easily enjoy - I doubt I could sit through a whole concert/album by Herr Czukay at his most esoteric any more than I would, say, sit through an entire evening of a Laurie Anderson-Philip Glass "audio-visual project", Steve Reich's Desert Music, or Miles Davis at his most 1970s-"jazz-fusion" extreme. Lord knows, I've seen some strange stuff - most recently last year's perplexing "Bowie Prom" with Marc Almond, John Cale, Anna Calvi and Amanda Palmer - but I prefer my "oddest" musical experiences in bite-size chunks, on the whole.

Rather like this one...

RIP Holger Czukay (24th March 1938 - 5th September 2017)

Wednesday 6 September 2017

He really wanted to be Patti Labelle

"An androgynous, cross-dressing, openly gay, African American, falsetto-singing, unapologetically flaming man-diva influenced primarily by church women, black blues singers, drag queens, hippies, and homos... Sylvester rode his marginality right into the mainstream: a star not despite the boundaries of race, gender, and sexuality he eagerly crossed but because of them.” - Joshua Gamson, The Fabulous Sylvester: The Legend, The Music, The Seventies in San Francisco

"His record label saw greater popularity for Sylvester’s stunning vocal skills, and pressured him to “butch up” his image. Defiantly, he attended meetings with executives in full-on drag." - Immortal Socialites magazine

"Despite the obvious magic he had with dance material, Sylvester never viewed himself as a disco act. You see, he really wanted to be Patti Labelle." - San Francisco Queer Cultural Center

"When people would ask him to label himself – gay rights activist, drag queen, etc. – he would say simply and proudly, 'I am Sylvester.'" - David Masciotra, Pop Matters
It would have been the 70th birthday today of the ultimate Queen of Disco!

All hail...

There will never be another...

Sylvester James, Jr. (6th September 1947 – 16th December 1988)

Tuesday 5 September 2017

Hurricane season

From Harvey... Irma:

[An oldie - but goodie!]

The city's clamour can never spoil the dreams of a boy and goil

With the autumnal gloom continuing over London, as ever we dream of far-away places inhabited by carefree, glamorous people.

Thank heavens for Soft Tempo Lounge, I say..!

And... relax.

[Music: Stefano Torossi - Dolce Shake]

Monday 4 September 2017

That's plain to see!

It's raining. The bloody foxes have discovered a route in and out of the garden via the bedroom windowsill (despite the "prickle strip" we have laid on it) so we have crashing and banging noises in the middle of the night, every night, at the moment - until I get a shotgun. And it's time to go back to work, and straight into a very dull meeting.

Ho hum. But life isn't all "kvetching"...'s Our Patron Saint of Shimmying Miss Mitzi Gaynor's birthday today! So on this Tacky Music Monday, let's once again give the floor over to the fantabulosa lady and her "safety gays":

Everybody loves my baby
But my baby don't love nobody but me
Nobody but me
Everybody wants my baby
But my baby don't want nobody but me
That's plain to see!

Now that, dear reader, is the way to start a week...

Many happy returns, Mitzi Gaynor (born Francesca Marlene de Czanyi von Gerber, 4th September 1931)

Sunday 3 September 2017

Lock the doors. Tight!

The promised "warm, sunny weekend" hardly lasted more than yesterday lunchtime, before customary-for-the-UK grey skies enveloped us - today has actually felt cold. Oh, no! Autumn is looming...

Before we get too depressed, let us instead revisit a work of genius - here's house favourite band Scissor Sisters and the sublime Let's Have A Kiki - but with a touch of video-editing-magic, courtesy of the marvellous bods at Videodrome Discothèque!

Oh! That cheered me up!

Saturday 2 September 2017

Delightful to hold

Our beautiful Ipomoea multifida

Having had a bit of a long lie-in, I awake to find glorious sunshine bathing us again, and the gardens here at Dolores Delargo Towers are saying "thank you".

As I get my arse in gear to actually get out there, however, let us raise a glass in honour of the 98th birthday today [yes! She is still with us] of the lovely Marge Champion, who, with her former husband Gower [they divorced in 1973; he died in 1980], revitalised the world of dancing in the Technicolor age in such films as Show Boat, Bye Bye Birdie and Hello Dolly, and this one...

Lovely to Look At, indeed!

  • Miss Champion was the model for Walt Disney’s original Snow White.
  • Lovely to Look At is a remake of the Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movie Roberta; Marge and Gower were originally asked to do a series of colour remakes of Fred and Ginger's classics, but they turned down the proposal.
  • Among many others who got their first break in Marge and Gower's sumptuously choreographed shows was none other than Miss Carol Channing, who Marge "discovered" in 1940.
  • In 2009, at age 90, Marge was still dancing - as featured in a television documentary on her friendship with dance partner Donald Saddler [watch it here].
Marjorie Celeste "Marge" Champion (born Marjorie Belcher, 2nd September 1919)

Friday 1 September 2017

Let's go!

Phew! It's almost the finale to a particularly lonnnng week - and the weather is once again on our side, as we lookout on the prospect of blue skies all weekend.

I feel the party spirit in the air - and I think today's birthday boy Archie Bell (with his Drells, and some help from the Soul Train dancers, of course) has the right idea... Let's Go Disco, indeed!

Thank Disco It's Friday!

Have a good one...

Archie Lee Bell (born 1st September 1944)