Saturday 30 June 2018

The party's just begun yeah, yeah yeah yeah

The extensive gardens here at Dolores Delargo Towers are bloomin' lovely!

It's been another utterly glorious, baking hot day in London - and, of course, I have spent every waking hour outside basking in it. I've finished the main bits of the decoration on my Pride hat (but there's always room for more; quoth Queen Madge: "More is better than nothing, true, but nothing's better than more, more, more!"), and it will look completely OTT, believe me!

The "official countdown" to next Saturday's "Gay Xmas" has begun...

BBC Radio 2 has spent the weekend in Ibiza, and its non-stop dance'n'chill playlist has formed the backdrop to all my outdoor endeavours today. So, how about we visit a summer classic that fits that vibe, and get ourselves limbered up for some - um - "Big Fun"?

Love it!

Now, chill...

Friday 29 June 2018

The power of electric love

It's almost the weekend again, dear reader - and it also happens to be the birthday of one Stedman Pearson, integral member (with the rest of his family) of the archetypal 80s big-hair-big-shoulder-pads dance troupe Five Star, whose unfortunate downfall (he was caught cottaging) was blamed by some for the eventual popularity slump and bankruptcy of the band.

This year, they're (still) trying to make a comeback, with a grand tour of Butlins holiday camps and provincial venues up and down the land ["from Bognor to Saffron Walden, and ev'ry disco I go in..."?] - and Stedman has a completely new face, so that's OK...

To shift us into the party mood, let's get in touch with our inner poodle-perm, shimmy those shoulders, and Thank Disco It's Friday!

I thought I knew how to handle my emotions
Until you lit the fuse that triggered the explosion
Mm, you turn me on with the power of electric love
And now I can't get enough
Turn the voltage up

The slightest touch
And I go crazy with desire
The slightest touch
Can bring me to my knees, yeah
Watch what you touch
'Cuz I'm a real live wire
And the slightest touch
Is heavy on me
So, so heavy


Have a good one!

Five Star on Wikipedia

Thursday 28 June 2018

Daddy-chasers, dead Divas, swifts, stalkers, and a multi-cultural middle-class soap opera

Eeek!! A close-up...

Maybe it was the weather. After a little bit of a break from attending, I made a valiant attempt to "round up the troops" for Tuesday's Polari. To be fair, John-John was going to accompany me, but in the event was sick; everyone else was otherwise engaged...

Not that any of that matters, of course - Polari is a "family" all of its own and I always enjoy it. Regulars VG Lee, Wayne Herbert and Alexis Gregory were present and correct, and I was overjoyed to see that the effervescent and every-lovely Rebecca Chance/Lauren Henderson was there, so I joined her at her "ringside table".

Our genial host Paul Burston opened proceedings at "London's peerless gay literary salon" by thanking all of us for turning up on what was the hottest day of the year so far [the Royal Festival Hall terrace was packed with sun-seekers!], before, without further ado he introduced our first reader Polis Loizou.

Reading from his novel Disbanded Kingdom, his account of the obsessive cruising/stalking of a hot "Daddy" from pub to pub and into the outer environs of London by the "hero" of the book, twenty-two-year-old Oscar, certainly did leave us a little hot under the collar, I must admit...

However, it was the next "turn" that provided the classic kind of entertainment for which Polari is rightly so popular, as our second reader Derek Farrell came to the stage, accompanied by our own dear Rebecca Chance! The reason for the double-header soon became clear.

Outrageously camp, Mr Farrell's Death of a Diva [which has been described as “Like The Thin Man meets Will & Grace via Ab Fab. In Southwark.”] was the first in his series of books featuring the hapless Danny Farrell, and his unlikely best friend Caz (Lady Caroline Victoria Genevieve Jane De Montfort, only daughter of the thirteenth Earl of Holloway) - and guess who got to play the part of the hard-drinking, incisive aristocrat..? Here's a synopsis of the book - and it sounds every bit as hilarious as our readers made it:
Lyra Day, one time TV star, singer and gay icon is booked to stage her big comeback at the Marquess of Queensbury, a big coup for Danny at his grand re-opening night. Sitting in her make-up chair, eyes staring lifelessly ahead, the diva is dead. Her sequinned dress glittering in the light cast from above; the little pools of reflected light sparkling across the paper held tightly in her hand. The policeman carefully prises it out of her grip and unfurls it. It reads “The Last Will and Blurb of Lyra Day”.

Danny Bird is having a very bad day. In the space of just a few hours he lost his job, his partner and his home.

Ever the optimist, Danny throws himself headlong into his dream to turn the grimmest pub in London into the coolest nightspot south of the river. Sadly, everything doesn’t go quite as planned when his star turn is found strangled hours before opening night.

Danny becomes the prime suspect in the crime, and then the gangster who really owns the pub starts asking where his share of the takings has gone… it seems things are going to get worse for Danny before they get better.
It was a hilarious romp!

Completing the trio of readings for the first half, Kate Bradbury is a renowned writer on nature - and particularly wildlife gardening - for many leading publications such as the Guardian and the Telegraph. She embarked upon transforming a gloomy, rotting and overgrown back yard in Hove into a living garden space, and to write a book about her travails - The Bumblebee Flies Anyway: A year of gardening and (wild)life. It developed into something darker, however, when in the middle of her transformation project her mother was taken critically ill - and the domestic drama began to interweave into the narrative of the book.

She read for us a piece about studying the minutiae of nature as a release from the tension of dealing with hospital visits, then followed it with a beautifully-described piece about the swirling, swooping beauty of swifts in full flight. It was entrancing.

After a break for a drink, a fag and a gossip, it was time for the headliners...

But first - our darling "Sexy Lexi" Alexis Gregory made an announcement of the long list for this year's Polari First Book Prize, as follows:

  • Trans Mission: My Quest to a Beard – Alex Bertie (Wren & Rook)
  • Through Your Blood – Toby Campion (Burning Eye)
  • Mussolini’s Island – Sarah Day (Tinder Press)
  • A Marvellous Party – Ian Elmslie (Ignite)
  • Good As You: From Prejudice to Pride - 30 years of Gay Britain – Paul Flynn (Fourth Estate)
  • Pansy Boy - Paul Harfleet (Barbican)
  • Carnivore - Jonathan Lyon (HQ)
  • Elmet – Fiona Mozley (John Murray)
  • Little Gold – Allie Rogers (Legend Press)
  • Conversations with Friends – Sally Rooney (Faber)
  • Bravado – Scottee (Oberon)
  • Is Monogamy Dead? Rethinking Relationships in the 21st Century – Rosie Wilby (Accent Press)

Amanda Jennings is a best-selling author, and she read for us from her latest Cornwall-based novel The Cliff House. With a slightly Gothic feel to it, the story is told from the perspective of fifteen-year-old Tamsyn, obsessed with the goings-on at the huge Art Deco house overlooking the cove where she lives (to the extent of spying on its occupants with binoculars), and the budding relationship that develops between her and the rich family's daughter as their paths cross when she is caught swimming in the house's pool without permission.

Whether or not - as is implied - there develops some kind of lesbian frisson between the girls remains a mystery - until or unless one reads the book, of course. Or gets someone with a lovely voice to read bits from it for you...

Finally, our headliner - Mr Philip Hensher. His latest magnum opus The Friendly Ones is a complicated and comprehensive examination of cultural histories, focussing on the interwoven relationship between a middle-class Bengali family and their immediate neighbour, a retired gent with a distant and somewhat dysfunctional family who he rarely sees. Needless to say - in the passage Mr Hensher read - it is the neighbouring "foreigners" who come to his solace when the elderly man receives news that his son has been killed in a tragic incident.

The "whos", "whats" and wherefores of their relationships - and indeed, who the hell is who in the cast of apparent thousands, even in this short extract - was confusing, but would likely be resolved by delving deeper into the novel. At some stage, I might.

And, with the applause for the great man subsiding, it was time for the curtain call - and the end of another session of literary brain-food.

Our next outing will be will be on 25th July, and features Lesley Thomson, Patrick Horrigan, Babirye Bukilwa, David Kerby-Kendall and Stephanie Dickinson.

We love Polari!

Wednesday 27 June 2018

Thoughts for the Day

As if the double entendre above were not enough by itself, the - ahem - gentleman above to whom this quote was attributed went by the name "Dick the Bruiser" (and it would have been his birthday today).

I may have to get a t-shirt made...

Tuesday 26 June 2018

Sweaty brows

A guide to surviving the heatwave whilst you are technically meant to be doing a job.

Council workman/Builder
It’s surely too hot to work, so just sit around, reading the paper and drinking cups of tea. Then if the boss shows up quickly jump up and look like you’ve been working the whole time. Basically the same as any other working day.

Office worker
They can’t be expecting you to give 100 per cent, not in this heat, surely. The toilet will be the best place to avoid work as you can just sit there watching old cartoons on your phone. When you finally return to the office, hold your stomach and mutter about some bad prawns.

Police officer
Who can be bothered chasing criminals in this kind of heat? Just sit in the police car, turn the air conditioning up and maybe eat a Mint Feast or Solero. If it’s too hot for you to work then it’s definitely too hot for criminals to work.

Heart surgeon
Even in normal-weather operations they have those people who dab your sweaty brow, so just imagine how much dabbing they’d have to do during a heatwave. Most heart operations probably aren’t that urgent anyway, and hospitals are full of beds so simply find an empty one and have a siesta.
The Daily Mash

Of course.

So, what do you do to avoid the sweaty heat, dear reader?

Monday 25 June 2018

You put the boom boom into my heart

It's back-to-work time, peeps. I am really not in the mood - in this glorious weather - to yank myself onto a sweaty bus to go to an equally sweaty office that is in perpetual gloom with all blinds drawn ["the sun shines on my screen". Ah, diddums.] And my Lottery numbers still haven't come up!

However, today would have been the 55th birthday of our dearly-departed and much-missed Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou, better known as George Michael - so what better way, on this Tacky Music Monday, to raise our spirits for the week ahead than with one of the great man's tackiest moments? If this doesn't cheer you up, nothing will...

George Michael (25th June 1963 – 25th December 2016)

Sunday 24 June 2018

Life's pleasure...

Zonal Pelargoniums in the gardens here at Dolores Delargo Towers

I spent another whole day in the garden today - and it has been a scorcher! Just pottering, adding embellishments to my hat for Gay Pride (only two weeks away and counting!) and generally sitting admiring all our hard work, I managed to get a fine top-up to my tan...

No matter how lovely our garden is however, we still sometimes need to wallow in the exotic lives of glamorous people - courtesy of the ever wonderful Soft Tempo Lounge (of course):


[Music: Pajaros Tropicales by Angel Pocho Gatti Y Su Orchestra]

Saturday 23 June 2018

You'll find us all...

We spent the day in the East End at our friend John-John's place today [and as you can tell from the photo, I fitted in quite nicely with the locals :-)].

To honour the local traditions of the area, how about a good old-fashioned Cockney sing-a-long?


Friday 22 June 2018

I'll take ya till ya all spun up

"On my darkest days, I wear my brightest colours."

"I get the greatest feeling when I'm singing. It's other-worldly. Your feet are anchored into the Earth and into this energy force that comes up through your feet and goes up the top of your head and maybe you're holding hands with the angels or the stars, I have no idea."

"I have a wig for when I go outside among the regular folks, so they don't feel uncomfortable because I have a Day-Glo color somewhere in my hair."

"Humour is a great vehicle for getting a message across. If you get too serious, you could die of starch."

"Somebody did complain to me and tell me that my clothes were so loud they couldn't hear me sing."

Lordy, lordy, lordy. The unabashed Queen of "vintage store chic", musical genius, friend of the gayers, rebel and pioneer Miss Cyndi Lauper is 65 years old today!

From her post-punk chirpy singalong pop days to her latter-day icon status as the creator of the faboo Broadway and West End smash Kinky Boots, she has always been a favourite here at Dolores Delargo Towers.

As we teeter towards another weekend (with the thermometer set to rise even more than of late) we need to get ourselves in the mood for a celebration! What better than the divine Miss L's clubbiest choon to get us going? - and Thank Disco It's Friday!!

Got this endless itch to ride
Into the night
Fortune cookie says I'm right
Kung Fu like

Shake your body Mister
Gonna make ya body blister, say hey, hey, hey
Don't wanna have ta make ya
I don't wanna have ta shake ya down, hey, hey, hey

I'll take ya till ya all spun up
Pitter, patter doesn't matter what you got
I'll take ya till ya all spun up
And in love
And into the night life
I'll take ya till ya all spun up
And in love
And into the night life

Want to dress for you tonight
Under the light
Shot up like a satellite
Into the night
Shake ya money maker
I will never ba a faker now, hey hey hey
Leave 'em standing waitin'
Till they're practically faintin' now, hey hey hey

I'll take ya till ya all spun up
Pitter, patter doesn't matter what you got
I'll take ya till ya all spun up
And in love
And into the night life
I'll take ya till ya all spun up
And in love
And into the night life

Shirtless wonders wreck my sight
Under the light...

Many happy returns, Cynthia Ann Stephanie Lauper (born 22nd June 1953)

Thursday 21 June 2018

That's what takes me high

Call that a Dahlia?

It's Midsummer's Day, folks - and, for once, the UK has actually been experiencing a summer for this to be the middle of! I love the long days, and the fact it's warm and (occasionally) sunny makes sitting in the garden of an evening a real joy.

I'm also greatly relieved at the news that, due to several voluntary departures in our team I will no longer have to sit an interview for my own job - whoo hoo!!

Today also happens to be the 50th birthday of Crouch End's finest, the lady who provided our summer soundtrack in the Millennium year, Sonique.

Coincidentally, the lady's biggest hit is quite appropriate to my mood...

Many happy returns, Sonique (born Sonia Marina Clarke, 21st June 1968)

Wednesday 20 June 2018

Been shopping...

...and acquired a new garden ornament!

Very us.

Tuesday 19 June 2018

An open invitation

Men who insist on dressing provocatively by wearing kilts are basically inviting people to stick cameras up them, it has been claimed.

Upskirting fan Francesca Johnson said: “If they want to parade around in public wearing next to nothing, then it’s an open invitation for a pervert like me to shove my smartphone up there.

“I’ve going to a wedding in Scotland this weekend so it’ll be wall-to-wall kilts. They don’t have to wear them, they could dress modestly, but if they’re choosing kilts, they’re choosing the extra attention.

“Don’t play the ‘it’s my family tartan’ card when we all know you’re just a burly 46-year-old little minx.”

She added: “I suppose I could choose not be a predatory sex pest, but it’s easier for me to blame them instead of examining my own sinister creepiness. Plus me and my mates have got a bet on who can get the most photos of actual knobs.”

Kilt wearer Tom Logan said: “Is she really going to get some sort of sexual thrill from looking at a very bad quality picture of my pants? She needs to get a fucking life.”
The Daily Mash

Of course.

Any excuse, really, for some gratuitous "up-kilt" shots...

The "real" story.

Monday 18 June 2018

Ma che vacanza é

Another day, another wartime baby... Yesterday we celebrated the 75th birthday of one "Queen of Sequins", Barry Manilow. Today it is the turn of another; as to our amazement we discover that none other than Our Patron Saint of Dramatic-Head-Flicking Signorina Raffaella Carrà has hit the same milestone!

Raffaella Carrà is 75?!! Fuck.

On this Tacky Music Monday, let us celebrate the divine madness of the great lady. She was simply born to occupy our traditionally OTT start-the-week spot - fabulous costumes, frenetic choreography, safety gays and all - so here's a double-bill for your delectation...

Buon compleanno, tesoro!

Raffaella Carrà (born Raffaella Maria Pelloni, 18th June 1943)

Sunday 17 June 2018

High up where the stallion meets the sun

"Here's proof that if you live long enough, anything is possible."

"I never wanted to be a performer, that was not one of my goals. I wanted to be a musician and that was that."

"My hair was slicked down with a parting. But that was before I discovered the blow-dryer. Now I'm fabulous."

"I think my music is like anchovies - some people like it, some people get nauseous."

"My goal was always to be involved in music that would outlive me. And maybe that's actually happening."

Many, many happy returns [and best wishes for a full recovery from his recent illness] to Mr Barry Manilow, who is 75 years old today!

The man who became most famous for his sequinned jump-suits and coiffured hair, the ultimate "Mr Showbiz" of his generation also happens to be a trained pianist and composer, and wrote some of the most enduring pop standards of the late 20th century, including Mandy, Can't Smile Without You, Bermuda Triangle, Looks Like We Made It, Copacabana, I Made It Through the Rain, and this one...

Spirit move me
Every time I"m near you
Whirling like a cyclone in my mind

Sweet Melissa,
Angel of my life time
Answer to all answers I can find

Baby I love you come, come
Come into my arms
Let me know the wonder of all of you
Baby I want you,
Now, now, now and hold on fast
Could this be the magic at last?

Lady take me
High upon a hillside
High up where the stallion meets the sun
I could love you
Build my world around you
Never leave you till my life is done

Baby I love you come, come
Come into my arms
Let me know the wonder of all of you
And baby I want you
Now, now, oh now, oh now and hold on fast
Could this be the magic at last?

A classic, to be sure...

Barry Manilow (born Barry Alan Pincus, 17th June 1943)

Saturday 16 June 2018

Just because...

...the magnificent Fuchsia Bella Rosella - with its 4-inch blooms, the biggest of all cultivars - is looking so utterly splendid in the extensive gardens here at Dolores Delargo Towers, I thought I'd revisit a house fave song from a few years ago...

Let us wallow in the madness of the utterly fantabulosa Hi Fashion!

I don't care if you don't like my hair
Because I know it's amazing
And I don't give a damn if you don't like my tan
Because I know it's amazing
And I don't give two hoots if you don't like my boots
Because I know they're amazing
And I don't give a shit if you don't like my tits
Because I know they're amazing

Ah, amazing. Ah, Ah, amazing.
Ah, amazing. Ah, Ah, amazing.
Ah, amazing. Ah, Ah, amazing.
Ah, amazing. Ah, Ah, amazing.

I don't give a crap if you don't like my hat
Because I know it's amazing
And I don't give a poops if you don't like my hoops
Because I know they're amazing
I don't care if you're in my underwear
Because it all feels amazing
And I don't give a fuck if you think I suck
Because I know I'm amazing

Ah, amazing. Ah, Ah, amazing.
Ah, amazing. Ah, Ah, amazing.
Ah, amazing. Ah, Ah, amazing.
Ah, amazing. Ah, Ah, amazing.

I don't give a hurl if you say you like girls
Because I know that you're gayzing
And I don't give a bung if you say that you're hung
Because you're probably praising
And I don't give a fart if you say that you're smart
Because you're boring and lazing
And I don't like dicks 'cause I like chicks
And you know that's amazing

Ah, amazing. Ah, Ah, amazing
Ah, amazing. Ah, Ah, amazing
Ah, amazing. Ah, Ah, amazing
Ah, amazing. Ah, Ah, amazing

And it is.

Friday 15 June 2018

Uh huh, I like it, Uh huh, I like it

Purr, Baby, purr!

Waves of relief are washing over us, as we hurtle once more towards another weekend - and, unlikely as it seems for the UK, another sunny one...

So let us don our most golden satin flares, as much lurex and sequins as we can lay our hands on, crimp our hair till it screams, grab a passing dancing safety gay - and boogie along with Belle Epoque! Thank Disco It's Friday!

Have a glittering one, dear reader...

Thursday 14 June 2018

Enough of the nonsense

I don't know what they're like in other places across the globe, but betting shops over here have a reputation for being the last home of the lost, the odd, and the somewhat shifty "older bloke" - a type that would hardly be likely to be concerned with the well-being of us gayers.

However, top scores go to one of the biggest gambling chains on the High Street, Paddy Power, who - recognising the loathsome homophobic record of Putin's Russia, host of the Football World Cup which starts today - have launched an awareness campaign of unprecedented candour. For a betting shop...

According to its spokesman:
"Given they invented Russian Dolls, you’d be forgiven for thinking Russia wouldn’t have an issue with women being into other women.

"Likewise, their appreciation for bears is one shared around the world by the LGBT+ population, so it really is astonishing that they have not used their stewardship of this tournament to champion LGBT+ inclusivity.

"As a result, we’ve stepped in to help. When Russia 'Put-in' a goal, we’ll Put-in £10,000 to Attitude magazine’s Foundation, who will use the funds to make football more LGBT+ inclusive. I cannot wait to see the LGBT+ community get behind the Russians – or the Russians’ baffled reaction."

Wednesday 13 June 2018

Thought for the Day


Tuesday 12 June 2018

The buzz of buying shit

We get it, you like Primark, says New Look
New Look is to refocus on selling shit clothing dirt-cheap because that is apparently what Britain wants.

The high street retailer admitted its current lines had not caught on with customers because they were priced in double figures and capable of surviving three washes.

New Look CEO Carolyn Ryan said: “The clothes we sell are fairly crap already, obviously. We’re not Zara. But the market has shown that they are not crap enough.

“From now on it’s £6 hoodies that unravel on contact with air, black tops that fade to a washed-out grey on the way home, and jeans that come pre-distressed simply because they’re so shoddily made.

“From now on you can leave with a bulging bag of New Look clothes and not worry about wearing any of them, because that’s not what you care about anyway is it? You just want the buzz of buying shit.

“Plus this makes it easier for the teenage girls behind the counter to direct their utter, crushing contempt for you. Which is their main job.”
The Daily Mash

Of course.

The "real" story.

Monday 11 June 2018

Seems as though I'll ever be blue

It's bloody Monday again.


Hey ho. Yesterday would have been the birthday of one of our greatest Patron Saints, Miss Judy Garland - so let's cheer ourselves up on this Tacky Music Monday with a rather faboo song'n'dance number, with Our Jude escorted up and down a fairytale staircase by a whole plethora of safety gays, some lovely dancers in chiffon, a parade of ladies in (very) big hats, with choreography by Busby Berkeley, and a song by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein III. How much more camp do you want it??!!

Have a good week peeps. I won't.

Judy Garland (born Frances Ethel Gumm, 10th June 1922 – 22nd June 1969)

Sunday 10 June 2018

How life should be...

...well, maybe not with furniture quite like this:

Cocktail, anyone?

[Music: Franco De Gemini - Sulla Riviera]

Saturday 9 June 2018


...Dame Professor Mary Beard, historian,TV presenter, latter-day "national treasure" and all-round British eccentric. We love her no-nonsense style of presenting the "insider details" from history in a clear-headed and un-patronising manner; we also admire the fact she appears to be fairly fearless in a variety of circumstances - when she gets abused on Tw*tter she chooses to talk to her abusers rather than enter into a war with them, and she even went on an "Election Blind Date" with that other (now recently deceased) eccentric, Peter Stringfellow!

Further congratulations today go to all the other recipients, including (among 1,057 names on HM The Queen's Birthday Honours List) Companion of Honour Dame Kiri Te Kanawa; the aforementioned (over at the Dolores Delargo Towers Museum of Camp) Dame Emma Thompson; Sir Kenny Dalgleish, Sir Simon Schama; Commanders of the Order of the British Empire Bamber Gascoigne, Tom Hardy, Ken Follett, Kate Adie and Jeanette Winterson; Officers of the Order of the British Empire (our Patron Saint) Fenella Fielding, Monty Don, Lucy Worsley, Keira Knightley, Debbie Wiseman and Brian Cosgrove; and Members of the Order of the British Empire Ms Dynamite and Gary Wilmot.

My Damehood was obviously lost in the post. Again.

Read the full Birthday Honours list

Today is also notable as a celebration of one thing we hold dear, for it is indeed World Gin Day!

And here's a suitably-named artiste with whom I think we should raise a toast...


Friday 8 June 2018

Farewell to the leopardskin

And so, farewell then, Mr Peter Stringfellow - that most flamboyant of entrepreneurs; the King of the Clubs (he ran music venues in his native Sheffield and Leeds from the early 60s - booking acts that included Rod Stewart, The Beatles and The Stones - before relocating to London to found his Soho "gentlemen's clubs" empire), his relentless talent for self-promotion made him a fortune, as well as carving himself a niche among Britain's long, long list of "famous eccentrics". His refusal to update his trademark mullet 'do, the gold and the bling, the velvet and the leopardskin, the occasional whiff of scandal, his numerous relationships with "dolly-birds" - he was as familiar a face in the tabloids as many genuine "stars". More often than not he was photographed with them, anyway!

Among his many lesser-known ventures was his launch of regular gay nights (on a mega-scale) at his flagship venue, The Hippodrome on Leicester Square, and his founding of a record company. Combining the two things quite neatly, his biggest signing was none other than the eternal gay icon Miss Dusty Springfield. Although she only recorded one song for Hippodrome Records - a slow number (albeit written by Donna Summer) called Sometimes like Butterflies - she did appear live at the club, to the joy of her mainly gay audience:

To round off in an appropriate vein, here's another Dusty number that is somewhat more fitting for our traditional end-of-week sign-off (as well as The Hippodrome dance-floor) - so why not hairspray yourself into oblivion, get your hands in the air, and Thank Disco It's Friday - with Baby Blue!

RIP Peter James Stringfellow (17th October 1940 – 7th June 2018)

Thursday 7 June 2018

Meet me in another world, space and joy

Lordy - sixty years ago today, the much-missed Prince Rogers Nelson was born!

The archetypal flamboyant icon of mid-80s to mid-90s pop [alongside Queen Madge, of course], he evolved from the shadow of his idol Rick James into the mega-successful, adored superstar whose death was so widely mourned across the globe. He was not merely a performer, singer and musician, however; he was a brilliant songwriter, too.

And, by way of a tribute to his genius, here are several examples of how his compositions became massive hits for other people:

First up, the one that always makes me cry...

...lightening the mood somewhat, a clutch of much more uplifting choons...

...the classic - here featuring an artist who shares a birthday with The Purple One, Sir Tom Jones (Tom Jones)...

...and finally, the man himself:

RIP Prince (7th June 1958 – 21st April 2016)

Wednesday 6 June 2018

Tell me what you see

Gorgeous Aquilegia in the extensive gardens here at Dolores Delargo Towers.

It's the birthday today of the former Mrs Paul Weller, a singer who deserved a much bigger and better career than she had - Miss Dee C Lee.

Here is her only major hit - but what a song!

Many happy returns, Dee C. Lee (born Diane Catherine Sealy, 6th June 1961)

Tuesday 5 June 2018

Whatcha gonna do about it, whatcha gonna do?

Even with loads of lurex and glitter, 1973 still looked bleak.

Timeslip moment again...

The papers today are full of reminiscences about the tumultuous end of the 1960s (this being the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Senator Bobby Kennedy).

However we, dear reader, have been unceremoniously catapulted by our trusty TARDIS to a mere five years later, in 1973 - a continuing Cold War world; the year of Watergate, the final end of the Vietnam War, the escalation of the Arab–Israeli conflict, the "Three-Day Week" (with its associated power cuts), civil unrest in the US and France, and of Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon.

In the news forty-five years ago this month: a plane crash at the Paris Air Show destroyed 15 houses, killed all six people on board and eight more on the ground (three of them children) and severely injured sixty people; Princess Anne became engaged to Captain Mark Phillips; the Greek military junta abolished the country's monarchy; President Richard Nixon began a series of talks with Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev; the IRA killed six people and injured 33 others with two car-bombs in Coleraine in Northern Ireland; and in the ascendant were Donald Wetzel (inventor of the ATM/cashpoint machine) and The Rocky Horror Show (which premièred at the Royal Court Theatre in London), but we bade a sad farewell to the legendary Nancy Mitford. In our cinemas: Live and Let Die; Travels With My Aunt and That'll Be the Day. On telly: the ground-breaking series The Ascent of Man presented by Professor Jacob Bronowski; Esther Rantzen's That's Life; and children's sports programme We Are the Champions.

And in the UK Charts this week in June 1973? A bit of a Glam-rock kick, it would appear, with Wizzard at the top slot, Suzi Quatro and Sweet in the running, and Gary Glitter slithering his way down the listings; there were a raft of classics including Albatross by Fleetwood Mac, Perry Como's And I Love You So, Stevie Wonder's You Are the Sunshine of My Life, Stuck In The Middle With You by Stealers Wheel and Lou Reed's Walk On the Wild Side; and also in attendance were Nazareth, Tony Orlando and Dawn, Medicine Head and The Partridge Family. And then there was this one - which I remember as clear as day: as a nine-year-old in junior school, on a residential field trip up the Brecon Beacons in the typical Welsh drizzle-that-passes-for-summer, singing along to the infectious sound of 10CC...

I went to a party at the local county jail
All the cons were dancing and the band began to wail
But the guys were indiscreet
They were brawling in the street
At the local dance at the local county jail

Well the band were playing
And the booze began to flow
But the sound came over on the police car radio
Down at Precinct 49
Having a tear-gas of a time
Sergeant Baker got a call from the governor of the county jail

Load up, load up, load up with rubber bullets
Load up, load up, load up with rubber bullets

I love to hear those convicts squeal
It's a shame these slugs ain't real
But we can't have dancin' at the local county jail

Sergeant Baker and his men made a bee-line for the jail
And for miles around
You could hear the sirens wail
There's a rumour goin' round death row
That a fuse is gonna blow
At the local hop at the local county jail

Whatcha gonna do about it, whatcha gonna do?
Whatcha gonna do about it, whatcha gonna do?

Sergeant Baker started talkin'
With a bullhorn in his hand
He was cool, he was clear
He was always in command
He said "Blood will flow;
Here Padre
Padre you talk to your boys..."
"Trust in me -
God will come to set you free"

Well we don't understand
Why you called in the National Guard
When Uncle Sam is the one
Who belongs in the exercise yard
We all got balls and brains
But some's got balls and chains
At the local dance at the local county jail

Load up, load up, load up with rubber bullets
Load up, load up, load up with rubber bullets

Is it really such a crime
For a guy to spend his time
At the local dance at the local county jail
At the local dance at the local county jail

Whatcha gonna do about it, whatcha gonna do?
Whatcha gonna do about it, whatcha gonna do?


[Note of interest: A rumour spread around in their heyday that they named themselves 10cc because the term represents the amount of semen in an average male ejaculation (or a little bit more). This is apparently an urban myth; their name was chosen by their then manager Jonathan King arising from a dream he had about a band that became successful with that name.]

Monday 4 June 2018


Groan. It's here.

My alarm has awoken me at an ungodly hour (the sort of hour I feel I should be just coming home from a club), and I have to steel myself for the horrors that await in the office. There will inevitably be tons of work left over that no-one has touched, and we still have this shitty "reorganisation" going on, which means at some stage I will once more be facing an interview to save my own job.

And the fucking lottery numbers haven't come up. Again.

Hey ho - let's venture back to Spain (if only!) for a little smattering of 60s yé-yé nonsense on this Tacky Music Monday...'s the completely fruit-loop Silvana Velasco and her gays de seguridad!

She's faboo, but: ¡Me cago en todo lo que se menea!

Sunday 3 June 2018

The ideal

Our Dryopteris fern is other-worldly.

Ho hum. Back to work tomorrow, peeps, after a fortnight of indulgence - a glorious holiday in Spain, and a week developing the extensive gardens here at Dolores Delargo Towers.

Tony Bennett sums it up, methinks...

Oh, the good life, full of fun
Seems to be the ideal
Mm, the good life lets you hide
All the sadness you feel