Sunday, 25 August 2019

Call me in Miami





You know you're getting old when...

...you find out that the DJ (at the legendary Sound Factory in NY), early member of the The House of Xtravaganza and seminal producer/remixer of the likes of Queen Madge, Prince, "Wibbler Whitney", Janet Jackson, MC Hammer, Paula Abdul, Cher, and even Pet Shop Boys is 70 years old!

By way of a tribute to one of the biggest contributors to the development and evolution of house, dance and pop music through the 80s, 90s and beyond, let's start with a clutch of his "vogue-y" numbers (the first two recorded under the pseudonym Ellis D)...



...and this, my fave:


...before we hit the one that was not only his greatest commercial success, but also sealed the final demise of his friendship and relationship with Our Glorious Leader:


Junior Vasquez (born Donald Gregory Mattern, 24th August 1949)

Saturday, 24 August 2019

If you want what's forbidden, baby that's what I got



The Greek rustic fertility god and a protector of gardens, fruit plants, livestock and male genitals, Priapus is marked by his oversized, permanent erection, which gave rise to the medical term priapism. He became a popular figure in Roman erotic art and Latin literature... his sacrificial animal was the ass (but agricultural offerings such as fruit, flowers, vegetables and fish were also very common).

At the end of a lovely hot and sticky day (mainly in the garden), I think we should make an offering - and who better to deliver it than the much-missed Pete Burns?


Indeed.

Friday, 23 August 2019

I got the boys to make the noise



The end of what has felt like the longest week of my life is in sight - and we have a three-day break to look forward to, including a visit by the Mother to Dolores Delargo Towers. It's predicted to be a hot one, too, so plenty of opportunity to give the extensive gardens some much-needed TLC after the neglect it's had, with the double-whammy of being disrupted by the presence of scaffolding and us being away. It's probably also the last real chance to get some rays on our skin...

I think we're in need of a celebration - and, in the hands of a "mash-up master", an unusual one. Thank - erm - Disco(?) It's Friday!


Who'd have thought Heavy Metal could sound so jolly?

Have a good one, dear reader.

Thursday, 22 August 2019

L'amours horizontales



As is to be expected after having been away from the grind for a fortnight, this bloody week is dragging. However, the forthcoming Bank Holiday weekend (which helpfully for once coincides with pay day) is predicted to be sunny and warm, so at least there's something to look forward to.

Meanwhile, let us once again wallow in the cavortings of impossibly glamorous people in exotic locations (in the case of the swinging lady in the accompanying video, the locations are mostly horizontal; tsk, tsk) - courtesy of the genius people over at Soft Tempo Lounge:


Ah, that's better.

[Music: Hammond Bossa by Silvano D'Auria; Film: She Killed in Ecstasy (1971)]

Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Twelve years before Stonewall...


I cannot tell you what it does to me to hear "pre-Stonewall". And even in our literature, even in the art, "pre-Stonewall", "post-Stonewall". I wrote three books pre-Stonewall and a dozen more post-Stonewall. There’s no demarcation. Gay history is centuries and centuries from the Romans to the Greeks to Oscar Wilde to all kinds of outrages. And those seem to be put back and "pre-Stonewall" is passive. "Post-Stonewall" is brave and dignified. I actually have heard things like that. I’ve talked, I’ve lectured and I’ve been invited all the way from Harvard to USC. And I talk about what it was like, what we had to survive.

Look, "pre-Stonewall" produced Alan Ginsberg, William Burroughs, Oscar Wilde, and I could go on. "Post-Stonewall" produced Bret Easton Ellis, who jumps out of the closet only now and then and then rushes back in, and Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, where we’re reduced to clowns for straight people. ...It embarrasses me, it embarrasses me very much because that’s what people expect a gay man to do, to be very precious, and that’s not what we are. A good solid queen I will protect forever, they are heroes.
- author John Rechy, interviewed for LA Mag
A fascinating story emerged on the BBC website this morning - the unearthing of a set of photographs of what appears to be a "gay wedding" from 1957, a time when homosexuality was illegal on both sides of the Atlantic and persecution, bullying and discrimination were not merely rife, but state-sanctioned. Apparently, the photos languished in the archives of a photographic processing store in Philadelphia due to the refusal of a member of staff to process them - and when researchers came across their existence they embarked upon a quest to find any trace of the subjects of the photos (presumably with a view of reuniting them with the by-now-in-their-eighties couple) - visit the Our One Story website for more.

The story has only now hit the media over here because, of course, being in America, there are plans to make a "reality TV" show out of the quest. Groan. Do people not do documentaries anymore?!

Regardless, the very fact that such a ground-breaking ceremony took place at all in such a repressive era, and that photographic evidence of it survived, is indeed testimony to Mr Rechy's wise words above - there was a whole gay world, filled with rebels and non-conformists, long before the first handbag was thrown fifty years ago in downtown New York...

Tuesday, 20 August 2019

I got it from my Daddy



Ooh! Haven't done of these posts in ages...

...how about a little selection of some of the "newer" tracks we have stumbled upon of late here at Dolores Delargo Towers?

First up, a subversive Russian band with a remarkable back catalogue of songs with titles such as Dead Unicorn , Big Dick and Everyday I’m Drinking, and then - this one! Love it...


How to follow that? With a song with lyrics such as this, of course:

I could not believe it, could not believe my eyes
The thing that I saw down there, down between your thighs
I can see it over, and over again
Rover at dollar, holy broke the skin
If I turn it over, would you make it work
When you plug it in, will you dig the dirt?



Lightening the tone somewhat, some very odd French people:


Something usually to be avoided at all costs - the crabs...


And finally... something that completely defies all description:


Phew!

As ever, dear reader - let me know your thoughts...

Monday, 19 August 2019

It's tragic



Oh, hell. Two weeks' worth of unabashed hedonism - basically doing what we please, with a superb weekend in Amsterdam in the middle of it - have come to a crashing end, with the inevitable realisation that our numbers yet again did not come up on the lottery, and that somehow the bills still have to be paid...

...so, to take the bitterness out of the return to work this morning [apart from the promise that the scaffolding will indeed be coming down today], let us return once more to the crazy world of Dutch pop - and, on this Tacky Music Monday, they don't come much tackier than the chesty "singer" and plastic surgery fanatic Cornelia Jacoba (Connie) Witteman, better known in the Netherlands as Vanessa!


Without a discernible shred of emotion, she (with her veiligheid homos) sings:

I look at you and see
A special kind of magic
But you don't know it's me, I'm out here on my own
It's tragic

You see emotion hiding in my face, now you're gone, aha
You disappear without a trace, now you're gone, aha

Ladidi
Ladida
Wanna be
Where you are

Ladida
Ladidi
I want you
Here with me
I do, you know I do

I got a certain kind of feeling
Every time I look at you
If I don't get to you the way you get to me
I don't know what I'm gonna do

I just can't stand to see you walk away, now you're gone, oh no
And when you I don't know what to say, now you're gone, oh no

Ladidi
Ladida
Wanna be
Where you are

Ladida
Ladidi
I want you
Here with me
I do, you know I do


Gawd - how I wish I were back in Amsterdam! Or anywhere.

Sunday, 18 August 2019

Piracy or lunacy?



After all the excitement (and copious quantities of booze) of our "pirate-themed indoor picnic" yesterday - yes, our "gang" is that mad - at Our Sal's pub, we're having a quieter last-day-of-freedom to conclude two weeks away from the joys of work.

To continue the theme from yesterday, how about a few Gay Pirates to brighten our day?


Aaaar!

Saturday, 17 August 2019

A word from our sponsors



Exercise, indeed.

Friday, 16 August 2019

Danse car au bout de la nuit, ton règne finit



Although we're still on holiday, this is the end of another week - and some traditions do have to be adhered to. It may also be Our Glorious Leader Madonna's birthday today, but it's to another diva extraordinaire to whom we turn for today's spangly entertainment.

To get us in the mood for all the partying the forthcoming weekend will bring [ours will be a picnic-that-is-not-a-picnic; due to the predicted maelstrom tomorrow, our annual picnic is going to take place... in Our Sal's pub The Shaston Arms instead!], how about a little something from the later career of the famed "queen of yé-yé", Mlle Sylvie Vartan [who celebrated her 75th birthday yesterday] and her safety gays..?


Merci disco c'est vendredi!

[If the video above doesn't work, visit the Ina.fr site]

Thursday, 15 August 2019

Grachten, student totty, Drag Bingo, Naked Joe and a wervelstorm



We're back in circulation, dear reader, after a fantabulosa four-night break in Amsterdam with Baby Steve and Houseboy Alex (topped and tailed by our stay at their palatial residence Braintree Manor). It's somewhat disappointing (although we are not in the least surprised) that the bloody scaffolding is not yet down at Dolores Delargo Towers - but we are relieved nonetheless that the extensive gardens (apart from a couple of climbers blown over by the wind) appear not to have suffered too badly in our absence.

Speaking of absences, what did we miss while we were away..?

...Not a helluva lot, it would seem: Brexit, Brexit and more bloody Brexit; Trump's attempts to condemn white supremacists after two mass shootings in the US were met with accusations of hypocrisy; Nigel Farage laid into Meghan, Harry and the Queen Mum; anti-China protests continued in Hong Kong; and Xmas cards went on sale in Staffordshire! Far more exciting was the TORNADO that struck Amsterdam while we were there [we were nowhere near it, and didn't even hear about it till the last day]:


We missed celebrating the 110th anniversary of the birth of Alfred Hitchcock, the centenary of the maestro of Jazz Sir George Shearing, and that of Dino De Laurentiis (legendary producer of such movie classics as Barbarella, King Kong (1976 version), Dune and Blue Velvet, among many others; in collaboration with the likes of Federico Fellini, John Huston, Ingmar Bergman, Luchino Visconti, Ridley Scott and Michael Winner), the 96th birthday of Rhonda Fleming (star of Gunfight at the O.K. Corral and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court - a true Hollywood survivor), what would have been the 80th birthday of the lovely and much-missed Kate O'Mara, and the 60th of Rosanna Arquette. Yesterday was also the 45th of the peerless Ana Matronic, former Scissor Sister, so I have a perfect excuse to play this (again) - one of the lady's finest moments...


And we did indeed "have a Kiki"! Endless FEBO and Van Dobbens, more gassy beer than I ever want to drink again in my life (till next year, of course!), sitting outside bars in the Red Light District watching the world (stoners, tourists, tall totty, bicycles, more stoners...) go by, wandering the grachts, and repeat.

One unexpected joy was the fact that the old town was slightly overrun by a host of beautiful "Bel Ami" looky-likeys, all in white shirts (fabulous when wet) and ties. It was something to do with the universities' fraternity "hazing" weekend, apparently. Whatever it was all about, it made for some very good ogling opportunities indeed!



We paid homage to "absent friends" at the Homomonument, and to the venerable Cafe 't Mandje; we enjoyed the typically Dutch cabaret at the ever-jolly Cafe Montmartre [we've been going there for years], had a few good evenings in the Queen's Head, and explored the dark corners of the Cuckoo's Nest - and had a hoot at the drag bingo hosted by "Dame Dora Royale" at another of our fave venues, Spijker Bar...



...ably assisted by our barman Naked Joe!



And finally, although we listened to a variety of different types of Dutch music in a variety of bars - from traditional schlager/levenslied to pop and dance - it is to a song that we brought back last year that we return once again to sum up the holiday [it's still hugely popular everywhere in the 'Dam].

All together, now!


Is it good to be back? Nee.

Thursday, 8 August 2019

Gelukkig



By the time you see this, dear reader, we will almost be landing in our favourite city in the world (bar London), Amsterdam for a much-needed mini-break for my birthday on Saturday!

There is only one song left to play, really...


"Normal" service will be resumed in about a week.

Wednesday, 7 August 2019

Het regent mannen



Yesterday was somewhat disrupted, not only by the seemingly constant presence of the builder doing our gutters, but - particularly in the evening, and latterly, overnight - by the rain. Bearing in mind that the gutters and the downpipes are not currently connected, this is somewhat noisy...

Sigh.

Good news - we're off to Braintree Manor to stay with the boys this afternoon, and we fly tomorrow at gawd-knows-why-so-early-but-it's-cheap-time tomorrow morning from Stansted - to Amsterdam!

We're ready for any kind of weather, in the company of the lovely cast of the bizarre Ja Zuster, Nee Zuster, a Dutch musical movie we've been raving about for years:


[...and if you want to see more of the delightful male lead parading around in his tighty-whiteys - here you go!]

Tuesday, 6 August 2019

The tastiest



I mention it practically every time we return from Amsterdam [most notably here], but among its many, many, many joys, the city has perhaps the most inventive of all "fast-food" outlets anywhere - and our fave way of eating when we're there - the FEBO!

A couple of Euros in the slot, and you have immediately-satisfying kroketten, frikandellen, hamburgers or kaassoufflé to go - and there's a counter to order fries with mayonnaise or (best of all) peanut (satay) sauce!

I'm salivating as we speak...

To celebrate this great Dutch institution, and continuing our countdown to the 'Dam this Thursday, here are some lads who look like they've scoffed a frikandellen or several!


The lyrics roughly translate as:

Rather too fat in the coffin
Than missing another party
It doesn't matter, you don't have to carry it yourself!


Words of wisdom there, methinks.

Facts about FEBO:
  • It was founded in 1941 as a bakery named "Maison FeBo" after Ferdinand Bolstraat in Amsterdam.
  • In the chain there are now more than 60 shops across the Netherlands, and 22 of those are in Amsterdam.
  • The FEBO motto is De Lekkerste, or "the tastiest".
  • Both the cheese pancakes (kaassoufflé) and the peanut sauce are adapted from the street foods of Indonesia, for many years a Dutch colony.
  • Kroketten (croquettes) were ostensibly an import from France, where they were a delicacy at least as far back as Louis XIV, but probably originated in Jewish cuisine.
  • Frikandellen, on the other hand, though widely disputed in origin, appear to have been invented as recently as 1958 - when the first skinless minced-meat sausage was placed into deep fat to sizzle itself into becoming Holland's #1 snack food...

Monday, 5 August 2019

Everytime I hear this song


The Netherlands is renowned as the land of great art and great taste.

It's Monday, but I don't give a shit for a change - instead, let's start the countdown to our annual pilgrimage to Amsterdam in the most befitting possible way.

As it is a Tacky Music Monday, this can only mean one thing - another outing for that fantabulosa Dutch super-camp "supergroup" De Toppers! And, with a medley of such sing-a-long "classics" as (Is This The Way To) Amarillo, Living Next Door to Alice, Mississipi, Una Paloma Blanca and Hey Baby (Uhh, Ahh), how could we resist them?!


One day, we will get to go to one of these stadium-filling extravaganzas! One day...

Sunday, 4 August 2019

The Algerian rose



As you will know, dear reader, nothing thrills us here at Dolores Delargo Towers quite as much as the discovery of a new Diva!

Adored everywhere in the Middle East, from her father's homeland Algeria to her mother's in Lebanon, and in her own adopted country Egypt, the mononymous artiste Warda (for it is she) started her career singing patriotic Algerian songs in the lead-up to its war of independence, and from there she scaled the dizzy heights to be lauded as one of the greatest interpreters of Arabic-language songs ever. When she died, she was given a state funeral with honours and buried in Algieria's El Alia Cemetery, which is reserved for national heroes.

Of course, in our world, it's not just for her vocal talents nor for the songs that she is so captivating - it's all about the frocks, the hair, the sparkles and the drama - enjoy!



رائع (rayie)! [="fabulous" in Arabic]

Warda Al-Jazairia (nee Fatouki; 22nd July 1939 – 17th May 2012)

Saturday, 3 August 2019

Most efficacious in every case


We can only imagine what the scaffolders looked like.

Tenuous link, #654 in a series...

We have scaffolding up all round the house at the moment, blocking out the light; and this means our garden is currently crammed even more full than usual with pots, shelves and bits and bobs we had to move to accommodate it. There's just about enough space for one of us at a time to sit on the bench. Sigh.

So...

...I couldn't resist playing something from a most appropriately-named band:


All together, now!

We'll drink a drink, a drink
To Lily the Pink, the Pink, the Pink
The saviour of the human race
For she invented medicinal compound
Most efficacious in every case

Mr. Freers had sticky out ears
And it made him awful shy
And so they gave him medicinal compound
And now he's learning how to fly

Robert Tony was known to be bony
He would never eat his meals
And so they gave him medicinal compound
Now they move him round on wheels

We'll drink a drink, a drink
To Lily the Pink, the Pink, the pink
The saviour of the human race
For she invented medicinal compound
Most efficacious in every case

Old Ebenezer thought he was Julius Caesar
And so they put him in a home
Where they gave him medicinal compound
And now he's emperor of Rome

Johnny Hammer had a terrible st-st-st-st-stammer
He could hardly s-s-say a word
And so they gave him medicinal compound
Now he's seen, but never heard

We'll drink a drink, a drink
To Lily the Pink, the Pink, the Pink
The saviour of our human race
For she invented medicinal compound
Most efficacious in every case

Aunty Milly ran willy-nilly
When her legs they did recede
So they rubbed on medicinal compound
Now they call her Milly Pede

Jennifer Eccles had terrible freckles
And the boys all called her names
But they gave her medicinal compound
Now she joins in all the games

We'll drink a drink, a drink
To Lily the Pink, the Pink, the Pink
The saviour of our human race
For she invented medicinal compound
Most efficacious in every case

Lily the Pink, she turned to drink
She filled up with paraffin inside
And despite her medicinal compound
Sadly pickled Lily died

Up to heaven her soul ascended
All the church bells they did ring
She took with her medicinal compound
Hark the herald angels sing

We'll drink a drink, a drink
To Lily the Pink, the Pink, the Pink
The saviour of our human race
For she invented medicinal compound
Most efficacious in every case


I loved that song when I was a little boy.

Friday, 2 August 2019

We'll find a four leaf clover



Just one more day...

Yes, dear reader, this is my last visit to the office for seventeen days - we have a fortnight off (at the same time for a change), and on Thursday we jet off to the lascivious pleasures of Amsterdam for a long weekend!

The weather's mild, and even though I'm expecting to get home this evening to find the house covered in scaffolding (the landlady's having our leaky guttering done at last), hopefully we'll still be able to enjoy the bits of the garden that aren't like a building site (we've spent days moving the pots and planters from the passage outside the back door into ever-decreasing spaces among the rest of the plants), so all's well.

Meanwhile, speaking of all things Dutch - how about this funky little number, fronted by a giraffe and a tiny lady, that was the biggest-selling hit in the Netherlands in 1980?

Get yer groove on - and Bedankt Disco Het is vrijdag!!


Mooie!

Thursday, 1 August 2019

Dit-dit-dit-dah-dah-dah no more



Oh dear. Another day, another "in memoriam". The multi-talented Barrington Pheloung is the latest great virtuoso to traverse the rainbow bridge to Fabulon.

Who? I hear you ask...

Anyone in the UK will instantly recognise to whom I refer, just from the first few bars of this, his most famous work:


Facts about Mr Pheloung:
  • Born in Manly, a beach suburb of Sydney, Australia, he moved to London to study music, eventually studying composition with John Lambert and guitar under John Williams and Julian Bream at the Royal College of Music.
  • He was the composer for the dance extravaganza on the opening night of the Millennium Dome.
  • Famously, the distinctive "dit-dit-dit-dah-dah-dahs" in that theme actually do spell out the letters M.O.R.S.E. in, unsurprisingly, Morse Code.
  • His other film and TV scores include Hilary and Jackie, Nostradamus, Portrait of a Marriage, Dalziel and Pascoe and Truly, Madly, Deeply.

RIP, Barrington Somers Pheloung (10th May 1954 – 31st July 2019)

Inspector Morse appreciation at DenOfGeek.

Wednesday, 31 July 2019

Dish of the day



Et tu, blue cheese?

Tuesday, 30 July 2019

Fun and laughter on our summer holiday


Britons have asked their government if it would mind not sending the pound into freefall right before their summer holidays every bloody year.

Threats of a no-deal Brexit have once again sent the pound plummeting against the euro, the dollar, the Turkish lira and all other currencies of hot countries where the UK has two weeks booked.

Tom Booker of Derby said: “It might be nice to have one holiday where the government isn’t snatching cocktails from my hand and dashing them to the ground. Just one.

“Instead, ever since 2016, the Tories decide to engage in July-August economic brinksmanship and I run out of spending money four days before my flight, while the Germans watch and laugh.

“I suppose last year they did vary things a bit by sending the pound into freefall at the beginning of December, depriving thousands of kids visiting Lapland of a reindeer feeding experience. So that was good of them.”


Chancellor Sajid Javid said: “Thing is, politics is a bit boring in summer so we play a game of chicken with the Eurozone’s larger economies to keep our adrenaline up.

“If it’s ruined your holiday it serves you right for not choosing a patriotic British break. We’re dynamiting the Channel tunnel next year anyway.”
The Daily Mash

Of course.

Monday, 29 July 2019

Nothing to do with Trump, gott sei dank


The enormous, beautiful and exquisitely scented Orienpet Lily "On Stage" in the extensive gardens here at Dolores Delargo Towers.

Oh bugger. The weather's been utterly lovely today, while we were in work...

Never mind, eh? It's still a Tacky Music Monday, and I have another treat in store. Those creative geniuses at Soft Tempo Lounge recently posted a perfect video for their particular brand of easy listening - a remarkable "ballet" number with the cheesiest-of-cheesy scores, as only ever encountered in the 1970s:


I think I might just have gone one better. The piece is lifted from a German Saturday night telly extravaganza Musik ist Trumpf ("Music is trumps") hosted by Peter Frankenfeld, which ran from 1975 to 1981. And, lo and behold, I have found the entire segment!

Prepare to be blown away in a flurry of chiffon, unusual hairdos, operetta, shonky sets, schlager music, and some of the least attractive "safety gays" ever [and watch out for the perpetually-bored audience]...


I adore it! I think I am going to have to get a lime-green-and-purple maxi dress now.

PS wherever is Thombeau? He'd love this.

Sunday, 28 July 2019

Wouldn't you think I'm the girl who has everything?


"Quadruple Threat.
Acts, Sings, Dances, Pours a decent pint.
Rotherham's finest export since Paul Shane."
Having trekked across Regent's Park after work on Friday to the Open Air Theatre box office to book tickets for their forthcoming production of Evita, I felt I was in need of some libations, so paid a visit to our customary haunt Halfway to Heaven down in the West End. I was very glad I did, too, as not only was there a decent smattering of "our gang" (well, Paul, Mark and John-John, anyway) and other regulars in attendance, and a flying visit from our currently residing-out-of-town chum Pretty David, but there was a cancellation among the usual Friday night drag fare; this meant that (at short notice) the stalwart of late night cabaret, the Royal Vauxhall Tavern (RVT), Edinburgh Fringe and - as she took great delight in (repeatedly) telling us - cast member of the new film of the wildly successful West End musical Everybody's Talking About Jamie [alongside Richard E Grant], Miss Myra DuBois ("The Songbird of South Yorkshire") was in residence!

I have seen the saintly Myra loads of times before, as pub quiz host, emcee, interviewer and general lynchpin of a number of RVT evenings, but this was the first time I'd caught one of her one-woman shows. She's chuffing hilarious, too!
"I make it my mission to personally connect with every single member of my audience. That’s why so many of them leave the theatre as life-long AdMyras. “AdMyras” being the pet term I give to my fans. Like Lady Gaga has her “little monsters” and Kate Bush has the ‘socially inept’. I have my AdMyras. And there’ll be songs, my goodness there’ll be songs! I can’t put myself on a stage and not sing for my people, it wouldn’t be fair. Songs, laughter and a fully stocked bar. That’s what punters can expect from one of my shows!"
I laughed till tears streamed down my cheeks at her acidic repartee, her admonishments of misbehaving members of the audience, and, of course, those "songs"...



Now that's what I call an old trouper!!

Myra DuBois official website.

Saturday, 27 July 2019

¡Ándale! ¡Ándale! ¡Arriba! ¡Arriba!



The weather's all back-to-front again - hot and (sometimes) sunny during the week while we're chained to our desks, then damp and mizzly on the weekend. Typical bloody Britain.

Hey ho, here's something to cheer us all up - some perfect holiday music, courtesy of The Mariachis!


Originally assembled as a combo in an advertising campaign for those awful cardboard-with-added-chilli tortilla "snacks" Doritos, they have apparently gone down a storm ever since as the inevitable "novelty act" at a succession of festivals, including Glastonbury!

Being a determined commercial-telly-ad-break-avoider, I had never previously heard of them. Until today, when Our Jen pointed me in the direction of this faboo cover - of The Human League...


¡Está increíble!

Friday, 26 July 2019

It's your time to be a star



Weekend. Payday. Gin. Three little words that make life soooo much better.

As we hurtle into the maelstrom of partying, shopping and other oh-so-stressful activities that will occupy our lives for the next 48 hours, why not let the lovely Miss Gwen McCrae [who I went to see live on stage back in 2011] ramp up the happy mood - and Thank Disco It's Friday!


Everybody that's on the dancefloor
I want you to put your hands together
And just smoothe your hips from side to side
(Keep the fire burning)
Yeah, that's it, you got it, hmmm-mmm

Now, mister DJ (Keep the fire burning)
I want you to countdown with
It's your time to be a star
(Keep the fire burning)
Ooh ooh ooh
Yeah, can you feel it?

You gotta write it, baby
(Keep the fire burning)
(Keep the fire burning)
Yeah, it's good to me
(Keep the fire burning)
I know you feel it somehow


Oh yes, Gwen! We do.

Thursday, 25 July 2019

For you I'd get down on my knees


Yes. People did look like this in the 70s.

The stiflingly unpleasant heat today [I can cope with 38C/100.4F temperatures if the sun is out and the air is moving, but it's been overcast and humid-as-hell - even the thunderstorm just now fizzled out after barely dampening the leaves in the garden] takes us back - as all heatwaves in this normally moist island inevitably do - to the great Summer of 1976.

And so, appropriately, we have a mini-timeslip-moment...

In July forty-three years ago, apart from melting pavements and stand-pipes in the streets (London had fifteen days over 80F, and five consecutive days over 90F), there was also in the news: the raid on Entebbe airport, Nadia Comăneci's seven "perfect 10s" at the Montreal Olympics (and our own gold-medal-winning swimmer David Wilkie in his skimpies setting many a teen-queen's loins-a-tingle), the first photos from Mars taken by the Viking 1 lander, the murder by the IRA of British ambassador to the Irish Republic Christopher Ewart-Biggs, an earthquake in China that killed 242,769 people, three British (and one American) mercenaries shot by firing squad in Angola, and the US Bicentennial celebrations. In our cinemas: The Omen, Bugsy Malone. On telly: The Bionic Woman, The Sky at Night and the Olympics.

And what of our charts that memorable high summer - this week in 1976? The Top 3 remained firmly in place - Elton & Kiki at #1, Dr Hook at #2 and Demis Roussos at #3. Also present and correct were The Manhattans, Tavares, Candi Staton, Dorothy Moore, Jonathan King (masquerading as 100 Ton and a Feather), David Dundas and Queen. But just outside the Top Ten, waiting its turn, was this one [here, in a very strange set indeed]...


It's supposed to be cooler tomorrow. Fingers crossed.

Wednesday, 24 July 2019

Linked


A man has left his full-time job to spend his nine-to-five working week trying to get ahead of his LinkedIn notifications.

Stephen Malley came home after a day’s work to find more than 500 accumulated messages from the networking giant and realised that something had to give.

He said: “It wasn’t fair to LinkedIn to carry on the way we were doing. And it’s trying so hard to help me.

“I was waking up in a cold sweat realising that I’d forgotten a former colleague’s work anniversary, or that I’d not endorsed my mate Dave’s skills in E-Commerce.

“Now I’m watching recruiters’ stories, reading top tips from CEOs the moment they’re released, and I know the minute someone’s looking at my profile.

“This must be working wonders for my career prospects. Apart from that I’m unemployed now.”


A LinkedIn spokesman said “Nobody escapes LinkedIn. Even if you change your name and move to a cabin in Siberia, we’ll send someone to find you and tell you that your ex-boss has changed their role title.”
The Daily Mash

Of course.

Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Olé Olé Olé Olé



Whew! What a scorcher...

The UK is in the midst of a mini-heatwave, dear reader.

OK, it's not quite on the scale of last year, when it was lovely and sunny from May Day to the end of August with very few breaks. Only around six weeks ago, it was so gloomy here we even put the heating on at night - in June! However, today tipped the scales at over 30C (86F) here in London, and the forecast is that Thursday's temperatures might be as high as 36C (96.8F)!

Bring on the Vengaboys - it's time for a summer celebration!


Olé Olé Olé Olé
Olé Olé Olé Olé

FIESTA!

Me mind on fire, me soul on fire
Feelin' hot hot hot
Party people, all around me
Feelin hot hot hot!


Indeed. Pass me the ice-cold cider, would you?

Monday, 22 July 2019

Rebellion?



Heavens. You know you're getting old when...

...you realise that "Violet Elizabeth Bott" - from the 70s TV adaptation of my fave childhood books by Richmal Crompton, Just William, in which Diana Dors played her mother - is 55 years old!

Bonnie Langford (for it is she) is now, of course, well-respected as a West End hoofer and choreographer - but back in the 80s, she tried desperately to shake off her precocious "child prodigy" persona by appearing in The Hot Shoe Show alongside Wayne Sleep; and, on this Tacky Music Monday, it is to that cringeworthy era we turn for our traditional "wake up call"!


Facts:
  • At just six years old, she won the talent show Opportunity Knocks.
  • Bonnie began her on-screen career as "Lena Marelli" in Bugsy Malone.
  • In the mid-80s, she played "Mel", companion to both Colin Baker's Sixth Doctor and Sylvester McCoy's Seventh in Doctor Who.
  • She is the aunt of West End actresses Summer, Scarlett, Zizi and Sasi Strallen.
  • Latterly, she appeared as blowsy matriarch of the "Kazemi" clan in Eastenders, before quitting that in order to return to the stage in 42nd Street.
Many happy returns, Bonita Melody Lysette Langford (born 22nd July 1964)

Sunday, 21 July 2019

Upside down you turn me


Our very lovely Fuchsia Lady Isobel Barnett.

As is our wont, it's a bit of a laid-back day here at Dolores Delargo Towers - a bit of pottering in the garden, and non-stop Radio 2...

It also happens to be the birthday today of the faboo Miss Paloma Faith, which gives us a perfect excuse to play one of her jolliest numbers; most appropriate for the mood:


However, while seeking out this choon, I also found this version - which is equally splendid!


Oh, how I spoil you bitches...

Saturday, 20 July 2019

Why ask for the moon..?



We took a little trip out to the northern edge of London today - and not, for a change, to the "horticultural mile" of Crews Hill - to the grandiose pile that is now Capel Manor College, an agricultural campus with renowned gardens open to the public. Our pretext was to visit the Enfield Fuchsia Show - and, to be honest, we can truly say every one of our current collection of 33 varieties is more impressive than most of the prize-winners on show.

Regardless, the trip was definitely worth it, just to wallow in the beauty of the 30-acre site and its sixty different gardens/plots - everything from shady, woodland and wildlife gardens to formal, Italianate and Japanese styles, to meadow, sensory, and prairie-style planting. Wow.

That's the day sorted. However, continuing the 50th anniversary celebrations of the first moon landings, it is to the night we turn for even more sensory delectation - in the company of Miss Anna Netrebko and Mr Antonín Dvořák:



Sigh...

Friday, 19 July 2019

Revenge is sweet


The weekend. Something to shout about.

Happy days are almost here again, dear reader, as we see the end of another benighted week's toil in sight...

Time, methinks, to throw away our inhibitions, and join the madness that is unfolding in this video for the Freemasons' remix of a dance classic - and Thank Disco It's Friday!


Truth be told, I still have a bit of a soft spot for the "original" [in reality, it's a sample from Harvey Mason's 1979 song Groovin' You on a loop] - but hey, it isn't nearly as camp:


Have a great weekend, peeps!

Thursday, 18 July 2019

No ballroom


Unless you happen to be Cristiano Ronaldo, baggy clothing is probably best.
A 32-year-old man has spent the last three hours trapped inside a pair of super-skinny jeans in a changing room.

Tom Booker tried the jeans on in an attempt to look cool for a date with a younger woman but has now lost all feeling in his left leg and fears his buttocks have become welded together.

He said: “I’ve tried everything. Wiggling, rolling, lying on the floor and inching them down, but nothing works. They won’t budge.

“How do the young get out of them? With a couple of fish slices and assistance from friends? My legs look great but it turns out I’ve got a rather larger arse than I ever realised.

“I tried banging on the cubicle walls to get help from other customers but they told me to piss off, and obviously the assistant out front of the changing rooms is uninterested and ignoring me completely. This is Top Shop, after all.

“I can’t walk out without amputating a knacker and I’m not calling a fire crew to cut me out. These jeans cost £35.99.

“I can’t feel anything below the nipples now. I should never have strayed from my Burton’s bootcuts. I love you, bootcuts. It shouldn’t have ended like this. I’m sorry.”
The Daily Mash

Of course.

Wednesday, 17 July 2019

If I lay here. If I just lay here...



Courtesy of the brilliant mind of Stuart Heritage, writing in today's Guardian:
So, you want to write a record-breaking radio smash. Bad news: Snow Patrol beat you to it. Their song Chasing Cars has just been named as the most popular UK radio hit of the 21st century. But don’t despair, because we can still learn plenty from the song’s enduring success.

Play the long game
Fun fact: Chasing Cars was never a No 1 record in the UK. On its release in 2006, it enjoyed a slow climb to No 6, during which time it was outsold by Paris Hilton’s Stars Are Blind (which got to No 5). It was the 14th best-selling song of the year, which sounds OK until you learn that I Wish I Was a Punk Rocker (With Flowers in My Hair) by Sandi Thom was the fifth. But now we can prove definitively: slow and steady wins the race.

Get it on a big TV show
Or any TV show – every one helps. Just before its release, Chasing Cars was used in the season-three finale of One Tree Hill. Then it was used in the season-two finale of Grey’s Anatomy, exposing it to a further 22.5 million US viewers and for ever entwining it in popular culture with the fates of lovelorn and preposterously attractive medical professionals.

Keep it basic
Chasing Cars is simple: it is based around a two-note guitar riff, while the verses consist of three lines, each containing just three or four syllables. It suits rock, pop and easy-listening stations, while the lyrics are so oblique that listeners can project their own meaning on them, for any situation. In 2016, Chasing Cars topped a list of “most requested indie funeral songs”, prompting the disquieting mental image of looking at a corpse while listening to a song where someone asks you to lie down with them “and just forget the world”.

Be anonymous
Be honest, can you picture any members of Snow Patrol? Any of them. Even the singer? Of course you can’t. This is the real key to Chasing Cars’ success. Snow Patrol are so completely generic that Chasing Cars will always exist as a song without context, rather than as the work of identifiable humans.
Speaking of which - how about a remix cover version of this timeless classic, courtesy of the ever-to-be-remembered Holly Lang..?


So memorable.