Tuesday 31 August 2021

Latin rhythms and lalochezia

I certainly get lalochezia on the first day back to work after a Bank Holiday!

To divert attention from the creeping horror that overtakes us when we realise today is the meteorological Last Day of Summer, let's have another "timeslip moment"!

Today, we've leapt from the Nebuchadnezzar into the midst of the closing year of the millennium, 1999 [the year we moved to London] - the year of Kosovo, Clinton and David Copeland (who nail-bombed the Admiral Duncan gay bar); of Jill Dando's murder, Harold Shipman and the ascension of Putin; and the year the Scottish and Welsh parliaments, the Euro, Napster, MSN Messenger and the Millennium Dome were born.

In the news headlines in August '99: the solar eclipse over the UK [which was a bit of a "flash-in-the-pan", as I recall], outrage over the arrest of farmer Tony Martin for shooting a burglar in his home, a second war erupted in Chechnya, Charlie Kennedy became leader of the LibDems, and we bade a sad farewell to sports presenter Helen Rollason and one half of the Two Fat Ladies Jennifer Paterson. In our cinemas: Star Wars: The Phantom Menace; Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me; South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut. On telly: The Sopranos; Animals Do the Funniest Things; House Doctor.

And in our charts this week twenty-two years ago? The all-conquering Mambo No. 5 by Lou Bega had just crashed into the top slot, and there was a clutch of decent choons from Geri Halliwell, Moloko, Ricky Martin, Alice Deejay, Bran Van 3000, TLC and Another Level, and another dirge from Westlife making up the numbers.

But the second-highest entry in the Top 10 (destined never to reach the top, more's the pity) was another "Latin-flavoured" - and totally irresistible - classic; a makeover of an old Dean Martin hit, no less:

When marimba rhythms start to play
Dance with me, make me sway
Like the lazy ocean hugs the shore, hold me close
Sway me more.(3x)

cha cha cha cha cha
cha cha cha cha cha cha cha
cha cha cha cha cha
cha cha cha cha cha cha cha

When marimba rhythms start to play
Dance with me, make me sway
Like the lazy ocean hugs the shore, hold me close
Sway me more.(4x)

I love it!

...but 22 years ago? Really?!

Monday 30 August 2021

A frock that's also a soup

It's the only way, sometimes.

It may be a Bank Holiday - as I said before, our last now until Xmas; typically, it's grey and miserable weather - but I haven't forgotten it's also a Tacky Music Monday!

Returning to the bizarre world of Dutch pop, it really doesn't get much tackier than this:

What. The. Fuck?

Have a good week, dear reader...

["De liefde van de man gaat door de maag" = "The way to a man's heart is through his stomach" in Dutch.]

Sunday 29 August 2021

She could always throw her legs up in the air higher than any of us... and wider

What better way to spend an intermittently-sunny-but-mainly-overcast Sunday than in the company of the faboo Steve Hayes, reviewing in his own inimitable way one of our all-time favourite films here at Dolores Delargo Towers, the uber-camp Evil Under the Sun?


Saturday 28 August 2021



The bow tie has its origins, not in France like many think, but in Croatia. The French military forces had seen the way the Croatian soldiers tied the necktie in order to keep the collars of their shirts together during the Thirty Years' War.

After that, tobacco magnate Pierre Lorillard wore one to the Tuxedo Club, and his black and white fashion sense blossomed into becoming the Tuxedo we know currently in fashion. Typically the bow tie is worn as an accessory to accentuate the neck, helping draw eyes up to the face and away from the shoulders and chest.

Yes - it's Bow Tie Day today!

Wear yours with pride, and remember:

Friday 27 August 2021

Woo! Yeah!

click to embiggen

Another tortuous week's work is almost over. It has been a slog!

Never mind, eh? Tomorrow we have a visit to London from The Mother, and my sis and I are taking her to see Princess Diana's frocks at Kensington Palace - that should be a glittering day out, I'm sure!

It's also a Bank Holiday weekend - yay! - [our last three-day weekend until Xmas] so despite the grim, cold weather, we have plenty to celebrate. Let's get the party started with a lady for whom the epithet "the higher the hair, the closer to god" might have been coined - the late, great Miss Lyn Collins...

...and Thank Disco It's Friday!

First up, a remix of her original (James Brown-produced) number:

...and here is the great lady again, having (only slightly) toned-down the wiggage, with an equally funky number:

Now that's an impressive set of tonsils.

Have a great weekend, dear reader!


Think (About It) is one of the most-sampled records ever - the Woo! Yeah! refrain alone was integral to the early days of House and Hip-Hop music...

Thursday 26 August 2021

Ex Dex

click to embiggen

And so farewell, then Michael Nader, better known as the devilish Dex Dexter in Dynasty, who died this week aged 76.

He was the perfect foil for Alexis...

Always a melodrama!

RIP, Michael Nader (19th February 1945 – 23rd August 2021)

Wednesday 25 August 2021

The Shirley Bassey leather years

Many happy returns to the self-titled "stately homo of heavy metal" Rob Halford of Judas Priest, 70 years old today.

Now, as any fule kno, I am not the world's greatest heavy rock fan [despite having spent an inordinate amount of time in my teenage years accompanying two childhood friends Carol and Lois, who were, to venues such as "The Cross Keys Miners' Institute Heavy Metal Rock Night"] - but I do love a bit of salacious gossip; and if that happens to involve rock's greatest gayers, well so be it...

On whips:

"Once we were on [Top of the Pops] with the Osmonds. I had my whip with me and I'd heard Marie wasn't happy about that. So, I went to see her in her dressing room with her curlers in." Did he use the whip on the show? "Of course I did. I'm not going to have any Mormon telling me what I can and can't do with my whip."

Apparently, when Freddie Mercury started wearing leathers, Rob Halford said he'd like to see him get on a bike and do a lap at Donnington; Freddie retorted that he'd like to see Rob Halford don a tutu and dance at Covent Garden.

They weren't enemies, though:

"Freddie [Mercury] is my ultimate hero. The closest I ever got to Freddie was in a gay bar in Athens on the way to Mykonos. We kind of glared at each other across the bar, in a kind of smiling, winking way. When we got to Mykonos I was determined to track him down, but I couldn't because he'd rented this huge yacht. It was festooned in pink balloons and it just kept sailing around the island. He's someone I wish I'd really met."

On coming out:

"The biggest myth about this new stage gear is that I had somehow masterminded the image as a cover and a vent for my homosexuality – that I was getting a thrill from dressing on stage as I’d like to dress in the street, or the bedroom. This is utter bollocks. I had no interest in S&M, domination or the whole queer subcult of leather and chains. It just didn’t do it for me. My sexual preference was for men, sure, but I was – and still am – pretty vanilla. I’ve never used a whip in the boudoir in my life."

"I must admit, I still occasionally look back at Priest photos of that late seventies era, and suspect that they were our Shirley Bassey leather years. But that is probably just me being me."

Here's Rob and the boys in those "Shirley Bassey leather years", with a song I remember my aforementioned friends head-banging to:

...but all this serves as a good enough excuse as any for another of those faboo pop-vs-metal mashups of which I am extremely fond [see here, here and here], featuring Mr Halford and Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and - erm - Wham!

Love it. And, I must admit, I like Rob Halford too.

Rob Halford inteview in The Guardian

Tuesday 24 August 2021

Koroleva nochi!

Happy 30th birthday today to...


By way of a celebration, let's have a "kitsch-fest" [a musical style with which this nation is not unfamiliar], courtesy of a lady I "discovered" way back in 2013 - the singer, TV presenter and comedian known as "Super Blonde", Miss Olya Polyakova!

She's a bit of a Ukrainian gay icon. Can't imagine why...

She likes the seaside - and carrots...

....and finally... this sort of thing always happens to me when I'm shopping in the market:

Love her!

[Koroleva nochi (Королева Ночи) = "Queen of the Night" in English]

Monday 23 August 2021

Oh groovy, baby!

Far too frenetic for a Monday...

Once again, a weekend has whooshed by, and here we are again, bleary-eyed and checking work emails...

Sigh. At least last night's film showing of Moulin Rouge at the Regent's Park Open Air Theatre did go ahead as planned (it didn't rain until the very end, which was a relief!) - and we have a bizarre feast for the senses to wake us all up a bit on the Tacky Music Monday!

Wallow in the extraordinary outfits, rictus grins and sheer psychedelic wonderment of 1960s telly...

Have good week, peeps.

Sunday 22 August 2021

One Day I'll Fly Away...

A little coterie of "our gang" is heading off to the Open Air Theatre in Regent's Park this evening for a big-screen cinematic showing of the brilliant Moulin Rouge - to mark the film's (gulp!) 20th anniversary.

Fingers crossed the rain holds off...

Saturday 21 August 2021

She's precocious, and she knows just what it takes to make a pro blush

Happy 80th birthday today to the multi-talented Miss Jackie DeShannon!

As I said way back in 2009:

Born the humbly-named Sharon Lee Myers, Miss De Shannon was a major collaborator over the years with such diverse artists as Ry Cooder, Randy Newman and Van Morrison, supported the Beatles on their first American tour in 1964, dated Elvis Presley AND Jimmy Page, and on the way wrote songs for Marianne Faithfull, The Byrds and Irma Thomas, had some hits of her own such as Bacharach and David's What The World Needs Now Is Love, and wrote When You Walk in the Room for The Searchers... Whew!

Let's celebrate the lady's songwriting talents, shall we? I featured her Grammy-winning Put a Little Love In Your Heart back in 2013, so we'll start this cavalcade of song instead with her own version of that Searchers hit:

And finally, in my opinion, Miss DeShannon's magnum opus...

Talent, indeed.

Friday 20 August 2021


Sharing the day with another ill-assorted clutch of "names" such as Coco Chanel, Jill St. John, Madame du Barry, Ogden Nash, President Bill Clinton, Diana Muldaur, Ian Gillan, Billy J. Kramer, John Dryden, Ginger Baker, Jennie Bond, John Deacon of Queen and Matthew Perry - and, by fortuitous coincidence, Jonathan Frakes (who played "Ryker" in The Next Generation) - yesterday marked the centenary of the birth of Mr Gene Roddenberry, creator of Star Trek!

Having already featured the "obvious" choice of choon to mark the occasion for our very own Mr DeVice's birthday earlier this year, I went searching for some other "Trek-themed-dance-music" to kick off the weekending party - and found a couple of real oddities...

First up, Uhura goes Disco!

...and then, this...

Thank Disco(?) It's Friday!

Have a good one, dear reader!

Thursday 19 August 2021

A Splörn

Going to IKEA? You’ll end up leaving with nothing that you came for and a heap of junk you don’t need. Here are five big offenders:

A sheepskin rug
This disaster of a rug looked so cool in the Scandinavian show-bedroom and you got carried away imagining a different life where you ski every weekend and are a natural blonde. When you get it home it just looks like you’ve carelessly thrown a dead dog on the living room floor.

A massive potted plant

The idea of having a huge, exotic plant in your living room is better than the reality, which is that you live in a tiny studio flat and won’t be able to see past it to the television. Luckily, because you got it from IKEA, it will die within three weeks, allowing you to repeat the process next time you shop there.

Twenty different sizes of Tupperware
For a moment there you briefly imagined yourself as the kind of person who brings lunch to work in tiny, reusable Tupperware boxes, and not someone who eats a Pret sandwich at 11am and another at 2pm. These boxes will serve no purpose other than annoyingly falling out of the kitchen cupboard every time you open it.

Nine bags of miniature Daim bars
You wouldn’t in a million years consider buying a Daim bar from any other shop, because they’re both sickly sweet and hard enough to snap your teeth on. However, you pick up several bags near the checkout every time you go to IKEA, for no reason that you could ever explain.

A Splörn
You saw this on offer in the kitchen section and just had to buy it. But when you get home the panic hits. What even is it? You can’t remember, and the instructions only say that it needs AA batteries and not to put it in direct sunlight. Good luck.

The Daily Mash

Of course.

Wednesday 18 August 2021


Just last week, I made an effort to inject some "class with a capital K" into this blog [courtesy of VOCES8]. Here's some more...

Bizet by a brass band? Who'd have thought that would ever work? But it does:


Tuesday 17 August 2021


I had my 1-2-1 with my manager at work today.

Monday 16 August 2021

Madonna has a Kiki

It's Our Glorious Leader Queen Madge's 63rd birthday today, and she's looking rather fab...

All hail!

She even has the Scissor Sisters round for tea, h-h-honey...

Many happy returns, Madonna Louise Ciccone (born 16th August 1958)

Dutch courage

Current mood? Anouk Aimée, smoking...

Oh gawd. It's here...

After a two-week break (of mainly disappointments, interspersed with a lot of "me time"), it's time to drag the laptop out of the cupboard again, and steel myself for all the crap that will inevitably greet me as I re-enter the lovely world of work.

Hey ho.

Even if we didn't get to Amsterdam (or anywhere), at least we can bring a little bit of "Oompah insanity" into our lives this Tacky Music Monday - and here's a lady who knows her “Levenslied” from her "Lekkerbekje", just to jolly things along a bit!

Oh! That's better...

Sunday 15 August 2021

Mighty and real

Me, Madam Arcati and Baby Steve, doing what we do...

Normally, on a Sunday I might choose to feature something typical of the sort of music BBC Radio 2 used to play; we call it "Sunday Music", indeed. You know the sort of thing - Big Bands, Dance Bands, crooners, Lounge music, general laid-back-ness.

Not this Sunday!

I have been so utterly pissed-off by the fact that I have had a fortnight's leave [admittedly relaxing, with lots of lie-ins, and all that] which was meant to encompass a picnic in Regent's Park (cancelled due to the fucking shit weather - which also meant any chance of lounging/pottering in the garden was out of bounds until Tuesday this week - and replaced by a drinking sesh in a Wetherspoons), a long weekend in my fave city on earth Amsterdam (which was cancelled due to onerous COVID restrictions) for my birthday, and to be topped-off with a mass gathering for our first post-lockdown live on-stage musical Anything Goes (which was also cancelled at short notice due to fucking COVID stuff), that this Sunday - my last day before returning to the joys of working for a living - I am determined to rave till my tits fall off!

A good enough excuse for a blow-out is the fact it happened to be the birthday yesterday of our "Patron Saint of Dance Music" Miss Ana Matronic - so in her honour, here's a collection of choons I either originally heard on her radio show or I know she has featured over the years...

Enjoy, dear chums!

Now THAT is how to end a disappointing fortnight's "holiday" - with a bang!

Saturday 14 August 2021

Film Night again

[One of these titles is real - can you guess which one, dear reader?]

Friday 13 August 2021

Keep pushin on; things are going to get better

RIP, "national treasure" Miss Una Stubbs. The world is a duller place without that twinkly smile...

Another weekend looms, dear reader - and this will be my last before the world of work beckons once more. By way of a final blow to what was going to be a fun-filled holiday fortnight, our gang's planned trip to see the new (and much-lauded) Barbican Theatre production of Anything Goes tomorrow has been cancelled again, thanks to someone in the cast or crew being "pinged" or tested positive for COVID [details are unclear], which has pissed me off mightily.

Never mind, eh, let's brighten up the mood a little bit as the week draws to its close with a "party choon", shall we?

Thank Disco It's [oo-er] Friday [the Thirteenth]!

Hope your weekend gets off to a better start than mine has, my leetle chums!

Thursday 12 August 2021

Of new plants and new music

Salvia "Rockin' Fuchsia" [click to embiggen]

The British weather continues to confound us all - yesterday and my birthday were mainly sunny (contrary to all forecasts by the Met Office), and today it has stayed warm yet grey and grizzly; all of which has meant I have been busy getting a few late-season pottering jobs done in the extensive gardens here at Dolores Delargo Towers including rearranging pots, shifting ones that are "over" and moving those yet to flower into their place. Our lovely local garden centre sent me a birthday voucher, which I put towards another beautiful new salvia [as above] yesterday (and I potted that up), and I also lugged home a sizeable new terracotta pot from Homebase today and repotted the Scilla peruviana into it (in the vain hope it might actually flower next year). Now I'm pooped.

Time, methinks, for a selection of some of the "newer" music that has caught my ear of late...

First up, a bit of class (with a capital "k"):

Something perhaps less classy, and quite bewildering - it came highly recommended from the "Cabinet of Curiosities" that is Dangerous Minds blog:

A very welcome return for "prime totty" Jake Shears with this one - apparently a "leftover" from an old Scissor Sisters session. It reminds me of something else, but I can't put my finger on it...

Next up, something that (again) is not new at all - it's from 2017, in fact - but I had never heard it until Jake's former bandmate Ana Matronic played it on her Radio 2 Dance Devotion show, so it counts as "new" as far as I'm concerned:

Speaking of "club bangers", M'Lud - this one definitely is a recent release, and it's faboo! [...and features just about everybody who is anybody in Noo Yawk's clubland in its video, to boot.]

Leaving the best to last, however - Miss Chachki's getting kinky again, with a song that bears more than a passing resemblance to Miss Kittin and the Hacker, or indeed several choons from the 1980s. Which is no bad thing, in my book!


As ever, dear reader, enjoy - and let me know what you think!

Wednesday 11 August 2021

A bit strange?

Have you unexpectedly encountered the bands of your youth on MTV and thought "Fuck me, they were a bit strange"? Here are some of the freakiest:

Adam and the Ants
Hugely popular from playgrounds to punk clubs, but a band powered by African beats and oddly fascinated by well-dressed highwaymen and fairy tales. Strange even by the standards of the New Wave 80s, when men wore make-up and women had asymmetric haircuts.

The Sisters of Mercy
And most Goth bands, to be fair. What was most puzzling was the appetite among Britain’s youth for pseudo-vampire pomp-rock with historical overtones and a focus on being dead. It’s the equivalent of a whole musical movement springing up around Bigfoot.

Michael Jackson
Yeah he was a wrong ‘un, but even before that his actual act was deeply strange. Did those weird yelps improve his songs? How many of them were cheesy rubbish? Why did the spindly popster pretend to be a Bad gang-leader or a Smooth Criminal? Why didn’t anyone say something earlier?

The Smiths
A band who were highly talented, different and, thanks to Stephen Morrissey, had a uniquely bleak and depressing view of everything in Britain from sex to nightclubs. He’s now gone UKIP, but at least he didn’t end up writing songs about the agony of self-service checkouts.

The Shamen
Some great tunes, but catapulting a couple of blokes from traveller parties to the top of the charts is always going to be problematic. What the bloody hell were they on about with their ‘cosmic consciousness’ nonsense? If you like drugs, just say so. Don’t pen lyrics like ‘Space time, a fusion of the concepts/Of space and time’.

The Spice Girls
Apart from their relentless bullshit about girl power, each Spice Girl had a simple, clearly defined personality, like a My Little Pony. Presumably their tweenie audience liked this, but it’s still odd, like calling the members of Led Zeppelin ‘Satany Zep’, ’Drinky Zep’ ‘Shagger Zep’ and ‘Bassist’.

The Daily Mash

Of course.

And here, for your delectation, one of those freaks:

Tuesday 10 August 2021

Transitions to another place

It's my birthday today - and, as is my wont, I'm taking another trip down memory lane to the year I turned eighteen [and a year I have been featuring at irregular intervals throughout 2021], 1981!

Forty years ago, the media were still rammed full of Royal stories and features and souvenir pull-outs in the wake of the wedding of Charles and Diana at the end of July. In the headlines: IRA hunger strikes, the second escape from Broadmoor maximum security hospital in a matter of weeks, escalating tensions between the West and Gadaffi's Libya, the trial and conviction of John Lennon's murderer Mark Chapman, Moira Stewart became the UK's first black newsreader; and a small local cable station called MTV was launched in the US, prompting the massive rise of the music video [we had to wait a further six years before the station arrived in Britain, however]. In our cinemas: Raiders of the Lost Ark; Herbie Goes Bananas; Time Bandits. On telly: That Beryl Marston!; Three of a Kind; Miss Morrison's Ghosts.

My eighteenth birthday chart was not the greatest line-up of that year of faboo music, however... Shakin'-bloody-Stevens was at #1 with Green Door, holding off the equally dreadful Happy Birthday by Stevie Wonder, and there were not one, not two, but three of the then-ubiquitous "dance-medley" records clogging up the charts, in the form of Stars on 45, Tight Fit and the Royal Philhamonic Orchestra's Hooked on Classics. There was some redemption in the presence of Spandau Ballet and the Specials in the Top Ten, with Bad Manners, The Jacksons and Sheena Easton making up the numbers.

However, just outside the Top Ten a group of fresh-faced youngsters from Basildon in Essex were [like me] just embarking on their eventual world-conquering journey...

I stand still stepping on the shady street
And I watched that man to a stranger
You think you only know me when you turn on the light
Now the room is lit, red danger

Complicating, circulating
New life, new life
Operating, generating
New life, new life

Transitions to another place
So the time will pass more slowly
Your features fuse and your shadow's red
Like a film I see, now show me

Complicating, circulating
New life, new life
Operating, generating
New life, new life

Your face is hidden and we're out of sight
And the road just leads to nowhere
The stranger in the door is the same as before
So the question answers nowhere

I stand still stepping on the shady street
And I watched that man to a stranger
You think you only know me when you turn on the light
Now the room is lit, red danger

Complicating, circulating
New life, new life
Operating, generating
New life, new life

It seems like yesterday.

Where did all those years go?

Monday 9 August 2021

Just too good to be true?

RIP, Jane Withers. Anyone who made Shirley Temple cry was my kind of gal.

The start of week #2 of my leave, and the forecast is still utter shit - there is a glimmer of sunshine at this very moment, but all around, the rain-clouds are gathering (and will do for the foreseeable future). Sigh.

Never mind, eh? Who needs unwavering sunshine and settled weather when we can wallow in the utter ridiculousness of Italian television?

Put your hands together, dear reader, for the Queen of Tacky Music Monday Miss Heather Parisi!

I'm exhausted now!

Have a good week, peeps...

Saturday 7 August 2021

Friday 6 August 2021

Down, down, down, down, down, down, down, down, down, down

My first week of annual leave is reaching its end - at this very moment we should have been in Amsterdam, waking up to the sights and thrills of that great city, dammit! - and the weather continues to be crap. It's been windy, sunny, cloudy and pissing-down with rain in turn every day this week, and today and tomorrow we're forecast more thunderstorms, would you believe? The days are getting noticeably shorter and yet, apart from one or two sizzling hot moments it desn't feel as if we have actually had a summer at all...

Hey ho. Another weekend beckons, and it's time to plan some kind of party by way of a celebration! [I am actually off tonight with John-John to the first post-lockdown reunion of a gaggle of former colleagues we worked with at my last job, which might be a giggle.]

With the sad news this week that Chicago house DJ Paul Johnson has ascended the glittering pathway to Fabulon, it seems fitting that his most famous hit should be the one to get proceedings off with a flourish - and Thank Disco It's Friday!

Odd video - but certainly very summery. Sigh.

Have a great weekend, dear reader!

Thursday 5 August 2021

A word from our sponsors

[click any image to embiggen]