Thursday 30 September 2021

Size isn't everything

I'm always wittering on in this very blog about how the UK's weather changes so massively year-on-year, season-on-season, month-on-month and often day-on-day. Well, these clever maps provide some idea of just why that is so...

The British Isles are TINY in comparison with so many other countries in the world - and we're surrounded on all sides by ocean!

From Under the Raedar blog:

The UK covers an area of about 243,000 square km., which is quite big in some ways, but not so big in others (ask any Canadian). It's all a matter of perspective.

  • Russia is 70 times larger than the UK
  • Canada is about 41 times larger than the UK
  • The USA and China are both approximately 40 times larger than the UK
  • Brazil is 35 times bigger than the UK
  • Australia is about 32 times bigger than the UK
  • India is 13 times bigger
  • Sudan is 10 times bigger
  • Iran is 7 times bigger
  • France is twice as big

To complete the picture, here's a handy online tool that you can use to compare countries and territories like-for-like. That should while away a few dull hours for you, dear reader.

You're welcome.

Wednesday 29 September 2021

Duck and cover

Time, methinks, for another selection of the "newer" choons that have caught my ear of late...

As is my wont, this collection is again peppered with nostalgia and a few "comebacks" - such as that of the crazy duo who were responsible for that eternal earworm Barbra Streisand.


Then there's the resurgence of a lady who's very close to our hearts, being one of the dance music gay icons of the 1990s [see here and here]...

We turn next to a singer who (to me, at least) actually bears the epithet of "new", the artiste formerly known as Louisa Rose Allen:

...and here's a chap who seems to have been "under the radar" for years as a DJ promoter, but whose penchant for 80s music led him this year to do a (rather good) update of a dearly-loved classic:

Speaking of remixes, I have featured this genius-of-the-mash-up previously, of course [see here, and more recently, here] - but now he's only gone and landed himself an MTV Award; for this slice of brilliance!

Finally... Never mind all that hoo-ha about "the great ABBA comeback". I'm foaming at the gash over the fact that none other than the Vengaboys have returned! [With a cover of a choon by "cool kid" Charli XCX, no less.]

Absolutely fantabulosa!

As always dear reader, let me know what you think...

Tuesday 28 September 2021

Coke? Cock? You choose...

Diet Coke's all well and good...

[more here]

[more here]

...but I'm rather fond of Pepsi, myself!

Very refreshing.

Monday 27 September 2021


The Williamine's been flowing in little Switzerland, as their referendum on legalising equal marriage was won with a landslide last night!

On this Tacky Music Monday, where else need I go than Eurovision to find something appropriate from that country to provide us with a wake-up call?

Never in a million years would I have ever thought I'd find a cover version of such nonsense, however, yet... Here's a Slovenian a-cappella ensemble doing just that!

Have a good week, dear reader.

Sunday 26 September 2021

Cuba Libre

I'm in a slow, lazy mood today - after a full-on all-day session yesterday in the Wetherspoons in Holborn for my brother-in-law The History Boy's birthday - so I think a trip to pre-revolutionary Havana is in order [I wish!], in the company of one of the island's most celebrated sons Benny Moré!

First, a two-parter featuring Señor Moré's most revered song, segued into another Cuban standard:

...a sumptuous number set in a nightclub I wish I could have visited:

...and finally, there's this crazy little number:

That's perked me up a bit!

Bartolomé Maximiliano "Benny" Moré on Wikipedia.

Saturday 25 September 2021

A word from our sponsors

[click any pic to embiggen]

Friday 24 September 2021

That was just a lie!

Reach! For the stars...

Yesterday, regular reader Uptonking said: "I need me some disco ball fairy dust magic, dammit."

Who am I to argue?

Let's boogie our way into the weekend with this selection of fabulosity - and Thank Disco It's Friday!

Have a great one, daaaahlings!

Thursday 23 September 2021

False memory syndrome

Childhood was an idyllic, carefree time where everything was wonderful. Or was it? Here are five lies your brain tells you about it:

The sun always shone all summer long

Bollocks. Your brain can’t be arsed remembering the endless days of incessant rain, and why should it? No one wants to dwell on being bored shitless stuck in the house before they’d  invented the internet and all you had to entertain you was Connect 4.

Subbuteo was brilliant

Even in the primitive world before Playstations, Subbuteo was unrealistic rubbish. Have you ever seen a real life footballer shoot from 30 yards out and somehow end up flying into the back of the net before the ball did? Let’s face it: Subbuteo was shit.

We’d graze our knees playing and it wouldn’t bother us one bit

The truth is you bawled your eyes out every time you came off your bike and skinned your knee, just like any other child. Not least because you knew it meant your mum would scrub it with TCP that stung worse than the original injury, after first giving you a clip round the ear for being so clumsy.

Christmas was such a magical time

Christmas as a kid was about hoping and praying you’d get the new BMX you wanted so desperately, and then experiencing crushing disappointment when your parents had fobbed you off with a Care Bear. And they made you eat lunch while the Top of the Pops Christmas special was on, the vindictive bastards.

School days were the best days

If you were at school during the 70s, 80s or 90s bullying was basically part of the curriculum and if you told a member of staff about it they’d give you detention for being a tell tale. In those days the teachers could fling chalk, blackboard rubbers or even chairs at you and nobody would bat an eyelid. It was Grange Hill on steroids.

The Daily Mash

Of course.

Wednesday 22 September 2021


Tuesday 21 September 2021

Hey Sister, Go Sister, Soul Sister, Go Sister

RIP, Miss Sarah Dash, the "least scary" of the estimable ladies of LaBelle!

[More Sarah here, on the occasion of the death of her collaborator Ari Gold earlier this year]

Monday 20 September 2021

Isn't she cute, isn't she sweet? An eyeful you'd die for, a pleasure to meet

Groo. Another weekend bites the dust.

To ease our troubled minds and weary bodies back into the fray, yesterday marked the 80th anniversary of the birth of the faboo Mama Cass - and on this Tacky Music Monday (rather than play the obvious), here is the lady herself as you've probably never seen her before!

[Shame the video is such crap quality, but it is over half a century old, after all!]

All hail Cass Elliot (born Ellen Naomi Cohen, 19th September 1941 – 29th July 1974)!

Sunday 19 September 2021

Our memories, well, they can be inviting

RIP, Jane Powell

After a sultry and warm day yesterday followed by a grand night out, today has brought things down with a bump with the return of the rain and mizzle.

Hey ho, we have a welcome return to celebrate - that of the magnificent Postmodern Jukebox! Perfect "Sunday Music" on a grey day, and doing a magnificent job on one of my fave songs of the late 1990s, to boot...

Ah, that's better...

Scott Bradlee's Postmodern Jukebox official site

Saturday 18 September 2021


I'm off out tonight to a celebration of the life of a faboo lady.

Helen Pike (for it is she) was the ebullient hostess-with-the-mostest at many an event - LGBT History Month or otherwise - at our fave, the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology.

Always the first to find an excuse for a "dressing-up occasion", she and "emcee" John J. Johnston formed an enduring "double-act" that kept us coming back time and again to any event she organised.

She is indeed a huge loss to The Petrie, and to its parent body University College London. I miss her, and look forward to raising a "glass of" in her memory tonight. RIP.

Read a very lovely tribute to Helen by her colleagues at UCL.

[Click the "Petrie Museum" tag below for more about events she organised - and click here for even more in my other blog the Dolores Delargo Towers Museum of Camp.]

Friday 17 September 2021

Day-O, day-ay-ay-O!

Is this Ms Scarlet, doing "a lot of side-to-side stepping and arm movement"? We should be told!

Whoopee! The weekend is almost upon us...

We have a smattering of sunshine here at the moment, which is always cheerful (albeit for a shorter and shorter time, as the nights draw in) - but to really lift our spirits, we need a proper burst of summertime, courtesy of LOBO!

Thank Disco It's Friday!

Cheesy or what?

Have a great weekend, my leetle chums!

Thursday 16 September 2021

We have several floors in our office...

...going down the stairs is the easy part...

Wednesday 15 September 2021

Take my tears and that's not nearly all

"What we're gonna do right here is go back, way back, back into time."*

Yes, folks, another timeslip moment beckons - and off we hurtle yet again through the mists of time four decades to the year I turned eighteen...

In September 1981 - apart from the strange sensation that for the first time I did not have to go back to school - the news was full of frothing headlines about the arrival of the "Women's Peace Camp" at Greenham Common (proposed site of a US Cruise Missile base) and about the "decimalisation" of petrol and diesel (now to be sold by the litre, not the gallon). Also in the headlines: the continued rise of the Social Democratic Party (with the defection from Labour of the sitting Islington MP) and its alliance with the Liberals (which prompted the notorious speech by their leader David Steel: "go back to your constituencies and prepare for government"; it never happened, as Maggie Thatcher's Tory party remained in place for the whole decade), the salvage of gold ingots worth £40 million from the wreck of HMS Edinburgh off Norway, and the massive free concert in New York's Central Park given by Simon and Garfunkel; in the ascendant were Cecil Parkinson (who became chairman of the Conservative Party), and Belize (which gained independence from the UK); the first Boeing 767 aeroplane was "born", but we bade a sad farewell to "Young Mr Grace" from Are You Being Served? Harold Bennett. In our cinemas: An American Werewolf in London; The French Lieutenant's Woman; Escape to Victory. On telly: the debuts of Only Fools and Horses, Danger Mouse, Bullseye and Postman Pat.

And in our charts this week four decades ago? Adam and the Ant's Prince Charming had just crashed in at #2, destined to dominate our consciousness for months to come, mainly thanks to its magnificently camp video [which I realise to my surprise I have never featured on this blog before; and, even more surprisingly, there's only a lo-res version on YouTube]:

All present and correct was some fab stuff from The Human League, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, Gary Numan, UB40 and the Rolling Stones, and also - ahem - Cliff Richard, ELO and Aneka's bloody Japanese Boy.

But holding onto the top slot for a second (and final) week was one of my all-time favourite songs - and the stirring of my foray into the world of hair-dye, eyeliner, diamanté, pegged trousers and pointy shoes had begun...

40 years on, and this choon is still a mainstay of all our parties [although the dancing to it is nowadays much creakier], and every time I hear it I still do that "wrists together" action Marc did on Top of the Pops.

Time flies when you're having fun...

[* The "back, back into time" quote and clip above - as used by Johnny Walker in the intro to his Sounds of the Seventies show on BBC Radio 2 - is an extract from Troglodyte (Cave Man) by The Jimmy Castor Bunch.]

Tuesday 14 September 2021

Totty of the Season

Paul Walker (12th September 1973 – 30th November 2013)

Ben Cohen (born 14th September 1978)

Colin Firth (born 10th September 1960) as "Mr Darcy"

John Curry (9th September 1949 – 15th April 1994)

Hugh Grant (born 9th September 1960)

George Chakiris (born 16th September 1934)

Barry Sheene (11th September 1950 – 10th March 2003)

Prince Harry (born 15 September 1984)

Ryan Philippe (born 10th September 1974)


[click any photo to embiggen]

Monday 13 September 2021

I would rather be just a little shady

Gosh, our "1970s camp Disco icons" are dropping like flies this year. We've lost both Patrick Juvet and Raffaella Carra, and now comes that sad news that Maria Mendiola [the one in white in all the photos and videos], founder-member of the world-conquering Spanish duo Baccara, has died, at just 69 years old.

We at Dolores Delargo Towers are bereft again - but on a Tacky Music Monday, for a "wake-up call" as we return to the joys of work, I never need an excuse to pay due tribute to Spain's original "tacky music Queens"!

First up, of course, is their debut hit - which has sold an estimated 18 million copies so far [the best-selling Disco record according to the Guinness Book of Records, no less), and shows no sign of abating since it was adopted by (of all things) Scotland football fans as an "anthem":

Even more camp was their second hit [despite their cult status, they only ever had two hits in the UK]:

The duo produced a few more singles that were hits in Europe, and even entered the Eurovision Song Contest - before they finally called it a day in 1979 and split into two rival camps, both using the name Baccara, neither of which had much success. Let's revel in a few more from their back catalogue, opening with this eye-opener:

RIP Maria Mendiola (4th April 1952 – 11th September 2021)

Have a good week, dear reader.

Sunday 12 September 2021

Bring me my arrows of desire

It was with a palpable sense of relief last night that we welcomed the return of one of the eternal highlights of our "Social Calendar" - its final denouement, indeed - the Last Night of the Proms, in front of a (traditionally "rowdy") live audience again [and in the 150th anniversary year of Royal Albert Hall, no less]! The Madam and I, despite being on our own at home (not even a Zoom meet-up, as was the case with last year's "cut-down version"), grabbed our Union Jacks and cleared our voices for the traditional sing-along...

For once, there wasn't too much dross to sit through in the run-up to the finale, thank goodness [of course we only joined it in part 2, after the interval], as it opened with the jolly Juba Dance by Florence Price.

The duo of Tango numbers (Piazzolla's Libertango and Aníbal Troilo's Sur) featuring the rising star accordionist Ksenija Sidorova was actually rather brilliant [no footage our there yet; thanks BBC!]. The round-the-UK folk song segment, not so much.

Apart from the marvellous BBC Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Singers and the genial conductor Sakari Oramo, the real star of the show, however, was Australian "James Corden looky-likey" tenor Stuart Skelton. He had already tackled Wagner in the first half, and in the second not only sang the traditional Brigg Fair (as arranged by Percy Grainger) and the aforementioned Tango elegy Sur, but also performed a sentimental version of Peter Allen's I Still Call Australia Home - wearing a sequinned shirt in tribute to the uber-camp singer-songwriter [see here] (who was, of course, immortalised by the lovely Hugh Jackman in the musical The Boy from Oz).

That done, the "fun bit" began - starting with the customary opener, Sir Henry Wood's Fantasia on British Sea-Songs, with the audience all bobbing along to the shanties and doing the "fake dabbing-of-the-eyes" for "There's No Place Like Home" (Tom Bowling), before Mr Skelton returned to the stage, this time in full Aussie cricket gear, for the rousing Rule, Britannia!

We'd hardly put our flags down for a swig of booze, and we were off again, singing along with gusto to the "National-Anthem-in-all-but-name" Edward Elgar's Land of Hope and Glory:

After Sakari Oramo's heartfelt speech, highlighting the devastating impact the pandemic had had upon the lives and livelihoods of musicians and singers over the past year, as well as the traditional "three cheers" to the founder of the Proms Sir Henry, we headed to the finale, with that other magnificent sing-along number Hubert Parry's Jerusalem:

And, with The National Anthem and the closing Auld Lang Syne, that was it for another year...

Utterly wonderful - and a tradition that should be preserved against "the slings and arrows" of hand-wringing "wokeness", self-delusional Europhiles and the rest!

Read about this year's Last Night of the Proms in detail, song by song, courtesy of the BBC.