Monday 28 February 2022

Pop, doctored

Monday mood: Caterina Boratto in Juliet of the Spirits.

Oh dear. Monday again. Having spent much of this lovely sunny weekend in a semi-comatose "recovery mode" after The Week From Hell, I could do with another day just so I could actually enjoy it.

Never mind, eh? As we prepare for another week of bullshit, horrifying news headlines and the evil bastard rail unions disrupting everything with two strike days in the Tube - Tuesday and Thursday, just to be as obstructive as humanly possible - thank heavens for the utter craziness of 1970s Spanish TV!

On this Tacky Music Monday - here's another mindfuck, courtesy of Doctor Pop:

Have a good week, dear reader.

Sunday 27 February 2022

Totty of the Season

Jon Bon Jovi (60 years old on 2nd March 1962)

Javier Bardem (born 1st March 1969)

Pete Duel (24th February 1940 – 31st December 1971)

Antonio Sabàto Jr. (50 years old on 29th February, but it's not a leap year)

Daniel Craig (born 2nd March 1968)

Jean-Jacques "JJ" Burnel of The Stranglers, 70 on 21st February)

Peter Andre (born 27th February 1973)

Harry Belafonte (95 on 1st March)

Here's some "Sunday music" that might be appropriate for the occasion...

[Almost 100 years old, yet so bold!]

[NB click any image to embiggen]

Saturday 26 February 2022

Thought for the Day


Friday 25 February 2022

Rim? Blow? Fred?!

Thank fuck - that godawful week is almost over. The first week back in work after a holiday is always horrendous, but this one has been so busy that I almost forgot we'd been away! Just a few more hours to go...

I think we deserve a proper funky choon to get ourselves into the right frame of mind for a party - and I reckon the combination of a band with the extraordinarily kinky name of the Rimshots, with George Burns, Gracie Allen and Fred Astaire to boot, is definitely the way to go. Thank Disco It's Friday!!!

Have a faboo weekend, my leetle chums!

Thursday 24 February 2022


There are earworms so powerful that they begin playing on loop in your head simply by reading their names. Find out which:

Cotton Eye Joe by Rednex, 1995

A cash-in to the line-dancing craze then sweeping the world that killed the line-dancing craze sweeping the world, Cotton Eye Joe is a terrifying glimpse of life in the Deep South by way of Swedes doing a Eurodance makeover. You are already hearing it. Somewhere in the deepest recesses of your hypothalamus it never stopped.

Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen, 2011
The artist involved made a valiant effort not to be a one-hit wonder. But when your song has a hook this weaponised it will inevitably be all anyone knows you and hates you for. You’re humming this song already, as is someone who just walked past, and by 4pm it will have been transmitted to 40,000 people.

Baby Shark by Pinkfong, 2016
Has been watched on YouTube more than ten billion times. There are fewer than eight billion people on Earth. Do the maths; Baby Shark is more successful than humanity. Not many songs can put ‘used to psychologically torture prisoners in an Oklahoma jail!’ on the cover. This can.

The Great Escape theme by Elmer Bernstein, 1963
Whistled by office workers trapped in a nine-to-five who dreams of forming an escape committee, doing pommel horse exercises in the staff canteen while colleagues tunnel out, and dribbling soil out of their trousers as they nonchalantly walk to and from the office printer. This will now be playing all day in your mind, even tonight as you fall asleep.

Barbie Girl by Aqua, 1997
Another Scandinavian pop horror worldwide hit, fondly remembered by a generation of adolescent boys who fancied lead singer Lene Nystrom and ignored the bit where her arm falls off. The lyrics ‘kiss me here, touch me there, hanky panky’ are never forgotten once heard, and in 2048 will be the last thing that goes through your mind before you die.

The Daily Mash

Of course.

Given the current news headlines, this one is mine...

As I have said before, this song may ostensibly be an uber-camp, incredibly catchy, "nonsense song" - but Verka knew exactly what she was doing, as the lyric "Lasha Tumbai" does sound very much like she's singing "Russia Goodbye"...

Wednesday 23 February 2022

Arqid fi salam

Another day, another obscure foreign entertainer [cf. Georgie Dann; also Elza Soares and Lata Mangeshkar (both of whom died in January)], Lebanese superstar Sammy Clark has departed for the "Exotica Lounge" in Fabulon...

I first stumbled across the remarkable Mr Clark (born born Sami Hobeika) just in time for a Tacky Music Monday way back in 2010 - and he is most definitely worth revisiting (even if it is just a "Hump Day")...

ارقد في سلام

Tuesday 22 February 2022

Back to the office...'s a hi-tech business!

Monday 21 February 2022

Je vis comme si j'étais en vacances

Shit. After a fantabulosa fortnight - a week in the welcome sunshine of Spain, followed by a week just monging about to recover, topped off with "the gathering of the clans" on Saturday (the excuse being a rather late celebration of the Madam's birthday) - I am not ready for the return to the grimness of work!

Hey ho.

Our original premise of seeking out pubs with function rooms, on our "pub crawl" a few weeks ago, was to find one that would provide "our gang" with a replacement venue for our regular "film club evenings" now that our previous venue the Hoop and Grapes in Farringdon remains closed "for refurbishment". The Traitors Gate opposite the Tower of London provided everything we would want to that end and more - but rather than strictly adhering to our usual formula of studiously [ahem!] watching full-length movies, Madam Arcati decided he wanted music and general chit-chat more befitting of a birthday party. He'd already filled his phone with a playlist of suitable choons, so I grabbed a few random "music-oriented" DVDs to take along as well - and of course, Our Gallic Patron Saint Dalida was among them!

She went down very well...

On this Tacky Music Monday, as I crash and burn catching-up with all the pedestrian crud that work will inevitably bring, I can think of no better diversion than this beloved classic from the late grande dame herself!

Dalida - Monday, Tuesday

Moi je vis d'amour et de danse
Je vis comme si j'étais en vacances
Je vis comme si j'étais éternelle
Comme si les nouvelles étaient sans problèmes

Moi je vis d'amour et de rire
Je vis comme si y avait rien à dire
J'ai tout le temps d'écrire mes mémoires
D'écrire mon histoire à l'encre bleue

Laissez-moi danser, laissez-moi
Laissez-moi danser chanter en liberté tout l'été
Laissez-moi danser [Monday], laissez-moi [Tuesday]
Aller jusqu'au bout du rêve!

Which translates as:

Me I see life in love and dance
I live like I'm on vacation
I live like I'm eternal

As if the news were without problems

I live on love and laughter
I live like there's nothing to say
I have all the time to write my memoirs
To write my story in blue ink

Let me dance, let me
Let me dance, sing and be free all summer
Let me dance [Monday] let me [Tuesday]
Go to the end of my dreams

The end of my dreams, indeed.

Have a good week, dear reader. I won't.

Sunday 20 February 2022


...well, maybe...

We do indeed have snowdrops, "Tete-a-Tete" daffodils, cyclamen and these gorgeous Iris reticulata ("Blue Note" and "J.S. Dit") in flower...

click to embiggen

...but the arse-end of the dramatic "Storm Eunice (Burns?)" means that the last day of my holiday [sniff! sniff!] is blustery, wet and downright miserable.

So, just like a typical British Springtime, then...

Saturday 19 February 2022


As we get ready for this afternoon/evening's big get-together in the City, so we need a bit of a light musical interlude to ease our passage, and to indulge ourselves in the goings-on of glamorous people in exotic locations again - courtesy of the ever-wonderful Soft Tempo Lounge, of course...

Soft, indeed.

[Music: Piero Piccioni - Balboa Spell. Film: Kara Gözlüm (1970)]

Friday 18 February 2022

It's the only life I know

I know I have been off all week, and therefore this is not our usual build-up-to-a-palpable-sense-of-relief that ends a usual week - however, we do in fact have an actual party arranged for tomorrow, a gathering of the clans for a belated celebration of Madam Arcati's birthday, in the function room of a pub just across the road from the Tower of London, indeed!

It also happens to be the 70th birthday of the very lovely Randy Crawford today, so without further ado let's play one of her finest numbers - and Thank Disco It's Friday!

Have a great weekend, peeps!

Thursday 17 February 2022

Public Service Announcement

When going for a boat trip, always make sure your inflatables are to hand!

Wednesday 16 February 2022

Why did you slip through my fingers? Ooooh!

I haven't forgotten, dear reader, that it is Gay [OK, OK, LGBTQIBLTFOMOIKEABOLLOCKS+] History Month here in the UK, but a) we were away for the first week of it and haven't really caught up with anything yet; and b) there has been a piss-poor showing of any kind of event we would want to attend this year, unfortunately.

Since the untimely death of its prime mover and shaker Helen Pike, the fantabulosa Petrie Museum has nothing on to mark the occasion, and the LGBT Humanists (formerly known as GALHA), who used to host some interesting talks at the quaint Conway Hall, seem to have faded into obscurity of late. There are a few things listed in Camden and Islington, but since I stood down as chair of the council's staff LGBT forum there has been a noticable decline in "interesting" events in the locality, tbh...

Thus, it is to The Guardian we turn for a genuinely fascinating slice of gay musical history:

“I don’t think we ever had time to consider whether we were brave or subversive, we were too busy entertaining. Our audiences were by no means only gay; wherever we went, we played to people of all backgrounds. Many a time we had nuns out front – we could see their wimples quivering at all the naughty bits!”

For gay men, the summer of 1967 offered much promise. The Sexual Offences Act had just been passed, meaning that homosexuality – at least, homosexual acts in private between two consenting adult males aged over 21 – was no longer a criminal offence, and the atmosphere was filled with a palpable sense of change. People were protesting for equal rights and an end to war. Love was in the air: the Beatles told a global television audience that it was all we needed, and we believed them.

As the summer of love turned into autumn and winter, a strange little record issued by a tiny, London-based independent label appeared: the innuendo-laden Kay, Why? by the Brothers Butch, its title a riff on the leading brand of water-based lubricant. Very few copies were sold, but it has gone on to become one of the most sought-after and highly cherished examples of British camp humour.

Backed with I’m Not Going Camping This Winter and penned by one Eileen Dover – a wonderfully silly pseudonym that would befit a drag queen – Kay, Why? was not the first queer pop record, but it was one of the earliest, and most blatant, to be issued in the UK. Performed in high camp style by two outré queens, the song laments how the eponymous Kay has “made a mess” after being given “a little squeeze … why did you slip through my fingers? Ooooh!”

And here, for your delectation, it is...

I love it [and yes, it is in our music collection here at Dolores Delargo Towers, needless to say]!

Tuesday 15 February 2022

A misplaced Allen key would be the last straw

Everyone thinks they’ve found ‘the one’ until assembling a Billy bookcase leaves you hating each other. Here’s why even fiction’s most infatuated lovers would split up over flatpack furniture.

Harry and Sally
The bickering between Harry and Sally was charming when it was about movies or pie. But that’s low stakes stuff. Make it an attempt to decode an IKEA manual, with him irritably telling her she’s doing it wrong, and it’s When Sally Told Harry To Fuck Off And Got Back With Her Old Boyfriend.

Romeo and Juliet
Melodramatic hotheads are not cut out for assembling flatpack furniture. While many of us feel like committing suicide when bickering over the difference between the tiny and even tinier screws, these two might actually do it.

Lois Lane and Superman
Superman does have the advantage being able to fly away when Lois discovers the cupboard doors have been put on inside out. Or maybe reverse time to before anyone thought the nation would be gagging to assemble a ‘modular storage system’ themselves.

Heathcliff and Cathy
The flatpack pieces wouldn’t even be out of the box before Heathcliff and Cathy were running around on the moors and threatening to die from consumption. And getting a delivery to rural Yorkshire would cost a fortune, Amazon Prime membership or not. In a volatile relationship like theirs, a misplaced Allen key would be the last straw.

Jack and Rose
These two impractical idiots shouldn’t be let near flatpacks when they couldn’t even work out that the door wasn’t big enough for both of them. Their shelves wouldn’t be level and Rose would be constantly bringing it up for the next 84 years. So really it’s lucky for Jack that he froze to death.

The Daily Mash

Of course.

Monday 14 February 2022

While you were away...

We're back, dear reader, after a much-needed week in the sunshine (and it was indeed very sunny and warm on the Costa del Sol, thank heavens), to be greeted by miserable, pissing-down rain here in London. Sigh. At least I have a second week off to recover sulk...

Our apartment balcony [click to embiggen]

So what did we miss while we were away? The main news is [stifles chuckle] it snowed in the UK! Other news: that Fascist Putin's still waggling his willy at the Ukraine; HM The Queen celebrated 70 years on the throne and the Platinum Jubilee celebrations commenced; the 2022 Winter Olympics continued as usual (met mainly with apathy); Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick [an unfortunate name for a lesbian] finally resigned after a barrage of scandals in the force; some very clever people in Oxford apparently did something interesting with a nuclear reactor; and somewhere "oop North" a pig wandered into a workman's club and had to be lured out with cheese and onion crisps.

We missed three centenaries - Patrick Macnee, Denis Norden and Hattie Jacques! - as well as the 90th birthday celebrations of the film music maestro Mr John Williams, whose long career encompasses everything from Peter Gunn to Goodbye Mr Chips to The Eiger Sanction to Harry Potter and beyond. His list of movie scores is gob-smacking, including The Poseidon Adventure, Towering Inferno, Jaws, the Star Wars saga, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Superman, E.T., Home Alone, the Indiana Jones films, Saving Private Ryan, Amistad, Jurassic Park, War Horse (and much more besides) - and this beautiful number:

Also while we were away it was Sheryl Crow's 60th, and what would have been the 70th of the lovely Simon MacCorkindale - and, sadly, the UK bade a fond farewell to television boffin Bamber Gascoigne, presenter of University Challenge for 35 years.

Returning to our holiday however (we wish!) - did we bring any new musical discoveries back with us? No. As creatures of habit, we tend these days to gravitate towards a few bars we know and in which we have made friends - and just about all of them happen to be Dutch, rather than Spanish. However, sticking to the traditions of Tacky Music Monday, here's someone who definitely was - our Patron Saint of Histrionics Señorita Rocío Jurado!

With a plethora of safety gays and girls who look like drag queens [I'm sure I spotted a youthful Dame Hilda Bracket in there somewhere], bizarre costume changes, piss-poor miming and a duettist who looks like Ron Burgundy sans moustache - this is just perfect!

Is it good to be back?


Have a good week, peeps.

Saturday 5 February 2022


click to embiggen

By the time you see this, dear reader, we should be in the air heading for a well-earned week in the sunshine and fleshpots of the Costa Del Sol!

As is traditional, here's our send-off song...

Vamos a la playa, oh oh oh oh! Indeed.

See you in about a week from now!

Friday 4 February 2022


Hoo-fucking-Rah! Just one more day to go and then we fly (again at some ungodly hour of the morning) to our beloved Andalusia, for the first time in two years...

All the onerous paperwork is finally sorted - at least for the journey out; the bureaucracy for our return will need to be done towards the end of our stay, at some grotty Spanish internet café I imagine - and the Madam's done the "TARDIS trick" of getting everything we need for a week away into the new maximum-size-for-EasyJet-if-you-don't-want-to-pay-£25-to-put-things-in-an-overhead-locker cabin bags, so it's just a case of getting ourselves in gear and suitably rested before the taxi arrives in the middle of the night!

Of course, I haven't forgotten that a traditional weekend send-off awaits, dear reader - so let's wallow in something suitable, from Spain, by way of a celebration.

I have posted this one, before, of course, and on that occasion I said:

"This clip has everything - bad hair, beards and sideburns, satin shirts and medallions, flared trousers in infeasibly awful pastel tones, freaked-out dancers dressed in nylon salad-vegetable-coloured outfits. It's perfect...

Gracias Disco ¡Ya es viernes! (Thank Disco It's Friday!)

Have a good weekend (and week), folks!

Thursday 3 February 2022

Love and luxury

I think I remember this one, framed, for sale in Woolworths, circa 1972.

As the countdown continues towards our desperately-needed departure this Saturday for a week in Spain, and as it is my last day in work (office or at home) until 21st February...

...there only one song that really hits the mood - and it's one of our all-time favourite videos, ever! [And yes, I know I have posted it many, many times before - so what?!}

Amor y lujo
Cuerpos de gloria
Grandes historias
Queremos más, queremos más!

...which tranlsates as:

Love and luxury
Bodies of glory
Great stories
We want more, we want more!

Don't we just?!

Wednesday 2 February 2022

Haute cuisine

A woman has scoured her recipe books for a dish that requires a splash of red wine just so she has an excuse to drink the rest of the bottle.

Lauren Hewitt found a spaghetti bolognese that needed 50ml of red wine, knowing that it would allow her to neck the other 700ml and get pissed on a week night.

Hewitt said: “An authentic spaghetti bolognese requires red wine to intensify the flavour, so it was vital that I spent 10 minutes in Tesco picking out a bottle I really like.

“Yes, I substituted the rest of the complicated ingredients for a jar of Dolmio and a tub of cheap mince, but that’s why the wine is necessary. To elevate it. Nigella would do the same.

“And it’s nice to have a glass while I’m cooking, and then two glasses while I’m eating, and then polish the bottle off in front of the telly after. Otherwise it would just go to waste, despite the fact it’s a screw top and would actually keep for several days.

“Anyway it could be worse. I nearly decided to make penne alla vodka.”

The Daily Mash

Of course.


Tuesday 1 February 2022

Kung Hei Fat Choy!

Grrrr! It's the Chinese (Lunar) New Year - and "The Year of the Tiger" begins.

I'm sorry. I couldn't resist...

All night long, you've been looking at me
Well, you know you're the dance hall cutie that you longed to be
Oh well now, you've been laying it down
You've got your hip swinging out of bounds
And I like the way you do what you're doin' to me

Alright, that's right, that's right, that's right
That's right I really love your tiger light
That's neat, that's neat, that's neat, that's neat
I really love your tiger feet, I really love your tiger feet
Your tiger feet
Your tiger feet
Your tiger feet
Well, alright!

Well, flash your warning lights just as long as you like
I know you're aching to be making me tonight
I've got a feeling in my knees
It's a feeling only you can please
There ain't no way I'm gonna let you outta my sight

Alright, that's right, that's right, that's right
That's right I really love your tiger light
That's neat, that's neat, that's neat, that's neat
I really love your tiger feet, I really love your tiger feet
Your tiger feet
Your tiger feet
Your tiger feet
Well, alright!

I'm knackered, now.