Wednesday 30 November 2022

The Songbird has flown

And so, another legend has departed for Fabulon...

...the uber-talented Miss Christine McVie!

Not merely the keyboardist, but the arranger, and, for many years - through thick and thin - the "glue" that held that messiest-of-messy bands Fleetwood Mac together (despite walking out on them on more than one occasion "for a quieter life") - and the songwriter (and often vocalist) of some of their most enduring numbers. These are merely three of hers:

RIP, Christine McVie (born Christine Anne Perfect, 12th July 1943 – 30th November 2022)

Oh, Mandy!

Sharing the day with another random assemblage of ill-assorted "names", including Winston Churchill, Billy Idol, Woody Allen, Mark Twain, Virginia Mayo, Jonathan Swift, David Mamet, Lorraine Kelly, Frank Ifield, Robert Guillaume, Gary Lineker, Ridley Scott, Ben Stiller, Des'ree, Stacey Q and Efrem Zimbalist Jr., one of our favourite "Sondheimites" Mr Mandy Patinkin blows out seventy candles on his cake today!

Probably more well-known for his acting these days, he made his Broadway debut as Che Guevara in Evita way back in 1979, and followed that by portraying the original "George" in Sondheim's innovative musical about Seurat, before rocketing to the big time in Yentl opposite MegaBabs.

His is one of the most sublime voices in the business - so let's bring the great man to the stage, shall we?

A joy.


Happy St Andrew's Day, ye sassenachs!

Tuesday 29 November 2022

Public Service Announcement

[click to embiggen]

You were warned!

Monday 28 November 2022

The faster I can leave, the faster l'll be celebratin'

Monday again

After a fab weekend - Black Panther: Wakanda Forever followed by drinkies with chums on Friday, managing to get all the houseplants cleaned up and indoors and plant up the last of the tulips and daffs for Spring before the rain set in on Saturday, and a visit to the garden centre yesterday (braving the murk and mizzle) to get some violas and primulas to decorate said pots through the winter months - it's time for grim reality to set in.


Never mind, eh? As long as we have our late, great Patron Saint of Head-Flicks Raffaella and her safety gays to cheer us up on a Tacky Music Monday, there's always a light at the end of the tunnel!

Have a good week, dear reader.

Sunday 27 November 2022

Eh, by gum!

"Hotpot, Ken?"

Today is officially Lancashire Day! [Yes, it is a "thing".]

Should you ever find yourself in The Red Rose County, here are some phrases you may find useful:

  • Ey up cocker: Meaning "hello mate".
  • Barm/Teacake: A bread roll.
  • Cakehole: Mouth.
  • Cracking Flags: Really hot weather.
  • Ginnel: A small alleyway between two (usually terraced) houses.
  • Harping on: Doesn't stop talking about something, to the point of annoyance.
  • Jiggered: Tired.
  • Manchester caviar: Mushy peas.
  • Owt: Anything.
  • Scran: Food.
  • Sweatin' cobs: To sweat excessively.
  • Chuffed: A way of describing how pleased you are.
  • Mither/mithering: Pester or irritate someone.
  • Ta-rah!: Bye!

...and here's a lady who was the master of 'em all!


Saturday 26 November 2022

Baby, remember my name

"I'm gonna live forever!"

So much for that...

RIP, Miss Irene Cara (born Irene Cara Escalera, 18th March 1959 - 25th November 2022)

Friday 25 November 2022

Got to have a belief in

Woo-hoo! The weekend is almost here, it's pay day, Nectar is offering 30x points on eBay purchases for one hour this lunchtime (I have the timer set), and John-John and I are off to the cinema this evening to see Wakanda Forever.

I think we should start the party early, dear reader, with a song that was in our charts this week 45 years ago [gulp!]...

As I said when I featured it back in 2011:

Time enough to drag out the most inappropriate "showgirl" costumes, sequins and spangles to bop along to Boney M, with possibly the most bizarre song about a city that was at the time anything but sparkling, Belfast.
Thank Disco It's Friday!

Have a great weekend, peeps!

Thursday 24 November 2022

It's over so let it go...

On this date sixty years ago, the legendary satirical TV show That Was the Week That Was first hit our screens.

From Nostalgia Central:

It was deliberately made by the Current Affairs department and not by Light Entertainment, in case the latter played it too safe. Producer Ned Sherrin intended that it should “discuss anything that people might talk about on a Saturday night”.

They certainly talked about TW3, as it rapidly drew an audience of 10 million, way above the expected figure.

The show was fronted by the hitherto unknown David Frost, a minister's son, with resident accomplices William Rushton (famed for his impersonation of Prime Minister Harold Macmillan), Bernard Levin (famed for his acidic interview style), Lance Percival, Roy Kinnear, Kenneth Cope, John Bird, John Wells, Eleanor Bron, Al Mancini, David Kernan and Roy Hudd [and Millicent Martin!]...

...Much of the show was written by journalists rather than by scriptwriters, and among regular contributors were Dennis Potter and Kenneth Tynan.

The show covered such previously taboo comic subjects as racism, royalty and religion. Politicians of the day were also fiercely lampooned.

The series provoked an enormous public outcry, but those who made the programme would have been disappointed if it hadn’t!

Let's have a few clips, by way of a celebration of this landmark programme for the BBC:

Love it.

Happy birthday, TW3!

More That Was the Week That Was at the marvellous Shapers of the 80s site

Wednesday 23 November 2022

Permanently pissed and making up nonsense

The Supreme Court has today decided that Scotland is not a real place and is just imaginary.

The case has settled the question of whether England is obliged to continue behaving as if there is a whole country to the north of it, and heard from both sides of this long-running argument.

Court reporter Helen Archer said: “Witnesses included Nicola Sturgeon, who claims Scotland is a whole country and she is its Queen.

“But when she was asked how a whole country can have a population equivalent to the Home Counties, she claimed it was mostly empty and full of lochs and glens and Cairngorms, which is clearly nonsense.

“Visitors to Scotland admitted they’d never actually seen anything but mist, the Scottish king James VI turned out to be England’s James I, and the so-called Scottish Premiership only has two teams in it.

“For balance, we heard from Scots – speaking English, mind – claiming their country invented television, steam and Grand Theft Auto, but under cross-examination they admitted the whole population was permanently pissed and making up nonsense.

“The verdict’s finally in. Scotland is nothing but a hoax invented by Northerners to scare their children, and can be disregarded without consequence. As it already was.”

The Daily Mash

Of course.

[The "real" story]

Tuesday 22 November 2022

By ocean's margin this innocent virgin

She was always fingering her organ. A sort of Medieval Cherry Wainer, really...

Like a black swan as death came on
Poured forth her song in perfect calm:
And by ocean's margin this innocent virgin
Constructed an organ to enlarge her prayer,
And notes tremendous from her great engine
Thundered out on the Roman air.

- "Saint Cecilia", W.H. Auden

Today is Saint Cecilia's Day - the Patron Saint of Music.

What better way to celebrate than with a song that was written (by Paul Simon) in her honour..?

...oh, and some moist twinks to sing it for her!


Monday 21 November 2022

Start spreading the news


Cold, wet, miserable, and my wi-fi router's still rebooting every two minutes so I braved the elements and came to the office...

Nothing cheers me up as much as the discovery of a new "diva", however, so let's jolly ourselves up a bit on this Tacky Music Monday with one of Spain's - ahem - finest - in a triple-bill of tackiness!

...and here she is channelling Miss Googie Gomez!

Have a good week, dear reader. Keep warm.

Sunday 20 November 2022

Indeed I Do!

Unaccustomed as I am, dear reader, to feature artists like Bruce Springsteen on this here blog [not normally "our kind of music" at all], an article in The Guardian yesterday piqued some interest...

...for @adecadeago, I published this:

RIP Frank Wilson, soul music producer, who died on Friday. Who? You may ask...

Mr Wilson would have been admired for his sterling work in the music industry - but little else - had it not been for the fact he recorded one of the rarest popular music tracks of all time.

The story of how the man's recording of his own song for Motown back in the 60s eventually led this obscure and deleted pressing to be the most expensive 7" single ever is indeed a fascinating one.

Read the story on Soul Source.

Largely revived from obscurity by the fanatics of the Northern Soul scene in the UK in the 1970s, a copy of Frank Wilson's under-rated original sold in 2009 for more than £25,000!

Here is that very song, Do I Love You? (Indeed I Do):

[2022 update: new video featurung the legendary Northern Soul venue Wigan Casino]

Oh, and by the way - Frank Wilson also wrote this rather more familiar classic:

Now, ten years down the line, there are rumours that Mr Wilson's rare record may well have recently changed hands for £100,000...

...and to top it all - "The Boss" has revived this Northern Soul classic for his new single, bringing it a whole new audience in the USA, where it originated yet remains completely unknown:

Frank Wilson would have been so proud.

His original remains the far superior version, of course.

Saturday 19 November 2022

My first rule of thumb: I don't say where I'm going. Or where I'm coming from.

[click to embiggen]

It's not just my mother's birthday today - she's in London for the celebrations, to blow out 87 candles! - but also that of Tommy Dorsey, Ofra Haza, King Charles I, Isabella Blow, Calvin Klein, Indira Gandhi, Raymond Blanc, Gene Tierney, Larry King, Meg Ryan, Douglas Henshall, Ted Turner, and... just know you're getting old when you find out...

...that Miss Jodie Foster is sixty years old today!

She might be famous for Taxi Driver, for The Silence of the Lambs, The Accused, Nell, Panic Room and all that, but in my opinion, this is her shining moment:

Many happy returns, Alicia Christian "Jodie" Foster (born 19th November 1962)

Friday 18 November 2022

Driving me insane

After a grim and gruelling week, it's always good to see a bit of sunshine as we slide towards the weekend...

My sister and I have a visit from The Mother for her birthday tomorrow (sister's hosting this time - yay!), so that is something to look forward to - but first, let's have a party! The video for this long-forgotten slice of fabulosity has a bit of everything - chess, dad-dancing and some lovely totty, to boot.

Thanks Disco Techno It's Friday!

Get off him, you bitch, he's mine!

Have a great weekend, peeps.

Thursday 17 November 2022

Thought for the Day

All contributions gratefully received.

Wednesday 16 November 2022

Oh you can colour my world with happiness all the way

Happy belated birthday to another of our Patron Saints, Miss Petula Clark - who blew out 90 candles on her cake yesterday!

We saw her [for the second time - we went to see her one-woman show nine years ago] "on stage" earlier this year in the gala Sondheim's Old Friends: a celebration, and she certainly did not look anywhere near such a venerable age. She sang a beautiful rendition of I'm Still Here; most appropriate, given the fact that she is one of the UK's longest-serving singers, with a career spanning an amazing eight decades from WWII to date [she's still singing Feed the Birds in Mary Poppins on stage in the West End eight times a week!]..

Never one to stick to a musical genre, she's tackled French chanson, Music Hall, rhythm'n'blues, musical theatre [her "Norma Desmond" in Sunset Boulevard and "Mrs. Johnstone" in Blood Brothers were much-lauded], and of course pop - but in 2013 she surprised everyone with this very cool number:

Of course, it is for her string of classics from the 1960s that everyone loves her most - so let's have a wallow, shall we?

...and, bien sûr, this:

Many happy returns, Our Pet!

Petula Sally Olwen Clark, CBE (born 15th November 1932)

Tuesday 15 November 2022

Yeah but no but yeah but no but

The English language is rich, varied and blessed with 4,000 passive-aggressive synonyms for the word ‘no’. These are just a few:

Both noun and an adverb and means ‘no’ either way. Commonly employed by parents, for example: ‘maybe we could get you a drum kit in a couple of years, if you’re good, maybe.’ Also used by partners while considering the latest sexual innovation you’d like to try.

Less a word, more a murmer of indifference which directly translates as ‘not fucking likely’. Often said by someone scrunching up their face in revulsion during situations where a flat ‘no’ is socially unacceptable. You’ll recognise it from first dates.

‘I’ll think about it’
They’ve already thought about it and the answer is no, but they’re too polite, cowardly or professional to say so. Bosses use this when you ask for a pay rise so you’ll forget it and move on. It’s been four years and you haven’t forgotten, not that you deserve one.

‘Could do’
The ‘no’ of choice for indecisive girlfriends. That nice Chinese place round the corner? Could do. Or the Indian joint by Waitrose? Could do. Domino’s? Could do. When you find yourself trapped in this cycle, ask them if they’d like to continue the relationship. You’ll get the same response.

‘Yeah no’
A brutal, whiplash-inducing piece of linguistic chicanery. The positive only there to affirm the negative, to offer hope before crushing it, to leave you in no doubt as to the speaker’s blanket dismissal.

‘I’d love to’
The most remorseless, humiliating ‘no’ of them all, detected only in retrospect by eager men whose texts go unanswered. Will secretly hope it means ‘yes’ until their dying days.

The Daily Mash

Of course.

Monday 14 November 2022

I'm steppin' out, my dear, to breathe an atmosphere that simply reeks with class

That's one way to wake oneself up on a Monday morning...

Bleurrrgh. Another busy yet rewarding weekend is over, and here we are again [even earlier than usual as I am interviewing this morning; gawd bless Inhuman Resources for arranging that on a Monday].

Let's jolt ourselves out of the slough of despond on this Tacky Music Monday, shall we - courtesy of our ever-reliable Patron Saint Cher (and her faboo friends)?!

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

Sunday 13 November 2022

Of rot and the Riviera

I spent hours today in an attempt to get the slimy rotting-leaves-and-sycamore-keys mulch off our plants, pots and paving slabs - and still only managed to get about half a job done before a) I started to get tired and b) it started to get dark.

A bit of an indulgence is in order, methinks. So let's jet off (I wish) to exotic locations in the company of impossibly glamorous people - and Dean Martin! - courtesy of the faboo Soft Tempo Lounge...

Oh, that's better.

[Music: Orchestra Heinz Kiessling - Falena. Original film: Murderers' Row (1966)]

Saturday 12 November 2022

Public Service Announcement

You were warned..!


How about an appropriate "old favourite"..?

I think "eye" or indeed any other "contact" would be more welcomed here.

Friday 11 November 2022

I've got what you've been lookin' for

Whee! A Go-Go!

Relief is at hand, dear reader, as we edge ever closer to our treasured weekend...

...let's get ourselves into a party mood, shall we? All we need is a Powerhouse - and to Thank Disco It's Friday!

Have a grand weekend, folks!

Thursday 10 November 2022

Quiet nights of quiet stars

RIP, the Queen of Tropicália, Gal Costa...

Here's just a mere pitada of the lady's fabulous talent - as she revists a classc from her roots in bossa nova:


Wednesday 9 November 2022

A Word from our Sponsors

[click any pic to embiggen]

Tuesday 8 November 2022

Ding, Dong

Another day, another "national treasure" departs for Fabulon...

Leslie Phillips (for it is he), despite being born and brought up in Tottenham [98 years ago!] to a working-class family (his dad worked in a factory), became renowned as the archetypal suave "posh toff" in myriad comedy and light entertainment shows, from his early days in The Navy Lark on BBC radio in the 1950s, to his voiceover work for children's programmes and even Harry Potter, to stealing the show even from "Nan" in the Catherine Tate Show.

In fact he never seemed to be out of work - he was in three Carry On films and three "Doctor" films, he played a variety of naval officers, Reverends, civil servants, Majors, and assorted "authority figures" over a span of eight decades; most, if not all [notably his fab portrayal of the seedy crooked businessman Jimmy Blake in Chancer], of whom were saucy womanisers fond of a tipple. The premise was taken to its ultimate degree in the 70s series Casanova, which was basically an excuse for him to flirt with a succession of scantily-clad "dolly-birds". His timeless catchphrases - albeit modelled on the legendary Terry-Thomas - such as "Ding Dong" and "Oh. I Sayyy...", delivered with that salacious inflection, have become the stuff of legend...

As my Nan would have said: "He had a good innings." He will, however, be sadly missed. One of the last survivors of a classic era, the like of which we'll never see again...

RIP, Leslie Samuel Phillips CBE (20th April 1924 – 7th November 2022)

Monday 7 November 2022

Cantare, oh, oh, oh

Yes. Sigh. It's Monday again.

The horrid wet weather over the weekend that prevented me from doing much in the garden ironically broke yesterday just about the same time as the sun was going down, and we had clear skies all night. Bastard luck.

Now we're back to the usual routine - alarm goes off far too early, and reality sets in...

Never mind, eh? On this Tacky Music Monday, let's cheer ourselves up with the - ahem - sublime talents of a lady who quite possibly may have been the long-time mistress of the Spanish king, and a rather frenetic routine for this hour of the morning:

Have a good week, dear reader.

Sunday 6 November 2022

Purple Sunday

It's bizarre. Here we are in November, Bonfire Night's over, and with this grotty weather it hasn't really got light at all this weekend, yet in the extensive gardens here at Dolores Delargo Towers, not only are the "usual suspects" - autumn flowers like salvias and fuchsias - still giving a fabulous show (and they are still covered in bees!), other flowers such as the "Black-Eyed Susan vine" (Thunbergia) have only just started flowering, and the Cobaea scandens [above - click to embiggen] in "the top field" at the end of the garden has gone completely, utterly mad! Too many flowers to count, in a five-foot-by-five-foot curtain hanging from the washing-line! Shame one needs a brolly and galoshes to traverse the jungle and the dead-leaf-slime carpet to actually see them...

Changing the subject completely, a somewhat obscure name appeared in the obituaries yesterday. Miss Nicole Josy has departed for Fabulon (or at least one of its tackier ante-rooms).

Who? I hear you cry.

Well, as one half of the duo who were the Belgian entry for the Eurovision Song Contest back in 1973, she created one of the most - ahem - memorable impressions in the history of that eternal kitsch-fest. As I said when when I featured it for Tacky Music Monday back in January 2017:

It has purple bell-bottoms and matching platform boots. It has backing singers in proto-Golden Girls fright wigs. It's completely incomprehensible. It's Baby, Baby by Nicole & Hugo!

Once seen, it can never be "unseen".

Saturday 5 November 2022

I'm the bitch you hated, filth infatuated

Ally Pally's display*

Pity the poor bastards who've arranged a fireworks party or are off to a public display for Guy Fawkes/Bonfire Night tonight. As forecast, it's been pissing down all day, and there's no sign of it stopping!

Shame, as it would have been quite jolly to see this year's effigy at the famous/notorious Edenbridge bonfire go up:

[lcick to embiggen]

Regardless, here's a number that seems to be becoming a bit of a "go-to" on this night every year...

...but with a twist!

Enjoy your night of banging and flashing, dear reader!

[* Alexandra Palace (Ally Pally) is just down the road from us, but we can't even see their fireworks from our garden.]

Friday 4 November 2022

Funky Flowerpot Man

With a perfect twist of irony, as both I and The Madam are in work today, there's a beautiful clear blue sky out there. Tomorrow and Sunday, it's forecast that the pissing-down rain will return. Dammit!

Never mind, eh? It is the end of the week, and for that (rain or no rain) we should be glad. Let's grab a sequinned flowerpot-hat, squeeze ourselves into a wide-collar nylon jumpsuit and crank up the funky horns, just like Rokotto [whooo?] - and Thank Disco It's Friday!

To cheer us all up - that song was in the lower echelons of the UK charts this week forty-five years ago! Gulp.

Have a great weekend, dear reader!

Thursday 3 November 2022

Come rain or come shine

The weather here is turning to shit lately - torrential rain, followed by sun, followed by gales; totally annoying.

Time, methinks, to wallow in the glamorous lives of gorgeous people [in this case, mainly Monica Vitti] in exotic places [erm... London's West End?] again, courtesy of the wondrous Soft Tempo Lounge!

Sigh. That's better.

[Music: Antonio Pedro Hatch (aka Tony Hatch) - Birds]

Wednesday 2 November 2022

A good game of backgammon is just as much fun as pulling

One minute you’re popping pills, the next you’re visiting National Trust sites and discussing potty training. Here are the warning signs that your social circle has become dangerously middle-aged.

You bond over country walks instead of class A drugs
Do your friends contact you before a big get-together and remind you to bring a few grams? Or do they remind you to bring an anorak and a decent pair of walking boots? If the closest thing to a drug you consume now is a slab of moreish Kendal mint cake, you’ll never swap dreary anecdotes about a ‘bad E’ again.

Your holidays always factor in art galleries and museums
Time was, you and your mates would pick holiday destinations based purely on their proximity to clubs and bars. But in recent years you’ve been overcome by the feeling you should look at a Picasso or a bit of medieval crockery. It’s nothing to worry about. It just means your youth is over and you’ve begun your slow march to the grave.

The vast majority of your conversations are about property prices
Young people talk about TikTok, Stranger Things, and anal sex. Whereas old people prefer to chat about tedious shit like house prices and mortgages. You don’t mean to get sucked into a long, boring-as-fuck conversation off Location, Location, Location, but somehow it always happens.

Nightclubs are now too loud and busy
Once you reach a certain age, nightclubs suddenly become confusing and frightening places. Don’t fight it. A nightclub is simply not a suitable environment for bald patches, cardigans and mid-life ennui. Instead go somewhere more age-appropriate, like a quiet pub that lets you play board games. A good game of backgammon is just as much fun as pulling, you blatantly lie to yourself.

You all call it a night before 10pm
You can still remember the days when you and your mates would stay out until the sun came up. But now you’ve all got work and other soul-destroying responsibilities. Also you’re tired. Really fucking tired. Still, if all your mates are knackered zombies with no interesting conversation you’ve always got people to hang out with.
The Daily Mash

Of course.

Tuesday 1 November 2022

Dish(es) of the Day?

Feeling hungry?

You soon won't be...

Yum, yum.

[click any pic to embiggen]