Tuesday 31 October 2023

And the raven was called sin

The witching bitching season is upon us...

...and there are some traditions that are just too good not to repeat! This clip is my annual treat torture for my dear sister, who simply adores it:

[Laughs maniacally.]

Happy Hallowe'en, everyone!

The Return of Count Yorga

And then, there's this [which we heard for the first time on Elaine Paige's Radio 2 show on Sunday]!


Don't get your ghoulies in a twist, dear reader...

Monday 30 October 2023

Perché non ti succhi un bel pollo?

Monday again, and there's even more horror than usual. Not only have the clocks gone back, so the feeling of creeping darkness is upon us, but Hallowe'en is tomorrow...

On this Tacky Music Monday, let's have something appropriate - and most bizarre - to brighten things up!

Have a good week, dear reader.

Sunday 29 October 2023

Lord knows, at least I was there, and I'm here!

It's one of the UK's greatest jazz singers - and "national treasure" - Dame Cleo Laine's birthday today!

All hail - she is still here!

Many happy returns, Dame Cleo Laine, Lady Dankworth DBE (born Clementine Dinah Campbell, 28th October 1927)

Saturday 28 October 2023

Crackin' up

We're off later this afternoon for a get-together in one of our fave pubs, the Penderel's Oak in Holborn, to celebrate our friend John-John's birthday (which is actually on Monday).

It's also Hallowe'en weekend (that's on Tuesday) so we fully expect to see a load of people dressed up as witches, bitches, vampires and the like as the evening progresses!

John-John being Abba's "Number One Fan", I thought it appropriate to feature something from the Swedish supergroup's back catalogue by way of a celebration...

...and it's definitively their spookiest number:

I hear the door-bell ring and suddenly the panic takes me
The sound so ominously tearing through the silence
I cannot move, I'm standing
Numb and frozen
Among the things I love so dearly
The books, the paintings and the furniture
Help me...

The signal's sounding once again and someone tries the doorknob
None of my friends would be so stupidly impatient
And they don't dare to come here
Any more now
But how I loved our secret meetings
We talked and talked in quiet voices

Now I hear them moving
Muffled noises coming through the door
I feel I'm
Crackin' up
Voices growing louder, irritation building
And I'm close to fainting
Crackin' up
They must know by now I'm in here trembling
In a terror ever growing
Crackin' up
My whole world is falling, going crazy
There is no escaping now, I'm
Crackin' up

These walls have witnessed all the anguish of humiliation
And seen the hope of freedom glow in shining faces
And now they've come to take me
Come to break me
And yet it isn't unexpected
I have been waiting for these visitors
Help me...

Now I hear them moving
Muffled noises coming through the door
I feel I'm
Crackin' up
Voices growing louder, irritation building
And I'm close to fainting
Crackin' up
They must know by now I'm in here trembling
In a terror ever growing
Crackin' up
My whole world is falling, going crazy
There is no escaping now, I'm
Crackin' up

Crackin' up? Moi? Not bloody likely - but who knows, after another all-day drinking sesh?

Friday 27 October 2023

The future, it's still tomorrow - are we living too fast?

Madam Arcati and I always like to celebrate a weekend by dressing casual...

You know you're getting old when...

...you discover that the uber-cool doyen of all things 80s Mr Simon Le Bon is 65 years old today!

All the more excuse for a party, methinks [and we're actually having one tomorrow (after a fashion; it's just drinks in a Wetherspoons) , to mark our friend John-John's birthday].

What better way than this, one the Durannies' more funky numbers, to kick things off? Thank Disco It's Friday!

Have a good one, dear reader!

Thursday 26 October 2023

Maiming power

Fireworks are once again being snapped up by the sorts of people least suited to using them.

Teenagers, morons and adults planning to set them off while incredibly drunk are all going to their local firework-selling establishment and stocking up.

Jack Browne, 18, said: “Isn’t it mad that you can go to a dodgy shop and legally buy a fuckload of explosives? And by ‘mad’ I mean ‘brilliant’.

“You wouldn’t let a twat like me buy a lump of Semtex over the counter, but in the right circumstances these have got just as much maiming power. It’s not even Bonfire Night and I’ve got more gunpowder than a box of shotgun shells under my arm. While smoking a fag.

“Every autumn people moan there should only be official displays and yet the law never changes. Long may it last. Well, at least as long as I’m interested in letting rockets off down quiet residential streets and scaring the shit out of old people and animals.”

Oliver O’Connor, 39, said: “My mates love my annual fireworks party. They look forward to getting hammered in my kitchen before stumbling outside to watch me ham-fistedly set off 30 fireworks from a four-metre-square back yard.

“Is it dangerous? Yeah, I've almost blown my face off by returning to a misfiring Catherine Wheel. But it’s a great British tradition and that trumps everything else. If someone loses an eye it’s like Nelson.”

The Daily Mash

Of course.

Wednesday 25 October 2023

Who's the black private dick that's a sex machine to all the chicks?

Long before I knew I was gay - in fact long before the onset of puberty - a certain man in a certain film gave me "the tingles".

That man was Richard Roundtree, and that film was Shaft [oh, that shower scene!].

And so it was with great sadness that I heard the news of Mr Roundtree's death today. Another piece of my formative youth has gone...

...but at least we still have one of the very best of all movie theme tunes to remember him by!

RIP, Richard Arnold Roundtree (9th July 1942 - 24th October 2023)

Tuesday 24 October 2023

Euterpean mood

Tuesday ennui?

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

First up, the return of a Welsh electrodance fave - with a sublimely camp video that's most appropriate for this spooky time of year:

Forty-two years down the line since the girls released their first single, Keren and Sara are back again - with a corker!

OMG! It's OMD!

Speaking of "welcome returns", it's been a long while since we've heard anything from the Aussie combo with the best dressing-up box in the world...

Even the Guardian could hardly believe that a world-class diva of the calibre of Miss Chaka Khan would ever agree to pair up with a vaguely-successful indie rock band from Crouch End (just down the road from Dolores Delargo Towers) - but the result is rather good:!

And finally...

...the team-up we never realised we so desperately wanted! One of our all-time favourite divinely decadent bands, together with Ukraine's home-grown gay icon [see more here]? Oh, YES!!

[Thanks, John-John! Let's hope the official video is released soon...]

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

Monday 23 October 2023

Fluck, it's Monday again!

Another weekend flies by - a very jolly one, with not one, but two extended pub crawls! - and here we are again, immersed in the "joys" of work.

Thank heavens for the fact it's Miss Diana Dors' birthday. She always cheers us up!

On this Tacky Music Monday, she's in her element, vamping it up against a piano in the old East End of London:

How we miss her.

Diana Dors (born Diana Mary Fluck, 23rd October 1931 – 4th May 1984).

Have a good week, dear reader.

Sunday 22 October 2023

It's art, that is

Thus endeth the lesson for today...

[click any pic to embiggen]

Saturday 21 October 2023

A Word from our Sponsors

[click any pic to embiggen]

Friday 20 October 2023

Run away!

A familiar wave of relief envelops us, as the weekend hoves into view.

OK, the weather is utter shit, and the ever-decreasing autumnal daylight doesn't exactly lend itself to feeling in the mood for a party. But party we should - and who better to lead the festivities than Miss Linda Clifford?

But what the fuck is going on with those freaky dancers behind her..?!

Thank Disco It's Friday!

Have a good one, dear reader!

Thursday 19 October 2023

Everybody's talking when they see me walking

You know you're getting old when...

...you find out that trash-tastic "friend-of-the-gays" Sinitta is sixty years old! Gulp.

Very much in her mother Miquel Brown's genre [and even that of her auntie Amii Stewart] of high-camp, Hi-NRG stompers, she launched onto the scene in the mid-80s with a string of club hits including Feels Like the First Time, So Macho and Cruising, before getting drawn (inevitably) into the "Hit Factory" of Stock Aitken Waterman. Of course, they gave her her most memorable hit...

I can smell the poppers as I play this one!

Toy boy, toy boy!

Everybody's talking when they see me walking
With this little boy of mine

He's my plaything and I love him
I dress him up looking fine
He ain't got money
People think it's funny
He gives me everything I need

He's my playboy and my love toy
And I want everyone to know
He's my toy boy toy boy
I'm out with my toy boy toy boy

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday night

When I want a lover
Don't need any other
I know he'll come running to me

He's my gigolo and my Romeo
And I want everyone to know
He's my toy boy toy boy
I'm out with my toy boy toy boy

Speaking of toy boys, I still can't believe the bitch shagged Brad Pitt...

Many happy returns, Miss Sinitta Renay Malone (born 19th October 1963)!

Wednesday 18 October 2023

Fatuous garments

What do you get if you cross a sheep and a kangaroo? A misbegotten monstrosity begging to die, and that’s what you’ll look like in this season’s woolly jumpers!

Lighting up your local pop-up bar like Noel Edmonds on the Multi-Coloured Swap Shop? In a sweater so toxically patterned it’s registered as a weapon of psychological warfare? Bearing geometries as mismatched and clashing as Saudi Arabia and Yemen? You’re causing offence at 40 paces!

Cable-knit, from a Scottish isle so remote its own crofters haven’t heard of it yet, sickeningly beige, warmer than a London flat, this look has everything but style. Only the irrepressibly angular can snuggle into this and still have a silhouette, so if you’re not all corners leave it the hell alone!

What’s this on your knit? Not staid patterns, as one would expect, but a mark of cool? The Wu-Tang Clan, Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour, the Twin Towers aflame? Son, the dissonance between the granny-friendly manufacture of your jumper and its contemporary message has just blown six minds.

Is it a tank top? Is it a sweater vest? Depends on which side of the mid-Atlantic ridge you come down on, but either way you’re wearing one of the most fatuous garments around. Warm body? Cold arms? What possible benefit is there to this? It’s so wildly impractical it’s the height of fashion, especially in drab olive and utility brown!

Only M&S dads wear fresh-off-the-rack. You need your jumper to look comfortable, thrown-on, lived-in, fucked. Either spend a hard day running through hedges until you’ve got those crucial snags or buy Primark and it’ll be unravelling before you leave the tills. Follow the thread and you’re all the way back there!

Your fashion icon? Michael Douglas in a LA club in the early 90s being shut out of restroom stalls by hot blonde bisexuals. Your corresponding choice of knit? The classic green V-neck worn with nothing underneath. Those who know? They’ll know.

The Daily Mash

Of course.

Tuesday 17 October 2023

Why do you think the net was born?

Our internet provider BT has been playing silly buggers again for the last couple of days. As my dear old Nana would say: "Up and down, like a whore's drawers!"

While there is a brief respite... this!

The internet is for porn.
The internet is for porn.
Grab your dick and double click
For porn! Porn! Porn!
The internet is for,
Internet is for,
Internet is for porn!

Just not at the moment...

Monday 16 October 2023

What made you think that I was one of those girls?

Monday again. So soon?

The last gasps of summery weather disappeared with a vengeance this weekend, as the "Spanish Plume" gave way to vicious northerly winds. Last night it went down to 0C/32F!

Another departure for (the cheesier outer echelons of) Fabulon reaches our ears - that of Suzanne Somers. Completely unknown over here (being most famous for appearing in the US remake of our own wildly popular 70s sitcom Man About The House), nevertheless she made quite a career out of playing to the "ditzy blonde" stereotype [a sort of bargain-basement Goldie Hawn in Laugh-in] - and on this Tacky Music Monday, here she is doing her best "Miss Adelaide":

Have a good week, dear reader. Keep warm.

Sunday 15 October 2023

Another icon turns 60

From The Guardian:

When Ringo Starr popped into a shop in Birkenhead in 1963, little did he know that his visit would help change the future of what was to become a celebrated British brand.

The Beatles’ drummer had stopped off to buy a lava lamp, the brightly coloured interior piece that has hypnotised millions over the years with its slow-moving exchange of liquid and warmed wax inside a glass cylinder. After the Birkenhead shop announced its celebrity visit, sales of the lamp rocketed.

Then came lava lamp appearances on episodes of Doctor Who in the Patrick Troughton era and in the 1965 film Dr Who and the Daleks starring Peter Cushing. It also featured in the 1960s/70s TV hit The Prisoner, and soon its role as a cultural mainstay was established.

Now the brand is turning 60, and, against all the challenges of a changing audience, economic downturns, the rise of online shopping and Brexit, sales are still going strong.

To celebrate, Mathmos, the company behind the lamp, is launching a series of new designs throughout this month in collaboration with artists and designers and well-known names including the pop group Duran Duran and the celebrity photographer Rankin...

...“The lava lamp is such a simple idea but that is quite magical,”says Rankin. “And when you’re a photographer, the idea of light being magical is such an exciting thing. Just to be a small part of something that is ingrained in the fabric of British society and culture feels quite special.”

By way of a celebration - a song dedicated to those psychedelic bubbles...

When I watch my lava lamp
I don’t want to feel a fucking thing


Remarkably, lava lamps play an important part in the encryption of the internet!

Saturday 14 October 2023

Of boffins and toadlickers

It's Mr Thomas Dolby's 65th birthday today (gulp!).

Most famous for his "clever" pop ditties in the electronic 1980s, he went on to write music for ringtones (including the famous Nokia one) and video games and became a renowned expert in the digital world, pioneering the development of VR (virtual reality).

Remarkably, this, his most famous choon was a flop over here in the UK - but its success across the pond thanks to MTV had the unexpected effect of making telly's eccentric boffin Dr Magnus Pyke into a global "superstar"!

In the midst of all his high-minded scientific stuff, however, out of the blue back in 2011, Mr Dolby came back with a real oddity. As I said at the time: "I don't usually like anything that resembles Country'n'Western (except Dolly Parton, in very small doses) but how can you resist a song called Here Come The Toadlickers with a video featuring drug-addict puppets having sex? I can't..."

Many happy returns, Thomas Dolby (born Thomas Morgan Robertson, 14th October 1958)

Friday 13 October 2023

Baby, the place is rockin'

Attention all paraskevidekatriaphobics - it's Friday 13th!

Not that that matters one iota, as any weekend is very welcome, superstitions or no superstitions...

We need to party!

Although the news that Rudolph Isley has shimmied off to Fabulon (leaving only one Isley remaining) is sad, the brothers' musical legacy is joyful.

It is time, dear reader, for us to squeeze ourselves into some very stretchy clothing indeed, glue our wiglets on tight, and get practising those party moves. For we have competition in the dance stakes!

The lovely line dancers on Soul Train have been busting a gut rehearsing for their one moment in the spotlight, and it would be curmudgeonly not to join in...

Thank Disco It's Friday the Thirteenth!

Have a good one!

Avoid black cats. And ladders. Don't break any mirrors.

Thursday 12 October 2023

You better work

Hoorah! Following the unceremonious (forced) closure of one of my favourite YouTube sites run by Soft Tempo Lounge last month, the geniuses behind the scenes have been working hard to revive this wonderland of kitsch and lounge music with a brand new site! I am so relieved to find that, bit-by-bit, many of the videos that I have regularly featured on this very blog are being resurrected (so I can repair all the blanks that appear where the videos should have been over years of posts).

To that end, let's delve into the secret world of the 60s supermodel film shoot, shall we..?


[Music: Piero Umiliani - L'ultimo Wisky; Original film: La donna nel mondo (1963)]

Wednesday 11 October 2023

Pewter dragon statues, seaglass jewellery and laser-etched driftwood

Wandered into a curious little shop only to realise it sells nothing worth buying, you’re alone and the proprietor is staring at you? Here’s how to politely free yourself:

Never speak to the owner
Even a courteous hello to the owner of a tat emporium locks you into a sympathy purchase. Blank them at every turn. Never meet their eye; even a glance will convey how desperate they are and how badly their business is failing. Next you’re leaving with their surplus stock of pewter dragon statues and seaglass jewellery.

Never touch anything
Proper shops operate a ‘you break it, you bought it’ policy. Tiny shops selling nothing anyone could ever want demand that you buy whatever you picked up to inspect out of morbid curiosity. And now you’re going home with a little glass jar with layers of coloured sand in it that cost £17.

Act like you’re lost
After the tinkling entrance bell fades to oppressive silence and rows of dusty knick-knacks, loudly declare ‘this isn’t the pub I imagined it to be’ and walk out, backwards, staring straight ahead. Would the owner believe you thought a gift shop was a pub? Well, he believed selling crap was a viable business, so why not?

Claim you’ve left your wallet at home
You wish you could buy a dreamcatcher and a gigantic retro box of matches, you really do, but you’ve only gone and left your wallet in your car and your car in your garage and your garage in another city. What terrible luck. ‘Maybe another day,’ you say, ignorant that the proprietor will cling to those words and long await your promised return.

Pretend to die
If you’re unlucky enough to have been cornered while browsing shelves of laser-etched driftwood, fake a cardiac arrest. Lie motionless while waiting for the ambulance even if it takes four hours. The paramedics won’t be mad. They’ve been there, they’ll understand.

The Daily Mash

Of course.

Tuesday 10 October 2023

A man in the dark in a picture frame

You know you're getting old when...

...you find out that Midge Ure is seventy-five years of age!

Former member of Slik, The Rich Kids and Thin Lizzy, Mr Ure was airlifted into becoming the frontman for Ultravox in 1979 (after their founder and vocalist John Foxx left to go solo) by keyboardist Billy Currie (with whom he had worked as part of Visage with Steve Strange and Rusty Egan). Arriving just at the right time for the rise of the "New Romantics" - a style movement they themselves had partially instigated with Visage - this brand-new incarnation of the band became an instant hit, dominating the charts alongside the likes of Spandau Ballet, Depeche Mode, Soft Cell and Human League.

In 1981 alone, Midge (it's a nickname, from reversing "Jim"; the shortened form of his name) and the boys had a string of reasonably successful chart hits, including Sleepwalk, Passing Strangers, All Stood Still and, of course, this one - notorious as "the nation's favourite Number 1-that-never-was", thanks to the awful novelty song Shaddup You Face by Joe Dolce - it is a classic song that (together with its video, which was largely filmed about as far from its eponymous location as possible, in Covent Garden in the heart of London) just about summed up that brave new musical world...

We walked in the cold air
Freezing breath on a window pane
Lying and waiting
A man in the dark in a picture frame
So mystic and soulful
A voice reaching out in a piercing cry
It stays with you until

The feeling has gone, only you and I
It means nothing to me
This means nothing to me
Ah, Vienna

The music is weaving
Haunting notes, pizzicato strings
The rhythm is calling
Alone in the night as the daylight brings
A cool, empty silence
The warmth of your hand and a cold grey sky
It fades to the distance

The image has gone, only you and I
It means nothing to me
This means nothing to me
Ah, Vienna

This means nothing to me
This means nothing to me
Ah, Vienna

Mystic and soulful, indeed.

Many happy returns, James "Midge" Ure OBE (born 10th October 1953)


Mr Ure shares his landmark birthday with a huge raft of assorted "names", including the centenaries of both Nicholas Parsons and Murray Walker, the 210th anniversary of the birth of Giuseppe Verdi, the 120th of composer and songwriter Vernon Duke, and the birthdays of Winston Churchill, Harold Pinter, Charles Dance, Kirsty MacColl, Helen Hayes, Willard White, Lilly Daché, David Lee Roth, Crystal Waters, Ed Wood, Martin Kemp, Sarah Lancashire, Dan Stevens, Chris Tarrant, Judith Chalmers, Matthew Pinsent, Amanda Burton, Thelonious Monk, Gabriella Cilmi and wrestler Giant Haystacks. Phew.

Monday 9 October 2023

¡Ay, caramba!

Yep. We were just getting used to the unexpected hazy warmth of another "Spanish Plume" (not quite another "Indian Summer" as there was too much low cloud, but close enough - it did hit 25C/77F, which isn't bad for London in October!), when bam! It's back to work time again. Sigh.

To bring us some cheer [fuck knows we could do with some, given the grimness of the world right now] on this Tacky Music Monday, how about the utterly bizarre spectacle of a Dutch huisvrouw-turned-singer, for some imperceptible reason singing a song all about Mexico, complete with cheesy dancers? [Love the old grannies in the audience!]

That'll do nicely (of course)...

Have a good week, dear reader.

Sunday 8 October 2023

Choices, choices




...or diving?

You choose.

Saturday 7 October 2023

So I’m sitting at a bar in Guadalajara...

I just heard this on the radio, and was reminded of the genius of the lovely Miss Kirsty McColl - whose birthday it would have been next week - so just had to feature it again...

I once met a man with a sense of adventure
He was dressed to thrill wherever he went
He said “Let’s make love on a mountain top
Under the stars on a big hard rock”

I said “In these shoes?
I don’t think so”
I said “Honey, let’s do it here.

“So I’m sitting at a bar in Guadalajara
In walks a guy with a faraway look in his eyes
He said “I’ve got a powerful horse outside
Climb on the back, I’ll take you for a ride
I know a little place, we can get there for the break of day.”

I said “In these shoes?
No way, Jose”
I said “Honey, let’s stay right here.”

No le gusta caminar. No puede montar a caballo
(She doesn’t like to walk, she can’t ride a horse)
Como se puede bailar? Es un escandolo
(But the way she dances, it’s a scandal)

Then I met an Englishman
“Oh” he said
“Won’t you walk up and down my spine,
It makes me feel strangely alive.”

I said “In these shoes?
I doubt you’d survive.”
I said “Honey, let’s do it.
Let’s stay right here.”

Love. It!

Friday 6 October 2023

I don't care what you do to them

Again, we breathe a sigh of relief that the weekend is looming - and once more, the Met Office has tantalisingly forecast it's going to warm up again...

In anticipation - it's party time! So let's retrieve a variety of gaily decorated hats out of the dressing-up box, funk along with the S.O.S. Band - and Thank Disco It's Friday!

Friends tell me I am crazy
That I'm wasting time with you
You'll never be mine
That's not the way I see it
'Cause I feel you're already mine
Whenever you're with me

People always talk about reputation
I don't care 'bout your other girls
Just be good to me
Friends are always tellin' me you're a user
I don't care what you do to them
Just be good to me

Life is a game of chances
So I'll take my chance with you
And you I won't try to change
We, talk about it and I'd
Rather have a piece of you
Than to have all or nothing

But just be good to me, in the morning
Just be good to me, in the afternoon or evening
Just be good to me

I'm not the jealous type
I won't tie you down when you need me
I'll be around
I'll be good to you, you'll be good to me
We will be together, be together

Have a disco-tastic weekend, dear reader!

Thursday 5 October 2023

Making my entrance again with my usual flair

We have a centenary to celebrate today, dear reader, and for a change it's someone who is still with us - the lovely Miss Glynis Johns!

A High School contemporary of Dame Angela Lansbury, she had a well-received stage career throughout the 1930s before launching a big-screen career in notable roles including the mermaid Miranda and as the Suffragette mother of the "Banks" children in Mary Poppins.

From the aforementioned mermaid movie, here she is in a clip notable for the rather camp ditty Mad About Men:

It was the stage to which her heart was truly drawn however, and so it was that none other than the saintly Stephen Sondheim wrote this song specifically for her, and the rest is history:

Why is this woman not a Dame?

Glynis Margaret Payne Johns (born 5th October 1923).

All hail!!