Thursday 28 March 2024

Voyage, voyage

I awoke today to what feels like an apocalypse, dear reader - torrential sleety rain, with gale force winds expected later! Such a perfect day for travelling to Essex to go plant-shopping with Baby Steve and Houseboy Alex...

At least I'll have my Brassiere Voyage to keep me comfortable on the coach!

Here's a jolly little something to leave you with:

"Normal" service should resume on Sunday or Monday. Be good...

Wednesday 27 March 2024

Beaux rêves

[click to embiggen]

It's been a mixed ol' bag of weather today - warmish this morning, then the heavens opened and we had sleet and rain, and now it's chilly and blustery. I still managed to get two new clematis and a jasmine potted-on, mind you!

Time for a little lounge musical interlude, methinks. It's been a while since we popped in on the exploits of stylish people in exotic locations - so it's off to Paris we go, courtesy of those fine folks at Soft Tempo Lounge!

Ah, that's better...

Tuesday 26 March 2024

I don't think you are born an icon

Miss Ross. The Boss. The most glittering of stars is 80 years old today!

"With the Supremes I made so much money so fast all I wanted to do was buy clothes and pretty things. Now I'm comfortable with money and it's comfortable with me."

"I don't think getting in and out of a limousine has anything to do with being an icon."

"Icon. What is an icon? When someone is iconic it means they have established a certain kind of legacy possibly, and I think it does come with time. I'm not really sure. But I don't think you are born an icon."

"It takes a long time to get to be a diva. I mean, you gotta work at it."

"In the end, you really just need to believe in yourself."

She certainly does that!

By way of a tribute, let's start with two fine examples of the great lady hitting the dressing-up box as only she can [Bob Mackie, I know you're hiding in there somewhere!]:

Next up, Miss Ross in full "Disco Diva" mode:

Her biggest-selling hit of all, and arguably the point at which she became a global megastar:

And, finally, the campest of the lot! [Yes, I know I have played it more than once before, but I never tire of it!]

Many happy returns, Diane (Diana) Ernestine Earle Ross (born 26th March 1944)

Monday 25 March 2024

Life in the undergrowth

It's been a while since I was last able to dispense with the "great groan" that usually marks the start of a new week, but since I am on leave until after Easter - HA!

On this Tacky Music Monday, I have another genuine mindfuck for your delectation, dear reader. Spring is here! Apparently...

They're Hungarian. That's all I know.

Have a good week, folks.

Sunday 24 March 2024

In the right measure

Narcissus "Thalia" positively glows in the Spring light.

All the gloomy, rainy weather that was forecast for today came to naught, and heavens! Did we take advantage of the sunshine...

I spent a few happy hours doing the usual Spring ritual of "moving on" plants from small pots to bigger ones, splitting some out from troughs they were sharing with others into their own pots, pruning back old growth, pinching-out, and generally having a bit of a potter. Madam A, meanwhile, tackled the job of getting the over-wintering begonias out of their hibernation into trays and pots ready to bring them on indoors for a few weeks.

The whole garden's growing before our eyes! Lovely...

It's the 70th birthday today of a man who played a major part in the 1970s Punk and "post-Punk" scenes, Mr Nick Lowe. Already a producer - he produced the Damned's first single, often cited as the first Punk song to hit the UK charts, New Rose - he became a mainstay of the legendary Stiff Records; his hits included I Love The Sound of Breaking Glass and Crackin' Up, he wrote Milk and Alcohol for Doctor Feelgod and (What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding for Elvis Costello [the very best ever version of which I posted here over the Festering Season], and when he married Country singer Carlene Carter, some of his songs were recorded by her dad Johnny Cash!

His biggest international hit, however - the video for which features "snippets from" his marriage to Carlene - is this one. So good to hear this again...

Fuck. That song is 45 years old this year!

Many happy returns, Nicholas Drain Lowe (born 24th March 1949).

Saturday 23 March 2024

Send him the Crowns

There is very little I can say about one of our greatest Patron Saints and icons, the genius that was Mr Stephen Sondheim - who would have been 94 years old yesterday - than I have already written. One only has to check out the week of tributes I did after his death in 2021 to know that:

Since then, we have added the Old Friends gala and Pacific Overtures to the list of Sondheim shows we've seen.

Safe to say, we are arch-Sondheimites, who "worship at his altar"...

Of course, by the spookiest of coincidences, Mr Sondheim shared the day with another (lesser) god of the theatre - Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber (76)!

On this day of (belated) celebrations, what better than an old, old fave? - that classic tongue-in-cheek duet between the two great men, from the 1998 tribute revue for impresario Cameron Mackintosh, Hey Mr Producer:

I never tire of it!

Stephen Joshua Sondheim (22nd March 1930 - 26th November 2021)

Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, Baron Lloyd-Webber (born 22nd March 1948)

Friday 22 March 2024


It will be with a great sigh of relief when, at 4pm, I shut the damned laptop for another ten days, until after Easter!

I'm planning to visit the Boys in Braintree next week for my annual trawl of the garden centres of Essex, and there's loads of pottering to be done in the garden, so I am really looking forward to it.

In the meantime, there's a party to plan - and who better to lift our spirits and get us moving than a lady who turned 60 last Monday, with this much-loved anthem?!

Thank Disco It's Friday!!

Everybody's free to feel good
Everybody's free to feel good
Everybody's free

Brother and sister
Together we'll make it through
Some day a spirit will take you and guide you there
I know you've been hurting but
I've been waiting to be there for you
And I'll be there just helping you out
Whenever I can

Ohh Ohh
Everybody's free to feel good
Everybody's free to feel good

We are a family that should stand together as one
Helping each other instead of just wasting time
Now is the moment to reach out to someone
It's all up to you
When everyone's sharing their hope
Then love will win through

Everybody's free to feel good
Everybody's free to feel good

An absolute classic - I would be dancing like it's 1991, but my knees would creak.

Rozalla Miller (born 18th March 1964)

Thursday 21 March 2024

The Saltburn effect

A rash of 20-year-old tracks, such as Murder on the Dancefloor and Natasha Bedingfield’s Unwritten, are in the charts again. But which should remain firmly in the early 2000s?

Out of Your Mind by True Steppers and Dane Bowers feat. Victoria Beckham, 2001
UK garage seemed an unlikely musical segue for Victoria’s first solo single and it now seems incredibly dated, and not in a cool, ironic way. It was pretty popular at the time, but sadly not quite popular enough to reach number one, getting pipped at the post by Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s Groovejet (If This Ain’t Love), which had the unfair advantage of being in some way memorable.

Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol, 2006
This miserable, meandering ballad was utterly ubiquitous in 2006 and made you want to top yourself, which isn’t a great combination. The noughties were knee-deep in limp indie bands stuffed full of sad-eyed boys with straggly hair and ripped jeans, which seem to have largely been consigned to history, thank fuck.

My Humps by Black Eyed Peas, 2005
The awfulness of My Humps has penetrated so far into our culture that, rather than it making a comeback, you could ask if it ever went away. However, what it’s certainly not going to be doing is soundtracking the climactic final scene in a sexy murder film about the English aristocracy, however alluring Fergie claims her ‘lovely lady lumps’ are.

I Wish I Was a Punk Rocker (With Flowers in my Hair) by Sandi Thom, 2006
From the 30-second long a cappella intro to the asinine lyrics that conflated punks with hippies, who hated each other, and harked back to times when ‘computers were still scary and we didn’t know anything’, this song is terrible. Thom lamented that she was ‘born too late into a world that doesn’t care’, and, unfortunately for her, it still doesn’t.

Axel F by Crazy Frog, 2005
Crazy Frog was an animated character originally marketed by a Swedish ringtone manufacturer, and was originally known as ‘The Annoying Thing’, which is fucking spot on. This cover of the Beverly Hills Cop theme tune is so deeply, horribly irritating that even Gen Z’s rabid enthusiasm for everything Y2K cannot resurrect it.

Ooh Stick You, Daphne and Celeste, 2000
Bratty Americans Daphne and Celeste were everywhere in the year 2000, welcoming in a brand new millennium with lyrics like ‘In your ear with a can of beer, up your butt with a coconut’. They were so hated that a performance at Reading Festival saw them showered with hundreds of bottles of piss, so the UK is probably safe from a comeback from these two.

The Daily Mash

Of course.

I am more than happy, dear reader, to upload any or all of these videos to this post, if I get any requests to do so...😁

Wednesday 20 March 2024

I'm irresistible, you fool

Sharing a birthday, as she does, with a whole host of randomly-assorted notables such as much-missed "national treasure" Dame Vera Lynn, the simply faboo Ultra Naté, the Roman poet Ovid, William Hurt, Henrik Ibsen, Holly Hunter, Sir Michael Redgrave, Hal Linden, Lee "Scratch" Perry, Theresa Russell, Paul Junger Witt, Carl Reiner, Spike Lee, David Thewlis and Sister Rosetta Tharpe...

... the sublime Miss Natacha Atlas is 60 years old today!!

A longtime favourite singer here at Dolores Delargo Towers - we have three of her albums in our vast collection, including the marvellous Ayeshteni as pictured above - Miss Atlas was born in Brussels to a British mother and Egyptian father, and hers was a bit of an esoteric "hippy" upbringing by all accounts (despite being brought up in less-than-exotic Northampton in the East Midlands). It was almost inevitable that she would end up in the entertainment industry, taking up belly-dancing and eventually becoming the core singer of the arthouse fusion music group Transglobal Underground - whose blend of techno and house with less familiar Asian, Arabic and African rhythms hit the zeitgeist of the late 90s amid a rise in popularity of "World Music".

She is probably most familiar to a wider audience for her collaboration with David Arnold on his Shaken and Stirred James Bond theme covers project, to which she contributed this:

Here's another couplet of familiar tunes of hers [I have featured both here before, bien sûr]:

This one is a perfect example of the "fusion music" style of Transgobal Underground (who produced it for Natacha's solo debut album Diaspora):

A fitting one for today, the Spring Equinox [it's all uphill from here, folks, as the days officially become longer than the nights!]:

And to finish, a bit of high camp...

Makes me want to whop me tablah out and get shimmying... Lord knows, I've got the belly for it!

Many happy returns, Natacha Atlas (born 20th March 1964)

Tuesday 19 March 2024

You've done it all, you've broken every code

The music world lost another great talent on the weekend - Mr Steve Harley, the peacock-strutting founder and lead singer of Cockney Rebel.

Many, many panegyrics are out there dedicated to this faboo man, so I will simply just pay my own little tribute with some classics from his musical repertoire, starting with the band's breakthrough hit...

The latter song - one of the most-played songs in British broadcasting history - has been covered hundreds of times since its success in 1975, including by Duran Duran, The Wedding Present, Suzi Quatro, Robbie Williams with Tom Jones, and this lot!

RIP, Steve Harley (born Stephen Malcolm Ronald Nice, 27th February 1951 – 17th March 2024)

Monday 18 March 2024

Dead cat dance

Oh, yes. Monday again!

Thankfully the weather this weekend wasn't a complete washout (for once). I managed to get a few jobs done out in the garden on Saturday - in some quite warm sunshine on occasions! - and had a good chill-out yesterday.

Unfortunately work rears its ugly head once more - but at least I am happier than usual, as there's just these five days to go and I am off again until after Easter!

On this Tacky Music Monday, have another mindfuck, dear reader, courtesy of an old Italian TV spectacular:

Apparently it's a song about a dead cat. Bugger only knows why...

Have a good week, peeps.

Sunday 17 March 2024

Sláinte Agus Táinte!

Do you have any Irish in you?

Would you like some..?

[clockwise from top left: Jamie Dornan*, Cillian Murphy, Colin Farrell, Aidan Turner]

Happy Paddy's Day, dear reader!

By way of a celebration, here are two proud Irish boys, showing off their quite remarkable - ahem - talents...

And here, something a bit tackier...

Myth-busting facts about Paddy's Day "traditions":

  • Porter or stout is a drink invented in London around the 1720s (possibly earlier); Arthur Guinness only started marketing his brand of the drink in Dublin in 1778.
  • Saint Patrick was Welsh.
  • There was no real link between the 5th century missionary activities of St Patrick and the Shamrock until a botanist wrote about it in 1726.
  • Scotland as whole has a higher percentage of ginger people than Ireland.
  • Many believe that the Paddy's Day celebrations in March were in fact invented as a way to lift the usual fasting restrictions of Lent and provide an excuse for a day's drinking.
  • St Patrick's Day parades began in North America in the 18th century but did not spread to Ireland until the 20th century.

I raise a glass of "the amber nectar" - clink, clink!

[*Yes, I know Jamie Dornan was born in Northern Ireland, so is British, could I resist?]

Saturday 16 March 2024

Friday 15 March 2024

Too. Much. Lycra!

Yeah, Baby, Yeah!

TFFT. Another frustrating and stressful working week staggers slowly to its conclusion - and we need to get the celebrations off to a flying start!

Well, maybe not quite as frenetically as this...

Thank Disco It's Friday!

Have a great one, dear reader!


Beware the Ides of March...

Thursday 14 March 2024

Wet totty, music, mud and old boozers

Gratuitous totty shot? As if. Happy 30th birthday today to Ansel Elgort [whose name actually sounds like an anagram]!

Another "snippets" post today, dear reader...

  • Good news: One of our favourite shows on radio Friday Night is Music Night - the world's longest-running live orchestral music radio programme - [which was unceremoniously moved to Sundays, and then surreptitiously killed-off last November by the gnomes at BBC Radio 2] will be revived by Auntie Beeb's classical station Radio 3 this April! I cannot wait...
  • Dancing in a muddy field news: Dua Lipa (yawn), Coldplay (even bigger yawn!) and SZA (nope, not a clue; sounds like an energy drink) have been announced as headliners at this year's Glastonbury Festival. Even the news that Shania Twain will be taking the closing top-of-the bill "Legends" slot, or the fact that Cyndi Lauper's there as well (for the first time), would ever tempt me to go - even if the tickets hadn't sold-out completely within half an hour of being put on sale last Autumn!
  • More muck news: The UK is apparently in the middle of National Compost Week, which is literally a load of old crap. Recycled by worms, of course.
  • More good news: Our "house band" here at Dolores Delargo Towers, Scott Bradlee's Postmodern Jukebox are back in the UK this May, and - thanks to a Ticketmaster voucher card from Baby Steve and Houseboy Alex for my 60th last year - Madam Arcati and I have booked to go and see them live at the prestigious London Palladium!
  • And, finally: Maverick Soho members' club The Groucho [named after the Groucho Marx quote: “I don’t want to belong to any club that will accept me as a member”], second home of the likes of Terry Pratchett, Francis Bacon, Jeffrey Bernard, Jarvis Cocker, Anthony Bourdain, Lily Allen, Melvyn Bragg, Blur’s Alex James, Rachel Weisz, Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin, Robbie Coltrane, Nick Grimshaw, Stephen Fry, Julie Burchill and even Harry Styles - which we were honoured to visit way back in 2009 - has opened its very first "out-of-town" outpost near Wakefield in Yorkshire!

And the weather? More Spring-like than it has been in ages...

Wednesday 13 March 2024

By the power of the adjustable spanner!

An emergency plumber with an exorbitant call-out fee and a string of desperate clients is feeling more powerful than Zeus, he has confirmed.

Due to offering a round-the-clock service, Bill McKay can toy with the fates of normal humans like a supreme deity looking down from Mount Olympus while holding an adjustable spanner.

McKay said: “Got a burst pipe and need urgent help? Water pouring through the ceiling at 2am? Call me, feeble underlings, and I will decide whether to bestow my mercy upon you.

“If I’m honest, being richer than Croesus simply because I know how to tighten the hose on a washing machine gets a little dull. To keep things interesting I have considered asking a man with a blocked toilet to fight a family with a flooded basement for who gets my services first.

“However, my missus says that would be even more morally dubious than tripling my hourly rate for a client just because I arrived at their place a second after 5pm on a Friday, when I should be down the pub.

“But it’s hard not to feel contempt for the pitiful idiots who could sort most of this shit out themselves if they learned what a stopcock is. So until they do I will continue to rule as an almighty king, while charging £320 an hour, plus VAT.”

The Daily Mash

Of course.

I know who I'd call...

Tuesday 12 March 2024

Paradisum ex Chelsea

Cadogan Hall in swanky Sloane Square, Chelsea is a fascinating oddity. Originally built in 1907 as a Christian Scientist church, it was designed in the radical "Byzantine Revival" fashion by architect Robert Fellowes Chisholm - and its singular style was obviously an influence on later Art Deco building designs.

Christian Science [fiction, double feature?] having declined dramatically in the later 20th century the church's congregation dwindled, and it closed in 1996. Enter, stage left, mega-rich, mega-loony Mohammed Al-Fayed (then-owner of Harrods and father of Princess Diana's last lover Dodi) who bought it and wanted to turn it into a luxury private mansion(!). Thankfully the council turned the plans down - this is a Grade II listed building, after all - with the unfortunate result that the building ended up in serious danger of dilapidation.

Thank heavens for the British nobility! The Earls of Cadogan have owned most of the prime lands in the area - basically everything from just above the Royal Hospital Chelsea (home of the famous Flower Show) to the King's Road, to just south of Harvey Nicks, sweetie - since 1753, and it was their estates management company that bought the building in 2000 and transformed it into the magnificent concert venue it is today.

And so it was, for the first time since the very last weekend before London went into lockdown because of COVID way back in 2020, that Madam Arcati and I ventured through its illustrious portals on Saturday evening, for a performance by Wimbledon Choral of the lovely Requiem by Gabriel Fauré.

And here, for your delectation, dear reader, is a beautiful version of it...

It's about time this den of depravity got some class! [With a capital "K", of course.]

Monday 11 March 2024

Speaking of "Tacky"... the Oscars last night, this happened...

...and this!!


Um samba como esse tão lega

Wakey, wakey! It's Monday again...

After a weekend that saw Madam A and I in Cadogan Hall for a performance of Fauré's Requiem, followed by a day of basically monging-around - because the fine weather on Saturday turned to utterly dismal rain yesterday - it's all over again, and off we go to the hurly-burly of another working week...


Thank heavens, on this Tacky Music Monday, for our long-time house faves here at Dolores Delargo Towers, the Kessler Twins!! [...and their safety gays, of course...]

Have a good week, dear reader.

Sunday 10 March 2024

La Mamma

It's Mothers' Day - [Mothering Sunday, the original British version] - so you'd better be good to her, or else!

In one of my convoluted connections, as is my wont, I was scanning the "recent departures board" for anyone notable and found an intriguing one that deserved investigation.

Abdou Cherif [for it is he], who has departed for the "Exotica Lounge" in Fabulon, was one of Tunisia's most renowned and admired singers, whose remarkable vocal style blended the Western "crooner" genre with traditional North African music.

And on this cover of an old Charles Aznavour number, he provides a most appropriate choon for today:

In case you needed a little more "Sunday Music", here's another from Monsieur Cherif:

Adieu, en effet.

Saturday 9 March 2024

When stars collide

Mere words cannot describe how many queens across the globe wet their knickers when THIS happened...

Oh, wow... I'm in awe.

Friday 8 March 2024

I've got it, I've got it, yeah

After one of the most gruelling weeks of my life [first week back after the holiday], to get us in the mood there is only one song to play on International Women's Day, really...

I'm every woman, it's all in me
Anything you want done, baby
I'll do it naturally
I'm every woman, it's all in me
I can read your thoughts right now
Every one from A to Z

I can cast a spell
With secrets you can't tell
Mix a special brew
Put fire inside of you
But anytime you feel
Danger or fear
Instantly I will appear, 'cause

I'm every woman, it's all in me
Anything you want done, baby
I'll do it naturally
I'm every woman, it's all in me
I can read your thoughts right now
Every one from A to Z

I can sense your needs
Like rain on to the seeds
I can make a rhyme
Of confusion in your mind
And when it comes down
To some good old fashioned love
That's what I've got plenty of, 'cause

I'm every woman, it's all in me
Anything you want done, baby
I'll do it naturally
I'm every woman, it's all in me
I can read your thoughts right now
Every one from A to Z

I ain't braggin' 'cause I'm the one
You just ask me ooh and it shall be done
And don't bother to compare
'Cause I've got it
I've got it, I've got it, yeah


Thank Disco It's Friday!

Have a good one, dear reader!

Thursday 7 March 2024

It's World Book Day...

...and we maintain an extensive library of classics here at Dolores Delargo Towers...

Happy Reading!

More at Gay On The Range

Wednesday 6 March 2024

Spring! Spring! Spring!

An area of idyllic urban parkland has bloomed with spring’s first latex sign of illicit outdoor sex, it has emerged.

Resident Carolyn Ryan was walking her dogs when she spotted the used Durex Thin Feel condom knotted to the branch where it had blossomed overnight.

She said: “In the country you’d look for the first bluebells or bumblebees of the year to announce the arrival of spring. But here in a city park, the first sign is when doggers deem it warm enough for a furtive quickie against an oak tree.

“These migratory shaggers spend winter humping in public toilets and parked cars before emerging as the weather improves to make glorious al fresco love within sight of sheltered housing.

“You country folk think it’s obscene to have small bags of semen scattered around the park but it’s just part of nature’s cycle. Besides, flowers are a plant’s genitals and you’re fine with them waving their erect stamens about.

“Though the effect of climate change is concerning. The first outdoor fucks of the year used to only take place at the end of the month, but now it’s clement enough to expose your thrusting buttocks to the air at the very beginning of March.

“By 2035 this could be a year-round hook-up spot. I’d hate to see condoms force out the park’s other wonderful flora, like Special Brew cans and disposable vapes.”

The Daily Mash

Of course.

Tuesday 5 March 2024

All me friends call me Fanny!

Happy 50th birthday today to Mr Matt Lucas, one of Britain's favourite funnymen.

A perfect excuse (if any were needed) to feature a compilaatiuon of "best bits" featuring what is probably his most memorable character...