Tuesday 28 May 2024

The Empress of Soul

Aaaaaaaarrrggh! Back to reality.

After a really busy few weeks (Eurovision and a ten-day excursion to Spain), I am not ready for this...

Hey ho. Sharing a birthday (as she does) with a variety of "names" such as our very own Princess Kylie Minogue, Dame Thora Hird, Ian Fleming, Faith Brown (also 80!), John Fogerty, William Pitt the Younger, Carey Mulligan, Clough Williams-Ellis, Mary Portas, Maeve Binchy, Wendy O. Williams, György Ligeti and - ahem - Rudy Giuliani, a lady we have seen live in concert, the truly faboo Gladys Knight blows out 80 candles on her cake today!

Only the great lady's soothing dulcets can save us now...

...and my favourite:

I've said it before and I'll say it again - all my life, all I wanted was to be a "Pip"!

Many happy returns, Gladys Maria Knight (born 28th May 1944)!

Monday 27 May 2024

While you were away...

Wow. What an adventure...

We've returned [and are still in recovery mode] from a fantabulosa TEN DAYS in sunny Spain, taking in all the sights, tastes and sensory delights - starting in the beautiful Andalusian capital Seville, then to the historic fortified port city of Cadiz, and on to "the home of sherry", Jerez de la Frontera, before travelling cross-country to Malaga and the Costa del Sol for a week of hedonism:

We feel very proud of our achievement - we had booked lovely apartments in each location, meandered our way around cities we had never explored without problem, found some atmospheric little bars and some utterly faboo restaurants, took in some magnificent architecture, and even the dystopian nightmare that is public transport in Spain [there are so few inter-city trains that everything needs to be pre-booked in advance (which we didn't know) so we ended up travelling from Seville to Cadiz by coach, and had to catch a train at 7.30am in order to get from Jerez to Malaga] didn't mar the experience!

But what did we miss while we were away?

Apart from the ghastly ongoing wars in Ukraine and Gaza, the biggest news was that PM Rishi Sunak has called a general election in the UK for 4th July. Cue endless weasel words and false promises from all sides. Sigh. We were in Cadiz for their local launch of the International Day Against Homophobia [plus, plus, plus - they keep adding bits to it every year], so I missed the opportunity to post our traditional message for bigots, opressors and tyrants everywhere: "Fuck You!" Opportunely, one of those very tyrants the President of Iran was killed in a helicopter crash last week. Boo hoo.

We also missed the RHS Chelsea Flower Show! That's a whole week of TV viewing on catch-up to look forward to...

Birthdays we missed included the centenaries of The Boy Friend creator Sandy Wilson, one of our fave singer-songwriters Charles Aznavour and the BBC's longest-serving DJ Desmond Carrington, Patti LaBelle's 80th, (Diana's brother) Earl Spencer's 60th, and...

...ultimate sex god Tom Daley's 30th birthday! Gulp. And I would. All of it...

[Full video here]

There were a raft of departures, too, including 9 to 5 actor Dabney Coleman, early 1960s crooner, yodeller and heartthrob Frank Ifield [who I didn't even know was still alive], sexy '70s Olympic champion swimmer David Wilkie and prolific Disney songs composer Richard Sherman. RIP, all.

But did I bring anything back for your delectation, dear reader, I hear you ask..?

Of course! [And it's still a Tacky Music Monday, even if it's another Bank Holiday here - this just can't be any tackier if it tried!]

My song. How sweet.

Is it good to be back?



RIP, Jan de Kapper, longtime host of one of our "go-to" bars in Benalmadena over the years, The Buddha Bar.

Wednesday 15 May 2024

¡Vamos todos a gozar!

By the time you see this, dear reader, we'll be winging our way to sultry Seville; first stop on our little excursion around the Andalusian province...

Here's a little variation on our usual theme of Vamos a la Playa to keep you entertained:

"Normal" service will be resumed sometime after our return on 25th...

Tuesday 14 May 2024

¡Queremos más!

We're on countdown, dear reader. For tomorrow, at the crack'o'doom we'll be off to the (hopefully) sunny delights of Andalusia once again!

There will probably be a whole raft of birthdays we'll miss while we are away, but there's an artist very dear to our hearts who has a special one coming up - Spain's finest, Señorita Mónica Naranjo, our Patron Saint of power-vocals, who will be 50 years old on 23rd May.

By way of a tribute, here's an overlooked slice of brilliance - her cover of vast improvement on a song originally recorded by none other than Kim Wilde...

Next up, a battle-of-the-divas on a gay anthem. Señorita Naranjo wins!

Remarkably, our girl even tackled one of the grandest of operatic arias:

But, to finish, I had to play one of our eternal "house favourites" - it got another airing at our Eurovision after-party on Saturday, ¡por cierto! [And no, I don't give a damn that this might be the zillionth time I've posted it...]

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!


Many happy return, Mónica Naranjo (born 23rd May 1974)!

Monday 13 May 2024

We wuz robbed! #765 in an ongoing series...

Another fantabulosa time was had by all on Saturday, as the clans gathered from all over and descended on Dolores Delargo Towers for our Grand Eurovision party!

As usual, everyone pulled out all the stops on their costumes [everyone gets nominated a country for dressing-up/flag-waving, one for food and a third for booze]!

Of course, once the televisual feast began in earnest, all mayhem broke loose as usual - as we scored each of the twenty-five participating countries. Much shouting, jeering and cheering - especially for plucky little Olly!

There was some really weird stuff on offer - none more so than Ireland's Bambie Thug [a personal fave]!

There was also the usual profusion of gimmicky sets, unusual instruments, pyrotechnics, strobes, smoke machines, outlandish costumes and gyrating semi-naked male dancers (hurrah!). It wouldn't be Eurovision if you weren't completely boggled by it all...

Having tallied up all the booze-stained scoresheets, our gang's Top Five were as follows:

1. United Kingdom: Olly Alexander - Dizzy [...and we thought boxing was a butch sport?!]

2. Finland: Windows95man - No Rules! [or should that be "no pants"?]

3. Spain: Nebulossa - ZORRA [let's hear it for the boys!]

4. Switzerland: Nemo - The Code [how the hell did Nemo not fall off that spinning thing?]

5. Croatia: Baby Lasagna - Rim Tim Tagi Dim [possibly the "most Eurovision" song title of the lot!]

Inevitably, our choices were somewhat at odds with both the jury and the public votes...

But first - the interval acts! Our hosts Malin Åkerman and Petra Mede teased us with a performance from a Swedish super pop group “beginning with an A”... It wasn't that one, it was Alcazar!

Of course, there had to be some Abba - their "Abba-tars" from the Abba: Voyage show made a special appearance in place of the "real thing"...

...and there was a faboo Abba tribute, by previous contest-winners Carola, Charlotte Perrelli and Conchita Wurst:

All that done and dusted, it was time for the tortuous bit - first off, the votes from all 37 juries. Once these began to roll in, we began to realise that unlike in this country, Olly's song was not that popular across the rest of Europe. Or is it the inevitable political voting - "anyone but the UK"? In any case, we only got 46 votes! Forty-bloody-six.

The jury favourites were:

Switzerland - 365
France - 218
Croatia - 210
Italy - 164
Ukraine - 146

At least we had Dame Joanna Lumley to cheer us up:

To add insult to injury, then came the even more turgid business of announcing the public phone-in votes, and...

...the UK got nothing! Nil points. Nada. From any fucker in the world.

Talk about feeling rejected. The screams of outrage from our living-room could probably have reached Malmo!

In contrast, that scrawny little fucker from Switzerland ended up with a massive 591 combined points and won the Eurovision Song Contest, despite the fact that Croatia, Israel, Ukraine and France were all more popular with the public.

Deep sigh.

The party was fantabulosa! Sir Tel approved

Never mind, eh? - same time, same place next year?

Of course!!!

FOOTNOTE: Apologies for the blank pink placeholders for every video; this is because my US chums tend not to be able to view the official Eurovision Song Contest videos, so I have downloaded and upoloaded all of them direct to Blogger. See how good I am to you, dear reader?


I haven't forghotten it's a Tacky Music Monday just because I'm on holiday!

It's a Eurovision blog post.

How much more fucking tacky do you want?!

Sunday 12 May 2024

Saturday 11 May 2024

Love peace peace love

The big day has arrived!

Most of the flags are up, the scorecards are printed, between us we've scrubbed the place ready for visitors. The Madam's watered the garden. Just the buffet to set up, and it'll be "all systems go" for our Grand Eurovision Party 2024!!

While the anticipation builds for the dressing-up, the arrival of "our gang" [there's fourteen of us this year!] and the general craziness of it all, let's revisit this fantabulosa piss-take that was actually performed by one of tonight's hosts Petra Mede, together with the gorgeous Måns Zelmerlöw in the interval of the contest [again in Sweden] back in 2016:

[Måns]: Step 1! Get everyone's attention. A powerful, majestic start. Maybe a battle horn of some kind?

[Petra]: Step 2! Drums! There has to be drums! It doesn't hurt if the drums are played by gorgeous topless men. It's proven very efficient throughout the years. But, please feel free to try other alternatives. It's proven very helpful to go the exact opposite way. Use a grandmother!

[Måns]: Step 3! Show the viewers your country's ethnic background by using an old traditional folklore instrument that no-one's heard of before
[Petra]: No, no - in this case, it's proven much more efficient to not use a young model. Go with an old man instead. A beard helps!
[Måns]: This instrument is called a Swedish kvinnaböske - a small roundish piece from the horn family, inherited from the Vikings. Just make something up. No-one will know!

Step 4! In Eurovision, nothing says winner like a violin. Trust us - bring a violin

[Petra]: Step 5! The violin, the drums and the kvinnaböske might make it all feel a little bit old fashioned, but this can easily be fixed by adding a DJ who pretends to scratch. In real life of course, this is thirty years old but in Eurovision, it will give your number a contemporary feel

[Måns]: Step 6 - costumes! You need to look memorable, something that the viewers will notice.
[Petra]: Oh! Perfect!

Step 7! The song. Everything else might be important, but the song is essential. Let it be about something everyone can connect to. Love works. Peace is also a popular way to go
[Måns]: Yes, peace is good. ABBA actually won the competition with a song about war with Waterloo, but this is not something we recommend
[Petra]: Now when you have everything you need and the pieces are gathered - go for it and don't look back!

[Måns]: Let the song begin with passion
Let the wind begin to blow

[Petra]: You can break the rules of fashion
And your chance to win shall grow
Look into the TV camera
So the audience can see

[Måns]: That you're lovable - not desperate
Smile and they will vote for me

[Both]: Fill the stage with light
As dancers will join us
The expectations grow
It's time for the chorus

Love love peace peace
[Måns]: Old women baking bread
Peace peace love love

[Petra]: And a man in a hamster wheel
Love peace peace love
Make it unforgettable
You will be the best
And win the Eurovision Song Contest

[Måns]: Now we'll go down a notch
Our hands will touch
Pretending we're in love

[Petra]: It's you and me and when we change the key
[Both]: We'll give the world a show
It begins to snow

Love love peace peace

[Petra]: And a burning fake piano
Peace peace love love

[Måns]: And a Russian man on skates
Love peace peace love
It'll be incredible
You will be the best

Love love peace peace

[Måns]: Party for everybody!
Peace peace love love

[Petra]: More tricks in a hamster wheel
Love peace peace love
And we can guarantee
That you will be the best
And win the Eurovision Song Contest
And win the Eurovision Song Contest

This is NOT an event that takes itself too seriously...

Eurovision Song Contest 2024 in Malmö, Sweden

Friday 10 May 2024

Flugt og fart, indeed

Why is it that short weeks [it was May Day on Monday] seem to drag even longer than normal ones?

Never mind, eh? This one's almost over - and at 4pm precisely, the laptop closes for another seventeen days!

We are very much looking forward to our excursion to the delights of Spain again, this time taking in Seville (on Wednesday), Cadiz (on Thursday) and Jerez (on Friday), before we head on to more familiar territory (on Saturday) with a week in our usual haunt of Benalmadena! Yay!

Before all that, of course...

...tomorrow is the Eurovision Song Contest final!

We expect the usual houseful of pissed friends in preposterous costumes, far-too-much-food, scoresheets and lots of shouting and cheering at the telly. Bliss.

Let's get in the mood, shall we, with a verrrry late-70s vibe from Denmark - and Tak Disco Det er fredag!

Disco tango à la carte
Og godt med garniture, flugt og fart
En jockey uden hest, der disc'er op
Med nyt fra USA, soul, reggae eller pop


Hope you're all singing along, peeps.

[Lyrics in English:
Disco tango à la carte
And lots of decorations, flight and speed
A jockey without a horse, who dishes up
With news from USA, soul, reggae or pop

Thursday 9 May 2024

Thought for the Day - Eurovision

Let's hope the juries aren't too po-faced when they allocate points to "Our Olly" and his gay boxers!!

Our Eurovision Song Contest Party is looming... The second semi-final's tonight!

Wednesday 8 May 2024

All the right junk in all the right places

[photo above: Shane Benson. The rest: Madam Arcati]

Madam Arcati and I had a real treat in store on Sunday night, when we trolled up at The London Palladium for the 1000th concert performance by our fantabulosa "house band" Scott Bradlee's Postmodern Jukebox!

Even though the lovely Mr Bradlee wasn't there in person, this was a superbly-crafted, slick and professional show from beginning to end. With the most stunning set backdrop!

The evening was hosted by Mr Rogelio Douglas Jr., one of the more recent Jukebox-ees. Despite his patter and the audience-warming, however, it soon emerged that not only was he "Master of Ceremonies", but he also possesses one of the most powerful voices we've heard in a while - as this cover of Use Somebody (originally by Kings of Leon) serves to prove:

Of course, it wasn't him we came to see - it was the ladies...

And, heavens, they'd brought out the "big guns" - former Puppini Sister Emma Smith, Glen Campbell's little girl Ashley Campbell, Tatum Langley, original PMJ member Ariana Savalas, and our favourite Sarah Potenza, to boot!

Here's Miss Langley giving it full throttle on Die for You (originally by The Weeknd)...

...Miss Savalas with a much improved cover of GaGa's Bad Romance...

...and Miss Smith with her version of the Barenaked Ladies' One Week:

However, the combination of Miss Smith, Miss Langley and Miss Potenza (on All About That Bass) was (of course) a show-stopper!

There was a huge variety (as is to be expected) in the ensemble's repertoire for the evening. There were also some funny interludes, including percussionist Jack Amblin playing his washboard-cum-one-man-band device (on Tom Jones' It's Not Unusual), and frequent frenetic interludes by the brilliant tap-dancer Demi Remick.

Here's the set-list we were treated to:

  • Thriller (Michael Jackson cover)
  • Lovesong (The Cure cover)
  • Basket Case (Green Day cover)
  • 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover
  • The Power of Love (Huey Lewis and the News cover)
  • Radioactive (Imagine Dragons cover)
  • Say You'll Be There (Spice Girls cover)
  • No Diggity (Blackstreet cover)
  • There Is A Light That Never Goes Out (Smiths Cover)
  • Die for You (The Weeknd cover)
  • It’s Not Unusual (Tom Jones cover)
  • Burn (Ellie Goulding cover)
  • One Week (Barenaked Ladies cover)
  • Use Somebody (Kings of Leon cover)
  • Bad Romance (Lady Gaga cover)
  • All About That Bass (Meghan Trainor cover)
  • Encore: I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For (U2 cover)

It was at that point that I "upped sticks" soon after the Madam, who had already departed for the loo and a fag. I existed the theatre, but he was nowhere to be seen - for he had (wisely) gone back into the auditorium instead of for nicotine, where a second encore was taking place. I missed it, he got no video of it - but [and I make no apologies for featuring it again] Miss Potenza closed the show with this one...

A phenomenal evening!

All hail Postmodern Jukebox...

Tuesday 7 May 2024

Daphne's arrived!

Work just gets in the way...

True to form, the weather's gorgeous again, yet I'm trapped in the office - and there's so little time now to get things sorted a) for the Grand Eurovision Party on Saturday, and b) before we troll off to Spain for ten days next Wednesday!

Hey ho, here's a little recent discovery (courtesy of the saintly Miss Elaine Paige) that cheered me up - hope it does you, too...

They'll make a musical out of anything these days, it seems.

Monday 6 May 2024

The music, the madness

A Bank Holiday in the UK rained-off? Surely not? That never happens... Except. Every. Time.

Sigh. We had such plans, after a remarkable evening of brilliant performances by the troupers of Postmodern Jukebox live at the Palladium last night [More on that later, no doubt], for some productive pottering in the garden, to get things presentable for the influx of guests for our Grand Eurovision Song Contest Party next weekend... We'll just have to concentrate on all the housework it takes to prepare the house for the occasion instead (a less rewarding chore, of course).

All that said, it is still a Tacky Music Monday, and it's just crying out for a Eurovision-themed "wake-up call"!

Here's a selection of - ahem - "favourite" tacky moments:

And, finally... This. Actually Happened.

Needless to say, none of 'em actually won.

We're on countdown now, anticipating our gang's usual flurry of OTT outfits, the music, the madness - the shouting! - that accompanies "The Gay World Cup".

Meanwhile, have a good week, dear reader!

Sunday 5 May 2024

Jukebox Jury

The weather's been "up and down, like a whore's drawers" (as my Nana would say) lately - one minute it's warm enough to go out in shirt-sleeves, the next moment, torrential storms. Just right for a three-day Bank Holiday weekend, of course.

Hey ho - we're off to the impressive London Palladium tonight, dear reader, to see this lot (and it would be curmudgeonly of me not to play them, as they are our "house band", after all)...

However, let's not just leave it there, shall we - how about a selection of "newer" music that's caught my ear of late?

Let's open with one of our all-time fave bands Pet Shop Boys, who continue to outclass the rest - and here's their latest, a tribute to Rudolph Nureyev, no less:

A surprisingly funky number from Miss Cyrus and Mr Williams:

Here's an irresistably catchy choon, as heard on the Craig Charles Funk and Soul Show on BBC Radio 6 Music:

A rather faboo little slice of electro, with a very odd video indeed:

Rather uncharitably described by one commenter on the video as "The kind of song that'd be playing at H&M while you're trying on new jeans.", nevertheless I think this is rather good:

Our Princess teams up with a fellow pop powerhouse:

And finally... [thanks to Madam Arcati for discovering it] a little bit of pop nonsense from a French ensemble that cleverly incorporates a raft of familiar 80s classics into one!

As ever, dear reader, I welcome your thoughts...

Saturday 4 May 2024

Yeah, cheers sweetie, thanks a lot

Ab Fab news!

None other than "national treasure" Dame Joanna Lumley is going to be announcing the scores from the UK jury at the Eurovision Song Contest final next week!

"It's such a fabulous honour to give the iconic 'douze points'!", she said.

Breaking the news on the BBC's The One Show yesterday, Graham Norton spoke for us all, as he wondered if she might read out the results as Patsy Stone... "Glassful of champagne, fistful of cigarettes. Yeah, do it,"

Now that would be a treat!

Eurovision Song Contest 2024

Friday 3 May 2024

Begins to turn your head around

The weekend's almost upon us, dear reader - and thank heavens for that!

We need to ramp up the ante in anticipation of the three-day celebrations to come - so let's have a "double-bill" of delights, shall we?

First up, the marvellous Mr Frankie Valli [who we saw on stage at Proms in the Park back in 2016 - and is still going strong] is 90 years old today. All hail! Here is what in my opinion is one of his best ever hits... with a little help from Mary Poppins!

Moving on to tomorrow, however, there's not a sci-fi geek on earth who hasn't clocked that date - "May the Fourth be with you", otherwise known as Star Wars Day! [Also notable as the date my sister and her uber-sci-fi-nut hubby got wed in 2013]

To round things off in the most appropriate-yet-bizarre way possible, here's Meco's "classic" version of the Star Wars theme, accompanied by what is charitably described as a "ballet" by the Dutch answer to Flick Colby, Penney de Jager... Thank Disco It's Friday!

[As I said last time I posted this: "What did Meco do to deserve this?"]

Have a great May Day weekend, peeps!

Thursday 2 May 2024

She's shakin'!

[click to embiggen]

Another centenary to celebrate, dear reader - the marvellous Blues singer Big Maybelle was born one hundred years ago yesterday. She was a whole lotta woman!

Let's start this triptych of tributes with a song she premiered, that went on to far greater things when it was covered by Jerry Lee Lewis:

The great lady's back catalogue was a mainstay of the Northern Soul scene:

And here's the only footage available on the interwebs of Big Maybelle in all her glory:


Big Maybelle (born May Mabel Louise Smith, 1st May 1924 – 23rd January 1972)

Wednesday 1 May 2024