Thursday, 31 May 2012

Don't masquerade with the guy in shades



It's a dull day for birthdays, I thought, when the most famous 50-year-old today is a Mr Corey Hart (who?).

Until, that is, I realised that his greatest (only?) hit was Sunglasses at Night - and that gives me a perfect excuse to play this brilliant version by (house fave here at Dolores Delargo Towers) Tiga (and Zyntherius), featuring the magnificent Amanda Lepore!



I wear my sunglasses at night
So I can so I can
Watch you weave then breathe your story lines
And I wear my sunglasses at night
So I can so I can
Keep track of the visions in my eyes

While she's deceiving me
It cuts my security has
She got control of me
I turn to her and say

Don't switch the blade on the guy in shades oh no
Don't masquerade with the guy in shades oh no
I can't believe it!
Cuz you got it made with the guy in shades oh no

And I wear my sunglasses at night
So I can so I can
Forget my name while you collect your claim
And I wear my sunglasses at night
So I can so I can
See the light that's right before my eyes

While she's deceiving me
She cuts my security
Has she got control of me
I turn to her and say

Don't switch the blade on the guy in shades oh no
Don't masquerade with the guy in shades oh no
I can't believe it!
'Cuz you got it made with the guy in shades oh no
'Cuz you got it made with the guy in shades oh no

Oh I say I wear my sunglasses at night
I wear my sunglasses at night
I wear my sunglasses at night
I say it to you now
I wear my sunglasses at night
I wear my sunglasses at night
I wear my sunglasses at night
I cry to you
I wear my sunglasses at night
I wear my sunglasses at night


Cooler than a penguin's testicles!

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Or anyone like you



The sun is still dazzling, at least for another day, so a gratuitous hunk shot and another summer song seem to be in order...



One of the best sunshine songs, ever!

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Dancing in the sunshine


Kew Gardens, yesterday

Enter the time machine for a moment...

1992 was a very hot summer, and dance music was predominant. I remember it well, but it certainly doesn't feel like twenty years since this was at the top of the charts in the UK!



Summer. I love it.

Monday, 28 May 2012

Birthday Bomb



We've spent a fab day in the sunshine at Kew Gardens.

Just time to say one thing:

HAPPY BIRTHDAY KYLIE!!!

To celebrate here's her new single, the fantabulosa Time Bomb!



Our Princess... Kylie Minogue - "the toast of Cannes"

French lesson from Spanish girls



So the UK was stuffed at Eurovision again this year. So the majority of entries were terribly earnest, and the song contest is turning into a drama-fest rather than a constant source of fun.

It is still dear old Eurovision, after all, and over the years there have been some fabulously camp moments.

Not least, on this Tacky Music Monday, the fantabulosa Baccara (bizarrely in 1978 representing Luxembourg rather than their native Spain) with Parlez-vous Francais?. Even though the majority of you are back in work on this glorious Monday (I am still on leave till tomorrow), you cannot help but be cheered up!



Have a great week!

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Humped!



We wuz robbed again. Sigh.

This year's Eurovision Song Contest was possibly the worst for years for obvious "block voting". Absolute shit songs gained ridiculously unwarranted douze points from their neighbours and political "friends", and some decent songs - The Hump, Jedward and that cute Norwegian boy included - were left languishing at the bottom of the pile. Again.

That wailing woman with split ends from Sweden won it. Apparently her record was released commercially a while ago and is already a hit in a lot of countries where there is no sun for six months, so I am not really surprised. The hilariously "so-bad-they're good" Russian grannies came a close second; again no surprise.



However, as we went further down the list, the truly hideous Serbian entry (with votes from all its allies and diplomatic votes from its neighbours) came third, and the piss-poor host nation Azerbaijan were fourth, and so on ad infinitum. Engelbert's song was way better then either of those, and Jedward once again gave the most "Eurovision" (i.e entertaining) performance of all the acts, yet got practically sod all votes. Our party was gob-smacked at the audacity of it all.

Speaking of which, our party was itself the star! As always, Dolores Delargo Towers was bedecked in bunting, flags and tinsel.



We encouraged - nay, let loose - our closest coterie of friends (fifteen of us this year!) into their dressing-up boxes, and the results were truly magnificent! If you knew our gang, you'd understand that this is of course second nature...









With guest appearances from Aphrodite from Greece, Franz Liszt from Hungary, an Azeri Cossack, a Romanian Gypsy, the living embodiment of the Albanian flag, two Engelberts, two Vikings, a White Russian, a French onion-seller and Miss Sverige 1976, and enough food and booze to feed an invading army - we had a fantastic time!











Crammed like Tetris into our front parlour, we cheered, we booed, we had fun with artificial facial hair, we voted on our specially crafted scoresheets (thanks, John-John!), we sang, we danced. A lot. I didn't actually get to bed till gone 6am, so that's always the sign of a good party!







Contest highlights? Not much in the way of music, admittedly (although the French girl defintely had the best voice), but there were some classic unintentionally hilarious moments - such as the Estonian boy's independently mobile eyebrows, "Rona the Ropehead" (Graham Norton's words) from Albania, that awful blindfolded performance from Lithuania, the genuine fear at one point that one of the Russian grannies was going to pop her clogs live on TV, the Turkish capes-into-sailboat visual trickery, and the weird musical instruments of Romania.



And the final votes from the Dolores Delargo Towers jury?

1 - Ireland



2 - Russia
3 - France
4 - Ukraine
5 - United Kingdom
5 - Malta
6 - Norway
7 - Moldova
8 - Turkey
9 - Romania
10 - Sweden

We wuz certainly robbed, but... same time, same place, next year?

Definitely!

Eurovision Song Contest 2012

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Our Lady of the Camilles



In the palatial gardens here at Dolores Delargo Towers, in a heatwave, waiting for the guests to arrive for the grand Eurovision celebrations tonight...

Cheers!!

Friday, 25 May 2012

You gotta walk before you run



I may not actually be working today, but there are still reasons to celebrate the end of another week - it is pay day (at last!!), and we are bedecking Dolores Delargo Towers for tomorrow's Eurovision Song Contest extravaganza! [Unfortunately the running order is a bit shit for the UK, with The Hump on first, but hey ho, we'll have a blast anyway!]

To get us in the mood today in a traditional fashion, it's time to shake out the biggest wigs, the shimmeriest satin and the longest fingernails - for now it is the turn of our long-standing house favourites The Three Degrees to set the scene. It's the Hi-NRG mix of Jump the Gun:



Thank Disco It's Friday!

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Euro-zone crisis deepens



From Digital Spy:

Eurovision's Spanish entrant has admitted that she does not intend to win the competition.

Pastora Soler acknowledged the fact that Spain would financially struggle to host next year's Eurovision should the country triumph.


Not much chance of that, in my opinion...



Spain has produced some gems over the years:



But not this time.

One wonders what the Greek, Italian and Portuguese representatives must be thinking...

More on the BBC

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

It's man devouring man, my dear!



Who would have thought I would ever enjoy a theatrical production with Michael Ball in it?

Last night however, the man whose output I previously considered too lightweight, too middle-of-the-road for my taste, confounded every expectation as he brought a chilling and musically flawless Sweeney Todd to life!

[How did they make him look so different?]

Having seen what I thought would be the definitive Sweeney in 2007 [notwithstanding the Angela Lansbury/Len Cariou version of course] starring the naturally scary and brilliantly booming Bryn Terfel (with Maria Friedman, Daniel Boys and Philip Quast) at the Royal Festival Hall, I was worried this might not be up to scratch. On reflection however, to make a comparison between that - a concert version with minimal staging to speak of - and the current fully choreographed theatrical production is unseemly.

For this was a true spectacle - befitting a West End production in a theatre as Art-Deco-glamorous as is The Adephi on the Strand. Set against Anthony Ward's superbly dark, gloomy and threatening backdrop with its stairs, smoke and backlighting, the atmosphere of gothic Victorian London (transferred in this production to the 1930s, to accommodate a few liberties with the plot such as neon lighting and motor vehicles I assume) genuinely set the scene for Stephen Sondheim's scary masterpiece. The ensemble "Greek chorus" - carefully chosen for their creepy looks as much as their singing and acting talents - were marvellous; their harmonies providing a perfect foil for the murderous plot. In fact all the casting was splendid!

The aforementioned Mr Ball as Sweeney and "national treasure" Imelda Staunton as Mrs Lovett were a true revelation. Imbuing a believable sense of utter evil into the characters, with just the right amount of black humour and pathos, they played out their wicked pas de deux with impeccable timing and beautiful vocal dexterity. I was captivated.

The supporting cast of the pretty Luke Brady and Lucy May Barker as the doomed lovers Anthony and Joanna, John Bowe as the creepily sleazy Judge and Peter Polycarpou as the corrupt Beadle, James McConville as the convincingly sickly and simple Tobias, and the superb Robert Burt as the greedy and pompous Pirelli injected genuine emotion and conviction into the twisting and turning plot.



From the humour of The Worst Pies in London and By The Sea to the tragedy of the Beggar Woman/Lucy (a wonderfully mad Gillian Kirkpatrick), the macabre My Friends and the dramatic Epiphany to the lovely Joanna, the complex brilliance of A Little Priest to the mournful Asylum scene, this was indeed a magnificent performance of one of my favourite musicals.



Highlights? Probably too many to count - although full marks go to Miss Staunton's transformation of Mrs Lovett from motherly matron to sinister murderess within the confines of one mesmerising scene (my favourite, Not While I'm Around), and to Mr Ball's terrifyingly evil eyes as he sings the jolly Pretty Women while slicing through the Judge's jugular...

Deservedly, this excellent production received a standing ovation. I could hardly take a breath by the end - it was such an exhausting (in a good way) emotional experience!

Here's the (very short) West End trailer:



And here's a slightly longer trailer for the show's run in Chichester last year:



Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street is on at The Adelphi until September 2012, and I can highly recommend it.

[And thanks again to Paul, who treated us all to the tickets in celebration of his birthday!]

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Guest starring... Joan Fontaine!



Timeslip moment!

Today would have been the 90th birthday of Quinn Martin, producer of many of the action/crime shows of my childhood.

Just hearing his name inescapably takes me back to opening titles such as these...

Barnaby Jones:


Streets of San Fransisco:


Cannon:


Waka-waka-waka-waka-waka...

Quinn Martin obituary from 1987

Monday, 21 May 2012

Spanish delicacies



Ah, another week begins - albeit a short one for me, as I am taking a couple of days off to prepare Dolores Delargo Towers for the hordes who will be coming for our grand Eurovision bash this weekend - and we have not one, but two magnificently talented divas to cheer us all up on this Tacky Music Monday!

Las Grecas (for it is they) are yet another recent discovery - always a delight! - from the mad, bad and dangerous to know music scene of Spain in the 1970s. Unfortunately one of the original duo died in 1995, but (much to the delight of Spanish gays) the other founding member Carmela and "new girl" Malicia recently revived the winning Las Grecas formula.

To spectacular effect, as you will no doubt agree from this lavishly expensive video for their single El Cocherito...



And this, from 2011 - Zarzamora:



And as a bonus, an equally magnificent promotional video for their 1977 hit Wars:



Possibly the most bizarre thing I've seen in a long time...

We love Las Grecas!

Have a great week.

Las Grecas official website (in Spanish of course).

Just a dream to fade away



Yet more of my 70s is dying - first Donna Summer, and now Robin Gibb has gone...



"Nobody gets too much heaven." Indeed.

RIP, another legend.

Robin Gibb obituary on the BBC

Sunday, 20 May 2012

The gayest gay icon?



“I've always taken risks, and never worried what the world might really think of me.”

Diva overload alert!

Today is the 66th birthday of that ultimate triumph of art over nature, Miss Cherilyn Sarkisian, better known as the one-and-only Cher.

An unabashed showgirl from wig to perfectly chaussured foot, after escaping the "folksy" style of her early "Sonny and Cher" days Miss Sarkisian soon established her place as a gay icon - for at least five generations of queens - and shows no sign of stopping now...

1970s:



1980s:



1990s:



2000s:



2010:



Many happy returns to one of the most splendid divas in showbiz - ever!

Cher official website

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Grace-ful



Icon, muse, art-form, diva, innovator and downright scary bitch, Miss Grace Jones is 64 today...

Needless to say, the lady has always been an inspiration on me, ever since I first heard her version of Chrissie Hynde's Private Life way back in 1980 and, in 1981, one of the greatest albums ever - Nightclubbing.

To celebrate, here are just a few of her defining moments...

Private Life:


Libertango (I've Seen That Face Before):


Pull Up To The Bumper:


Slave To The Rhythm:


Williams Blood:


Grace Jones is our latest exhibit in the Dolores Delargo Towers Museum of Camp

Grace Jones on stardom, that Russell Harty interview, muscles and GaGa

Friday, 18 May 2012

Mr Relaxation



"For the amount of talent I had - and I couldn't dance, act, or tell a joke - I enjoyed a tremendous career."

Today we have a centenary to celebrate - Mr Pierino Ronald "Perry" Como!

One of the most successful vocalists of the 20th century, Perry Como went from small-town band singer with the Freddy Carlone and Ted Weems Orchestras in the 30s to become a multi-million-selling worldwide solo superstar, with one of the top-ranking television shows in US TV history and chart-topping albums in six separate decades.

His myriad hits over the years included such gems as Catch a Falling Star, It's Impossible, And I Love You So, Papa Loves Mambo and For the Good Times, among many many more standards. However this must rank as his all-time classic - Magic Moments:



Mr Como's comfy cardigans and sleepy crooning baritone voice were his signature style, and of course led to many lampooning impersonations over the years - my personal favourite is Perry Como - Still Alive from Canadian cult show SCTV, which takes a direct dig at Perry's ill-considered venture into the disco sound in the 70s:



And here, for your delectation, is the genuine disco remix of his great 30s/40s hit Temptation:



[Thank Disco It's Friday - again!]

Facts about Perry Como:
  • He famously began his career as a barber. He was apparently so successful he had his own shop at age 14.
  • His singing career almost ended before it had really begun, when in 1933 a studio executive wanted him removed from orchestra recordings as he sounded too much like Bing Crosby.
  • Canonsburg, Como's home town, has a street named after him, and festivals in his memory have been held both there and in Paleno in Italy, where his parents originated. He also had an annual golf tournament in his name.
  • He and his wife Roselle were married for 65 years until her death in 1998.
  • His final television show was a Christmas special recorded in Ireland in 1994. He died peacefully in 2001.

Perry Como (18th May 1912 - 12th May 2001)

It's so good, it's so good It's so good



It is the end of another long, long week - and we have Baby Steve's and Alistair's birthdays to celebrate this weekend.

The edge is slightly taken off the party mood by the sad death of Donna Summer yesterday, but, on this traditional day of upbeat 70s music, there really is only one song I could play...

It's the "grand-mammy" of them all, Donna's I Feel Love!



Thank Disco It's Friday! And have a great weekend...

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Summer is gone



Donna Summer is dead, aged just 63, after a battle with cancer.

Another piece of my youth is gone.

I am very sad.

RIP



Donna Summer dies

"Do you really enjoy living a life that's so hateful?"



"Homosexuals can forget about human rights." - James Nsaba Butoro, former Minister of Ethics & Integrity, Uganda

"I will never initiate or support any attempts to legalise homosexuality" - John Atta Mills, President of Ghana

Today is the International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO).

From the Stonewall website:
"Being gay is still illegal in 80 of 196 countries across the world, being a lesbian is specifically outlawed in 45 – in 6 countries the penalty for both is death.

"We’re lucky to have seen many legal changes in Britain that have improved the lives of lesbian, gay and bisexual people. But for more than 200 million gay people across the world each day is still filled with the fear of being beaten, imprisoned or murdered at any moment."
Many of those countries are members of Her Majesty's Commonwealth - including Ghana, Uganda, Jamaica, Malaysia, Singapore, Malawi, Nigeria, Pakistan and even the Maldives. In this Jubilee year, it is shocking that the UK still aligns itself with these reprehensible nations.

In the USA, 31 states have anti-gay legislation in place.

The Nazi Pope condemns homosexuality.

The country that this year hosts the very-gay-friendly Eurovision Song Contest, Azerbaijan has, to say the least, a shaky record on gay rights issues, in common with many former Soviet countries including Mother Russia.

And both "allies" (including Saudi Arabia) and "foes" (Iran) of the West in the Middle East brutally outlaw homosexuality.

Shocking.



As has become a bit of a tradition on this very important day of awareness and solidarity, my feelings are quite neatly summed up thus:



IDAHO website

Totty of the day





Gethin Jones

Who gives a stuff if he is moving to breakfast telly (I could never watch such a thing - too busy with my "Blackpool breakfast" of a cup of coffee and several fags!)? I'm blasé about his break-up with the lovely Katherine Jenkins.

All I want is his babies.

Am I wrong?

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Open your mind, surely it's plain to see



Timeslip moment again...

Amazingly (and scarily) it is fifteen years this week since one of my all-time favourite songs, You're Not Alone by Olive (whatever happened to them?) was at Number 1 in our charts!

This song helped me through some very sad and confusing times indeed, and I thank them for that...



In a way it's all a matter of time
I will not worry for you – you will be just fine
Take my thoughts with you, and when you look behind
You will surely see a face that you recognize, yeah yeah

You're not alone, I'll wait till the end of time
Open your mind, surely it's plain to see
You're not alone, I'll wait till the end of time for you
Open your mind, surely it's time to be with me

It is the distance that makes life a little hard
Two minds that once were close; now so many miles apart
I will not falter though, I'll hold on till you're home, yeah yeah
Safely back where you belong, and see how our love has grown

You're not alone, I'll wait till the end of time
Open your mind, surely it's plain to see
You're not alone, I'll wait till the end of time for you
Open your mind, surely it's time to be with me

You're not alone, surely it's time to be with me
Open your mind, yeah

You're not alone – oh, I'll wait till the end of time for you
Open your mind – open your mind, yeah yeah
You're not alone – no, no


Sublime.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

If I had a hammer



This is exactly the sort of thing I might normally consider for a Tacky Music Monday.

However, as it is the 75th birthday today of Mr Trini Lopez, it is wet and miserable weather outside (again!) and we probably could all do with a good laugh - here is a fine example of the Latin cheeseball's unique talents, performing a medley of his favourite "cocktail hour" hits to an audience of typically joyful Germans...



I need more coffee.

I need a holiday!

Trini Lopez

Monday, 14 May 2012

Unhappy bunnies



From The Guardian:
Sex toys worth £11,000 have been stolen by burglars who raided a mail order company, police say.

More than 400 items were stolen in four large suitcases from a flat in Gilgal in Stourport, Worcestershire, where they were being stored by the locally based mail order company Happy Bunny, which trades online.

West Mercia police said the premises were broken into some time between 11.30pm last Wednesday night and 9am the next day.

It is thought thieves accessed the property from Baldwin Road and left the scene via the same route.

Officers have contacted adult shops in the area to alert them in case they are offered any of the stolen goods.

PC Emma Gunnell said: "We would like to hear from anyone who saw any suspicious activity in that area overnight on Wednesday or thinks they know who was responsible.

"It would be quite difficult for the thieves to sell on these items in any great quantity and so we would ask people to be on the lookout for these suitcases should the thieves have dumped them.

"Two of the cases were black but the other two were very distinctive, one having pink-and-black stripes and the other a multicoloured flower pattern all over it."
Mistress MJ!

What have you been up to?

Show me that smile my heart adores



After a beautifully sunny (if not yet quite sizzling) weekend in the gardens here at Dolores Delargo Towers, it's grey and cold again just in time to make us feel really good as we head back to work.

Hey ho. It's another Tacky Music Monday, and here to cheer us up are the eternally gorgeous Mr Rock Hudson "singing" with the irrepressible Miss Nancy Walker (who would have been 90 years old last week!), in a rather unusual dance routine...



RIP, both.

Have a good week!

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Old broads misbehavin'



Today would have been the 90th birthday of one of our "patron saints" the fantabulosa Bea Arthur.

Suffice to say, my thoughts on the late Miss Arthur have been featured here a few times over the years, so without further ado, here's one of her lesser-known "double acts" - with the magnificent Madame!



RIP Bea. RIP Wayland Flowers.

Bea Arthur on NNDB

Saturday, 12 May 2012

I should be glad to be so inclined



Today would have been the 70th birthday of the incomparable Mr Ian Dury!

One of the most loved artists of the "post-punk" era, his pithy lyrics and slightly effete yet "in-yer-face" defiance are still among the memories that sum up the late 70s perfectly. Read my previous tribute to him on the tenth anniversary of his sad death.

In memory of the great man, let us just wallow in his musical genius. Here's the ultimate Ian Dury and the Blockheads classic:



Another masterwork:



And this, which is very apt for the loss of such a master of his art:



Ian Dury and the Blockheads official site

Friday, 11 May 2012

Down in your alleys, seems that anything goes



Last night was quite possibly one of the most popular book launches I have ever attended! Such is the love and respect that Mr Clayton Littlewood (author of the marvellous Dirty White Boy) evidently commands...

Soho's wonderfully atmospheric Madame JoJo's club (one of the last surviving throwbacks to the classic era of that "sleazy city" full of "seedy films") was absolutely packed to the gunnels with the great and the good (and possibly the not-so-good) of the literary, entertainment, and hedonistic worlds. As I mentioned earlier, I was overjoyed to see people who I hadn't seen for ages - among others, Rupert Smith, Dom Agius, Stewart Who?, Kenneth Hill, Uli Lenart from Gay's the Word, and Roger Lloyd-Thompson (aka Dexter Clark the Celebrity Hairdresser). But more of him later...

Mr Littlewood was, of course, sharing the spotlight of the evening with the adorable Maggie & Martin, whose songs interspersed Clay's own appearances on stage. Launching their first album as a duo Union, Maggie K De Monde is famous for her chart success with her bands Swans Way and Scarlet Fantastic, and Martin Watkins is best known for his work writing and performing with Marc Almond. Their appearance last night was particularly meaningful, as it was through their mutual friend Mr Littlewood that they first got in contact with each other (via MySpace), and began writing together.



Here's their excellent single Night Of A Thousand Stars:



To launch his new book Goodbye to Soho, Clayton first introduced us to the back-story to it all - leaving sleepy Weston-Super-Mare in pursuit of Marc Almond, meeting Quentin Crisp, meeting hubby Jorge, setting up the shop (also called Dirty White Boy) in Old Compton Street under a notorious brothel, the madness of living in the middle of London's most eccentric and sleazy part of town, and of course the many and varied characters they encountered, that inspired Clay to first write his experiences down in his MySpace blog (via which, of course, I first got to meet him).

And, with the more-than-able assistance of Mr Lloyd-Thompson, playing all the characters - transsexual Angie (who was sat in the booth right next to us in the audience!), the wonderfully bitter old queen Leslie, thong fetishist Charlie, brothel madam Sue and her dodgy plumbing - were brought once more vividly to life in a series of joyful (if familiar; we went to see it not once, but twice!) scenes from the stage version of Dirty White Boy.



Each scene was wonderfully done, and the interplay between Roger and Clay was hilarious. After the break, the story continued - but this time concentrating more on the later years of their Soho life. The shop wasn't doing well, their close friend Chico was dying in prison, the brothel had been raided just one too many times, and a move was inevitable. However, some of the loose ends had been tied up - Leslie had rediscovered his long-lost love (in fact the self-same Charlie the knicker specialist), and the lovely Angie was doing better than ever.

But as the new book continues where the old one leaves off, the situation is grounded in the saddest ending of them all. Clay has dedicated the book to his dear friend - the most decadent, the most sleazy, the most eccentric of them all, the late, great Sebastian Horsley, whose own death was a huge shock to the Soho community. At his funeral procession - a typically understated Victorian carriage hearse pulled by two dressed black horses around the streets of the West End - thousands turned out to give him a big send-off. And with Clayton's sublime recollections, his memory will never be lost.

By way of my own little tribute to the whole evening, here's the man who inspires everyone in Soho - Mr Marc Almond, with Seedy Films:



This was a marvellous night, an excellent venue, and a wonderful turnout for a book launch. It was a shame that Jorge (manning the bookstall) had no debit card facility otherwise I would have purchased a copy of Goodbye to Soho and got Clayton to sign it. Never mind, it's yet another excuse to keep in touch...

Goodbye to Soho is available through Clayton's website.

Maggie & Martin's Union is available from HMV.

And, in a great bit of news, Dexter Clark's "Fabulous Head" comes to the Leicester Square Theatre in June and July 2012! A must-see!

Get down, baby bubba



We had a fab night catching up with old familiar faces (Rupert Smith, Dom Agius, Stewart Who?, Kenneth Hill et al) at a packed Madame JoJos last night, for the official launch of both Clayton Littlewood's sequel to Dirty White Boy, called Goodbye to Soho, and Maggie (De Monde) and Martin (Watkins) album Union - more on that later, no doubt.

However there are other reasons to feel good about today - the sun has finally peeked out from behind the monsoon and looks like staying around for the weekend, and speaking of which, it's the end of another week!

So to celebrate in an appropriate manner, let's assume our coolest nightclub pose, and Get Down with the smoothest-of-the-smooth of the dance crooners, Mr Gene Chandler!

Thank Disco It's Friday!



Have a fab fun-filled weekend!

Gene Chandler official website

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Hope



At last!

In a ground-breaking move, the incumbent President of the United States has come out... In favour of gay marriage!

Presiding over a country where 31 of his own states have anti-gay legislation in place - not least North Carolina, which has just introduced its own ban on both equal marriage and civil partnerships - and fighting a battle for the presidency this year, it is a bold move.

However, we can but hope that this statement of support for equality will help influence the wind of change for the benighted "Land of the Free" [sic], and hopefully give some encouragement to people who struggle against even more fascist homophobic regimes across the world (such as in Russia, Eastern Europe, Africa and the Middle East).

We can but hope...

Over at AllOut, there is a message of support for President Obama you can sign. I have.



A momentous day.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Seamen stained, Brass bosomed, mesmeric trapeze artistry, Aunt Ed and MacHeath



Mr Paul Burston struck a bit of a Mafioso pose as he opened another evening of treats at "London's peerless gay literary salon" Polari last night, complete with shades, pinstripes - and a "MacHeath" stilletto blade!

Sat in "theatre style" rows for a change - the evening was so over-subscribed they had to add extra seating (of course the lovely Lauren Henderson aka Rebecca Chance had bagged most of the front row for her "gay husbands" and her real one!) - John-John, Ange, Paul, Jim and I sensed gangland trouble afoot, but nah... just literature!



Danuta Kean, an expert in writing and writers and regular columnist in the book trade press opened the proceedings with aplomb. Paul informed us it was her first public reading, but you'd never have guessed, as she confidently breezed through her short piece.



Next to the stage was a pirate! Actually, it was the historian and writer Peter Daniels, who provided us with a truly marvellous entertainment - his poem "The Ballad of Captain Rigby"...

Ned Rigby was a navy man,
the captain of the Dragon;
his famous ways with seamen
were a kind you may imagine.


The poem in its fabulous entirety is the newest exhibit in the Dolores Delargo Towers Museum of Camp - you will love it as much as we did!



The lovely Miss Barbara Ewing was responsible for one of our fave characters on early evening telly back in the early 80s - as the redoubtable big-bosomed "earth mother" Agnes Fairchild in cult comedy Brass:



Now she has turned her talents to writing, and has had reasonable success as an author of historical novels. Her chosen reading was from The Mesmerist - a dark mystery about the Victorian craze for mesmerism (or as we know it now, hypnotism) and how an attempted scam turns into something genuinely bordering on the psychic... Fascinating stuff!



After the break it was the turn to the rather cute Will Davis, who is apparently an aerialist (although, unfortunately, his feet remained firmly on the floor and he didn't arrive on the stage from a rope!) as well as an author and books editor for Attitude magazine. He read us a passage from his new book The Trapeze Artist about a man who runs away with a circus after suffering a nervous breakdown - and excellent it was too!



However, it was our headliner VG (Val) Lee - possibly the funniest and most entertaining reader among the "Polari royalty" - who stole the show! Reading from her brand new novel Always you, Edina - a tangled tale of doomed family relationships - she delivered every delicious line in her customary hilariously deadpan manner, and we lapped up every word with relish. Simply marvellous!



Once again, a classic evening - and once again all over and done with far too soon!

"And Macheath spends like a sailor
Did our boy do something rash?"


The next instalment of Polari is on 10th June 2012, and readers so far announced are Alex Marwood and Kristian Johns - bring it on!

Polari at the Southbank Centre