Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Retrospection



It is nineteen years to the day that the dreadful news permeated the world. Our Princess Diana was dead, and nothing would be quite the same again...

The musical landscape in August 1997 was dominated by boy-bands (Backstreet Boys, No Mercy, 911, Boyzone, OTT), BritPop (Oasis, Suede, Ocean Colour Scene, Blur, Chumbawamba, Stereophonics), R'n'B (Shola Ama, En Vogue, Mary J Blige, Coolio, All Saints; and Will Smith at No 1) and a clutch of classic club acts (Sash, Gala, DJ Quicksilver, Todd Terry, Ultra Nate, Livin' Joy) - but this was also an era when some more "introspective" acts rose to the fore, such as Radiohead, The Verve, and The Beloved.

And, most appropriately on this sad anniversary, it is to the latter we turn for a little moment of retrospection - it's The Sun Rising:



Love is just a state of mind that we leave behind
It's just the sun rising


Indeed.

RIP Diana, Princess of Wales (Diana Frances, née Spencer, 1st July 1961 – 31st August 1997)

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

When I say "Earl Grey," you say "Yes, please!"



A strange article in The Guardian today focuses on the rise of "... the world’s unlikely capital of steampunk... the humble farming town of Oamaru, three hours south of Christchurch on New Zealand’s South Island."

Apparently, supported by the special effects team from Lord of the Rings and the availability of local farm equipment and junk shops, thousands of enthusiasts regularly descend on the town, and as a consequence Oamaru made it into the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest gathering of steampunks in the world.

I am most intrigued by the sentence: "Steampunk games such as teapot racing [were] invented in Oamaru..."

What on earth is it? How does one set up a "teapot race"?

Maybe the "king of steampunk rappers" Professor Elemental may be able to explain; he knows a thing or two about tea:


That almost took my mind off going back to work for a moment...

Monday, 29 August 2016

Pure imagination





RIP Leo Bloom, Willy Wonka, Dr. Frankenstein, The Waco Kid - all the creations of the comedy genius Gene Wilder (born Jerome Silberman, 11th June 1933 – 28th August 2016)

Genuine meal appeal



Everyone's auntie's favourite little girl singer, Dana (who, scarily, celebrates her 65th birthday tomorrow) first became a sensation when she won the Eurovision Song Contest for Ireland with the sugary-sweet ballad All Kinds of Everything way back in 1970.

Imagine everyone's surprise (shock? horror?) when, at the end of that decade she decided to get all "suggestive" and grown-up with a very different genre of song...

On this Tacky Music (Bank Holiday) Monday - here's the camp "classic" Something's Cooking in The Kitchen!



Well I'm your ten star blue plate special
I've always heard you say
But you're treating me tonight
Like I'm left overs in the greasy spoon café
And you're my high class de-luxe menu
With genuine meal appeal
But now you got some doubts about me eating out
And you know that just ain't real

Cos something's cookin' in the kitchen
Something's brewin' in the air
Something's burnin' in your microwave
And freezin' in your Frigidaire
Something's cookin' in the kitchen
Something's steamin' up the room
Something's broken down your thermostat
'N' I'm pickin' up a feelin'
You're gonna hit the ceilin' soon

Baby, there's one lesson you oughtta know I've learned
When you order what you want in other restaurants
You're sure to get your fingers burned
So try to be a little more tender
C'mon fall right off that bone
'Cos I don't go chasin' after hamburger
When I got steak at home


Awe-inspiring lyrics, too.

Having failed miserably to follow up her earlier successes, it is probably no wonder Dana drifted away from music towards a new career - in politics, of all things, unsuccessfully standing twice (on a "family values" ticket) for the post of Irish President (a strange move, considering she was actually born in Islington, London). Latterly, she seems to have become even more of a "god-botherer" than ever; her latest record is a tribute to Pope John-Paul 2. Yuk.

Have a good week, folks!

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Are you ready to transform yourself?



So much crap is talked in the papers in this, the "silly season", about childhood obesity, the latest fad diets, the latest fad exercise regime, blah-de-blah.

I'm OK - I still have my personal trainer...


[D'ya know - it has been six years since I first discovered the delights of Miss Nicholas Gorham..?]

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Proxima B is the new Hoxton


First-time buyers have been urged to start looking at buying property on Proxima B.

Estate agents who believe the newly discovered Earth-like planet presents young professionals with their best chance to get on the property ladder are anticipating fierce competition for desirable spots on its barren surface.

Estate agent Emma Bradford said: “Proxima B is the new Hoxton.

“Just a modest 4.2 light year commute from central London, it boasts a wonderful natural rock surface and average temperatures of around minus 40 degrees, which compares well to Glasgow.

“You can get an impressive two acres of molten rock for a very reasonable price and you’ll get so used to clouds of cyanide gases venting into your home you’ll wonder how you managed without them.

“But the time to act is now. If you wait to buy until the first probe lands you’re already too late.”

Wayne Hayes said: “We did a bit of reading about the area and apparently one side of the planet is shrouded in perpetual darkness, so location is important to us.

“In the end we’ve put in an offer on a crater that looks like a fixer-upper, but were gazumped by an hyperintelligent colony of living silicate from Alpha Centuri who wants it for his buy-to-let portfolio.”
The Daily Mash

Of course.

[The "real" story on Reuters]

Friday, 26 August 2016

Don't forget the light ales, Laurence



It's a Bank Holiday weekend (our last till Xmas) and there's additional cause to celebrate, as one of our all-time favourite actresses Miss Alison Steadman celebrates her 65th birthday today!

As it is the end of the week, and certain traditions have to be adhered to, this is a somewhat convoluted tribute to the great lady... One of Miss Steadman's greatest creations was the monstrous "Beverley" in Abigail's Party. Her favourite singer was - as described by her hapless husband "Laurence" - "that fat Greek".

"So, Laurence, Angela likes Demis Roussos. Tony likes Demis Roussos, I like Demis Roussos, and Sue would like to hear Demis Roussos: so please, d'you think we could have Demis Roussos on?"

Here he is - with his first and probably only foray into the world of dance-floor music (replete with some very exotically-attired cheesy "dancers" to boot) - Demis Roussos and L.O.V.E Got A Hold On Me!

Thank Disco It's Friday?



Many happy returns, Alison Steadman, OBE (born 26th August 1946)

Read about our "audience with" Miss Steadman and her appearance in an Alan Bennett masterpiece.

Thursday, 25 August 2016

"I fill this bra"



From the BBC:
Madonna made a surprise appearance at a 25th anniversary screening of her film Truth or Dare at the Museum of Modern Art in New York last night.

The documentary, which was known as In Bed With Madonna in the UK, followed all the drama from her Blond Ambition Tour.
I still can't watch it without thinking of French and Saunders...

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Leave them burning and then you're gone



With Britain's newspapers in some kind of frenzy - again - about the prospect that two hot days together somehow constitute a "heatwave", so our thoughts once again go hurtling back forty years, to the "greatest of all heatwaves", the long hot summer of 1976. In this month, the UK was on full red alert as the drought and glorious sunshine continued - many parts of the country went 45 days with no rain, and water rationing was endemic. [The best school holidays, ever, as most of us who were kids then would recall :-)]

Also in the news in August 1976: Betty Williams and Mairead Corrigan led the first demonstration by "Women for Peace" in Northern Ireland with 10,000 Protestant and Catholic women in attendance; the fall-out of the John Stonehouse scandal and trial continued to raise eyebrows (the former Postmaster General, on the run from fraud allegations, had pretended to have committed suicide on Brighton beach but was arrested in Australia and jailed for seven years); in the ascendant were the Viking 2 probe (which entered into orbit around Mars), the Ramones (who made their début at CBGBs club in New York) and Gerald Ford (who beat Ronald Reagan to become the Republican Presidential candidate), but Big Ben (the Great Clock of Westminster) was damaged and went silent for nine months; there was a coup in Uruguay; Jacques Chirac resigned as Prime Minister of France; and the first known outbreak of Ebola virus occurred in Zaire. On telly: Call My Bluff, Michael Rodd's Screen Test and the departure of Amy Turtle from the soap Crossroads. In cinemas: Harry and Walter Go to New York, Land of the Minotaur and Bugsy Malone.

In our charts this week four decades ago, the inexorable domination of Elton'n'Kiki and Don't Go Breaking My Heart continued, holding off all comers including Dr Hook, David Dundas, Johnny Wakelin, Wings, Tavares, Jimmy James, 5000 Volts, the Bee Gees and Cockney Rebel. But lurking in the wings, having just made its first appearance in the upper echelons of the Top 40, was the song that was going to knock it off its perch...

Here (of course) is Abba, with their timeless classic Dancing Queen [and what queen, to this day, cannot sing every word to this one?]:



You can dance, you can jive, having the time of your life
See that girl, watch that scene, digging the Dancing Queen

Friday night and the lights are low
Looking out for the place to go
Where they play the right music, getting in the swing
You come in to look for a king
Anybody could be that guy
Night is young and the music's high
With a bit of rock music, everything is fine
You're in the mood for a dance
And when you get the chance...

You are the Dancing Queen, young and sweet, only seventeen
Dancing Queen, feel the beat from the tambourine
You can dance, you can jive, having the time of your life
See that girl, watch that scene, digging the Dancing Queen

You're a teaser, you turn 'em on
Leave them burning and then you're gone
Looking out for another, anyone will do
You're in the mood for a dance
And when you get the chance...

You are the Dancing Queen, young and sweet, only seventeen
Dancing Queen, feel the beat from the tambourine
You can dance, you can jive, having the time of your life
See that girl, watch that scene, digging the Dancing Queen


"The time of your life", indeed.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Under the sun...



...we are still evil!

The UK is having a heatwave!

[At least for a couple of days; then it will no doubt rain]

Monday, 22 August 2016

You know woe-woe-in' don't change a thing



It's (house fave here at Dolores Delargo Towers) Miss Valerie ("Rhoda") Harper's birthday today - and she can provide just the tonic we need to get ourselves in gear for another long, slow week in work.

At her most effervescent, here is the lady herself - replete with a gaggle of "safety gays" - and a rollicking song'n'dance number for this Tacky Music Monday. It's The Last Blues Song:



So if you're somebody
Who's feeling sorry for yourself
Better sing along
Cause this is gonna be
The last blues song

Now a little bitty fit
Of self pity
Can really sing.
But it keeps on growin'
And you know woe-woe-in'
Don't change a thing

So if you're a person
Who's hooked on hurtin' on yourself
Better sing along
Cause this is gonna be
The last blues song.


Miss Harper has not has a very good time of it lately, being three years down the line since she was diagnosed with terminal cancer, so we wish her a particularly significant "many happy returns" of the day!

Valerie Kathryn Harper (born 22nd August 1939)

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Messing up my close-up with a floating blue curtain



Yesterday's picnic got a little bit wet'n'windy...



Rather reminiscent of a Bonnie Tyler video, we thought...

Saturday, 20 August 2016

The great outdoors



We're braving the elements to go on our annual picnic in Regent's Park this afternoon, complete with sun hats, galoshes, suntan oil, gloves, fleeces and umbrellas.

This is Britain. You never know what the weather may do...

Mausam Hai Bheega Hai*, indeed:



[*Hindi for "the weather is damp"]

Friday, 19 August 2016

Well, I'm underestimated, highly underrated, can there be another way?



The end is almost here - and lordy, how this week has dragged.

The jolliness of my fortnight off almost faded completely as I got used to hauling my carcass in to the boredom of the office, and then hauling it back again to catch only the last fleeting rays of sunshine before it disappeared from the garden every evening. This weekend unfortunately (after all the brilliant weather of late) is forecast to be "grey", but that won't stop us from sparkling - we have our annual picnic in Regent's Park (weather permitting) to look forward to tomorrow!

To get us in the mood for a party - in our time-honoured way - it is time for a bit of a bop! We started this week with Raffaella, now it is the turn of another Patron Saint. Heeeeeere's Miss Grace Jones and I Need A Man [and who knows what one may find in the shrubbery tomorrow?]...



Thank Disco It's Friday!

Note to self: remember to wear silver gloves tomorrow.

Thursday, 18 August 2016

In praise of Willie



As we celebrate the fact that today would have been the birthday of the much-missed satirist, cartoonist and personality Willie Rushton, I stumbled across a rather rather fab personal tribute by one of the "QI Elves", Stevyn Colgan:
I Miss My Willie!

I was watching QI the other night and I started to think about all of the wonderfully intelligent comedians and writers that will never appear on the show; not because of contractual obligations or other engagements but because they have shuffled off this mortal coil and joined the Choir Invisible. People like Douglas Adams, Peter Cook, Roald Dahl, Les Dawson, Kenny Everett, Stephen Jay Gould, Joyce Grenfell, Marty Feldman, Pete McCarthy, Ronnie Barker, Spike Milligan, Eric Morecombe, Leonard Rossiter, Terry-Thomas, Kenneth Williams, Graham Chapman, P G Wodehouse, Dudley Moore, Alan Coren, Frank Muir and the wonderful Mr William Rushton...

...He was a constant source of joy and amusement for me. I bought his books. I listened to him on Radio 4. I tried to copy his art style and failed dismally. He was one of my heroes in the best traditions of the word. And yet, for many people, the name Willie Rushton conjures up nothing more than that silly bearded man who was always on ITV's Celebrity Squares in the 1970s.

Oh dear. Oh dearie dearie me. We must put that right, mustn't we?
And so Mr Colgan does - charting Willie's progress from National Service to satire, which led, inevitably, to his pivotal role in the founding of Private Eye and becoming part of the original team on telly's That Was The Week That Was, to his forays into the world of light entertainment on film, television and on radio. And of course, it was the latter medium that gave Mr Rushton his lasting legacy, as part of the core panel of Radio 4's cult hit show I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue.

As the article concludes: "He is a great loss and the world is a slightly sadder place without him." Indeed.

By way of our own little tribute here at Dolores Delargo Towers, here's his classic paean to that most tawdry of London suburbs, Neasden:



I’ve been as far as Orpington, Tufnell Park, and Golders Green,
Seen the Northern Lights of ‘Arlesden,
And visited East Cheam.
I’ve travelled out to Ongar, on the dear old Central Line,
I even went to Ruislip, in 1949.

I’ve been far South as Tooting Bec, where sheep may safely graze,
And I sometimes think it’s hard to say where I’d like to end my days.
But then I shout – Oh Arthur, what a berk you are!
There’s a little place you love just off the North Circular -
They call it…..

NEASDEN!

Yer won’t be sorry that yer breezed in!
The traffic lights an’ yellow lines
An’ the illoominated signs
All say welcome to the borough that everybody’s pleased in:

NEASDEN!

Oh where the birds sing in the trees-den,
And you can ‘ear the blackbirds coo,
So why not take the Bakerloo?
It’ll work out that much cheaper if you buy a seasden!

After the show, why not take a stroll down Neasden High Street, and turn right into Milletts, in the Selfridge Road? Or pop into the Public Library and browse at your leisure in the many Newspapers on display. Then, why not dawdle in the neon-lit Launderama? - only 3p for as much as 4lbs of assorted bagwash. Or spend a carefree evening at the Rann of Kutch, THE Neasden Curry Emporium, European and Continental dishes a speciality…..

NEASDEN!

Oh where the rissoles are deep-freezed-en
Oh where there’s Bingo and Boutiques,
And the Wimpys last for weeks,
And very tasty too with a slice of cheese-den!

NEASDEN!

You couldn’t want a better reasden,
Oh now I will not fake the thrill
When we hear at Forest Hill
That the next stop on the line
Is the place that I call mine

Is it Sodom or Gomorrah?
No it’s God’s own Borough!

NEASDEN!


William George Rushton (18th August 1937 – 11th December 1996)

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Tropical dreams


The tropical-looking Salvia 'Amistad' in the gardens here at Dolores Delargo Towers

It's only the middle of my first week back, and already I am dreaming of escape...

I think we all deserve a little light music interlude, courtesy of the ever-wonderful Soft Tempo Lounge (of course)!

What better than to imagine driving down a sunny Italian road in an open-top car with the wind in one's hair, on some mysterious mission (there always has to be a mysterious mission after all) - with the European Sound '73 playing in one's head?



Ah, that's better.

Music: Green Sea by Alberto Baldan Bembo

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

I'm in so deep



It is Our Glorious Leader Madonna's birthday today. All hail!

As Madge was undoubtedly the Queen of the 80s, I think it appropriate on this day of celebration to take us into another timeslip moment - so, come back thirty years with me to the world of Maggie Thatcher and of Spike Lee, the year of the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster, the Iran-Contra affair and the stock market "Big Bang"...

In the news in August 1986: the mysterious disappearance of estate agent Suzy Lamplugh was all over the headlines (she was never found); unemployment was at an almost record-beating high in the UK; football hooliganism was giving British football a bad name (again); Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson were just back from their honeymoon; 2000 people were killed by poison gas in Cameroon after a seismic eruption under Lake Nyos; in the ascendant were the newly-established Eurotunnel Group, the Statue of Liberty (recently reopened to the public after a refurb) and the UK Conservative Party (who were ahead in the polls again), but the residents of Sydney, Australia were underwater after record rainfall; we said goodbye to beloved actress Hermione Baddeley; but there were celebrations in New Zealand after homosexuality was finally decriminalised. In cinemas: The Money Pit, Murphy's Law and Hannah and Her Sisters. On telly: top soap Eastenders' first gay character Colin made his début, fans were on the edge of their seats for the imminent return of Doctor Who after an 18-month hiatus, and original character Pat Sugden was killed off in Emmerdale Farm.

In the UK charts this week three decades ago: the truly ghastly Lady in Red by Chris de Burgh was in the top slot, forever destined to be a staple of chav weddings across the country, and equally shit was the vocal rendition of the Eastenders theme tune by its former star Anita Dobson at Number 3. Also in the upper echelons of the chart were yet another mixed bag that included Sinitta, Boris Gardiner, Gwen Guthrie, Stan Ridgeway [who???], Five Star and Lulu(!).

But holding on in there was Her Madgesty - enjoying a remarkable year of both popular and critical success [the poor thing has had many more since where it was either one or the other] - with one of her all-time classics Papa Don't Preach.

Before we get to the lady herself, however, how about some other versions of the song?

Here's a sweet jazzy version by BoDa:



Alternatively, Mad'House [sic] decided to take it into Eurodance territory:



And, notoriously, one Kelly Osbourne used it to launch her "career":



But, after all, there is only one Madonna:



My friends keep telling me to give it up
Saying I'm too young, I ought to live it up


Thirty years ago we certainly did "live it up" to this song...

Many happy returns, Madonna Louise Ciccone (born 16th August 1958)

Monday, 15 August 2016

Like the beat, beat, beat of the tom tom



After a fabulous fortnight's break, it is time to bite the bullet and accept it - I am not Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham after all. I do, indeed, have to return to work. Oh dear.

However, there is - on this Tacky Music Monday - some respite. After all, who could not be but cheered up by the spectacle of our peerless Patron Saint of Trashy Italiana, Signorina Raffaella Carra, singing a beloved Cole Porter standard, in "Space", accompanied by a bevy of safety gays and other assorted backup clad as (variously) eye-patched robots, glittery space angels, and, most bizarrely of all multiple Aladdin Sanes?

Not moi!

Here's the weirdest interpretation of Night and Day, ever!



If you thought Marika Rokk was weird, think on.

Have a good week, peeps! I won't.

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Twist and tap



Sometimes the most incongruously-matched things end up making something wonderful when placed together.

Whoever would have thought that the combination of the divine Miss Eleanor Powell "tapping her brains out" and the swinging sounds of today's birthday boy Mr Buddy Greco (90 today, and showing no sign of stopping!) would work?

This made me smile - it's Twistin' To The Blues:



Facts about Armando "Buddy" Greco (born 4th August 1926):
  • His entry into performing was as a singer and pianist with with Benny Goodman's band.
  • In his heyday he hung out with The Rat Pack, and counted among his friends Marilyn Monroe, Ella Fitzgerald and Lena Horne.
  • He still owns a house in Palm Springs, California (where he had a nightclub) but lived for several years in Essex [a bit of a contrast, I'd say!].
  • In 2013 he celebrated 80 years in showbiz, with a gala in... Southend.

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Strip cartoon?



"Action" Comic, indeed...

Friday, 12 August 2016

Need you by my side to be my guide



I'm still on holiday - woo-hoo! - but it is a tradition round these parts to ensure that every weekend is celebrated as a party!

Let us indulge ourselves in another slice of 70s cheesiness, in the inimitable company of the lovely Legs & Co. This week, they're paying "tribute" (as only they could!) to a rather fab house favourite here at Dolores Delargo Towers - which reached its highest position in the UK chart this very week in 1977 - the Detroit Emeralds and Feel The Need (In Me).

So clad yourself in your finest shimmy-shimmy-shake outfit, prepare to get down and boogie - and Thank Disco It's Friday!



See how I'm walkin', see how I'm talkin'
Notice ev'rything in me
Feel the need, oh feel, feel the need in me
I need you by my side to be my guide
Can't you see my arms are open wide?
Feel the need, oh feel, feel the need in me


Have a good weekend, dear reader...

Thursday, 11 August 2016

While we were away...



Now that we are back from our wonderful weekend in Amsterdam for Europride - shell-shocked, admittedly, but with so many memories to keep us on a high for a while - what have we missed?

Obviously, it seems, the world (and certainly our media) is obsessed with the Olympics. At least our favourite houseboy, the super-sexy Tom Daley has won a bronze medal for synchronised sex diving with his teammate Daniel Goodfellow, so that makes up for the fact that none of our favourite telly programmes are on when they should be (or in some cases not at all), then. Not. Lovely to look at, though.



Not much in the way of significant milestones - although we missed celebrating the 65th birthday of Samantha Sang, plus birthday celebrations for various other Leos including Louella Parsons, Mata Hari, Lucille Ball, Esther Williams, Andy Warhol, Randy Shilts, Barbara Windsor and Geri Halliwell; and Britain's third richest man the Duke of Westminster died [without, I assume, leaving me a penny in his will - let alone any of those tiaras he owned that were on show at the V&A exhibition we went to way back in 2002!].

Former Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls has apparently been confirmed as a contestant in the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing contest, as has Will Young; both announcements just make me shudder. The American Presidential race carried on and on and on and on. As did strikes on Southern Rail, which was one of the reasons we thought it wise to get a taxi home from Gatwick Airport.

There has apparently been a major surge in tourists flocking to the UK in the weeks since we voted to leave the EU. Good. As long as they learn which side of the bloody escalator to use on the Tube! A man from China accidentally registered himself as an asylum seeker in Germany, when in fact he just wanted to report that his wallet had been stolen. Oh, and speaking of stupid - apparently, according to a poll, this song by The Proclaimers has been announced as the UK's number one "earworm" [lord knows why; it doesn't do it for me] - I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles):


Nah. There is - as I said on this very blog two years ago - only one "ear-worm" that once heard cannot be eradicated easily [and it's not even on the stupid list!] - and that's Infernal and From Paris To Berlin:


All together, now!

From Paris to Berlin,
And every disco I get in,
My heart is pumping for love,
Pumping for love,
'Cause when I'm thinking of you,
And all the things we could do,
My heart is pumping for love
You left me longing for you


Now, that's better...

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Priks, Queers, Van Dobbens, ticker-tape, grachten, dancing in the streets and Conchita!



Needless to say, we had an absolutely fantabulosa time at Amsterdam Gay Pride over the weekend, pink moustaches and all - from the drag stage at the Amstel, to the Prik [yes, that is the name of a bar, as is "Queers"] party, to the cheese-music-fest at "Stopera" Waterlooplein, to the joyous Zeedijk street party, to the closing Rembrandtsplein "Free Festival" [even if we did get there too late to see Conchita Wurst perform, it was still a great event!].





We sang our tits off at the Sunday "oom-pah-music" singalong at Cafe 't Mandtje (in Dutch!), danced in the streets, ate (lots) of FEBO and Van Dobbens' broodje, walked for miles along the grachten, and drank copious quantities of fizzy lager [I hope not to even see another pint of bloody Heineken for at least another year]...

...but it was the Europride Canal Parade that was the most spectacular! Eighty floats, millions of spectators, crowds of happy boat people, muscle-men, rainbows, twinks, angels, drag queens, leather men, inflatable boat decorations, Conchita, hover-jetting superheroes and all - we stood in awe for hours.


[Conchita's the one in the brown frock behind the pink ticker-tape]






[There were some gorgeous go-go boys]


The water-jet display was wonderful!



[It's actually a windmill!]



A feast for the senses - and a brilliant way to celebrate [in advance; it's today] my birthday! Here's the official "theme song" for Europride 2016 - I Need A Miracle by Tara MacDonald:


No. It is not good to be back.

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Dutch courage



As my regular reader will know, we always love to bring back something a bit special whenever we go away - and this time, from our weekend away in Amsterdam [more of which later, no doubt] it's Dutch girl-band Maywood.

The moment I saw this quite hilarious clip, I was hooked. There they are, in some hideous barn somewhere, manfully struggling to sing and dance (well, hop, anyhow) to their hit Late at Night, while all about them the audience looks bored shitless - particularly the couple in the table near the stage - even when, for some bizarre reason Goofy walks across the stage right behind them! Oh, the sweet mysteries of variety television...



And from one tragic mess to another - why on earth didn't somebody shoot the wardrobe person who decided these dresses were a good look? Here's Pasadena...



It may not be a Tacky Music Monday, but...

Thursday, 4 August 2016

The Grachten are calling...



By the time you see this, dear reader, we will quite possibly have landed in the capital of gaydom, Amsterdam!

There is only one song left to play, really...

Geef Mij Maar Amsterdam by Johnny Jordaan!



It's a tradition...

"Normal" service will be resumed next Tuesday.

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

The pingelepingelepingelepingelepong you never realised you needed in your life


Yes! A Swarovski clog!

As the countdown nears its close, and we get ourselves together to pack for our middle-of-the-night flight to Amsterdam (I will be booking the taxi for 3am; gulp!), we need a bit more upbeat sing-a-long Dutch music to keep us going.

What better than one of our house favourites here at Dolores Delargo Towers, the fantabulosa Jasperina de Jong and De Wandelclub?

All together now..!



Wij willen geen nicotine, wij willen de mandoline
Van je pingelepingelepingelepingelepong
Picknicken is zo fijn
Niks pikken voor de lijn
Dat mag voor ons overbodig zijn

Jo met de banjo, en Lien met de mandoline
Kaatje met 'r mondharmonikaatje
Truitje met 'r luitje, je moet dat cluppie zien
Dol op een man, dol op een man
We zijn zo dol op een mandoline


Indeed.

Thinking young and growing older is no sin


Our very own "Lady Mary"

A rather special timeslip moment today - we're skipping way back to the year 1966..

Born in that year were a wide variety of British cultural icons: "Swinging London"; the first cross-channel hovercraft; the Severn Bridge; Alfie (the film and Cilla Black's hit song); "Bet Lynch" (in Coronation Street); Camberwick Green; Action Man toys; the Cybermen (in Dr Who); the Ford Cortina Mark II; Doctor Zhivago; Centre Point; "Alf Garnett" (in Till Death Us Do Part); the prototype Harrier Jump Jet; The Frost Report (which launched the careers of The Two Ronnies and John Cleese); Cathy Come Home; Longleat Safari Park; It’s a Knockout; the Barclaycard; Superdrug; David Hockney's The Splash; "Twiggy" (née Lesley Hornby)...

...and my sister Hils!



Fifty years?! My heavens, where do they go..?

Sharing, as she does, her birthday celebrations today with (among others) the late, great Terry Wogan (1938), Tony Bennett (1926), Martin Sheen (1940), Dolores del Rio (1905) and P. D. James (1920), I and Tony - and all our loyal "gang" of friends - celebrated the lady's fabulousness at her party on Saturday, but I am certain the celebrations will go on and on (not least at our annual picnic in a few weekends' time)!

So, what about some music to mark the occasion?

In the charts on this very day in 1966, at Number 1 was Chris Farlowe's soulful cover of the Stones' Out of Time, and the rest of the chart looked like this:
A pretty cool list, I must admit! However, at the #10 slot was a song that is - especially on a milestone day like this - a poignant one (it has been known to make me cry on occasions; let's see if it does the same for Hils).

It's the sublime Miss Dusty Springfield and Going Back...


I think I'm goin' back
To the things
I learned so well
In my youth

I think I'm returning to
Those days
When I was young enough
To know the truth

Now there are no games
To only pass the time
No more colouring books
No Christmas bells to chime

But thinking young
And growing older
Is no sin
And I can play
The game of life to win

I can recall the time
When I wasn't ashamed
To reach out to a friend
And now I think I've got
A lot more than
A skipping rope to lend

Now there's more to do
Than watch my sailboat glide
And every day can be
My magic carpet ride
And I can play hide and seek with my fears
And live my days instead of counting my years

Let everyone debate the true reality,
I'd rather see the world the way it used to be
A little bit of freedom, all we're left
So catch me if you can
I'm goin' back.




Cheers, Hils! Have a fabulous day.

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Top that!



Speaking of Gerard Joling... no countdown to our trip to Amsterdam would be complete without that legendary Dutch "supergroup" De Toppers (Mr Joling, René Froger, Gordon, and Jeroen van der Boom)!

This is exactly the kind of music we expect to hear when we are there...

Inhaken and Meedeinen:



Volendam Medley:



Ich Bin Wie Du:



We've always wanted to go to one of their phenomenal concerts. But sod that, the outfits would do...

Monday, 1 August 2016

Not over? It's not even started...



I am officially on holiday, and the countdown to this weekend's fantabulosa trip to Amsterdam for Gay Pride, with all the street parties and the grand parade on the canal, has begun.

It also happens to be a Tacky Music Monday - and the Dutch have a long-standing tradition of music that fits that particular bill!

Not least the most unashamedly flamboyant Queen of Dutch Pop - our fave Mr Gerard Joling, here in a suitably - ahem - understated stage appearance with Het Is Nog Niet Voorbij ["It's not over yet"]:



Oh, I can't wait...