Wednesday, 28 February 2007

Oh, the weather outside is frightful...

With a perma-drizzle outside, wet shoes, wet clothes and sniffling cold-ridden peeps at work, doing the previous Nadiya blog got me thinking... Wether played on the radio of your chosen destination or your own CDs, there's nothing more potent a reminder of hols than the accompanying musical soundtrack. So, to bring a bit of much needed sunshine and lovely thoughts, here are the tunes that were constantly repeated en vacance.

In February, last year, for my birthday I was perched on a hotel restaurant terrace high up in Les Corniches, properly feeling like Grace Kelly. In 24 degree sunshine and overlooking the coastline of the French Riviera, I went all ooh-la-la French with this one. Actually, it's Tina Arena, but she sounds Francais enough! Aimer jusqu'à l'impossible is sweeping, gorgeous and sounds fab on a drive around the nail-biting Corniche cliff-hugging roads:

And as a home-grown track brought over, this was the favourite, the hard-faced Jentina with French Kisses

In June, as well as Nadyia's hit at the time, Roc, number 1 all over the land was this Euro-trance track Living in Video by Pakito, but I was loving this older track of Nadiya's, Tous Ces Mots hanging over from previous weeks. She's like a one-woman Girls Aloud...

In September, driving around the teeny-tiny mountain roads of Mallorca, this song was on permanent repeat. Strange to see it in the charts all these months later. It feels like it's come full circle reminding me of a hot car with the window wound down rather than the cold soggy February of now...

I love this 'summer' song.

Sunday, 25 February 2007

Every day is like sunday...

Reminded of great pop moments by:
Chelsea Kelsey, one half of Duckie's Reader's Wifes, on his fabulosa Bengobaz blog talks about a screening of the Boy George "Generations of Love" vid at last week's House Of Homosexual Culture’s Hall Of Fame inauguration event. Veteran uphill gardener Tallulah, a stalwart of the scene; a DJ before all other DJ's was welcomed via the rear entrance (no doubt). He talks of the video showing George and Leigh Bowery rolling around Soho. There's a shot from said clip and yes, that IS Boy George in ACTUAL drag...
And XO London trips down Bananarama's memory lane with a fab YouTube vid of ALL 36 'Nana vids. Aw. It reminds me, though, of the French and Saunders YouTube sketch, Lanananeeneenoonoo presented by the tragically gorgeous Paula Yates... And the resulting collaboration with the real 'Nanas for Comic Relief...

Summer's here...

On the way back from a luvverly posh country hotel break (a birthday treat) I had five minutes to play a track which took me right back to last summer. Cut to the pebbly Nice beach, red hot sun and NRJ radio. Very Med. Very French. Every 3rd or 4th record was by the sensation de moment, Nâdiya. It's pomp pop rock. Maybe it was the heat, this I LOVED. Welcome to Le Roc.

Friday, 23 February 2007

Thursday, 22 February 2007

Mika: didn't he do well!

Not a pic from tonight... but close enough!

Picture the scene: meeting up in the Black Cap wondering what time Mika will actually be on stage. A count of how many songs on the album and we surmise it'll be a 9.00pm start and he'll be finished by 10.00pm. Bless him. He came on at 9.30pm and did his album justice until at least 10.30pm.

Mika is a performer with longevity. You could see it within the first 30 seconds of his biggest gig so far. He is now officially part of the UK pop aristocracy. So much so, that if you'd said he'd been building up to this gig for only half a year (in public anyway), I wouldn't have believed you. Mika looks and sounds so comfortable on stage, so EARLY in his career it's fantastic to witness.

There was no stylistic concert-improving performances of the songs on the album. They were performed verbatim - by an unbelievably energetic band, loved the bouncy drummer girl. Since each song has their own unique character, that didn't matter. Performing them live, Mika only proved how good a songwriter he really is.

The biggest cheers and singalongs were for Big Girl (a future single, no doubt... probably Xmas party time, i bet you!), Billy Brown, Relax and, of course, Grace Kelly. Lollipop, the next single was the encore, surprisingly, but as the glitter machines exploded and the giant balloons rained down in front of loads of cameras, we realised we were part of the next video. I'm still picking glitter out of my knickers! Honest!

The crowd were loud and jumping from the minute he stepped out on stage. If anything, the quieter, more emotional songs like Happy Ending and more especially Love Today had the audience perplexed. Where was bouncy Mika? In time - this is his first 'big' tour after all - Mika's performance will have light and shade, but at the moment, just be happy with Life In Cartoon Motion...

Mika: "I should Koko!"

I couldn't bear having Fonda at the top of the page (sozz, girl!)... So here's a luvverly pic of Mika as I tell you I'm going to see him perform live! At Koko! Tonight! In glamorous Camden!

I will report back. xx

THE best drag name EVER

...introducing FONDA COX:

HAHAHAHAHAHA! Hailing from the northern Riviera of Blackpool, Fonda has often been mistaken for Jane McDonald. I always thought Jane McDonald was kinda drag...

Check her site. The Julie Andrews costume on the left is inspired.

Wednesday, 21 February 2007

Ooh! Summat different

Another band who've been knocking around for a while but have officially got some product out are Unklejam. Whilst Love Ya (out on digital now and physical 26.02) isn't my favourite in their canon - What Am I Fighting and Stereo are more up my back passage - it's completely different to what's out there... when every electro track starts sounding like an 80's rip-off or, worse still, Hot Chip (just joking 'puter music fans!), it's refreshing to see a band attempting something different. Although the soul voice over cold electro isn't new, with these boys (and a dash of Funkadelic) it sounds faaaaabulous. Even the names match the aural ambitions: Adonistar, Tyson Speede and Bobby Joel Stearns. Again, faaaaabulous.
See their MySpace
And a fab PopJustice review from earlier this year

Tuesday, 20 February 2007

That girl is an indie Cindy, Leggo haircut and polka dot dress...

Ever since the glorious PopJustice pointed me in their direction, I've had a real soft spot for Hadouken!.

Gobshites the lot of 'em. If it weren't for the acutely observed and downright funny-as-fuck lyrics they could be dismissed as the That Boy That Girl so roundly set upon on the track itself. I love the hard-as-nails sound with the Casio synths screeching away. They actually sound as if they're enjoying themselves too much.

That Boy That Girl's release in physical format on 26th Feb on Surface Noise Records warrants a huge mention.

But, go ramraid their MySpace as there's two songs available on DOWNLOAD... FREE GRATIS! Although it isn't one of the downloads, Tuning In, is even better than the single. In my humble opinion. Go. NOW!

Monday, 19 February 2007

Mad about the boy

Talking of that creaky old musical at the Dominion (We Will Rock You - but gently), it reminded me of this brilliant self-filmed, self posted documentary by the Boy himself. The first 30 seconds or so he describes, and has footage of, a run-in with the sharpest Front-of-House ever.

There's another 10 in this series of docs on YouTube called The Sanity of Boy George which he posted himself in reaction to Channel 4's The Madness of Boy George. Have a look see at the whole series for yourself over on YouTube. I'll post more of George's other vids in the coming weeks as he always seems to have an opinion, on or has a hand in, the latest topic or zietgeist.

The man is fucking hilarious. As ever. He may love flashy editing of his models' arses posing in B-Rude gear, but then again... have you seen 'em!!! And if he's not sober, he's squiffy, speedy or stoned, but he's always on it. Very erudite and deserving of the kind of regard we all afford Quentin. A trailblazer who will get the blanket recognition one day. Gawd bless ya Georgie Girl.

Last night's chazza gig @ Koko

As I was still recovering from a mammoth birthday party from the previous Friday (got twatted and didn't remember my name 'til Sunday lunchtime. Nice) there was a big old chazza shindig at Koko (one of my favourite venues). It was for Body and Soul, the charity that supports children and their familes blighted by HIV with Scissor Sisters and their mates performing.

Anway, lots of people paid £100 a ticket for a chance to see Jake Shears and Neil Tennant sing together on the same stage. I'm not begrudging the charity but £100 is a bit steep, especially with Ben 'Write-a-few-mouldy-old-words-for-the-mouldy-old-Queen musical-er-thanks-ker-ching' Elton hosting.

BUT! Who cares, they raised loads of money.
Here's a coupla pics of Jake and Neil making big gay eyes at each other - and thanks to Arjan and his photographer mate for the 'loan' of 'em...

Neil: "Do think they'll notice me looking at the words for 'Bad Ass Strippa?"
Jake: "Dunno, but Jentina down there looks really fucked off!"

Denmark does Drag For Europe

Aw, bless! Dave Lynn seems to have won Denmark's entry comp for Eurovision 2007. You just know there'll be a million squealing queens wetting their Aussie Bums on Eurovision night. That ain't a bad thing. But let's put Sandra up as the UK spoiler entry! "What's she looking at? Cut 'er up! Bitch!"

Friday, 16 February 2007

Nobodaddy goody

Every so often there's a song you just keep on repeat. You love it and it loves you! Dark Clouds by Nobodaddy is that song. Lyrically darker than it sounds - a lost soul looking for a safe haven - the music suggests there's a silver lining... or that might just be my puppy-dog-optimistic take on everything. The singing has a gorgeous raspy catch which only adds to the emotion of the song. Nobodaddy are a melodious, folksy, gutsy duo called Mike and Adam who seem to have a knack for proper song writing.

Dark Clouds
is my favourite track on their new album There Must be Less to Life Than This. You can buy it in the UK at iTunes, which you'll have to go through all the pollava of searching for yourself as the link doesn't want to play on this blog! Fack! BUT! For the US of A, though, you can buy it at CD Baby. You can also hear the streaming tracks there too...

Hopefully, when I get through this technical fug and manage to get streaming tracks and mp3 files to actually appear alongside the posts, then it'll all be in one place.

Anyhoo, whizz over to their brand spanking new website for a look see at them both.

"Or is it because Secresy
gains females loud applause"
- To Nobodaddy by William Blake.

I knew it. The girls'll love 'em!

Thursday, 15 February 2007

The Brits 2007

Some of my thoughts, in no particular ‘running order’:

Russell Brand
– completely shits it at first, gets into a sort of groove but is trapped in his own bubble of dandy humour because no one can hear him, keep up with him and he gets no interaction with the gong hander-outers. Boring.
Amy Winehouse – sober and slightly dim. Boring.

Scissor Sisters – the live take on the brilliant Japanese puppetry video of theirs was a mistake. You could see most of the puppeteers and the whole concept looked lost on the giant stage. Sad to say, boring.
Snow Patrol – the vocals, ouch! Boring (as ever).
Muse – that frock coat! The bragging! Boring.

Fearne Cotton – how old are you? 8? Like, boring.
Sean Bean, Toni Collette and Anthony Head – why? Boring.
Corrine Bailey-Rae – whimpers, “2 little birds SHAT on my window”. Boring.
Red Hot Chilli Peppers – am I the only one who thinks every song sounds the same? Boring.
Oasis – the lady doth protest too much. You ARE rock establishment. You ARE up there with Sting. You ARE relics of a former pop era. You ARE boring.

But some good things:
Sophie Ellis-Bextor – well done. I loved the school teacher telling orf she gave Steve Tyler. Fab.
Allen Carr – swaps spittle with all the TT boys and dry-humps Mark Owen making thousands of thirty-something women jealous in the process. Fab.
Jarvis Cocker – getting more and more like Ronnie Corbett circa ‘Sorry’. You think you like him but you don’t know why. Fab.
The Fratellis – pissed and talking shite. Fab.

Overall, there were no surprises. The sets were weak, static and unimaginative. The Brits is essentially a TV show not a gig. Earls Court could have been transformed instead of staying within the confines of the stage and auditorium. The music industry bods could have been pushed way back to make room for bigger sets. And couldn’t they have sat the nominees closer to the stage? When The Fratellis won I went off to get a drink. I’d uncorked, poured for two AND grabbed a bag of Dorritos by the time the pissed old Scots staggered up the stairs.

Gruesome twosome - and who invited her anyway?

"Where's that facking Winehouse? Hic."

Let's hope next year they rip it up and start again.

Wednesday, 14 February 2007

My grand intentions

Imagine if your loved one gave you a Purple Ronnie card today. Oof, worra stinker. And THAT’S why I can’t bear VD. Well, that and the Ark-like ambiance of an over-priced restaurant. Can’t think of anything worse. Hang on, yes I can… Forever Friends!

My post today was actually going to introduce my intentions for this blog. Anyhoo, what I was going to say was, I want it to be my take on pop culture with a bit of social commentary thrown in (like 90% of every blog on the www). I want this blog to be as entertaining, and as valuable as the ones I have taken to my liddle ol’ heart. Every now and again I’d like to be the one to introduce you to music you would never have heard otherwise; whether by a new or old artist. I’d like to be the one to enthuse you about a magazine, a book, an image or any kind of mind-candy. Or I’d like to be the one who’s take on anything is worth reading. High intentions I know, but there’s my stall and you’re welcome to have a nose.

Having said all that, I’m still working my way around all the new blog-type wotsits and will introduce different media like, ooooh, pictures in the next post.

Tuesday, 13 February 2007

worrapolava indeed

Gawd, I didn't realise how hard this blog would be to set up. It all looks so effortless, but start down one rocky link and it takes you down another route until you're completely lost, tripped up, knees grazed on the superhighway. It's like falling over with all your shopping in Dalston. No one will stop to help. All you have are a few snapped carrots, a dirty orange and a shred of dignity.

Give me a few hours and i might sort just sort this out!

Well, this is Phil talking...

...I wanna tell you, er something. Don't worry, this isn't a late night (and wine) blog start-up but a culmination of a few months' wondering. Wondering about actually doing a blog. Well this may be the start and the finish, but hey ho, let's go.