Quote Of The Day

"Victory goes to the player who makes the next-to-last mistake - Chessmaster Savielly Grigorievitch Tartakower (1887-1956)"

Friday, July 03, 2015

Gladys Knight...

On Wednesday night Darren treated Stuart and I to a trip to see the wonderful Gladys Knight at the Royal Albert Hall in London's glitzy South Kensington.

Six years after we last saw her - in what was then billed as her farewell tour - at 71 this self-proclaimed Empress of Soul has still got the voice and the moves.

It was a blinding set of her classics, standards and modern songs reinterpreted.

Gladys Knight has a uniquely emotional and spiritual voice to which few can compare. The raw emotion that she put into her singing meant that every song sounded fresh, bringing many spine-tingling moments

She did a particularly wonderful version of Sam Smith's Stay With Me.

Other notable renditions were:
I Heard It Through the Grapevine
If I Were Your Woman
You’re The Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me
The Way We Were
Come Back and Finish What You Started
Licence to Kill
If You Don’t Know Me By Now
Midnight Train to Georgia

Don't leave it so long next time Gladys.

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Wait and See Attitude...

You should get that checked out. Jim Henson had that wait-and-see attitude. Now we've got wrong-sounding Muppets - Stewie Griffin

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Rebuilding Stonehenge...

Rebuilding Stonehenge in 1954. Yes, 1954.

Over the past 100 years Stonehenge has been completely overhauled. Stones were hoisted up and it was made to look all neat and tidy as people thought it might have looked. Unthinkable to do that today to such a treasured monument but they moved much of it around. Now they don't tell you *that* in the guidebooks!

 The first major rebuilding of Stonehenge started in 1901 and continued over the next 50 or 60 years. A big fuss was made in 1901 (letters to The Times!) So after that, much of it was then done on the quiet. Only comparatively recently have people campaigned to have the various restoration works included in official guidebooks and histories of the site. You can judge for yourselves the rights and wrongs of the situation. Should broken relics be repaired and if so how and by whom?

This from 1954.

This from 1877.

This from 1920.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Barry's 50th...

Fabulous night at Drapers' Hall celebrating Barry's 50th last Friday night - dinner, dancing, harpist, opera, funny speeches.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Pride Parade...

It was a fantastic Pride parade on Saturday. The weather was great, the streets were packed and everyone was in a great mood. I was very proud to be marching; marching as a gay man and marching as a Gay Gooner. Thank you to everyone who came along and supported. It meant a lot.

Friday, June 26, 2015

To Kill A Mockingbird...

Last night Stuart and I went to see the Regent's Park Open Air Theatre production of To Kill A Mockingbird at the Barbican Hall in London's glitzy Barbican.

Based on Harper Lee's prize-winning novel this was a wonderful production and well deserving of all the awards showered down upon it. It was utterly enchanting.

From the moment the actors step onto the stage reading the novel out loud an actually draw a map with chalk on the stage, depicting the small Alabama town where the action is set during the Great Depression we were hooked.

The story is powerful, the actors were great - especially the kids - and the production is simple and well imagined.

If you get a chance - go see.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Mr Compromise...

At work they call me Mr Compromise.
Not my choice of name, but I can live it. Let's move on.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Carsten Höller: Decision...

Last Sunday Stuart and I went to the Carsten Höller: Decision exhibition at the Hayward Gallery on London's glitzy South Bank.

The Belgian artist's work was in turn amazing, baffling, funny, clever, odd... but always great fun. 

Upside down glasses, pitch black corridors that you had to feel your way through, virtual reality headsets, pills you eat, giant spinning mushrooms, flying harnesses and, hey, even scaredy-cat me ventured down the giant metal helter skelters down the side of the building.


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Daily Mail...

I just read a bit of the Daily Mail online... and even I'm suprised at how offended they are at everything. 

At. Everything. 

Offended? Just because you're offended, doesn't mean you're right. Some people are offended by mixed marriage, successful women, gay people, atheism. So what? Fuck 'em! 

The most annoying thing about racist, sexist, homophobic people is, they're always too stupid to realise just how shit they are. So, to conclude... I don't think I'll be reading... the Daily Mail... ever again. 

No offence.

Monday, June 22, 2015

The Queen Of Spades...

Last Friday night Stuart and I went to see the English National Opera production of Tchaikovsky's The Queen Of Spades at The London Coliseum in London glitzy West End.

This great opera has had people walking out though. So what gives?

Apparently the main cause of their dissatisfaction has been the lesbianism, gay sex threesomes and the stupid animal outfits. So yes, you've guessed right - it's a rather gimmicky production. I can just hear that the first production meeting, "Not too gimmicky is it? The chicken costume?"

There was lovely singing though - especially by the Brits in Acts I & II. Those two yanks were a bit unnecessary - plenty of UK baritones could have done just as well. The Countess was remarkable though in Act III.

By the time the flaming wheelchairs appeared we were laughing 'at' rather than 'with'.

But when we were subjected to the needless rape/oral sex scene in Act III it had got me quite angry - so angry that we were all for leaving rather like many of our fellow patrons did. Not clever.

Shame on the ENO. Great opera, poorly executed.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Mari Wilson...

Last night Darren treated Stuart and me to Mari Wilson's Ready Steady Girls show at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern. It was simply fantastic. All her hit and more. Re-imagining of Dusty, Cilla and Petula songs. Oh and my favourite... On White Horses. Fab. Just what I always wanted.