Quote Of The Day

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

Friday, July 30, 2004

Miss Rachel Stevens Herself...
Miss Rachel Stevens herself answers her critics directly on this very web site in my comments section. She talks of her disappopintment at not being included on the Mercury Nominations list and her love of her more flamboyant fans. I reproduce it here for your enjoyment.

[Thanks Darius(?)]]

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Come Out, Come Out, Whoever You Are...
Simpsons ties knot with gay marriage. The feverish public debate in the US over gay marriages is to be played out in a forthcoming episode of The Simpsons, it emerged today. The show's producers have revealed that the cartoon classic will feature an episode in which gay marriage is legalised in Springfield. Producer Al Jean said, "We have a show where, to raise money, Springfield legalises gay marriage. Homer becomes a minister by going on the internet and filling out a form. A long time character comes out of the closet, but I'm not saying who."

So who will it be? Smithers? Carl and Lenny? Moe? Comic Book Guy?

My money's on Patty "there goes my last lingering thread of my heterosexuality" Bouvier.
Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith...
So the 6th Star Wars film to be made will be called Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith. According to starwars.com It'll be out in the States on 19th May 2005.

"The Sith are masters of the dark side of the Force and the sworn enemies of the Jedi. They were all but exterminated by the Jedi a thousand years ago, but the evil order continued in secrecy. They operated quietly, behind the scenes, acting in pairs - a Master and an Apprentice - patiently biding their time before they could take over the galaxy. In Episode III, they'll finally exact their revenge on the Jedi."

As the last couple of films have been a tad disappointing maybe this really will be Revenge of The Sixth.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

We took Paul out for dinner last night to celeberate his birthday a bit early.

Looking for a swish place to go for a cocktail? Look no further than The Lounge Lover just off the Bethnal Green Road. Eclectic yet groovy. Not particularly cheap though.

Looking for a swish place to eat? Look no further than Les Trois Garcons restaurant right next to the above bar. Great service, OK food and decor as camp as tits. Again, not cheap.
What happens at 9pm in the UK every night? I'll tell you. Every young person, every impressionable person, every person of a nervous disposition, every easily offended person and everyone who thought they had a right to complain goes to bed. Welcome to the weird anachronism that we in the UK call - the watershed. It's a TV curfew enforced (on occasion) by Ofcom. At 8:58pm you can't swear. At 9:02pm you can say 'fucking' or 'cunt'. And show both.

To give a recent example, porn satellite channel Xplicit XXX has been fined £50,000 for broadcasting hard-core sex scenes before the 9pm watershed. At 8:30pm in fact. The fine was light because no viewers complained.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

2004 Nationwide Mercury Prize Nominees...
Last year Dizzee Rascal won it. But who will win the 2004 Nationwide Mercury Prize

The UK albums up for nomination are:-
Amy Winehouse - Frank
Basement Jaxx - Kish Kash
Belle & Sebastian - Dear Catastrophe Waitress
Franz Ferdinand - Franz Ferdinand
Jamelia - Thank You
Joss Stone - The Soul Sessions
Keane - Hopes and Fears
Robert Wyatt - Cuckooland
Snow Patrol - Final Straw
The Streets - A Grand Don't Come for Free
Ty - Upwards
The Zutons Who Killed...... - The Zutons

Monday, July 26, 2004

People People...
I'm a people person. I like people. And I like people who like people. And below are some of the people people I peopled with over the weekend.
Friday 6pm Kings Head : Hanko, Darius, Amanda, Andrea, Claudia, Tomas, Britta, Dave, Thiery and a bunch of other (mainly German) Marc Almond fans
Friday 9.00pm Home : Drew many computer games
Saturday 10.00am Home : Drew many more computer games - happy now, Drew?! :)
Saturday 4-30pm La Porchetta : Hanko, Darius, Andrea, Claudia, Martin
Saturday 6pm Kings Head : Hanko, Darius, Andrea, Claudia, Tomas, Britta, Dave, Thiery, Mark, Paul, David, Roberto, Ian (!), Paul, Dave and a slightly larger bunch of other (still mainly German) Marc Almond fans
Saturday 7pm Marc Almond concert at Almeida : Hanko, Darius, Andrea, Claudia, Tomas, Britta, Dave, Thiery, Mark, Paul, David, Roberto, Ian (!), Paul, Dave, Steve, Alistair, Tim, Kevin, Ben, Katia, Martin and a huge bunch of other (now fairly mixed) Marc Almond fans
Saturday 11pm Duckie : Paul, Hanko, Darius, Andrea, Claudia, Martin, Petra, Kevin, Chris and a bunch of other Duckie regulars
Sunday 2am Taxi home : Paul, Martin, Kevin Calouchios 11am Hanko, Darius, Andrea, Claudia, Martin
Sunday 2pm Chill Out at RVT : Pete, Bobby, David #1, David #2, Roberto, Andy, Kevin, Jason #1, Jason #2, Grant, David #2, Jonathan #1, Jonathan #2, Luca, Stuart and a huge bunch of other (mainly shaven-headed and tattooed) disco dancers.

Maybe I'll spend tonight by myself.

Friday, July 23, 2004

Text at home...
BT have launched a home texting service called BT Text: "It's an exciting new service that will allow you to send and receive text messages - from your home phone". Ok, maybe not exactly 'exciting' but maybe quite useful. I've tried it and it does seem to work. And it's free to other landlines.
The Best Pictures of 2003: 1st Place...

[Click on image for bigger version]

Thursday, July 22, 2004

French and Saunders...
Last night Guy, Neil and I went to BBC Television Centre in White City to see the taping of the latest French and Saunders sketch show. Believe it or not they have been working together on TV since 1981 but this is only series 6.

In the 1980s and early 1990s the French and Saunders show used to the thing to watch - ground-breaking stuff and funny as hell it was quoted from school yard to office cooler. During the latter part of the 1990s though they rather went off the boil as a comedy duo; moving into film parody rather too heavily in their own shows and concentrating there time on other roles (in particular The Vicar of Dibley and Absolutely Fabulous). But with a bit of a lull in their other personal projects they are spending this year working on a proper series of French and Saunders. This renewed focus has certainly paid off if the sketches we watched last night were any example. That said, the film parodies are still much in evidence with even a joke about their own dependence upon them: Lisa Tarbuck as their exasperated manager, "Now look! What the public want is you (pointing to Dawn) in a dog collar and you (pointing to Jennifer) falling over and showing your knickers but they can't have that - so do what you can do. Film parodies. Alright? It's what French and Saunders do."

Actually this is a trifle unfair, they have come up with a clutch of new characters (dressers in history, Jodie and Jordan phone-in show, teenage shouty girl, Devonshire ladies move to Miami) which are quite as good as what they ever used to do. But is it a return to form? Yes and no. Yes, it is funny, but it's not really what you would call ground-breaking. It's not quite got that edge that made it unmissable all those years ago. Think Ab Fab season 4 versus Ab Fab season 1. Think comedy that makes you chuckle rather than comedy that makes tea spray out of your nose. Great to have the girls back though. Should be on air October time.
The Best Pictures of 2003: 2nd Place...

[Click on image for bigger version]

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Marc Almond at the Almeida...
Last night I and a large contingent of the Marc Almond super-groupies (Hanko, Darius, Gary + b/f, Michael +b/f, Katia + Belgian, Ben etc etc) all went to see Marc Almond at the Almeida Theatre in Islington. I know some of you will be seeing him later in the week so I'll not give too much away about the content but just describe my impressions of the show.

Let me start by saying it was a cracking night. Did I say 'cracking'? I meant marvelous, remarkable, spectacular, striking, stupendous, superb, terrific and wondrous. But I would say that. I'm a fan.

Marc's new-found ability to hold a show together was ably demonstrated by the fact he wasn't put off by some of the more pesky flash photography, the audience singing along and clapping or the odd mistimed cough by the front row. "You'll be pleased to hear I won't be attacking or insulting you tonight. I'm through my bitter and cynical phase". And it showed.

His voice was in fine fettle too and he only hit the odd bum note. He was wearing his dark suit and white shirt - all very formal - something that matched the tone of the night really. His stage presence and movements were... er... OK - while still not exactly dancing he certainly has got his arm waving under control and let's face it, his dramatic poses could shatter glass.

Mind you, the show did look a little unrehearsed at times - missed lighting cues, parts of the stage too dark so Marc just couldn't be seen and lights being dimmed, turned up and dimmed again as if it was a dress rehearsal (come on, fess up Marc, did you actually have a dress rehearsal?) The sound was a little odd too - occasional incorrect echo so he was singing over himself, the band up too loud and Marc's mike had too much cut-off so he was either very loud or virtually inaudible. The encore(s) at the end were sloppy too. At the end they didn't actually leave the stage but just stumbled around shrugging their shoulders looking lost. So when the end did come in fact they were off never to return. We'd had our two encores and not realised it.

I will just briefly touch on the content without giving too much away. For me the first half was much better than the second half. It was a nice mix of old and new - besides, I love all that Russian stuff. The second half was weaker due to too many cover versions and too little change of tempo. The jazz classics were fine (yes, you read that right, Marc has found jazz) but I was conscious of all the songs he was leaving out to squeeze in the odd Nina Simone song. That said, I quite like Marc The Jazz Singer (thank God it wasn't Marc The Lounge Singer!) but, as Ben pointed out, if he wants to play Las Vegas (which he maintains he does) then last night was his Las Vegas showreel.

OK now I have the track listing for the gig I just can't not post it! So as not to spoil it I've hidden the text as white though, so if you want to see it you need to drag your mouse across the blank looking area below.

UPDATE: the show's are over now so all can be revealed

So Long The Path
Always And Everywhere
Nuit De Noel
The Storks
The Glance Of Your Dark Eyes
Heart On Snow
Lonely Go-Go Dancer
The Flame
Tenderness Is A Weakness
Rouge And Perfume
The Slave
Caroline says
In The Port Of Amsterdam
Catch a Fallen Star

A Lover Spurned
Hustler's Tango (Lewis Furley cover)
Lotus Blossom (Johnnie Ray cover)
I Cover The Waterfront (Mel Torme cover)
In The Dark (Nina Simone cover)
What Makes A Man A Man
Go To Hell (Nina Simone cover)
Satan's Child
When Bad People Kiss
End In Tears
Suicide Saloon

Strangers In The Night

[Thanks Hanko]

The Best Pictures of 2003: 3rd Place...

[Click on image for bigger version]

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Spare Ticket for Marc Almond...
Tonight I have tickets to go and see Marc Almond 7:30pm at the Almeida Theatre in Islington. It promises to be a great gig.

However, one of the people I was going with now can't make it. So do you wanna go? If you do then send me an e-mail to jonathan @ overyourhead.co.uk (but obviously miss out the spaces). If there are no takers then I can always sell it at the door.
The Best Pictures of 2003: 4th Place...

[Click on image for bigger version]

Monday, July 19, 2004

"Those nails make you look like a giiiiirl!"...
It was a super weekend for Nikki, Mark and I; we stayed down in a lovely village called Storgursey in Somerset with Kim. Kim's house and garden are quite beautiful and it put in mind of an idyllic French farm house. On Sunday Kim's two lovely children, Molly and Lucy, joined us. Molly is 9 and Lucy is 5 and so within a very short time I was making arts and crafts men out of bits from the garden and the kitchen, blowing bubbles, bouncing on the trampoline and having my finger nails painted bright purple. Playing with the kids made me feel very paternal. And, I don't mind saying, more than a little bit broody. I'd love to have kids.
The Best Pictures of 2003: 5th Place...

[Click on image for bigger version]

Friday, July 16, 2004

New Blogger Formatting Tools...
Oh look, Blogger got fonts and colours & symbols ufhin & big & small
  1. and
  2. numbering
  • and
  • bullet
  • points

and left

and centre

and right

cool (note to self, don't overuse)

Me In Nice...
Last year Nikki, Kim, Mark, and I went to Nice for a few days. We had such a great time that the four of us are getting together again this weekend. We're going down to Taunton in Somerset to stay at Kim's place. Below is a place that Mark took while we were in Nice last year.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

How To Settle Work Problems...
I'm having a bit of a tough time at work at the moment. I am fighting my corner though. Only thing is, I'm not a very good fighter.

Pretty Creatures...
Oh. My. God. [Not safe to be viewed at work - unless your boss doesn't mind you looking at dancing cocks and meaty vulvas pulsating to a mashed up version of Ohio Express's 1968 hit, Yummy, Yummy, Yummy, I Got Love In My Tummy and Gershwin's Rhapsody In Blue, that is]

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Telephone Numbers...
01 for London
071 or 081 for London
0171 or 0181 for London
020 7 or 020 8 for London
020 7, 020 8 or 020 3 for London
Spot the Connection : The answer...
Well done, David and Bryan. They got the correct answer which is The London Readers Wives remix album 9 Years Of Shame - a wonderful (re)mix of comedy clips and the eclectic tunes they spin at Duckie. Fab.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Spot The Connection : 25 clues...
This may help with the connection or it may completely confuse you. 25 clues and 19 tracks.

In the style of the Russian Ballet - Women In Love
I did the right thing - Aileen: Life And Death of A Serial Killer
It wasn't my fault - The Victim
That's alright, Agatha - Carry On At Your Convenience
I was having sex with the little fella - Fargo
I specialise in naughty nights - A Change Of Sex
Hazel O'Connor's Scream - Breaking Glass
Michael, the cops are here - Party Monster
Where's the fucking head? - Curb Your Enthusiasm
Kill her, Mommy - Friday The 13th
The sea queen - Storm In A Tea Cup
This is Steed and this is Emma - The Avengers
Because I am not one of your fans - Mommy Dearest
Back to the village, love - Cornation Street
What I am, Michael - Boys In The Band
Not to mention my screams - Anna from This Life
I'm not coming back in - The 1900 House
They're still open - Nighty Night
And there was a little cherry - The Pan's People Documentary
The one and only, Kelly! - Jeremy Joseph
You're gonna die up there - The Exocist
Have you got your cans? - Side By Side
It's time to go - The Amazing Mr Blunden
Sorry - Pop Idol
In league with the devil - ?
Spot The Connection : 19 tracks...
What is the connection between the 19 tracks below?

2000 Light Years From Home - The Rolling Stones
Hello - The Beloved
I Love To Boogie - T. Rex
The Snake - Al Wilson
I Am The Fly - Wire
Strict Machine - Goldfrapp
The Crunch - The Rah Band
America : What Time Is Love? - KLF
White Rabbit - Jefferson Airplane
Jeane - The Smiths
Laura - Scissor Sisters
Go For Gold - Girls At Our Best
Oh Shit! - The Buzzcocks
Starman - David Bowie
Like A Motorway - Saint Etienne
Oh, England My Lionheart - Kate Bush
Do It Do It Again - Rapella Cara
Matinee - Franz Ferdinand
Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes) - Edison Lighthouse

Monday, July 12, 2004

How Ruder!...
Drew and I were playing Scrabble over the weekend, and after my run in with BT this picture seemed entirely appropriate.
Andy Bell's solo album...
The current edition of Billboard magazine features an interview with Philip Larsen of Manhattan Clique fame. The Erasure releases of Solsbury Hill and Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me) have both featured Manhattan Clique remixes.

In the interview titled "Beat Box: Larsen More Than Sir Remix-A-Lot" Philip discusses (amongst other things) his work on Andy Bell's forthcoming solo album which will arrive early next year after the release of Erasure's Nightbird album.

The album features a "duet or two" with Claudia Brucken of Propaganda and is "an eclectic mix of songs which encompass styles that people may not have heard Andy sing before".

Saturday, July 10, 2004

BT Blues (continued)...
8am: Back in the office today waiting for a BT engineer. Data is up but voice still not. Grrrrr.

12pm: BT engineer final arrives

1pm: Phones back on - my weekend can now start.

Friday, July 09, 2004

How Rude!...
BT Blues...
8am: I'm in the office this morning on my day off. Why? All our BT phone lines and data access is down; has been for nearly 24 hours. So I'm stuck here with my hands on my hips waiting for an engineer to arrive.

10am: Two BT engineers arrived. Fixed nothing. Said they'd be back. Left.

12pm: Waiting for BT engineer

2pm: I go for long lunch

4pm: Back waiting for BT engineer

6pm: Still waiting for BT engineer

8pm: Bored of waiting for BT engineer
Brain Teasers : The answers...
1. Footsteps

2. He kicked it up in the air

Well done Eric and Bryan!

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Brain Teasers...
1. The more you take the more you leave behind. What is it?

2. A professional footballer bet me that he could kick a ball a certain distance, have it stop, and then come back to him, without anything else touching it. He won the bet - How?
Colon: Reaches The Places Other Cleaning Products Can't...
Spotted this on a supermarket shelf in Sitges the other week. Made me giggle.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Milk's and Cream's what?...
This note just appeared in our work kitchen. It reminded me of other similar examples that are cited in the rather wonderful Lynn Truss book Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation.

[click for bigger version]
Poor old BBC is to close a few web sites...
The Graf Report on the BBC's online services gives it a bit of a rap across the knuckles. Apparently the BBC has been straying into commercial operations and having an adverse impact on competition. Can this be right? Not the poor old BBC? Surely it only has a couple of web sites anyway. What possible harm could they do?

And what was the BBC's response to this wild accusation? It immediately closed five of it's web sites down (including Fantasy Football and Pure Soap).

But wait. To put this into some perspective, just how many web sites does the BBC actually run? And at what cost? Yesterday's Guardian proudly told us. It reported that the BBC's online presence "runs to 20,000 websites" and costs "£90m per annum after distribution and other costs were taken into account". What the...?! 20,000 web sites! £90m! That is incredible. What the hell are they doing? Sure BBC News is fantastic but what about the 19,999 others?! Enlighten me someone, please.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Marc Almond interview...
Marc Almond is interviewed in today's Independent.
Good News / Bad News...

The Good News: Saddam Hussein is going to face the death penalty.

The Bad News: David Beckham is going to take it.
The Non-moving Moving Image...
How many people do you see? Wait 10 seconds and then count again.

[Thanks Kevin]

Monday, July 05, 2004

Gay Pride 2004...
And so it began. Last Saturday was London Gay Pride 2004. Here is a brief outline of my day.

[12:00 noon] Pride Parade - Stood down by Green Park tube station in the sunshine and showers. It was a fairly colourful and high spirited parade but 'not as busy this year', but then we always say that. It was the Parades that got small!

[1:30pm] Comptons of Soho - The boys took over the street as usual, lots of minkering and smiling and flirting and the odd tinny or three. Pace yourself, Jonathan, pace yourself. It's going to be a long day. And (no) surprise, (no) surprise, we were given loads of free tickets to Big Gay Out in Finsbury Park (prompting a hasty change of plans).

[3:00 pm] Pride Rally in Trafalgar Square - On stage they were mainly the great and the good but with a smattering of politicos to lower the tone - Jean T and Ida Barr provided the glue to stick it all together. We also enjoyed (?) some (worthy) music and a genuinely moving speech by an 81 year old woman who was a survivor of the Nazi Concentration Camps. Elsewhere in the square there were cute men on the stalls (Hi Bryan! Hi Glen!) to provide a very welcome distraction from the baking heat. Pointing to a man in a kilt an old woman nudged me and demanded, "Tell him I'm a Hagis". And they say we're queer. A success then. Could this be the relaunch of Pride proper? (Pickup point for Waif and stray #1: Max - freakoid in need of escort to Finsbury Park).

[5:30pm] Big Gay Out in Finsbury Park - Max was tottering a bit on the grass in his overly stacked heels (did I mention he was 'differently dressed'?) but I steadied his balance and he steadied my nerves with a drink. A drink he actually stole from one of the beer stands. Heavens. I was soon ditched by Max (he had a podium to find) and hooked up with David #1, Jason #1, Jason #2 and later David #2 and Roberto and we bopped and boogied the evening away. In the Gash (sic) Tent we saw a woman being pierced by six meat hooks in the skin of her back and suspended from the ceiling. Nice. She then did a strip. Of course. Marc Almond was on at 9:20 singing Soul To Soul, Tainted Love and the Almighty version of Say Hello, Wave Goodbye. His backing troupe were a mix of 15 muscle Marys and massively befeathered Argentinean samba dancers. Fab.

[11:00pm] Duckie's Gay Shame at the Coronet in Elephant & Castle - David #1, Jason #1, Jason #2 and I eventually made it down south to join the merry throng that was Gay Shame. Marky, Drew, Steven & Ian were a(l)lready there. Lots of entertainment was on the main stage (London Readers Wifes, Ida Barr, Ursula Martinez etc) while 30 stalls scattered around the venue gave us a chance to spend our fake pink pounds. The stalls had names like Kiss Box, Confront The Cunt, Tea And Sympathy and Talkeoke. Bit hot but great fun.

[4:30am] Home & Bed - Phew!

Sunday, July 04, 2004

Greece win Euro 2004...
Well, what a turn up. Portugal lose to Greece again. So it's Grecian 2004.

Friday, July 02, 2004

Scissor Sisters at the Royal Albert Hall...
The Scissor Sisters are playing at the Royal Albert Hall in October. Anyone want to go?
George Michael: Flawless...
As regular readers may know I'm a bit of a George Michael fan. This week sees the release the fourth single from his numbero uno album Patience called Flawless (Go To The City) - a cover of 'composition containing elements from' The Ones' hit. It's dead good. But the reason I mention it here is for the CD single of remixes. It's fab! Five mixes that go on for a total of a wonderful 34 minutes and 41 seconds.
Optical Illusion...
No, this isn't an animated gif. It's simply an optical illusion. As you move your eyes the wheels seem to turn. You can prove this by just staring at one circle. Click on the image for a bigger version.

[Thanks to Rog for the link]

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Pet Shop Boys plan free film gig...
The Pet Shop Boys will unveil their latest project - a soundtrack to the 1925 film Battleship Potemkin - at a free show in London's Trafalgar Square. It's on Sunday 12th September. Anyone fancy joining me?
I couldn't stop laughing when Guy sent me this. It's so wrong.