Quote Of The Day

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

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Pink Tardis...
And they said under the pen of Russell T Davis the new Dr Who wouldn't be gay...
Scissor Sisters Collaboration Rumours...
From St Etienne mailing list (that fount of rumour and gossip) talking about Scissor Sisters collaborations...

"look for Jake on upcoming TIGA single

there's that KYLIE collaboration coming too...

look for collaborations with CARLY SIMON? (Bizarre, but hopefully true...)

look for them on the brit awards with a secret surprise guest that will blow your fucking minds. REALLY! If things fall into place, it will be the performance EVERYONE will talk about. but it's a secret... you know.

look for new years eve celebration with BLONDIE in Edinburgh!"

[Thanks Darius]

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

I pick up my Hotmail through Outlook Express and/or Outlook - it's easy that way. It used to be free to do this but now I'm going to have to pay for it as Hotmail starts charging for Outlook access. Boo. Hiss.
WOW! Duckie Salutes Kate Bush...
Oh. My. God! This is soooo me! Kiki and Herb et al. I'll be there!

[Click for bigger version]
Venue: ICA

Performance: WOW! Duckie Salutes Kate Bush

Date: Fri 15 Oct 2004 at 8pm.

Starring Kiki & Herb, Nathan Evans, Wee Lee and Fake Bush. Hostessed by Amy Lame with DJ's London Readers Wifes.

Duckie, south London's premiere post-gay pop and performance kunst-disco invites you to join the queer Kate Bush fan club. She's eccentric, she's elusive and she's very, very English.

A night of puppetry, poetry, karaoke, contemporary dance and some brilliant pop song performances. Punters are encouraged to dress as Kate and don your leotards, legwarmers and lipstick. This is the third in Duckie's series of quirky tributes to English pop cultural figures at the ICA - following on from their previous homages to Julie Burchill and Morrissey

Full Price : £10.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

My Life in My Pocket...
OMG! Holy Moly, Gurtie Gadget! I so want one!
Virgin Galatic...
So Richard Branson wants to send people into space, huh? Not my cup of tea exactly. I'm more of an earthling. Especially when it's powered by laughing gas and rubber. But full marks to them for effort though.

The Virgin marketing blurb makes it sound a bit like a roller coaster ride at Thorpe Park with their liberal use of exclamation marks.

"Your journey out of this world begins not on the launch pad like a conventional space rocket but on a runway. Virgin Galactic craft are carried under a mother ship to almost 10 miles above sea level. Then the countdown begins!

5, 4, 3, 2, 1…..the VSS Enterprise, your spaceship, is released from the mother ship. Almost immediately, as your astronaut pilot ignites the engine, you will hear the roar of the rocket behind you as the enormous power accelerates you at 4G to a speed faster than a bullet!

All the time, the ergonomic design of the seats will keep you comfortable.

As you hurtle through the edges of the atmosphere, through the panoramic individual windows you will be able to see the cobalt blue sky turn to mauve and indigo and finally black. Out will come the stars, clear and bright... even though it is daytime!

Soon the rocket motor cuts out. Now, from the rush of adrenalin and the rocket motor, everything is quiet.

You are weightless...

You are in space!

The ship will manoeuvre, so you can look for the first time back at the planet you have just come from. The view will be over a thousand miles in any direction. That’s like seeing North Africa if you were in a spaceship above London or Miami from overhead Washington DC. You will see the clarity of the solar system and the harshness of the sun.

It will be humbling! It will be spiritual!

After these precious minutes soaking up the thrill of space, you will start your return to earth. Your seats will recline to make the journey through the atmosphere as comfortable as possible. At around 50,000 feet the spaceship will return to a glider-like configuration for the landing back at the spaceport.

Possibly, later that evening, at a magnificent gala dinner, you will be awarded your astronaut wings and maybe even a part of the rocket motor used on your trip for you to keep as a memento.

Terms and conditions apply: I.e. we can only take 5 people, you'll need a week's pre-flight training, the whole trip will only last 3 hours, you'll only be weightless for three minutes, you'll have to travel to the Mojave Desert and it'll cost you about £100,000. But, hey, you'll get a slap-up meal and a bit of rusty engine as part of the deal!

Monday, September 27, 2004

My Luc was in...
It was my birthday weekend just gone. My family took me away for a few days to a hotel and health spa in Northern France. Very nice. Le Touquet used to be the preserve of wealthy Victorians in search of that 'continental experience' or Parisians in search of the nearest beach to the Eiffel Tower. These days it's a holiday destination not too dissimilar to Brighton.

The spa treatments were great. First there was the salt water swimming pool, then a massage with the rather lovely Luc and then a bizarre algae therapy. This last one involved stripping, having a shower scrub and being coated with a very smelly bright green liquidised seaweed. The 'nurse' then wrapped me in cling film (not as pervy as it sounds), a heated blanket and then being left to cook for 20 minutes. Funny how your mind wanders when you're in such situations. All I could think of was how a chip much feel in a guacamole dip. The whole experience was a bit weird but great for the skin.

So now I'm back in the big smoke and rather sold on the idea of health spas. So what next? Fancy a colonic anyone?

Friday, September 24, 2004

Homophobic Crime...
Reported homophobic crime has risen by 15% in London over the last year. This is largely being put down to the fact that gay men and lesbians are less reluctant to report homophobic attacks that before. However, according to research company Stormbreak that still means only 1 in 3 such crimes is being reported though.
Who Killed Kirsty MacColl?...
At 10pm tonight on BBC Four is a documentary about Kirsty MacColl called 'Who Killed Kirsty MacColl?'

'In December 2000 singer Kirsty MacColl was killed in front of her two children by a speed boat belonging to one of Mexico's wealthiest businessmen. Featuring explosive new evidence, Olivia Lichtenstein's film is the moving story of 80-year-old Jean MacColl's search for the truth about her daughter's untimely death and her attempts to bring those she believes are responsible to justice.'

If you're interested and don't have digital TV don't fret, as with most BBC Four documentaries they often find their way onto BBC Two at some point.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Champions League kicks off on broadband...
Uefa has kicked off a broadband service to allow footy fans to watch every Champions League match online this season. The Uefa.com Action broadband service will provide access to video and audio content from every match, as well as an archive that includes highlights from the competition's history. Designed to appeal to the growing numbers of football fans around the world with broadband access, the service offers video highlights from this season's Uefa Cup Final, video footage of every goal scored in the League, and last season's competition. Subscribers can also access a daily video news bulletin delivering all the latest news in European football, and a weekly magazine show featuring interviews with star players and profiles of key European club sides. Subscription for the 2004-05 season costs £29.95. A season-long live audio match commentary subscription is available for £9.95. Free seven-day trials of the service are available here.
Nintendo DS...
Out soon. Yippie!

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

One Hump or Two?...
I swear to God this message just turned up in my inbox from our receptionist. You can't make this stuff up.

From: Reception
Sent: 22 September 2004 11:01
To: London Staff
Subject: Camel (with a baby camel also)

I know this sounds funny, but it is serious. Has anybody picked up a fax from a Norma Turnball regarding our sponsoring a camel for an event today?

Please reply soon as they are waiting.

Sony Network Walkman...

Marky and I have both replaced our stolen MP3 players with the much awaited spanking new Sony Network Walkman (or to give it it's correct title the Sony NW-HD1 20GB Hard Drive Network Walkman). It claims it'll hold 13,000 songs but as with all these things it depends on the sample rate you're happy with.

Sony's iPod killer? I doubt it. But it's credit-card size makes it significantly smaller and much lighter. It also has massively longer battery life of 30 hours.

It also has that nice feel-good factor you get from all Sony products. Sony aren't necessarily good innovators but, like Microsoft, will follow a trend and generally do a better job at marketing it than their rivals.

Slight niggles with the new Walkman? The transfer software SonicStage is a little bit clunky and you can't create playlists as you listen. But apart from that it's a winner.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Bat Boy : The Musical...
Roger got free tickets to see the musical comedy Bat Boy : The Musical in London's glitzy West End last night. Against all good advice I went along.

None of us knew quite sure what to expect. The reviews had been, as they say, mixed but, hey, that doesn't mean it wouldn't be fun, huh?. How wrong we were.

In the opening number the chorus pointed directly at the audience and sang, rather ominously, "Bat Boy has had to suffer all his life, and now it's your turn". How right they were.

I can sum up the dreadful experience by comparing it to two things it wasn't; two things it was trying to aspire to but failing: The Rocky Horror Show and The Little Shop Of Horrors. Although it inhabited the same world of both of these wonderful musicals it had neither the sheer sense of fun of the former nor kitsch and good tunes of the later. In fact there was precious little humour to be found in either the dialogue or the songs. A fatal mistake in a musical comedy, I'd have though.

The auditorium was almost empty. Those that were there were all on freebies. I give it a couple of months tops. Shame.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Do you use MSN Messenger? If so you may be interested that you can now run MSN Messenger through Internet Explorer? Cool.
As you may or may not know, Claudia Brucken (of Propaganda fame) duets with Andy Bell on two of the songs on his forthcoming (non Erasure) album, which is nearly completed.

Claudia and Paul Humphreys (of OMD fame) are actually in a band called OneTwo (http://www.theremusic.com) and are playing a 'special gig' at the Islington Academy on Thursday 30th September 2004. I'll be there!

The poster is here: http://www.erasureinfo.com/news/gfx/onetwo.pdf

Friday, September 17, 2004

(San) Ilya...
Simon, Paul, Gordon and I (Charlie and Mark were both no-shows) went to see the fabulousness and gorgeousness that is (San) Ilya last night at Jazz Cafe in London. We last saw them in May and I stand by my previous view of them being like Goldfrapp (circa Felt Mountain) meets Annie Lennox meets Air meets Leslie Garret meets Cleo Layne meets Anastasia.

But don't just take my word for it:
Once in a while, a new act emerges that creates such a unique sound that you can’t fail to sit up and take notice. An act whose music redefines boundaries, that experiments with different sounds with glorious consequences. San Ilya - namely Joanna Swan, Nick Pullin and Dan Brown, who hail from Bristol, have done just that with their debut album ‘They Died For Beauty’, a tantalizing set that combines a haunting yet delicate vocals and melodies, with a laid back jazz-influenced production style that somehow fuses Jacques Brel with Scott Walker, James Bond, Ipanema style and Curtis Mayfield-remnant basslines.

Highlights of last night's gig for me were Bellissimo (as featured in Revlon's TV commercial), Happy and Weak, Quattro Neon and Pretty Boy. Oh, and the seven-piece's very cute drummer.
Moral Dilemma...
A friend of mine (no, it's not me, it really is a friend of mine) is having a 'secret' affair. Their partner doesn't know - yet - but word is beginning to spread, so they may find out sooner or later if the affair continues. Should I say something to my friend i.e. that I, and many other people, do know what's going on or should I mind my own beeswax?

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Copenhagen in Pictures...
Danish week here on overyourhead concludes a little early with some of the snaps we took. And not a Little Mermaid in sight. Click for bigger versions.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

10 ways to annoy a Dane...
1. So let's get this straight, you used to own Norway, Sweden, northern Germany, most of England and Greenland. What went wrong?
2. Are you a natural blond?
3. Sweden was great
4. Isn't Helena Christensec Norwegian?
5. You paid how much for your car?
6. Precisely how much do you have left after tax?
7. ...but I guess at least you can be sure your Government is spending it wisely
8. Does Queen Margrethe know a good denist?
9. Surely there's no place for a monarchy in a modern, liberal democracy?
10. I know it's red but I'm crossing anyway
10 ways to charm a Dane...
1. Of course, if you count Greenland, Denmark is absolutely huge, virtually a superpower!
2. Tell me one more time about the 1992 European Championships, will you?
3. Can we swap queens? Yours seems so much cooler than ours
4. Would you like a cigarette?
5. I don't know about you but candles make a place so much more cosy
6. Sweden was great - in the 1970s
7. Hey, neat flag!
8. Hey, great chairs!
9. Who needs hills? Cycling's so much easier on the flat anyway
10. Tusind tak ('a thousand thanks' - always makes a Dane smile)

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Sour note...
Hmmm. Well, I have to report it wasn't a very good end to what was actually a lovely holiday.

First we were robbed at the hotel losing both our Sony MP3 players and a SD memory card - we'd left our luggage with the concierge while we did some last minute window shopping. We didn't realise that while we were away our bags had been tampered with until we got back to the UK. Marky, bless him, made calls to the hotel and the Danish police. Insurance... Minimum excess... Police crime numbers... Ugh!

Secondly, I had come down with food poisoning from our final hotel buffet breakfast. I suspect the pancakes as people were helping themselves with their hands.

And to cap it all the flight home was really bumpy (my worst nightmare). I was getting travel sickness and the food poisoning wasn't helping. When we got home I went straight to bed. Unfortunately I have no option but to be in work this morning.

UPDATE: OK, Darian, I'll name names. The hotel of shame was: The Grand Hotel.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Day Off...
Today is day of rest. We've done the tourism bit I think. Besides it's raining. Taking the train to Sweden yesterday was great fun. The Malmo Gay Pride parade was indeed small but perfectly formed. The highlight was the Gay Anarchists all dressed in black and with a float thumping out great music - the devil does indeed have the best tunes. We got to watch the Chelski vs. Aston Villa match in a Sports Bar too - with some Norwegian Gooners. Small world. We got a bit drunk with some of the locals actually. And as David correctly asked, "Mashed Swedes?"

So today we're back in Copenhagen treating ourselves to a spa. Danish style.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Sø we're here. Cøpenhagen, ør København as the løcals call it. It' a løvely place; quiet, restful and peaceful. Perhaps a little tøø sø. Øur høtel Grand Høtel is great though - central and reasønably cheap to bøøt.

Anyway, we're having fun. Mind yøu, everything everyøne says abøut the Danes is true. They ALL løve their Queen uncønditiønally, they wøn't crøss øn red, they all møan incessentally about their taxes (averaging 65%) and they hate the Swedes (but ønly in sibling rivalry kind øf a way).

We've been quite the tøurists since we arrived - a full-on bar crawl last night, an open-tøp bus tøur this mørning, the Christiania hippy commune and the Little Mermaid (which was nøt quite as small as we had feared). Tønight we're gøing back to Christiania with a friend to see a 'sexy cabaret' - a tøfu strip, perhaps? Holistic drag?

During last night's bar høpping we did nøtice that the alcøhøl is nøthing like as expensive as we'd been lead tø believe - a little øver two quid a pint. Perhaps we're just used to paying Løndøn prices.

Tomorrow we've gøt a day trip planned tø Sweden - a mere 16km acrøss the water - før Malmo Gay Pride. Apparently it's small, but perfectly førmed.

Sunday we'll try the Tivoli theme park. We hear it's the thing tø dø øn a Sunday.

Danes are tøø easy to wind up though. I just asked whø their Queen's dentist was... Naughty, I know.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Brain Teasers: The Answers...
Full marks to Dave for the letter unscrambling. The answer to #2 is perhaps only obvious when you actually know the answer!


2. Once. After that you're subtracting 3 from 36 and so on
Solar capsule crashes into Earth...
They had Hollywood stuntmen in four helicopters each with four chances of catching their $264m Genesis mission solar capsule as it plumpetted to Earth. Unfortunately they missed. Opps.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Me, Marc and Me...
Thanks to Tomas for these pictures from Marc Almond's Almeida shows the other month. Click for bigger versions.

[Danke Tomas]
Brain Teasers...

1. Unscramble the following words:


2. How many times can you subtract 3 from 39?

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Nationwide Mercury Music Prize...
And the winner is... Franz Ferdinand. Yay!
Marky and I are off to Copenhagen on Thursday for five days. Have any of you been there before? Are there any must see places of interest?
Princess is a lovely little dog who lives a very happy life. Hilarious.

Warning: NOT work friendly unless you have a boss who doesn't mind you watching and listening to cartoon characters created by those wacky South Park guys having explicit cartoon sex.

[Thanks Ben]

Monday, September 06, 2004

After a rather lovely barbecue at Pam's on Saturday night with Mark I hooked up with Paul to head down to Duckie. All the usual crowd were there - David, Jason #1, Kevin, Jason #2 et al - but it was especially nice to finally get to meet the lovely Darian. Fellow blogger and super-cute Darian had some very funny, illuminating and revealing (!) stories about the porn film he was currently working on. Nice to meet you, Darian. Good luck with the rest of the shooting (fnah).
The act on at Duckie on Saturday night was gay rapper QBoy. We met QBoy a little while ago at the Summer Party at Egg in Kings Cross. QBoy was so full of himself and so confident that he was going to make it big you couldn't help but fall in love with him. Qboy, or Marcus, as his mother called him is half Spanish, half Essex and all man. His act last night went down a storm with the normally mildly rap-hostile crowd, not least because he was suitably self-deprecating and showed us his wonderfully defined stomach at the drop of a backwards on cap. The boy's been working out. Good luck to him and let's hope he does indeed make it big, innit.

Friday, September 03, 2004

Robbie Williams' New Single : Radio...
Have you heard Robbie Williams's new single Radio? It's fab! Electro clash / 80s pop / The Mission / Human League. A real grower. Out Oct 4th. It's to promote his Greatest Hits album out soon. The video will be on Top Of The Pops tonight.

Listen to the radio...

Something happening I can feel it...

Jumping, thumping, shout at something...

UPDATE: After they showed the video on last night's Top Of The Pops the presenter said, "And that was Robbie Williams, proving that even a pot belly can look cool". Bitch!
UK Independence Party partly political broadcast. Go Kilroy, go.
Goldfrapp vs Depeche Mode...
Goldfrapp are 'busy beavering away in the studio on the new album' but in the meantime they're done a remix of Depeche Mode's Halo.

It will appear on the single Enjoy The Silence 04 (you can hear a clip here) which is out 18th October and their remix album Remixes 81-04 out 25th October.

Other remixes are by Underworld, Flood, Timo Maas, Air, William Orbit and Linkin Park's Mike Shinoda. The album is a double album (with a limited edition bonus disk).

Thursday, September 02, 2004

The Long Firm...
Thank you to those people you sent me messages of sympathy, empathy and apathy advising me against working such long hours. You are, of course, all right. I did an 11 hour day yesterday. So tomorrow I'm taking a day off (checks diary) ah, and I appear to be working again then too. Damn.

Other shaggy-dog stories here.

[Thanks Kevin]

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

A study conducted by UCLA's Department of Psychiatry has revealed that the male face a woman finds most attractive can differ depending on where she is in her menstrual cycle.

For instance, if she is ovulating, she is attracted to men with rugged and masculine features.

However, if she is menstruating or menopausal, she is more prone to be attracted to a man with scissors lodged in his temple and a bat jammed up his ass while he is on fire.

Further studies are expected.

[Thanks Rich]