Quote Of The Day

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

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Ben's 40th Birthday...
It's Ben's 40th today - so happy birthday, fella. But it was on Sunday he had his big party. He held it at the Comedy Cafe down in Shoreditch and it was a right old laugh.

Martin was DJing and the band Sound Of The Suburbs were playing - live rock karaoke dontcha know.

All the lovelies were there to help Ben celebrate his middle-age; Sarah, Christopher, Katrina, Jamie and Nick. Plus a few celebs too; his cousin Martin Freeman, Ed Byrne and Dara O'Briain to name but three.

Birthday boy Ben and Sarah Ed Byrne sings!
Martin and Jamie Stu and me

You can see more snaps as a slide show or as a browsable set.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Roger and Kevin's Wedding...
On Saturday Roger and Kevin got hitched at Islington Town Hall. It was a lovely ceremony, lovely readings and lovely people. It was a lovely reception at The Green afterwards, a lovely glass of Pimms waited for us, there were lovely balloons, a lovely free bar, lovely food and a lovely cake. It was simply a lovely day.

And I got a chance to pull the key-gag on Roger. Tee hee.

More snaps here.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Roger's Stag Night...
Roger and Kevin are getting hitched on Saturday so a Stag Night was in order for Roger. On Thursday we went bowling at Rowan's in Finsbury Park. Vicky was the organiser - a role that she was born to - arranging for the lanes, the entry and little presents. Fab.

I took a few snaps (two below) and you can see the rest of them in a slideshow by clicking here.

Brain Teaser Answer...
Janet is five years old. Next year she will be six, twice the age she was two years ago when she was three.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Brain Teaser...
When she is one year older than she is now, Janet will be twice as old as she was two years ago. How old is Janet?

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Producers...
Last night I went tout seul to see super-group The Producers perform at the Jazz Cafe in Camden ritzy Parkway.

The Producers are Trevor Horn, Lol Crème, Stephen Lipson, Chris Braide and Ash Soan. The night was mainly a showcase for their new CD, Studio 1, but there were plenty of their collective oeuvre. Peppered with lots of onstage banter.

The set list was:
01. Two Tribes (with that driving thrusting bass)
02. You And I (newie - a la PSB/Robbie)
03. Right Time (newie - a sweet ballad)
04. Barking Up The Right Tree (new single - plinking, plonking pop)
05. Music from Bel Air (newie - about his 'small' 7 bedroom house in Bel Air)
06. Rubber Bullets (10cc - a test tube full according to Jonathan King)
07. Your Life (newie - atmospheric very PSB, very YES, bit like 'This Is You Life')
08. If I Was Invisible (Chris Braide penned song originally for American Idol Clay Aiken)
09. Freeway (newie - a la Buggles' Clean, Clean)
10. Man on the Moon (newie - sweet little Let's Go Fly A Kite power ballad)
11. Elvis In Vegas / Looking For Love (newie - escort agency ditty a la Buggles' I Love You Miss Robot...)
12. I'm Not In Love (semenal seminal 10cc hit)
13. Video Killed The Radio Star (Buggles crowd pleaser)
14. Slave To The Rhythm (encore - with guest vocalist being... wait for it... "Ladies and Gentleman..." "Heeeeere's... Tina!" Yes, Miss Tina Charles! The woman we all Love to Love - and the original 'doo, do-do-do, doo' vocalist on Video Killed the Radio Star dontcha know?)
And what a great way to end the set. The session musicians had spoken.

Incidentally, the other one from 10cc (no, not Godley, the one with the moon face) was there - talking loudly during the songs. Clot.

And Trevor Horn's family are there too - I steered clear of his son. Obviously.

A fun night. Who knew I could have so much fun by myself? Well, me and 200 other Trevor Horn fans (Hornies?).

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Potter Potty...
The queues leading up to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows going on the sale at midnight last Friday night in the West End were bonkers. Perhaps wisely we just stared in the window at midnight rather than venturing into the scrum. But selling 11m books in 24 hours is pretty impressive. But perhaps not quite 11m readers in 24 hours though. I bought two. Amazon didn't deliver my preordered one until Monday so I bought a backup one in Salisbury's on Saturday.
Evolution is a theory, not a fact...
The first sticker is real. The others just take the piss.

Monday, July 23, 2007

London Gay Men's Chorus...
Andy treated Stu and I to a trip to the Cadogan Hall on Friday to see the London Gay Men's Chorus.

They were performing a show they called Bad Boys consisting of songs by Wham!, Gloria Estefan, Carl Orff, Queen, James Bond songs, The Eagles, Carmen and Jerry Springer - The Opera etc. Great fun.
Brain Teaser Answer...
After 280 seconds, the Big Wheel would have gone round exactly 28 times, the Rotator would have gone round exactly 35 times and the Twirler would have gone round exactly 40 times.

This happens because 280 is exactly divisible by 10, 8 and 7; it is also the smallest number with that property. So they were in line again after 280 seconds, or 4 minutes 40 seconds.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Servalan...
Servalan has a blog.
Brain Teaser...
Janey started on the Big Wheel at the same moment that Barry started on the Twirler and Sheila started on the Rotator. The Big Wheel went round once every ten seconds, the Rotator once every eight seconds and the Twirler once every seven seconds.

If all three children started at the bottom of their respective rides, how long would it have been before they were in line with each other again at the bottom of each ride?

Thursday, July 19, 2007

And the Winner is...
Dear Auntie Beeb,
Can I have my licence fee back please?
Thank you.
Mario Party 8...
My copy of Mario Party 8 for the Wii dropped through the letter box last week. Imagine my surprise when I discover that Nintendo has pulled the game because it contains offensive language. Specifically, a blue wizard called Kamek says: "Magikoopa magic! Turn the train spastic! Make this ticket tragic!" And sure enough - here's the proof.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Barnet 0-2 Arsenal...
It was a friendly last Saturday but Paul and I thought we'd make the trek up the Northern Line anyway. We won and Barnet's ground is on a slope. I shall say no more.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

BBC Prom 5...
Last night Stu and I went to the Royal Albert Hall to see the fifth of the BBC Proms 2007.

First was Sam Hayden's Substratum (a BBC commissioned world premiere, dontcha know). And to be honest it was 15 minutes of unlistenable cacophony. Like putting a 50 piece orchestra in a large bag and pushing it down the stairs.

Then came Bernstein's Symphony No. 2, The Age of Anxiety. 36 minutes of melodious joy. Great fun.

After the interval came Ives's Symphony No. 4. Bit of a mess to be honest. A bit like two player-pianos having a bare-knuckle fight behind the circus carivans for half an hour with a 90 strong orchestra and 130 strong choir egging them on from the sidelines.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Easy Star All-Stars...
Last night Simon, Stu and I went to the Jazz Cafe in Camden Town's ritzy Parkway to see reggae outfit the Easy Star All-Stars.

They performed various of their hits but drew mainly from from their seminal work Dub Side Of The Moon (a complete reggae reworking of Pink Floyd's Dark Side Of The Moon) and their newer piece, Radiodread (the reggae treatment given to Radiohead's OK Computer).

The masterminds behind Easy Star All-Stars are Michael Goldwasser (a.k.a. Michael G), his production partner Victor Axelrod (a.k.a. Ticklah), and his two Easy Star label partners Eric Smith and Lem Oppenheimer. This New York reggae band are in fact a loose collective with a rotating line-up. Last night there were eight of them on a stage and they did a pretty good job of keeping us entertained. I barely stopped dancing. Strongly recommended.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Picnic...
Yesterday Tim and Andy organised their annual picnic - this year in Regent's Park.

Sadly, after a promising start the weather rather let us down and it was bit of a wash out.

We had fun retiring to the Black Cap to dry out though.

I took more snaps here.
Gay Film Night...
Vue in Islington is having a four-hour Gay Film Night tonight: showing Mysterious Skin and Shortbus back-to-back. Good for them.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix...
James and I went to see the HPATOOTP this morning. At 9:30am in fact. We thought we might be fighting off the screaming hordes of kids bunking off school but in fact there were just twelve of us in the cinema.

The film was fab. Best of the five so far; dark, moody, scary, moving and really rather wonderful. Go see.
Brain teaser answer...
1 DJ Skinf Lint 2 red
2 DJ Park'n Ride 3 yellow
3 DJ Slam Dunk 1 green
4 DJ Jam Jar 4 blue
Brain teaser...
During a recent music festival, four DJs entered the mixing contest. Each wore a number, either 1, 2, 3 or 4 and their decks were different colours. DJ Skinf Lint came first, and only one DJ wore the same number as the position he finished in. DJ Slam Dunk wore number 1. The DJ who wore number 2 had a red deck and DJ Jam Jar didn't have a yellow deck. The DJ who came last had a blue deck. DJ Park'n Ride beat DJ Slam Dunk. The DJ who wore number 1 had a green deck and the DJ who came second wore number 3. Can you determine who came where, which number they wore and the colour of their deck?

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Pam Ann in Virgin Stewardesses...
Pam Ann's own take on the M&S adverts (Not work friendly!)
[Thanks Stu]
BBC, ITV, Channel 4 plan single broadband TV player...
UK terrestrial broadcasters are supposedly in talks to establish a single platform for on-demand TV to broadband devices. Called Project Kangaroo it will do the equivalent for broadband what Freeview did for terrestial telly. And three cheers say I.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Matthew Bourne: The Car Man...
Last night Stu and I went to the Saddler's Wells to see a restaging of Matthew Bourne’s The Car Man. The action takes place in and around a garage in the fictional, vaguely Western, small town of Harmony, USA, population 375. That number will go down before the night is over.

After their hard day at work the car mechanics at the garage go upstairs and take a rather revealing communal shower, accompanied by Bizet’s famous Toreador Song. This is only the first of a host of musical jokes in a performance that can be as funny as it is moving. The action really shifts up a gear though when a handsome drifter called Luca turns up at the garage - for he is both the Car Man of the title and the Carmen of the plot.

The Car Man is a theatrical tour de force: fast, funny, physical, sexy and extremely violent. Part ballet, part modern dance and a whole lot of Broadway Bourne’s choreography is intensely physical and full of graphic sexuality. Even we were a little taken a back at the amount of gay sex in it. But then we shouldn't have been surprised after seeing Swan Lake.

Go see.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Marc Almond is 50...
Last night Stu, Davie, Paul, David and I all went to the Shepherd's Bush Empire to see Marc Almond perform. And what a show it was. Back on form after his near-fatal accident Marc was obviously enjoying himself from start to finish. Sure there were the forgotten lines, sure there was the minor tantrum during What Makes A Man A Man? (when isn't there?) and sure he wasn't always spot on with his set list choices. But boy did he put on a good show. There were no snazzy lights, no swelling orchestra and no go-go boys. Just Marc doing what he does best. Singing.

He plundered his back catalogue fairly thoroughly; my own personal golden nuggets were Tears Run Rings, Ruby Red, My Hand Over My Heart and his newy Redeem Me (Beauty Will Redeem The World). Of course the sing-a-long songs were there too towards the end and I think his fans have earned the right to join him in Say Hello, Wave Goodbye and Tainted Love on this special occasion.

And hardcore fans there were. Everywhere. The crowd was packed full of people I knew from way back when - some I'd not seen in 20 years or more and others I'd only met at Marc gigs in such far flung places at Bremmen and Istanbul.

It really was like being at a party. A birthday party. A 50th birthday party. Of a survivor. A survivor that gives me goose bumps when I see him perform live. He's back on form and back in my heart. I love you Marc. Happy Birthday.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Europride Madrid...

Last weekend we went to Madrid for Europride. Along with 1,999,998 other people. It was rammers. But great fun. We stayed in a lovely hotel and spent the weekend milling about in the streets, drinking (they sell beer by the litre), watching the main parade (too slow, no barriers) as well as doing a spot of tourism (Guernica and city bus tour).
More pix from the trip here.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Dr Who: "that nice man from Gallifrey"...
So Catherine Tate will be the new Dr Who assistant companion, huh? I wonder how that will work out. It was pretty hard to shake off the 'bovered' image in last year's The Runaway Bride Christmas episode but it might just work. It should be fun to see Kylie on the Titantic in the Voyage of the Damned Christmas episode this year though.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Stuart's Birthday...
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday dear Stuuuuart
Happy birthday to youuuuuu
Pop Quiz Answers...
01. A. Peter Noone. B. Pete Shelley C. Pete Sarstedt
02. Patti Smith
03. PiL
04. Plastic Bertrand
05. 1978
06. Let's Go Crazy, Gett Off & Pop Life
07. The Pointer Sisters
08. Pat Benatar
09. Propaganda
10. 1984
11. Babies, Do you remember the first time? & Something Changed
12. Placebo
13. The Pixies
14. The Propellorheads (Ft Shirley Bassey)
15. 1997
16. ...you can forget all your troubles, forget all your cares"
17. Pink
18. Primal Scream
19. Peaches
20. 2002