Quote Of The Day

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

Friday, September 30, 2022

Only an Octave Apart @ Wilton's Music Hall...

Last night Stuart and I went to see Only an Octave Apart at the Wilton's Music Hall in London's glitzy East End.
Hot on the heels of a sensational run in New York last year, ‘the greatest cabaret artist of their generation’ (The New Yorker) and ‘the vocally brilliant and dramatically fearless countertenor’ (The New York Times) have brought their acclaimed show to London.
Only An Octave Apart is Justin Vivian Bond and Anthony Roth Costanzo’s joyous and surprising musical fantasia, revelling in everything strange and beautiful in the coexistence of contrasts - from Purcell’s 17th century aria Dido’s Lament to Dido’s early 2000s hit White Flag, from Autumn Leaves to The Waters of March. 
Co-created and directed by Zack Winokur, with music supervision by Thomas Bartlett, arrangements by Nico Muhly, musical direction by Daniel Schlosberg, and costume design by JW Anderson, Only an Octave Apart celebrates the historical and the hysterical, from countertenor to counterculture.
Highlights for me in the 90 minutes, no intermission, set were:-
Me And My Shadow
Autumn Leaves
Two Charming Fairies (One Charming Night / There Are Faeries At The Bottom Of Our Garden Medley)
Waters Of March
Double Rainbow (I’m Always Chasing Rainbows / Rainbow Sleeves Medley)
Gluck's Deh Placatevi / Peter Gabriel & Kate Bush's Don’t Give Up Medley
Sylvester's hi-nrg disco stomper Stars
Didos (Dido’s Lament / White Flag Medley)
Egyptian Sun Medley (The Bangles' Walk Like An Egyptian / Philip Glass's Hymn To The Sun)
Queen and Bowie's Under Pressure


Thursday, September 29, 2022

Liz Truss - the latest in a long line of idiots…

Goodness me. Liz Truss has made some awful (not awfully) ‘tough decisions’. Toe-curlingly awful. And she doesn’t seem to be able defend them either. 

“I don’t accept the premise of your question” seems to be her only answer. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Kim Wilde @ London Palladium - got the blend just right - Kim's voice like velvet, Ricky & boys rocked place like the last night on earth. Scarlett a sensation. @kimwilde @Wildericky @scarlettwilde

Last night Darren, Stuart and I had front row centre tickets to see Kim Wilde perform the last night of her UK Greatest Hits tour at the London Palladium in London's glitzy West End.
The night had all the Wildean hits and more. The 'more' being a few songs from her recent album Here Come the Aliens (which is great by the way) and a guest spot by Junior Giscombe.
It was fantastic gig - epic, joyous, and uplifting. My feet were aching from dancing, my voice weak from singing, and heart swollen in pride. Codicote’s finest! They got the blend just right - Kim was engaging, warm, with a voice like velvet, Ricky and the boys rocked the place like it was their last night on earth. And Kim's niece Scarlett was a sensation - great vocals and a songwriter too.
Claim to fame klaxon! Many years ago, Kim Smith (aka Kim Wilde) came to my 5th birthday party in 1966! We are a similar age and Mr Smith (aka Marty Wilde) knew my Dad back then. 

Stu was convinced she recognised me last night as she stood in front of me and waved at me. She also sang You Keep Me Hangin' On right in front of us.
Towards the end of the set I closed my eyes and imagined "You Came" was sung just for me. Well, a boy can dream.
Magic night.
Rage to Love
Never Trust a Stranger
Million Miles Away
Can't Get Enough (Of Your Love)
If I Can't Have You [Bee Gees cover]
The Touch
The Second Time
Pop Muzik [M cover]
Kandy Krush
Water on Glass
Perfect Girl
Love Is Holy
Love in the Natural Way
Four Letter Word
Another Step (Closer to You) [with Junior Giscombe]
View From a Bridge
Chequered Love
You Keep Me Hangin' On [The Supremes cover]
Pop Don't Stop
You Came
Kids in America
Kim was supported by China Crisis; who had treated us to their hits earlier in the evening - along with some amusing wittisms. The CC setlist was Christian, Arizona Sky, African and White, Black Man Ray, Wishful Thinking and the storming King in a Catholic Style.


Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Malta -> Home…

Heading home from Malta today. We had a last spin round a church last night, a posh meal out, and super fast through airports at both ends today. Four nights away but we packed a lot in. Phew! Loved Malta 🇲🇹 ❤️ 

Monday, September 26, 2022

Malta - Cathedrals, Caravaggios & Cool Vistas…

Today was our last full day in Malta. So we hit the tourist trail pretty hard. Cathedrals, Caravaggios, and some cool vistas. Oh and a ride on a toy train, a WW2 bomb shelter 25m below ground, and a Maltese palace. All great fun. We like Malta. 

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Malta Mdina…

Founded some 2800 years ago, Mdina used to be the capital of Malta. It’s a walled citadel raised up on a hilltop overlooking the Maltese countryside. Just a short, but very worthwhile, bus ride from Valletta. 

Saturday, September 24, 2022

Malta - Why are we here…? ->

So why are we in Malta? Nice place to visit? Sure. Time with the family? Yes. Fancied a break? Yup. But the real reason is rather more personal. 
Back in 1937 our dearly departed Dad (then aged 7) lived here. His own step-father, Pop, was in the Royal Navy - a surgeon - and had been stationed here - so moved all the family out here with him. Dad spent his time sailing, swimming, and generally being a kid. The way 7 year olds do. He wrote about it in great detail later in life too describing his everyday experiences. 
Within 3 years war had broken out and the bombing of Malta had started so Dad + family voyaged back to Britain leaving Pop to his job tending to the incoming wounded. By 1943 he too would be shipped out suffering from PTSD. All those dead and dying. He never fully recovered. 
So we are here to seek out where Dad lived and played, and where Pop worked. In a military hospital in Kalkara as it turned out. 
Luckily a ferry dropped us off near Kalkara and we were incredibly lucky to happen upon a guide at the old hospital who was fascinated by our Dad’s story and took us under her wing for the day. She showed us bits of the old Bighi Hospital, the place our Dad lived, played and even the (normally hidden to tourists) old chapel where he was baptised. We were gobsmacked. An amazing stroke of luck. She wants to include our Dad’s story in her PhD and hospital archive. 
After our visit we went for a boozy lunch nearby to consider our luck, before catching a water taxi back to Valletta, and the 80m lift up to the old town. 
What a day. Such luck.