Friday, 27 April 2007

Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains

Ladies and Gentlemen… was a film made in 1981, featuring members of the Sex Pistols, The Clash, Ray Winstone and a 15-year-old Diane Lane.

Lane played the lead singer of proto riot grrrl group The Fabulous Stains (motto: “We don’t put out”) who rose to fame, in a stupendously meteoric week. And then fell from grace even faster.

Some shabby performances, shaky camera work and na├»ve plot are all outweighed by the zest, raw emotion and lust for life in the movie. I love it. Here’s a great scene, where the Stains, who by now have a growing army of fans who dress like them, play a shopping mall. A shopping mall!

The film has never appeared on DVD, or been shown on TV in the UK. What a crying shame.

Wednesday, 25 April 2007

Save The Spitz

The Spitz, in Spitalfields market, London, is being threatened with closure. It's a great, small scale music venue that puts on great bands, exhibitions, and events. It's a lovely place.

Shows there tend to have more atmosphere than at corporate, only-here-to-sell-you-beer venues who shoo you out the door at 10.30 to make way for their money-spinning disco.

The last band I saw there was Heavy Trash, Jon Spencer's new group, who shook, rattled and rolled the sweaty little room until it groaned in pleasure.

Even if you haven't been there, it would be great if you could sign the petition. Small, passionate, independent venues like this around the world are being closed as the Starbucks and Tescos move in. Let's stand together and try and stem the tide.


The Spitz has been given six months notice to quit our present site in Old Spitalfields Market by our landlord Ballymore Properties. In a worse case scenario this will mean that The Spitz will cease to exist at the end of September this year.

The campaign to Save The Spitz starts now and we need your support. Please go to and sign our online petition and/or make a domination to The Save Spitz appeal.

If you would like to get directly involved in the campaign please email

Another important way to support The Spitz is to use it as much as possible so please don’t forget The Spitz also has a fantastic restaurant and if you bring along a print out of this email we’ll give you 10% off lunch between 12 & 2 pm. Also, all areas of The Spitz are available for hire including the gallery, terrace and restaurant. All ideal spaces for parties, launch nights, talks, etc. We have an excellent programme of live music in the venue including the current Spitz Festival of Blues and the forthcoming Spitz Festival of Country in August and Spitz Festival of Folk in September. The Spitz Gallery also has a very strong programme including the forthcoming Chernobyl exhibition by Magnum photographer Paul Fusco called” Twenty One Years of Fall Out.

Please show your support for The Spitz by voting with your feet.



"I am outraged to hear that The Spitz is in danger of closing. In these days of bland, wholesale corporate homogenisation we need truly independent music venues like The Spitz more than ever. If the Spitz closes it will be an absolute disgrace and a sure sign that London is on the way to becoming a glorified shopping mall with a series of unnecessary restaurants and shops that only recognises the power of the City bonus and not the creative force that gave areas like Spitalfields its identity in the first place."

Beth Orton, musician, who has played at The Spitz four times.

“MOJO magazine is distraught at the thought of the Spitz closing its doors for good and all. It has served a world of vibrant, genuinely alternative music virtually single-handed. ”

Danny Eccleston, Consultant Editor, Mojo Magazine

''London is known around the world for its arts and entertainment, which
is the reason why so many people come here. It has a strong reputation
for a cutting edge and innovative music scene, which is nurtured by
having a range of live venues where music can flourish The Spitz is a unique venue which has enhanced the London music scene since it opened. If a classical music venue were under threat, the establishment would rightly be up in arms.

Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London.

"It is outrageous that The Spitz is under threat of closure and I wholeheartedly give my support to the campaign to Save The Spitz. In the last ten years London's cultural and creative axis has shifted from the West to the East and The Spitz is at the heart of this change. I have been to many ground breaking shows at The Spitz that I would never see at a more mainstream venue. The Spitz gives Spitalfields and East London it's creative identity and if it closes this will be lost"

Giles Deacon, UK’s leading fashion designer who is based in East London.

Gay Dog Alert

My brother sent me this fantastic picture of this pooch in a biker costume. This picture makes me laugh and laugh (LOL!!!, ROFL!!!! etc.)

I think it's all in the expression.

Woof! Jazz paws!

Buy the outfit here.

Tuesday, 24 April 2007

My groovy new car

Yes, I am now a car owner for the very first time - my old broken down camper van doesn't count.

I now own a Volvo 480, made in 1995. Like the one in the picture above. It's a funny car. Volvos have a reputation for being solid tanks that country dads buy. But this is Volvo's take on the Flash Harry sports car. I think it might have been primarily aimed at midlife crisis men, who still had to kowtow to their wife's demands for practicality.

It has flip up lights. An 'onboard computer' (a series of fuel gauges and thermometers, not a KIT-style talking everythingsystem). Seats that adjust every which way but loose. People look twice at you as you pass. It was dirt cheap, and I love it.

And, unlike my camper van, it actually gets you up hills and to your destination. Yay.

Monday, 23 April 2007

Lily Allen's shoes on sale soon

Lily Allen has 'designed' a range of clothes for one of my favourite cheapy high street shops, New Look (or Neu Look, as I like to call them - their logo suggests a more teutonic moniker). Some of her collection appeared in the Sunday Times at the weekend.

I like gobby Lily a lot. Her songs bounce, and her opinions make me laugh. She's not boring. I like her New Look collection too. It's not boring either.

Not for her the safe taupe middle aged blandness of Madonna's H&M clothes, or the gaudy low rent trash of every Julien MacDonald collaboration. Lily's clothes are fun and funny, quirky and cute. Frilly green ballgowns and cute peep toe suede heels.

I like this pair of trainers. They're only going to be £12. They sort of remind me of the old Kleenex box pattern. I'd wear them with a pair of black skinny jeans and a smile. Sorry, thought I'd be able to resist that...

Friday, 20 April 2007

The Turtles - Happy Together

Happy happy joy joy sunshine pop from the wonderful Turtles. How I wish I'd been a teenager in 1967, the best year for music.

I think I most love the trumpet player, with his beaming smile, hat/glasses arrangement, and extraordinary knitted jumper and tie combo.


Thursday, 19 April 2007

Shiny Shiny Plastic Shoes

I am always at a loss when it comes to summer shoes. I like to wear socks, they make me feel secure and able to kick arse at a moment's notice, but do sometimes envy my bare footed and fancy free sisters.

I think I might eschew the hosiery, however, if I bought a pair of these supercute and shiny plastic shoes from Topshop. They're the kind of shoes that turn the dullest of trudges into a sparkly hop. Shiny shiny like little dolly's shoes.

They're only £10. That's a tenner in old money. They come in this peacock blue as well as sunshine yellow and basic black and white.

As they're made entirely of plastic your toes might get a bit stinky, so don't come running to me if you get trenchfoot.

Wednesday, 18 April 2007

Phil Spector - A Life In Haircuts

Jury selection is underway in the murder trial of legendary producer Phil Spector. To celebrate the trail, I thought I'd have a trawl through the eccentric knob-twiddler's finest coiffs...

The Hairy Helmet
A fresh faced Spector shares a joke with silky locked George Harrison. Insert weak Beatles pun here. "Possibly about Eleanor Wigby." There you go.

The Brillo
Um, yeah. Phil points a gun at a camera. Not that we're implying he has history or anything...

The Magnificent Aura
Because nothing says "I am a sane, respectable member of society" like an oversized, hairy giant globe on your head.

The Scary Tranny Uncle
Apart from perhaps coming to court looking like the man in your town that everyone knows likes to wear his wife's knickers under his Farah slacks. Yes, that'll do it, Phil, you're bound to get off now.

Tuesday, 17 April 2007

The best hats money can buy

I love a good hat, me. Can't get enough head gear. Here are my top ten hats, ranging from sassy to smart, and where you can buy them.

1. The Sailor - On the town? Shore leave? Nothing says "Two cheap whores and a cheeky wink" like the doughboy.

2. The New York Police Officer - officious yet camp. Accessorise with aviator shades and a stern look.

3. The tiny top hat - For those days when you feel like drag kinging it up, but not TOO much...

4. The Puritan - Perfect after a prolonged period of over-indulgence. Wear with your best silk stockings and buckled shoes.

5. The Viking - Raping? Pillaging? They'd be no fun if you weren't wearing this horned helmet...

6. The Greek - Noble, yet providing an anonymity that enables the wearer to perform despicable acts of brutality. Perfect for shopping and/or picnicking.

7. The Beret - Cheap, warm, and somehow meek. Covers up the grimmest of hair days. If someone shouts "Frank Spencer" at you, growl in French at them and throw an onion at their head.

8. The Tricorn - With a corner each for the father, the son, and the holy ghost, a tricorn hat will lend an instant air of godliness and town cryer authority. Oh, and indeed, Yez.

9. The Clone - I really like wearing hats designed for gay men. I hope you do too. It cheers me.

10. The Dunce - Yes, because I am one. But also because the idea of publicly shaming slow kids in front of their peers is both astounding and hilarious. If I had kids, I'd wear one of these to a parents' evening.

Friday, 13 April 2007

Back soon

I have been on my holidays, and I am now addicted to pink Honey Rose Ambrosia liqueur. Literally the drink of the gods. It tastes like a cross between cough medicine and old ladies hands, and it's delicious. Although a whole bottle would make me ill.

I'm doing secret busy stuff for the next few days. Normal service will be resumed next week.

Tuesday, 3 April 2007

The Genius of Ronnie Barker

Ronnie Barker, of the Two Ronnies was an absolute hero of mine. I love a pun, me, and his effortless wordplay in his sketches and songs was a complete joy. Watch this sketch, Your Nuts, My Lord, and tell me otherwise...

Monday, 2 April 2007

Jarvis Cocker's Genius New Video

Someone should slap a preservation order on Jarvis Cocker. He can be funny, bleak, dramatic or whispery, but he always has something to say, and a clever way in which to say it. He's British like Mike Leigh or Victoria Wood, and has an unshakeable, non-superior cool that most pop stars couldn't even begin to imagine shouldering.

I can't wait to see what he has in mind for this year's Meltdown, the festival on the South Bank in London that he's programming. Until then, I'll content myself with watching the wittiest, most entertaining, why-didn't-I-think-of-that pop video I've seen in years. For his recent single, Don't Let Him Waste Your Time. Ladies and gentlemen...

Sunday, 1 April 2007

The Queen In The Rain

This picture makes me laugh, but also makes me feel a little sad too. It was taken a couple of days ago, when the Queen opened the new British Tennis Centre.

I have absolutely no love for the royal family, and think the institution is hackneyed and outdated, but this picture of the poor old HRH, sheltering stoically on her own makes me a little teary.

Maybe it's the way her lovely see-through 1970s umbrella perfectly matches the royal blue dress. Or maybe just her grim, set face, buffeted from years of terminally dull engagements. Or the resignation of a woman knowing how ridiculous this must look to onlookers and photographers.

I'd buy this if it was a poster.