Wednesday, June 30, 2004


Image Hosted by ImageShack.usFuckety-fuck-fuck. The Thin White Duke will be a lot thinner and whiter should I get hold of him, the bugger. How hard can it be to sing with a shoulder injury? I'm not expecting Madonna-style yogic flying or anything. Ah jeez.


Get up offa that thing 

Tube strike, schmube strike is all I can say - yes, I'm on literary form today. I walked all the way from Stoke Newington to Bank and, in the words of the Godfather o' Soul, I feel good. (I knew that I would... groan.) Again stealing from the mighty Mr Brown, if more of us would 'get on the good foot' and walk more often, I feel sure the world would be a better place - less pollution, less congestion and fitter, happier, more productive people.

No one here has yet complained about their journey from hell - mind you, they're possibly still suffering it, the office does look somewhat empty. But on a day when London probably needs all the buses it can get, nice to see no fewer than seven "sorry, out of service" vehicles passing me on my route. "Working together for a better London"? Oh ha bloody ha.

> INTERNAL JUKEBOX: Get On The Good Foot, James Brown

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Oops, I did it again 

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usSob! Howl! It's happened again.

I've become hooked on Big Brother. Damn this Tube strike and this period of abject poverty for forcing me to stay home and watch telly when I could have been out enjoying myself, oblivious to the goings-on of the repulsive creatures lurking within the house.

Every year something happens to steer me towards late-night television and, kicking and screaming, that vile house of dung draws me in. All I can say is:

EVICT MICHELLE. Nadia and Marco rock, in the most gruesome manner...

My favourite waste of time 

I don't think I'll ever die - not because I've managed to effortlessly survive a few close calls, but because I procrastinate so damn much I can't see I'll ever get around to it.

I've been neglecting this Mallorca travel piece since I returned from the next-to-the-white isle weeks ago. I've had bugger all to do today and could quite easily have bashed out a few hundred words in between work, but all I've managed to write is: "Whether you're a novice or a dressage champ - or, like me, a childhood rider with a equine phobia after a nasty biting incident - at Rancho Grande there's a horse for everyone." Total rubbish, I think you'll agree. Worse, it leads on to a blathering, dribbling rave about Raoul the chaps-wearing cowboy (again). Oh dear. Time to pull finger, missy.

I am also sitting on no less than two half-written books, three proposed parties, and plans for one website, two businesses and a record label. All of these things should be up and running, and ruling the world. But there's always something else to do. Perhaps being confined to barracks by tonight's Tube strike (and being extremely skint) will spur me into action. But I doubt it.

BTW, can one get addicted to Extra sugar-free gum and mints?* I've noticed I'm now getting through two packs a day in an effort not to snack or smoke. But I've read the small print, and it only warns about possible laxative effect (keeping regular's got to be good for you, right?) - it says nothing about potential addiction, or the dangers of ending up with a jaw like Nadia Big Brother...

Lastly, you must buy The Roundtable's new 7", Saturday Gigue. Ever since I heard Mr Scruff drop this at Sonar 2002, I knew I needed more medieval funk in my life. Now, finally, I have it. Plug the hole you didn't know existed in your life. BUY THIS RECORD.

* Crikey! Please note Raoul's (not cowboy Raoul, alas - or is it?) comments in the comments box. Spooky...

> INTERNAL JUKEBOX: I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself, White Stripes

Monday, June 28, 2004

Laughing gnome 

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us'Best Glastonbury ever!' grinned Michael Eavis (-->), ignoring the fact he was standing in the middle of a mud bath while hypothermia-stricken crusties shivered into their dhal around him. That's OK, though - he says this every year.

Last year he may have had a point, however. I recall watching the entire BBC coverage from the comfort of my Shoreditch sofa, wracked with resentful, post-Sonar comedown sobs as I watched the Flaming Lips and accompanying soft toy menagerie belt out a magnificent, towering, heart-breaking rendition of Do You Realise?. At that moment, I would have willingly given my eye teeth (£2,000 veneers and all) to have been there. 'It won't be the same,' I wailed, when the Donkey tried to pacify me with promises of going in 2004. And - as always - I was right.

This year, I watched five minutes of an uncomfortable-looking John Peel introducing Saturday night headliner Paul McCartney - thumbs aloft, kids! - and 'highlights' footage of mud-diving idiots (how they'll regret it when they discover their tents have floated downstream and the only dry clothes are the ones they're wea... oops). I had to switch off. I don't want to indulge in schadenfreude. I can sympathise - I've been there, soaking wet and freezing, when NZ's Millennium Gathering was rained out... although I'm such a pussy I spent the duration sitting in my car with the heaters on.

But as the old Chinese proverb says, 'He who get Macca and mud baths one year can expect Smiths reunion and sunshine the next.' Or something along those lines. I'm definitely, definitely going to Glasto 2005. Then Eavis can trot out his 'best ever' routine and really mean it.

Shorn of the dead 

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usNice of the sun to finally grace us with its presence once more, just when we can all make the most of it on a Monday morning. Oh hang on, it's gone again. That's all right then.

Took myself off to Spitalfields yesterday for a haircut. I should have known better, but the hairdresser is an old friend, and with just £100 to last me til payday, I hoped she'd give me a discount. She didn't. But she did give me the same mega-cropped Hoxton mullet she's inflicted on me every time I've been strapped for cash and risked her services in the past four years.

It's amazing the effect a bad haircut has on your psyche, your confidence and, I daresay, your charisma. At 1pm yesterday I felt pretty fly - feeling, in the words of Carl Carlton, like a bad mama jama. Post-crop, even the Church Street yoga lesbians didn't give me a second glance.

That hairdresser stole my mojo. It happens every time.

PS - Oh yeah, my literary (read: cut and paste) efforts can now also be found here. Finally I make it to celebrity blogger status. Well, kinda - Wil Wheaton (the one who wasn't Corey, River or the fat kid in Stand By Me) writes for the LA version. That's good enough for me.

> INTERNAL JUKEBOX: Making Love, Pam Todd and Love Exchange

Saturday, June 26, 2004

Camden locks 

As expected, Smacked Face made good her promise of good behaviour and stayed in last night with a family-friendly DVD and a cup of piping hot cocoa. Or she went out for one drink and finally crawled up the stairs at seven this morning. You decide.

Many things were not done today. I didn't make it to the 1.5th birthday party of baby Kobe. Nor did I make it over to Sam's birthday drinks in Westbourne Grove. I did, however, drag my sorry arse up to Camden for the 4.15pm showing of The Cooler - possibly one of the most depressing films I've seen for a while. But more on that in a minute.

First, let us reflect on the sleepy township of Camden - and what a freak show it is. I could hardly get out of the tube station for dirty soaped-hair teenage 'punks' and general assorted gothness. Always the best place to take tourists who may have forgotten such sub-cultures existed. (Almost without fail, punks, goths, etc are fat, ugly people who have chosen to stand out rather than fit in with society's norms of beauty. And why not? At least they might get laid.)

But as much as the Lavigne-alike misfits of Camden may have tried to shock us, today it was the Saga generation who ran away with the freak award. As we sipped our delicious soya lattes at the cafe over the road from the Odeon, we were puzzled to see three old ladies hobbling up the street, each carrying a large pillow. Was there a warehouse clearance sale going on, we wondered aloud. More limped past, then more, and more, until everywhere one looked, there were elderly women armed with pillows. What was going on? Did they know something we didn't? Does the annual manchester shortage start tomorrow? Why hadn't we been told?!

We could stand it no more, and rushed out to get the gen from a pillow-bearing OAP. Bingo! No, really - bingo. Apparently Mecca Bingo were giving away a free pillow to every player. The Bettys of this world will be sleeping well tonight.

Anyway, The Cooler. It was all I could do to keep from slashing my wrists. Jesus. Why did I think it was going to be a black comedy? Regardless, I wasn't particularly sold on it. Fantastic performances from William H Macy (brilliant as loser Bernie, of course - the role he was born to play), a jowly, psychotic Alec Baldwin, and the lovely Maria Bello - great to see a Hollywood actress who has cellulite and average skin, hurrah! But the film verged on the cheesy, with stilted dialogue and overacted bit parts, and was far too predictable and formulaic. And I'm so over the Lock Stock slo-mo thing. Five out of 10 at best, I'd say.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usStill, it ensured I didn't waste the entire day, and enabled me to discover the fab wee shop next to the cinema, Ekhaya, which stocks the most divine range of floaty frocks and sexy sheer tops, plus jewellery, bags and an excellent downbeat record selection at the back. It's all frightfully pricey though - lucky, because it prevented me spending an absolute fortune in there. (Which I intend to go back and do after payday...)

And now here I sit, broken, battered and discussing Formula One matters with Kensington-based friends via text, tossing up between a very welcoming bed or staying awake until 11.15pm to catch the new series of Bo' Selecta! and see if Leigh Francis and his grotesque masks are funny this time round. Even if he has still got it, it can't be half as hilarious as the blonde mullet wig (<--) we came across last night. Oh, the japes and shenanigans...

> INTERNAL JUKEBOX: Shoot The Model, Bang Bang

Friday, June 25, 2004

Sign off 

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usFare thee well, my feathered friends. My advice for the weekend? Lay low, keep your head below the parapet, and behave yourself. That's what I intend to do, and for once I really do mean to stick to it. I'm savin' and behavin' too - even foregoing Antipodium's incredible 50%-off 'National Bogan Day' sale tonight for fear I can't resist that Nom-D top and spend my last £300... A haircut on Sunday should buoy my spirits anyway, in the absence of any actual spirits (sob).

Have a wonderful weekend, wherever you are. If you're short of sounds this evening, head over to the ever-brilliant Deep House Page and download a 1982 Larry Levan or Ron Hardy mix. And remember - no football is good football. Smile! xx

Enough already! 

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usShut up! Shut up! Shut up, all you armchair pundits and office commentators. I don't want to hear about this bloody game any more, do you hear? Listen to yourself, weedy, wacky guy in the Christmas jumper - like as not, you haven't even seen a football since compulsory sports at school, you do not have the right to comment on anything of a physical nature. And you, braying public school bore, stick to the rugby and memories of group buggery, and shut it! You are all so tedious it's a miracle you haven't sent yourselves to sleep.

This sad national obsession can be summed up in the story I noted in this morning's Metro, that the number of babies being named Wayne is predicted to skyrocket 500% this year. Get a grip, you jingoistic fools - Wayne is (arguably) the world's worst name. DO NOT saddle your offspring with this moniker, after a minging Scouser who just happens to have played a bit of decent footie. Please.

[Rant ends.]

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Rapture in West London 

Was there football on tonight? I hadn't noticed... But enough paraphasing Four Weddings And A Funeral (the worst line in cinematic history). It's time for tonight's gig report, since I've just staggered in the door and can't be bothered making my bed so that I can lie in it just yet.

Tonight we were at the Hammersmith Odeon, for a four-band freebie spectacular Carling amusingly termed 'Taste Of The Summer' - with the biting wind and torrential rain outside, they were probably bang on the money, English summers being what they are.

Having had to stop in order for the males in our posse to watch Owen score his goal, we arrived too late to see the first band, Kasabian, but did manage to catch the last half of The Stills' set. Valiantly I gave up my standing ticket so that the group could all be together in the seated section upstairs, so it's fair to say I wasn't in the best spot to rock. I don't know if I would have anyway though - The Stills were kinda lame.

For starters, a toddler seemed to be working the lights, meaning the lead singer was in total darkness the entire set, and every five minutes 1,000-watt house lights would come on and blind the audience. Watching the band themselves was reminiscent of a school assembly concert - five testosteroned lads who'd been listening to too much Jimi in their bedrooms and decided now was their chance to indulge in three-minute feedback solos. Yawn. Time for a drink and a fag, methinks.

Next up, The Rapture - and how! Officially my new favourite band (yeah, I should have turned on to them years ago, but hey, what can I say? I'm no early adopter), these chaps absolutely rocked my world. I believe they may possibly be the gangliest group in recent history, what with the long-streak-of-piss lead singer and their own Bez-alike on the cow bell and squeally sax, with legs more rubbery than Barrymore's. I'm a sucker for tall, goofy men (why I always end up dating short-arses is one of the world's great mysteries).

I'd like to comment more on each track, but to be honest I only really know Sister Savior (so good, with the mid-track transmission from rock to electronica raising the roof) and final song House Of Jealous Lovers, and even that one's the DFA remix. This is all set to change, however. The Rapture are worth every penny and certainly deserve to be thought of as among New York's finest. I intend to purchase their entire back catalogue.

On to Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, and spare a thought for the poor lads who were forced to play to a half-empty room, as most people were out in the foyer watching the last (apparently nail-biting) few minutes of the football. Again, this is a band of which I know nothing save the radio play, and live they kind of reminded me of the Jesus and Mary Chain - with afros (or just bad hair - I couldn't really make it out from the back of the hall).

Anyway, three tracks in, the football was still going and the BRMCers weren't touching my musical G-spot. So with that, I spied an opportunity to make a break for it, grabbed my bag, plugged in the compilation I burned last night and strutted off into the night, far beyond the reach of the angry yobbos within... A nation mourns. But as long as I've got Francine McGee's Delirium coursing through my veins, I've got a smile on my face. Ah, disco - is there nothing it can't fix?

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Friends with benefits 

'Friends with benefits' are very in right now, according to the Sunday Times Style supplement, which features them on its 'hot' list this week. 'Friends with benefits', in case you didn't know, are what used to be referred to as 'fuck buddies', 'shag pals' or, simply, 'mates you cop off with'.

They're hardly a new thing - let's face it, they've been around forever, and I challenge any one of us to deny ever having called upon their services at one stage or another. A friend in need is a friend indeed... Well at least until the morning rolls around, which is where it gets sticky - literally (ew) and metaphorically. But a true 'friend with benefits' is one that is still a mate after the beneficial act - after all, if you wanted hassles and dramas, surely you'd be in a relationship?

I once used a 'friend with benefits' as the catalyst to end a relationship that was going nowhere so as to provide me with no leg to stand on when I inevitably changed my mind and decided I wanted to cling on a little bit longer. I've also used them during post-relationship times, when, to put it bluntly, you just want to check it all still works, without having to resort to sleazy one-nighters with strangers.

Anyway, it seems to me, they're the perfect solution in this topsy-turvy world, and I have to say I wouldn't mind one right now. Having worked out that long-term relationships bore the pants off me, and short-term relationships seem a waste of time and energy and usually end up with negative outcomes for one party at least, I think a 'friend with benefits' is exactly what I need. (Or several even.)

Recently, I've somehow ended up with a 'friend with benefits... maybe... one day'. We've got into a habit of texting each other when trashed and discussing how we really, really should get in a cab to one or other's flats right this minute damn it and finally get down to it, but you know, we never actually do get round to it, and frankly, I'm beginning to doubt we ever will.

But far be it for me to advertise my sex life on the internet - who do I think I am, Belle De Jour? (But if anyone's interested, the offer's on the table...)

In other news, Dell finally delivered a new CD-RW drive this morning - not bad for two months' worth of daily hassling. And ohhhh, the tunes I am merrily downloading - so sick I may require medical attention. The next Booze, Disco, Etc is going to rock.

> INTERNAL JUKEBOX: Makes You Blind, Glitter Band

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

New York Dolls darling! 

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Thanks so much to star photographer Ms G - getting pics like this from the very back of the RFH is some feat. She rocks! And yes, she is available for hire...

PC madness 

Is there anything more wrath-inducing than the office dobber playing Space Invaders on his Mac with the volume up? It's the genuine article Space Invaders too - you remember, the one with the descending, accelerating sound effects: boop-boop-boop-boop, boop-boop-boop-boop, boop-boop-boop-boop, faster and faster ad fucking nauseam. Do some work, fool! Sometimes I wish I had a tiny James Bond-esque poison dart fitted into my jewellery to discreetly 'take care' of any irritating lifeforms.

While on the subject of whinging, I'm not even going to start on the issue of Dell Computers, who as expected didn't come within a country mile of my house yesterday to replace my CD-RW drive. I feel awful yelling at the poor sorry sods stuck in their Bombay call centre - but it's not as though I have any other choice. Even they don't seem to know where their head office is, or how on earth to contact it. Yet again I want to kill and maim people in hideous fashions. (I really must get these urges seen to.)

My sister turned 27 yesterday. It's bizarre to think the curly blonde angel I tormented terribly as a child has now reached her late 20s. She celebrated the big day by getting stung by a large wasp while on her luxury yacht in the Greek Islands (the cow) and having to be rushed to hospital. Still, it could have been worse. When she was a nipper, I recall T and her equally dippy friend Cleo exploring the creek behind our house. 'Why are all those wasps flying into that hole in the ground?" they wondered. "Hmm, better get a large stick and give the hole a good poke," they surmised. Forty stings each later, it was a very sorry pair who limped back home. Dimwits.

(And yes, I am feeling remarkably uninspired this week. There's a lot going on, you know...)

> INTERNAL JUKEBOX: Computer Games, Yellow Magic Orchestra

Monday, June 21, 2004

More sinners and winners 

Another classy selection of Google-ites coming Smacked Face's way of late...


I heart New York Dolls 

Today sees me slouching around the house, a shivering, snivelling mess, ostensibly waiting in for the Dell man to finally come and repair my computer but killing two birds with one stone by taking a genuine sick day as well. Boo.

Still, I deserve it - the weekend was definitely up there on the crazy scale. I'm not going to bore you with the details of how a quiet night out at a seminal 70s glam rockers gig turned into a 48-hour bender involving superstar DJs, magic mushrooms, pygmy goats, Thames beach parties, Charles Manson-alike crusties, vast vats of vodka, lots of disco and no sleep. Suffice it to say it was all a very good time.

Instead, let's talk NEW YORK DOLLS - and who suspected a bunch of wrinkly 50-year-old rockers could reform 29 years later, minus two band members and with little rehearsal, and pull off one of the best gigs ever?

We arrived early in order to grab a drink and take in the scene outside, knowing it would be a freakshow (in the very best way) of epic proportions. And the crowd didn't disappoint, with former glam kids and punks pulling their glad rags out of mothballs and forcing safety pins back through their noses for the occasion. (Age shall not weary them, apparently, but it certainly hasn't been terribly kind in some cases.) How we saluted the courage of one PVC-pants wearing fan, who'd obviously dusted off his five-inch stilettos after several decades and valiantly ventured onto the Southbank cobbles, legs trembling like a newborn calf but - remarkably - remaining upright.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usInside at the bar, we spied Bob Geldof and a number of other minor slebs whose names escape me now, and grabbed a snap of the best T-shirt in the world ever (<--). Too soon, the bells rang, announcing the start of the performance, so leaving the gorgeous fellow chatting me up at the bar, we raced into the venue, having heard rumours of Franz Ferdinand making a surprise appearance. Alas, it was only Moz's best mate James Maker - too Morrissey-lite for me, so we stayed for two songs then hoofed it back to the bar. The boy had gone, natch.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usInstead, we chatted to this chap (-->), a friend of Rocky Horror Show creator Richard O'Brien (who apparently is now starting a ranch in Tauranga, fact fans). He claimed to be 49 and, possessing better skin than either fellow boozehag Ms G or myself, we demanded to know his secret - estrogen, apparently. (And sharing Pete Burns' plastic surgeon.) Maybe there's hope for us yet. Hormone clinic here we come.

To merchandising, and I duly bought the obligatory T-shirt, as well as a rather nice lithograph poster. Gutted to find when I got home that the shirt I'd been given didn't have the tour dates etc on the back - I'd paid 18 quid for a shirt I could have got from Topshop for a tenner.

But anyway, the Dolls! The Dolls! I don't exaggerate when I say I have never experienced anything like it. Even our shitty seats at the back of the Royal Festival Hall couldn't detract from what was an absolute tour de force. Their opening kickass rendition of Looking For A Kiss set the tone for the night - far from three-chord wonders, they formed a surprisingly tight outfit.

But fuck musical profiency - the New York Dolls were always about attitude, and they still have it in spades. A (very) lean and lithe David Jo Hansen out-Jaggered Jagger as he ponced and strutted about the stage in a selection of suitably glam attire: "Two weeks ago I was bearded and bedraggled - now look at me, I look like a fucking Scissor Sister." And you got the feeling the positively boyish bassist Sylvain Sylvain could hardly hide his glee at their comeback, enthusiastically waxing on about how much London means to them at every opportunity.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usBest tracks of the night? Looking For A Kiss, Personality Crisis, Jet Boy and, of course Trash. But hell, it was all amazing - and I look forward to reliving it (and sharing it with you, dear reader) once Ms G flicks me her pics and videos.

David, Sylvain and "the legendary fuckin'" Arthur Kane - you rock. So much. Thank you, Morrissey.

Oh yeah, and we drank with Bobby Gillespie afterwards.

> INTERNAL JUKEBOX: Personality Crisis, New York Dolls

Friday, June 18, 2004

My brain's not functioning at all well this week. Perhaps it's because I need a haircut - one that isn't me hacking at it with kitchen snips while drunk, although I get more comments these days than I ever did with a salon job... Anyway, until I can think of something to post, here's something I stole from Screaming Seed earlier. It's neither big nor clever. But then neither am I.

Smacked Face's bits are best described as her "fishy petal".

What's yours? Enter your name:
Privates Eye

Thursday, June 17, 2004

I'm missing the Grand Prix for this 

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usIt's that time again, the obligatory plug for my own night. Nice to see the good old Metro Life doing it for us too - not too bad for our second official outing, although I'm sure they thought electro kings the Glimmer Twins were playing, as opposed to Gimmer, which is certainly what I am behind the decks. Or in front of them, next to them, on top of them, under them... Anyway, here you go.


This Sunday (June 20), Whitehorse Brixton, 4pm til late, free entry

Underground 70s disco, funk/soul rareties, a touch of italo and new wave - but strictly no house nonsense - courtesy of Terry Bristol, Jamie Robertson and the Gimmer Twin

Decent disco, punk, funk 'n' drunks, good food, nice one

That's it. No more shameless self-promotion for another fortnight.

Fook me, the new Morrissey-compiled CD with this week's NME is bloody marvellous. Pony Club! Franz Ferdinand! Libertines! The Slits! Sparks!! New York Dolls!! Jobriath!! It's like Meltdown might have been had Moz's wildest dreams come true.

Best £1.80 I ever spent.

Fred's dead baby 

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usTrue to form, in my general loathing of all things motherland, I'm not a Crowded House fan, but they were bang on the money with their warblings about always bringing the weather with you. Not content with five rainy days in Mallorca, I'm happy to see my return to the capital has also signalled an end of London's golden weather. Great.

So. Mallorca. I learned an awful lot actually. Mostly that I'm a cynical old bitch who doesn't tolerate fools gladly (although I guess I knew that already) and boy, did it feel good coming home last night.

I'm trying to write it all up as we speak, both for here and for work, but I'm lacking in inspiration and motivation today, and I'm still getting over the horrors of the Flintstones resort hotel dinner. I have seen hell and survived to tell the tale.

Did I mention I saw Morrissey at Gatwick on Saturday? It was a case of missing my flight or running after him like an idiot and prostrating myself at his feet... and how I wish I'd opted for the latter option. That would have made for an easy post:

"I touched you at the soundcheck check-in,
You had no real way of knowing
In my heart I begged, "Please, take me with you,
I don't care where you're going."
But to you I was faceless
I was fawning, I was boring..."
etc etc

Alex Best was on our Easyjet flight home. The tacky cow.

> INTERNAL JUKEBOX: Looking For A Kiss, New York Dolls (scream! tomorrow night!)

See, I could be really depressed I'm not at Sonar right now. And that I don't have a killer tan from five scorching days in Mallorca.

But I've had a lovely night at After Dark at the ICA (thanks to the lovely Tim - Eclectic Method rock!), I have a semi-tan, I have a wonderful weekend planned (most of it to be spent on a Streatham rooftop in a Margot Leadbetter cocktail frock), and I'm a little bit pissed on duty-free booze and listening to Nick Drake. If that isn't enough to make one's heart sing, then I'm just a pissed idiot tapping out nonsense at 2.30am.

> INTERNAL JUKEBOX: Day Is Done, Nick Drake

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Pride goes before a fall 

Those who delight in schadenfreude will be pleased to know, after all my skiting and nose-rubbing, that my PR jolly to Mallorca has not been an unmitigated success. It has absolutely chucked it down these past two days and I swear to God I am this close to committing a particularly unsavoury murder if Swiss Tony the travel company exec makes one more "hilarious" comment.

On ths plus side, however, I have got a bit of a tan, scored myself the raddest vintage cocktail frocks ever, nabbed three new pairs of Havaianas, conquered my fear of heights, enclosed spaces, caves and horses, bowled over a barful of Mallorquin boys with my karaoke prowess, fallen in love with a chaps-wearing cowboy, and gorged myself silly on local cuisine.

All will be revealed in detail on my return. In the meantime, however, it´s off to what must surely rate as one of the most horrifying events ever to appear on a press trip itinerary - dinner at a Flintstones-themed resort in Magaluf. God give me strength.


Saturday, June 12, 2004

When you care, but can't be there 

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usRight, so I'm off shortly to the golden weather - gloat, gloat - so won't be gracing your screens until Wednesday. Despite the numerous offers to guest-edit Smacked Face, I don't trust any of you enough to leave this literary legacy in your hands. Why, I might get back to find horribly embarrassing stories have been posted about me - which of course would be business as usual and you'd be entirely within your rights.

Anyway, in my absence... Ooh, did I mention it's all-expenses-paid? I did? And oh look, the forecast is for sunny and hot.. Sorry, where was I? Ah yes - in my absence, please to be seeking solace in any of the quality-assured alternatives listed on my sidebar. I was going to post my itinerary, but I don't want to come across as a resounding cunt - or attract cyber-stalkers. But I'm pleased to see it looks very, very good - and has a large emphasis on "refreshments". Bottoms up - and how.

Love to you all

Friday, June 11, 2004

It's a shame about Ray 

Ray Charles is dead! (Although no one seems to have told raycharles.com...) Ignoring the shameful fact I only learned the news from reading the Metro this morning, shame on that publication for running just a tiny piece on the bottom of page 7. Anyway, a moment's silence please.

Right. This weekend, as I believe I have stated/rubbed in previously, I shall be sunning it up in Mallorca (details to follow). Were I here, however, I would have been at the Meltdown "All In The Gutter" Oscar Wilde evening on Sunday - except the bloody thing's been cancelled! No reasons have been given, but with that and the Libertines bowing out, old Mozzer's curating of the festival is looking more and more like a curate's egg, one might say. Although I would have sold my soul for Sparks tickets. (Actually it appears there may be some still on sale. Damn...)

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usLiking the sentiment of the graf chalked on the wall of 333 (<---), although in my experience too many lads take this to heart as it is, especially when the lights come up at Fabric, where end-of-the-night losers realise if they don't pull now, they're going home alone, and grope every arse that passes their way. Quite, quite vile.

And if the random header of the "preapproved loan" spam I've just received isn't the best name for a pratty ghetto-tech/no-disco/Nag Nag Nag/Artfairy-wannabe DJ, I don't know what is: 'Electroencephalography gypsy'. Indeed.

> INTERNAL JUKEBOX: Weekend, Phreek

Thursday, June 10, 2004

In my neighbourhood 

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usI'm perversely proud to be the owner of the Googlewhack (© Dave Gorman) for famed Stoke Newington eaterie Chickpizz, and continue to be amazed at how many people are referred to these humble pages via searching for said term. In recognition of such trade, it's only right I honour the institution with a picture. Feast your eyes - and while you're there, why not grab a greasy stale kebab too?

I love Stoke Newington - you may have noticed. I was born in Stoke (Nelson, New Zealand), and since moving to N16 a year ago, feel I have returned to my spiritual home. That is, until I finally nail that Spanish and get the fuck out of this godforsaken country to Barcelona...

But, er, I digress. Stokey is a delight that constantly surprises. Forget Church Street with its three-wheeled-stroller-pushing yuppie mums (and media dads looking glum at being wrenched from their FHM lifestyles to the tedious daily drag of parenthood) - its quirky shops and cafés are justifiably acclaimed, but the real action happens in the back streets.

There's a host of the best pubs in London - the Shakespeare and its jukebox, the Londesborough's food, the Prince's quiz night - then there are the random glimpses of genius. Like the boarded-up corner shop I passed last night that turned out to be a secret Turkish men's club - I was privy to the smoky world within as the doors opened for a brief moment to admit a member. Or the shifty-looking pool bar that goes all night - one to remember while waiting for the Royal Oak to open shop. And the battered off-licence that stocks hardly any products but always manages to send its regular patrons off clasping a tightly-wrapped package...

Stokey rocks. Have I said that already?

> INTERNAL JUKEBOX: Robot Is Systematic, 'Lectric Workers

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Because I was dressed like a scruffy beach bunny yesterday, I turned down the chance to attend this last night:

"The Starbucks Summer Party will take place next Tuesday (8th June) at Somerset House. The party is being co-hosted by Jodie Kidd, with a live acoustic performance from Pearl Lowe and Jackson and is starring the new Starbucks Fresh Mango Frappuccino.

Jodie Kidd (Nicky Clarke and Ashley Ward will be completing hair and make-up for the event); Pearl and Jackson; Danny Goffey from Supergrass; Emma B; Roger Taylor (Duran Duran); Rhys Ifans; Liberty X; Ruby Wax; Lady Isabelle Harvey [sic]; Sadie Frost; Gary Kemp; Bill Amberg and Jemima French are some of the celebrity guests that will be attending the Starbucks Summer Party.

I hope you will be able to join us on Tuesday."

Have you ever seen such a collection of coke-sniffin', C-listin' fleabags? Obviously I am GUTTED I missed it.

Kill the DJ 

Oops. I may have been a bit terse last night when, at 1.30am, having finally managed to beat the heat and nod off, I received a text from the Glam-Boy and pal, who were getting sweaty with the Keith Richards-hairdo kids down at White Heat: "We've just got ourselves a DJ residency in town - Bowie-electro-disco-tastic!!"

"Oh dear," I snorted (if one can do that via text). "You'd better start buying some records then."

Not surprisingly, I didn't receive a reply. I suppose I should send an apology today, but then he DID wake me up at half one. And, thinking it over this morning, I'm not sorry in the slightest.

I know, being a non-mixing crap promoter-turned-crap DJ, I'm the absolute last person who can talk, but why does anyone with a couple of old Roxy Music 12"s think they can be a DJ nowadays? In my defence, at least I've been buying vinyl for years, can actually mix if I could be arsed and only play early on at my own nights - Glam-Boy and his mate only own about 20 records (and I know I've seen a Phil Collins LP in there). Still, I'm probably just jealous because they're prettier than me.

Clissold Park was delightful last night by the way, with scampering squirrels, boisterous bunnies and those blessedly rotund pygmy goats just hanging out. And it seems the circus is coming to town. Chav-lass hormones will be all a-flutter thanks to the dodgy fairground types currently frequenting the area - "the grease in the hair of a speedway operator is all a tremulous heart requires" etc.

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> INTERNAL JUKEBOX: Rusholme Ruffians, The Smiths

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Smack my beach up (thanks JB) 

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us32 degrees according to the Evening Standard, 33 according to my sidebar - and climbing. It's a good thing I have no money right now, or no garden bar in the Shoreditch/Stokey area would be safe.

As it is, I'm changing colour at an alarming rate - but sadly only on one side, thanks to walking south to work and north back. I may have to resort to the bottle to avoid looking like a lopsided freak for the rest of the summer. (The bottle of self-tan, that is, not beer – but still, if you're offering...) But hopefully it won't get too much hotter - as the temperature has soared, my daily wardrobe has diminished, like the good old Kiwi sun worshipper I am. I'm already dressing like I'm off for a day at the beach (only four days to go, hurrah!) – there's really not much more I can strip off before I cross the final frontier of decency and end up looking like the pikey office tart.

To music, and I'm absolutely loving Chic's Sao Paulo as my ultimate summer end-of-the-night last tune right now. What's yours, and why?

Monday, June 07, 2004

If you can't stand the heat... 

The locals have been very restless tonight, with one hell of a barney kicking off outside in the street. The air was so blue it began to resemble Duncan, and even my potty-mouthed self was shocked into stunned silence.

Hot weather makes people crazy. This is evidenced throughout history, with the majority of famous riots and periods of civil unrest kicking off as a damp, sticky populace turn nasty after the air conditioning breaks down for the nth time. One can't condone but can almost understand why Son of Sam went on his killing spree back in the NYC heatwave of 1976 - the opening-window vs letting-in-mosquitos dilemma can indeed be murder.

Still, we should consider ourselves lucky as we roast in the dirty 26-degree London heat tonight. Back in the summer of 1858, known for obvious reasons as the 'great stink', the stench from the foully-polluted Thames was so strong politicians had to drape sheets dipped in chloride of lime over the Houses of Parliament windows to keep out the smell emanating from the rubbish, effluent and no doubt a few severed heads floating past. Even Ridley Road Market or the bins behind 333 of a morning couldn't top that.

If I were to compile a heatwave album (had my CD-R drive not imploded in a steaming heap), I would include these tracks:
The Heat Is On, Glenn Frey
Hot In Herre, Nelly
Some Like It Hot, Powerstation
Gonna Make You Sweat, C&C Music Factory
Carnt Sleep, St Etienne
White Light/White Heat, Velvet Underground
Summer In The City, Joe Cocker
Steamy Window, Tina Turner
In The Summertime, Mungo Jerry
Hotter Than Hell, Motley Crue
Heatwave, Martha & The Vandellas
Disco Inferno, The Trammps
Fat Sweaty Betty, Insane Clown Posse

And of course anything by Canned Heat, Hot Hot Heat, Heatwave, Donna Summer (Hot Stuff is particularly appropriate) or Keith Sweat. Damn it, I'm going to be lying awake all night now, thinking of more and better examples. Still, it might keep my mind off the heat and the mozzies.

Being Smacked Face 

JonnyB's guest-spot on Naked Blog has reminded me that in a few days' time, I will be lounging on a Mallorcan beach, making the most of the all-expenses-paid nature of press trips (yes I am rubbing it in, such PR jollies don't come about every day, you know). And probably, make that definitely, not going anywhere near a computer.

So hands up anyone who feels like being Smacked Face's guest blogger for the week. The auditions start here. The successful applicant could perhaps assume the Smacked Face identity for the duration, and make up deliciously dodgy adventures and booze-fuelled fun (although anything you can think up, I've probably already done - twice). You don't even have to have a degree in viticulture appreciation or be an expert in stumbling out of dive bars - although of course that would help.

> INTERNAL JUKEBOX: West End Girls, Pet Shop Boys

Get your mind out of the gusset 

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usHaha, someone searching for "gimmer+hosiery" was sent this way. What on earth is "gimmer hosiery"? Hosiery for gimmers, I suppose.

'Gimmer' is a truly marvellous word - it's up there with 'gusset' on my list of all-time favourites (I imagine gimmer hosiery would probably have a substantial gusset - perhaps that's its USP). I don't think the word 'gusset' gets used enough - that is, by people other than myself. I find it hilarious (though perhaps that's just the gimmer in me) and like to use it at any and every opportunity. I recall frightening a timid friend for months with constant talk of 'moist gussets', continuing the joke so far as to leave a pair of stockings under his pillow - gusset up, naturally.

I would have liked to have called this site something gusset-oriented, but alas, I didn't think of it at the time (although a quick Google search reveals many who did). So for the next 24 hours, for no reason whatsoever, Smacked Face will become Smacked Gusset. Akin to Chuck Pettifogspot's challenge of some years ago to slip as many Guns 'N' Roses song lyrics as possible into his work meetings, I think everyone should try to sneak the word 'gusset' into their conversations today.

(Sorry, it's a very beautiful day - I think I'm a little touched this morning. And cheers JonnyB - you're too kind...)

> INTERNAL JUKEBOX: Skidmark, Gusset

Saturday, June 05, 2004

Bearing up in Camberwell 

You would be correct in being puzzled as to why I ended up bussing back from South London this morning, having gone out just down the road in Angel last night. It seems to be a sort of Murphy's Law situation, whereby every time I move north, the after-parties all shift down south, and vice versa. Anyway, I've braved the night bus and I can categorically state that neither Elephant & Castle nor Kingsland High Street look any better in the soft dawn light.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usI've just returned from one of the weirder after-parties I've attended in a while, and I like to think that's saying something. A 7ft polar bear in the kitchen, a chap who played with Johnny Thunders (Finlay from band-to-watch Stukahead, apparently) serenading me with New York Dolls hits on the stairs, the contents of a florist shop being distributed to all guests at 6am... I made sure I snapped a few pictures as proof, for fear of it sounding like a fantastical acid trip.

Anyway, my cup of tea has gone cold and I think can conceivably sleep now, even though the light is streaming through the blinds as I've still not got round to buying curtains. Last thing though - why, when you head home a little worse for wear, are there never any similarly-wobbly people on the streets, but all disapproving workers heading off for a hard day's slog? I feel like... the decent person's pariah I am. Oh well.

> INTERNAL JUKEBOX: Think Twice, Detroit Experiment

Friday, June 04, 2004

Give us your money 

Another weekend looms. What will you be doing?

I shall be envisaging cunning schemes to make the £20 left until payday somehow stretch over the entire weekend (which encompasses one boozy 30th birthday party, two boozy club nights, one boozy party-planning meeting and of course the mothership of all nights boozy, BOOZE, DISCO, ETC), and also the whole of next week, which includes five days in Mallorca. It's a tough call, but if anyone's going to manage it... it probably won't be me. Help. Anyone feel like sponsoring an aging boozehag?

A weekend rundown:

Tonight Can't think of anything decent on, but then again I haven't looked. I shall be donning a short skirt and heels with which to proposition/frighten young men in Angel in the hope of free drinks.

Saturday Sticking with the Angel theme, it's Pigeonhold! Hurrah!! Salmon & Compasses, Penton Street, N1.

Sunday The Whitehorse Brixton brings together NYC's finest Terry Bristol, NZ legend Jamie Robertson, and Stokey saddo Smacked Face for a night of disco, funk, punk 'n' drunks. Yes, I KNOW it's going to be the hottest day of the year, but whatever - get your ass down there and sink some piss. 94 Brixton Hill, SW2, 4pm-late.

PS: I unreservedly recommend heading to Phonica Records in Poland Street and checking out the Photographs from Glastonbury Fayre exhibition. It's Bowie-tastic! Just don't spend the GNP of an island nation on records while you're there. Or do, if you've got the cash (lucky bastards). HAVE FUN.

> INTERNAL JUKEBOX: Frankly Mr Shankly, The Smiths

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Walking to work 

8.47am: I check the time and realise it's time to split. Careful analysis of weather (sunny and mild) and mood (sunny and mild) results in the selection of two homemade funk compilations as the morning's soundtrack - Easter Funk 1 and Easter Funk 3, so-called because they were compiled at Easter. At the last minute I remember my evening's plans (a launch for the FACT presents ART exhibition of Glastonbury photos at Phonica Records) and throw a pair of heels in my bag in case I feel like being 6ft for the night. We're off.

Track 1: Erucu, Jermaine Jackson Man this is one mother of a track. Old Jezza certainly had the funk back then - before he got lost in the Michael vortex and started calling his kids Jermajesty and the like. Outside TAC Wedding Warehouse on Stoke Newington Road, I pass an old lady immaculately kitted out in lilac and long gloves. As I head past Chris Dry Cleaners, the track reaches a bit with annoying samples of 'cute' kiddies' voices, and I am reminded how much I hate that in songs.

Track 2: Rain, Dorothy Morrison As Dot starts belting it out about bad weather, the sun goes behind a cloud. I pass Somine café, a place the Frenchman has always insisted sells the best soup in Stokey. It's never appealed. The Rio is screening Pedro Almodóvar's Bad Education for a limited time, but I realise I'm so poor this week I'm going to miss it. I march on into the grotty heart of Dalston - Kingsland High Street - which is fairly empty of people but, as always, full of rubbish.

Track 3: Can't Hide From Yourself, Teddy Pendergrass I've really got a strut on now, this is one of the best tracks ever written - Sneak and Carter did a good job but couldn't touch it with their Can't Hide From Your Bud... The fish and meat shops are pungent as usual, and I wonder if the phone-card dealers stting at their suspiciously-portable tables are as dodgy as they look. The sign outside American Beauty for Thermoslimmer promises 'lightning-fast performance'. If only - I've got that Mallorca trip coming up next week...

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usTrack 4: Shakara, Fela Kuti It's proper sunny now as I pass the knock-off Nikes stall on Boleyn Road and narrowly avoid bowling over a drunk old codger who swerves into my path outside ScooterDen (owned by George Dennison, who sells scooters). The toes on my left foot are starting to lose circulation, a legacy of my drunken foot-breaking incident last summer, but I stride on regardless past the Downham Road Ladbrokes and over Regents Canal. There appears to be the remains of a giant birthday cake, the kind strippers leap out of, floating in the murky water, but there's no time to investigate further, as my Sony CD Walkman has started to skip. I pause in the shadow of the mosque and sort it out, and take the opportunity to get a photo of the truly frightening Russian Pub signage as well (<---).

Track 5: Get Happy, Jimmy 'Bo' Horne A tramp is punching the new bus ticket machine outside the Sowers Church as an old duck getting a blue rinse at Charlie's Angels salon looks on aghast. I can see the spire of my old next-door neighbour, Shoreditch Church, in the distance, and smile fondly at the memories. Outside the Royal Standard pub on Kingsland Road, a Hoxtonite on a bike comments on my trainers (Adidas Melbournes). The Geffrye Museum is looking particularly green and lush this morning - I really must stop being a philistine and actually go there soon, I've been walking past it for years now.

Track 6: Leaders Of The New School, Mt Airy Groove Past Retford Street, and I notice my old flat is up for lease again. A man is drooling over a selection of trowels in the window of the hardware shop while over the road, a bendy bus stalls but, for once, doesn't burst into flames.

Track 7: If You Want Me To Stay, Sly & The Family Stone Hanging a right and approaching Hoxton Street, I glance up towards the Red Lion, outside which two old men in hats are laughing in the sunshine. On spotting a poster for The Cooler, I make a note to hype it up in the blog, as it looks superb - William H Macy rocks. As I hotfoot it into Hoxton Square, a woman standing outside White Cube asks me if this is Hoxton Square. Er, yes.

Track 8: The Donkey, Whitefield Brothers I pass another old flat, above the ever-rubbish Liquid Bar on Pitfield Street, and wonder who lives there now and how they are putting up with the floor-shaking traffic noise. The bar around the corner on Old Street was formerly called Bar 150 (all drinks £1.50), then Bar 160 (drinks £1.60). Now it's called Bar 170, but drinks are £1.80. Go figure. All's quiet at the fire station this morning - a change from the heady evenings of summer 2001, when the firemen used to dangle a fake spider on a string onto the unsuspecting Hoxton hordes to hilarious effect.

Track 9: Don't Fight The Feeling, Sound Experience Old Street station looms, as do a number of station gyps. I put my phone away, on which I have been taking notes, and descend into the subterranean world to complete my journey. I feel good.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Oh frabjous day 

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usThanks to the wonderful Mr S, my shitty old Dell home PC is back up and running - minus the entire contents of its hard drive, but working nonetheless. The days of burning 20 CDs a week are but distant memories, but perhaps if Dell ever gets around to fulfilling its warranty promise, the good times will return. Anyway, to celebrate, I thought I'd share my favourite-ever 'walking to work' pic, now that I can and all. I have no idea what the services offered on this van's sign actually entail. They sound painful though.

On the subject of the esteemed Shuggie Otis, Heppyworld emails: "If he'd married Janis Joplin and their lovechild was Jimi Hendrix, I would have been a happy man."

Ignoring the obvious chronological discrepancies and the fact ol' lady-lovin' Janis was unlikely ever to make it to the altar, he has an interesting point.

Which mythical musical unions would make you happy? I should provide a starter for 10, but my brain is running wild with fantastical pairings and offspring (not The Offspring, mind, they should never be allowed to procreate) - and for once, I have work to do (why is it in 'Top 10 celebrity diets that really work' features, they never include 'cocaine habit'?). I'll have to get back to you on that one.

EDIT: It's not 100% a musical union, but Claire Grogan + Michael Stipe/Moby* surely = Marco Big Brother?

* Smacked Face fact, pop pickers - years ago, while lurking behind the decks as I was wont to do at the Box in Auckland, Moby (pre-Play sell-out and superstardom) asked me for my near-empty beer bottle. He then proceeded to piss in it. However, I did not see Moby's dick.

There where things are hollow 

"As I was driving my newly non stolen, returned and bizarrely unharmed motorbike home from work, I was thinking about Smacked Face and wondering how we'd get on if we were to ever meet..."

Gadzooks! I confess I felt a slight thrill as I came across this on Heppyworld's site. Was fame, rather than infamy, finally within my grasp? Had I, somehow, become the bizarre object of young crusty old bloggers' fantasies? I admit it's hardly akin to being Angelina Jolie, but hey, it's a start, albeit a rather creepy one. But then I read on.

"I tried to work out where the name originated and I concluded that it must be that her arse looks like a Smacked Face..."

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usOh well. Heppyworld's theories for the origination of said monicker are far more amusing than the actual reason. I may have to steal them and pass them off as the work of my own fevered imagination.

BTW, can anyone on a PC tell me if my sidebar is anywhere in sight? I'm told my HTML tinkering of last week has reaped disaster on non-Mac-based systems. That'll learn me for trying to be a know-it-all.

EDIT: Right, it appears to have been the pic o' the day that was sending the sidebar crazy. So it's gone, alas. Let's hear it for the Manchester Boddington's factory one last time though, shall we? (<---) It's funny 'cos it looks like a cock.

> INTERNAL JUKEBOX: Inspiration Information, Shuggie Otis

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

It's always better on holiday 

What a stormer of a bank holiday weekend. Some highlights and observations:

• House music ain't really my bag no more. The feeling's been brewing for a while, but after Saturday night's semi-old-school house night at the Rhythm Factory left me cold, I think I've reached my final answer. It's like a distant ex - you can kinda see what you might once have seen in him, but hooking up again after the love affair has ended is all just a bit stilted and uncomfortable. Alas, poor house music, I knew thee well...

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us• Boat parties, however, are my bag. Hurrah to the Reverberations crew for Sunday's fabulous floating fun. Sean Dimitri, Ravi, Rob and Asad absolutely rocked the boat, and hats off to Tom G (<---) for opening up his studio for after-party shenanigans that ran well into Monday. A brilliant morning was had by all. (We even survived the 5am onslaught by a group of local crackheads, who first threw a brick through the window, miraculously avoiding the decks and the assembled throng, then started rattling the front gate and howling to be let in, resembling nothing so much as a pack of zombies. The police were duly called, but refused to take any action - which was nice. Ah Brixton, you gotta love it.)

• I'm a bit of a lame DJ at the best of times, saved only by a bunch of good records, but I've learned my limited prowess behind the decks is not at all improved by two days sans sleep. Never again will I attempt a three-hour set without being well-rested and up to the task. Sitting down on the job is so not a good look.

• Pimms or G&Ts for the ultimate summer drink? I simply can't decide...

• Five-inch heels should never be worn three days running. My feet look like they belong to a leper - sorry, I mean someone living with Hansens Disease - such is the extent of blisters, bumps and bruises.

• Be warned. I made the decision to rejoin the single world on Friday. As it is the first time fellow boozehag Ms G and I have both been footloose and fancy-free at the same time, innocent bystanders should be wary indeed of this pair of pheromonally-charged lushes on the prowl.

> INTERNAL JUKEBOX: Get On The Funk Train, Munich Machine

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