Tuesday, November 30, 2004


"Juicy Fruit - now in new Strappleberry flavour!"

What the hell is "Strappleberry"? A sister flavour to "Grapermelon", apparently, which mercifully hasn't yet reached these shores. But other than that, Google throws up no enlightening information on Wrigley's revolutionary new gum, apart from an Urban Dictionary entry, which eloquently describes the noun "strappleberry" as: "A fool with a problem up in his house, eg. Git the hell out of therr you strappleberry."

This leads me to the obvious conclusion that Wrigley has invented the word "strappleberry" for marketing purposes, which in turn leads me to ask the question, why? Why create the word "strapple" as a prefix for your new synthetic berry flavour? Why not go for something aspirational - eg "jewelberry" - or mouthwatering - eg "nectarberry"? Or witty and sophisticated, as in "shirazberry"? (Mmmm, shiraz...) And while we're here, "grapermelon" is vaguely reminiscent of "goobermelon", and that's really unappealing.

And why did the world need a new berry variant anyway? Just thank god we didn't get this 25 years ago, or it could have changed the face of pop culture forever - Prince's Strappleberry Beret, Strappleberry Shortcake dolls, coveting Vodafone's new StrappleBerry...

Mind you, Juicy Fruit always was a horrible gum.

EDIT: I've just twigged that "strappleberry" is an amalgamation of strawberry and apple (and berry). OK, I may be slow on the uptake, but I'm not retracting anything. It's still crap.

Monday, November 29, 2004

"So I drank one, it became four
and when I fell on the floor, I drank more"

- Stop Me (If You Think You've Heard This One Before), The Smiths

An apt choice of song title in the light of Saturday's spectacular tumble off the detox bus. I'm giving up on giving up - as they say, rehab's for quitters. I just don't want to end up with egg on my face next time I renege on my famous promises. And there was a whole lotta egg (and fag ash, floor scunge, hot tea...) all over my face on Saturday.

Well-meaning witnesses insist, "Oh, it wasn't that bad. We weren't embarrassed for you - you were hilarious." Which is the best one can hope for really. The problem is I can't actually remember any of it, which means I'm automatically assuming the worst. It's not helped by the ongoing discovery of fresh cuts and abrasions either, but I'm slowly learning to smile about it and celebrate my buffoonery.

Worryingly, last weekend was supposed to be a quiet one, to be spent sedately conversing with friends' parents and nibbling on canapés while sporting posh clothes and only slightly impractical shoes. God only knows how I shall cope this weekend, having it large at the venerable Ms G and Quentishtown's joint 30th birthday celebrations, when - as 'ringmistress' (oo-er) and as befits the burlesque theme - I shall be wearing a corset, suspenders and the highest platform stilettos known to man, while pulling Liza Minnelli dance moves in a true Cabaret style. If I haven't broken each and every limb by daylight, it will be nothing short of a miracle.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Smacked Face falls off the wagon 

... And off the bar stool, down the stairs, on to the coffee table... The best-laid plans went seriously awry last night. Well, what's a girl to do when there's free drinks?

I was monstrously drunk last night - so liquored, in fact, that I'm still tipsy now as I type. I've spent most of the day attempting to piece together the evening with the help of witnesses and the testimony of a body's-worth of bruises. From what I can gather, it mainly involved cutting a rug like a fool in five-inch heels, an inability to keep my breasts inside my dangerously low-cut top, snogging boys in the toilets, kissing girls on the dancefloor, a lot of long, slurry anecdotes and an awful lot of falling over. I got very well acquainted with the Whitehorse's filthy floor.

I'd like to blame it all on the fact I downed a couple of cold and flu tablets before leaving the house, but the truth is I simply drank far too much at the 30th birthday party we attended at the start of the night, and just kept on going. Other people throw up or pass out when they hit over-capacity, but somewhere along the way my body seems to have lost its stop mechanism.

The bruises will fade, but not before the shame does. If I haven't been barred from the bar yet, it's surely only a matter of time. We'd had a fantastic idea for my 30th birthday party in February - to do a one-off return of Southsidesoul at the Horse - but somehow I don't think that's going to happen.

To top it all off, I lost my wallet. And it serves me bloody well right.

> INTERNAL JUKEBOX: Death On The Stairs, The Libertines

Friday, November 26, 2004


How excited was I when The Return Of The New York Dolls, Live From Royal Festival Hall 2004 DVD finally turned up on my desk yesterday? Answer: very. Though the pleasure of watching it all again is to be savoured at a later date, I did get time to read the press release that accompanied it before hot-footing it to last night's Christmas bash (gah, it begins). The photos confirm David Johanssen really is one of the best walking Just Say No campaigns out there, should he ever be in need of a new career. Camden Police should get in touch...

I'm feeling a little seedy this morning after last night's do at posh Mayfair eaterie Shumi. It's amazing how quickly you get pissed when you're detoxing. (Yes, I know that's a contradiction, but moving right along...) Two glasses of champers and I was anyone's, although I wasn't tipsy enough to dig in to the bowl of spuds on toothpicks on offer as finger food. Would anyone be? What kind of canapé is a potato? Worse, the staff left them on the bar to get cold, before offering them around again. A friend mistakenly assumed they were some kind of pear concoction, and just about lost her lunch after the resulting shock to the tastebuds.

> INTERNAL JUKEBOX: Show Me Something More, Bronze Age Fox

Thursday, November 25, 2004

A year in the life 

Hard to believe I've been writing this nonsense for an entire year. 12 whole months. 52 weeks. 366 days, etc, etc. Blimey.

Reading back over the archives, I'd forgotten how much actually went on in my tiny sphere (the old memory's not what it used to be). I started the way I would continue - getting wasted and whinging a lot - about coffee, chocolate, soy milk and the ongoing saga of the teeth.

I packed in a fair bit of travel - Glasgow (twice), Paris, Manchester, Mallorca, Greek Islands, Naples - but not as much as I'd have liked, with New Zealand, Rome, Glastonbury, Sonar and Benicassim plans going down the gurgler.

I dissed New Zealand, hated Brighton, loved Stoke Newington, dissed South London, then left Stoke Newington for South London. I even made great plans to leave London entirely - trading it in for Glasgow or Barcelona - but somehow never quite got around to it.

I heard more wonderful music and saw more great bands and films than I could shake a stick at, and partied like a fool. We especially loved Nag Nag Nag, Pigeonhold, White Heat, Optimo, Reverberations boat parties and Sweet Mayhem, but most of all, we loved the ones we did ourselves - Buy None Get One Free and Booze, Disco, Etc, and not forgetting the infamous Streatham Hill rooftop parties...

I decided - on many occasions - to try to quit partying like a fool. Even though I didn't break a limb through excessive debauchery this year, boozy carelessness did account for the loss of the infamous novelty specs, as well as my phone and wallet more times than I could count, and saw me get myself into some pretty sticky situations. However, all my detox efforts were in vain (until now?).

It was 12 months of milestones too. I turned 29, got Popbitched, got a stalker, celebrated four years away from New Zealand, farewelled my gran, farewelled John Peel, farewelled my boyfriend of two years, the Donkey, and suffered a lot more than I ever let on. But you can't keep a good woman down for long. I rebounded once (before the bed was even cold), with a London boy, then again, with a French man before renouncing relationships in favour of Friends With Benefits and casual dating (although after the last hilariously disastrous encounter, I was tempted to even give up that). But I still found time to fall in love three times (Ulrich, Alex and Pete, you rock).

What else? I loved walking to work, Chickpizz and Testi, graffiti, Fast Times At Electra High, polar bears at parties, Streatham sunsets...

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Since February, 42,492 visitors have searched for everything from "videos of people shagging chairs" to "hoxton wanker" to "its in the voice of the head made up of a hole with a piercing round sensationally cold rubba-duck-duck". But mostly just "darius kilt cock" and "scarlett johansson panties".

Thanks to you all. I've had a blast. xxx

Wednesday, November 24, 2004


Tomorrow it's the one-year anniversary of this blog. So much rubbish in just 12 months... True to form, I'll be celebrating it with a hangover.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Six appeal 

Not long ago I complained about the woeful state of British breakfast radio, dissing all contenders left, right and centre. But I'm happy to admit my mistakes. I've been tuning into 6 Music's breakfast show for a while now and, in the words of Gerry and his Pacemakers, I like it. And not just because they gave me tickets to Trevor Horn - because that turned out to be a bit rubbish - but for the wicked music selection and inspired random info.

For instance, this morning I learned the fabulous news that there's a SpongeBob Squarepants movie coming out! With a cast featuring Scarlett Johanssen and Alec Baldwin! And a soundtrack featuring the Flaming Lips (doing a number called SpongeBob And Patrick Confront The Psychic Wall Of Energy), Wilco and MOTORHEAD!!

And who else in the commercial sector would play all 10-and-a-half glorious minutes of Television's Marquee Moon on a peak-time show? So very, very good.

> INTERNAL JUKEBOX: Marquee Moon, Television

Monday, November 22, 2004

Zen Smacked Face 

As my one-year blogging anniversary approaches, I've been taking stock a bit, reading over the events of the past 12 months and getting a little introspective - something I've been doing a lot of in general of late.

I'm not sure of the reasons for it - whether it's the end of the year drawing nigh, the impending trip back to the motherland next year, or the fact I'll be 30 in February - but I'm coming over all new age. 2004 has certainly had its ups and downs, but mostly it's been fantastic fun - but perhaps you can't party forever. Actually, thinking about those tragic, skaggy old club divas you sometimes encounter, you definitely shouldn't party forever. Shudder...

Anyway, two weekends off the booze and away from the party circuit has re-energised me and made me think seriously about turning over a new leaf - and sticking to my guns this time. I realise a quick flick through the archives shows me to have made the same detox pledge a dozen times previously, but I do think I really mean it this time.

I've been reading a bit about Buddhist teachings recently for some reason, and the idea that I could actually be content with my lot and be nice to people apart from just telling them I love them on a 2am dancefloor suddenly appeals. Bizarrely, this unexpected interest was followed by the discovery of a copy of Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance on an empty seat next to me on the Tube. Coincidence? Fate? You tell me.

But there's no way this is going to become a dull new-age blog, even if by some miracle I manage to become a new-age girl (the Glaswegians are down this weekend, so it's going to take one hell of a lot of willpower to stay on the Diet Cokes). Let's be honest, I make a fool of myself with or without alcohol, so whatever happens, it's business as usual round these parts.


Saturday, November 20, 2004


Image Hosted by ImageShack.usThis always happens - I get back from holidaying, chilled, tanned and happy, and blogging goes out the window. But finally, in order to preserve the experience for posterity with the minimum of effort, here's the Smacked Face 12-step programme for Napolics.

1) Go off-season. There are hardly any pesky tourists about (I mean those other tourists, obviously), so seeing the sights is a solitary joy. Pompeii was as quiet as the day after the eruption, and we practically had the winding streets of Capri to ourselves. Plus, strike it lucky, and November in Naples is warm and sunny - we had temperatures of 15-19C every day and nary a cloud in the sky.

2) Fly British Airways. After years of enduring queues of fractious Marbella-bound families and sullen, unhelpful staff on the budget airlines (actually, an honourable exception is made for the Easyjet staff who have valiantly saved the day after many a previous travel disaster), it was pure bliss to arrive late, climb on board a comfy plane and eat palatable food I didn't have to pay for on BA. And for only a fiver more than the best budget fares. (Although woe betide should you wish to change your booking... but that's another story.)

3) Be prepared for that famous Italian arrogance. I went to board the steps to my plane at Gatwick, only to have a Nancy Dell'Olio-alike push in front of me, dragging with her a blonde friend and Burberry mac'd lover. Sporting a giant sparkler P Diddy would be proud of, she hissed an breathless apology without revealing the reason for her desperate need to board the plane without delay. The trio would repeat this procedure in the passport queue at Naples Airport. Under normal circumstances this would have infuriated me beyond belief, however I had just exchanged glances with the Most Gorgeous Man Ever, and was feeling a little breathless myself. Which brings me to...

4) Italian men - gorgeous but no style. MGME was the first of many beautiful locals we would encounter on our travels - but the only one to combine looks with style. Such a shame - around every corner is a pouting Mediterranean model type with a face to make the angels sing. But their Roberto Cavalli-at-Asda fashion sense - dripping with bling, nasty facial hair, wack boxing boots and basketball shirts - results in instant turnoff. Tragic.

5) Insist on having your coffee hot. I lost count of the number of times I was served a tepid cappuccino. I realise Neapolitans don't drink cappuccinos after 10am and in ordering such I am identifying myself as a tourist and thus worthy of contempt, but there's a limit to how many double espressos a girl can drink in one day without turning into Cornholio.

6) Go to the presepe market. It's truly insane.

7) Guard your arse. I lost count of how many times some dirty old bastard (not Ol' Dirty Bastard, though - RIP) copped a feel on his way past. It's the same question I ask myself each time I'm unfortunate enough to be in the main area when the lights go up at Fabric and every sad loser tries a last-ditch attempt to pull by pinching the bum of anyone unlucky enough to be nearby - what do these men hope to achieve? Do they think we'll turn around and say, "Hey, wow - you're grrrreat! So charming and suave! I want to get it on with you right this minute!" Exactly. Ick.

8) Go to Capri, if only for a brief insight into Naomi Campbell's life. Although what you'll experience is nothing like it because you aren't blowing massive lines of chang up Usher's arse at Dolce & Gabbana's summerhouse. (If you are, good work!) You can, however, get a gelato from the exact same shop she once had one from - they have pictures to prove it. Whoopee. A much better idea is to purchase some perfume from Carthusia on the very chi-chi shopping street, Via Camerelle, so you can at least smell like a rich bitch. And make sure you do the trek up to Villa Jovis, the final abode of seedy emperor Tiberius, and annoy the guard by repeatedly asking for more details about exactly where the evil old bastard used to turf his slaves off the 1,000ft-high cliff.

9) Make a plan of what you want to see at Pompeii before you set out - or you'll be there all day. Don't miss the old knocking-shop (look for the phalluses carved into the stone to find your way) and make the effort to see the Villa of the Mysteries before you leave. It's breath-taking. And don't forget about Herculaneum down the road either.

10) Margherita pizzas rule. I recommend Brandi, off Via Chiaia - and not just because the waiter tried to pick us up. Hey, it's good enough for Bill Clinton (the pizzeria, that is, although...), as is Da Matteo on Via Tribunali. Further along Tribunali is a chocolate shop, where they claim to do the best hot chocolates in town. We didn't realise this was meant literally and were presented with a cup of... hot chocolate. Like, melted chocolate. A whole cupful. Thank god for spoons. And Slim-Fast.

11) Don't stay near the Stazione Centrale. It's scuzzville - head for Chiaia/Posillipo if you can afford it. We stayed fairly cheaply nearby, at the Bella Capri pensione, right next to Castel Nuovo on the waterfront. It was a pretty shabby room, but the staff were incredibly helpful and the location - close to the ferries and shopping districts, and a 10-minute walk into town - was perfect. And just downstairs was Duce Duce, staffed by a Kevin Spacey-lookalike who does the city's best gelato and mozzarella. We were awfully sad to say goodbye to him.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us12) Just do it. Naples has a reputation as being dangerous and dirty - and it is. You're also very likely to die by traffic, but it's got a fabulous vibe and it's so close to so much. It's a very, very good time.

13) LATE BONUS! Almost forgot - make sure you visit the Museo Archeologico Nazionale. Even if you're not a museum fan, it's well worth the rather hefty entrance fee. Not only did we get the Damien Hirst exhibition and its collection of pretentiously-named installations included in the price, there's a wealth of Classical art and archaeology - not least the fascinating collection of dirty mosaics and sculptures, such as the sweet pastoral scene to the left. Our book quoted a critic, saying, "The vulgar nature of the sculpture [Pan shagging a goat, in case you can't make it out from my hurriedly snapped pic] is somewhat lessened by the knowing look exchanged between the participants." Er, whatever you say, dear. All my companion had to say on the matter was, "Eek! The goat has vulva!", before we descended into a highly inappropriate fit of giggles.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Saw Naples, too lazy to write about it 

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usYikes. I'm still in holiday mode. There's far too much to catch up on, thus the lack of proper posting. While I try to get back on the case - it feels like I've been away for weeks rather than four measly days - why not live my life vicariously through pictures.

For general Napoliness and far, far too many pictures from Pompeii and Herculaneum (it's that hard-earned - cough - BA in Classics kicking in), go here. For fantastic examples of Naples graffiti (it's a city obsessed with sex and death, as all the cock, coffin and amor grafs prove), go here. And for pure 'what the...?' factor, go here.

Normal transmission will resume etc etc.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Saw Naples, didn't die 

Dirty, sinister, rude, full of rubbish... Naples rocks.

I'll sort a proper post tomorrow. For now, all I can say is to highly recommend taking that day's holiday, going shopping with yer pals, spending a fortune, catching a matinee screening of Bad Santa (or, as the Italians call it, Babbo Bastardo) and laughing your arse off.

Report and pics coming tomorrow... or when I can be arsed. x

Friday, November 12, 2004


Urrgghh. All I have done all day is eat. It's Christmas deadlines round these parts, so rather than just one of us doing the weekly food tried-and-tested at home, we're all doing them at once in order to get through 'em in time.

This morning was party food (can I tempt you with another Iceland salmon blini? No). Next, Christmas mince pies (the M&S ones reek faintly of rancid butter). Finally, chocolate logs (I got the end bit of an Asda version with twice as much cheap synthetic chocolate on it. I feel vaguely ill).

I like to think I'm stretching my stomach in preparation for the Italian binge feast that will be my trip to Napoli and surrounds on Sunday. Any last-minute advice (other than "see Naples and die", please) will be much appreciated, to the usual address please. Other than that, I shan't be back round these parts til Thursday, so make good use of the sidebar until I waddle back into your lives next week...

We were soldiers once, and young 

"So we go inside and we gravely read the stones
All those people, all those lives, where are they now?
With loves, and hates, and passions just like mine
They were born, and then they lived, and then they died
It seems so unfair, I want to cry..."

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usOh dear, Trevor Horn. Well, not "Oh dear, Trevor Horn" per se, because he was kinda sweet and self-effacing (if you can be self-effacing when you're throwing a party to honour yourself) - he reminded me of a nicer Pete Waterman, in fact. But I digress.

Oh dear.

We already suspected we'd probably be the youngest faces in the audience at Produced By Trevor Horn at Wembley Arena last night, but figured it was free and thus worth the trek, if only to witness Miss Grace Jones in action. Little did we anticipate the level of despair and broken dreams etched on the 40+ crowd's faces.

Overweight suburbanites tapped their toes and clicked their fingers, briefly transported back to a time when they were young and free, when they had drive, ambition, and dreamed of stardom and riches. Then they opened their eyes and realised they hadn't even made it to 'has-been-ville', like the sad sods on stage in front of them, but were instead stuck forever in 'never-was-land', and would later sob uncontrollably into their pillow before going out to the garage, starting the engine and...

Oops. Maybe that's going a little far. But it was pretty depressing. We left halfway through, finding it just too tragic to tolerate and not wanting to dent the experience of the fans around us.

Trev and his Buggles opened with the inevitable Video Killed The Radio Star, which didn't sound too bad at all, considering. However, they then followed it with... their, er, other hit. I wasn't aware they'd had one, and nor, it seemed, were the crowd - no one sang along and it certainly didn't sound remotely hit-worthy. But then neither did the disastrous Dollar, who were next up and looked like they'd just got port leave from an octagenarians' cruise ship. They tried spectacularly unsuccessfully to involve the crowd in some lighters-aloft arm-waving before bounding off stage, no doubt to revel in their imagined glory.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usThen - gasp - heeeeeeeere's Grace! Even from our crummy seats at the back of the arena, she was stunning. What a body! What a presence! She bashed out a spirited rendition of Slave To The Rhythm, and re-established her wacko credentials by signing off with the immortal words, "Thank you! You're All Fucking Slaves!" Too right, sista.

Next up, Belle & Sebastian attempted to bounce their way through a particularly turgid set, not helped by the shocking sound, before it was the turn of ABC. Cue Martin Fry running on stage in an efferverscently ghastly manner and proceeding to whip up the crowd into a frenzy with his hateful wide-armed clapping so beloved of 80s 'comeback' stars. The final straw was his gold lamé suit and cringeworthy self-congratulatory comments. Excuse me while I nip to the loos to call for George...

Anyway, Art of Noise followed with Close To The Edit - zzzz - then Propaganda, who bored us with some dated Teutonic nonsense, and Yes, who earned their 'dinosaurs of rock' tag with some of the pompous, bombastic guitar cacophony they're famous for - mercifully only for 10 minutes.

When they announced a 30-minute interval, we spotted our chance to bail. It was cold and we had better things to do. We missed Pet Shops Boys, Seal, t.A.T.u and Frankie, but so what? I've seen PSB three times already and without Holly Johnson, Frankie are nothing. And last time I looked, t.A.T.u were either knocked up or threatening court action against their pervy manager or some such.

Bar Gracie, the most interesting thing was the intense level of security at the doors. What did they hope to discover - a bomb or something? Then we remembered Prince Charles was in attendance, and wished we'd remembered our Motolov cocktails after all...

> INTERNAL JUKEBOX: Cemetry Gates, The Smiths

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Striking a blow out for liggers everywhere 

So tonight's last-minute mystery gig was in fact the recording of Sky One's Tim Lovejoy & The All Stars at St Luke's in Old Street. I usually need no excuse to jump about like a loon, but tonight a subtle hip boogie and toe-tap had to suffice - I was knackered. We learned several things, though:

1) The types who hang out beyond the velvet rope (those with a proper mandate, several steps up the ligging ladder from yours truly and my tenuous "my mate's workmate's mate's mate is the producer of the presenter's other show" connection) really are the beautiful people. More than anything I dreamed of working in TV, but looking around me tonight, I'm glad I never made it - I'd have a permanent chip on my shoulder the size of Mt Everest and an inferiority complex Freud would be proud of. I had to eat a plateful of bread when I got home to console myself.

2) Pete Doherty does sometimes turn up to gigs. He was amazing. I have never seen anyone with such mesmerising star quality. And from two metres away, he's even more beautiful. Tsk - the first time I fall in love in years and it's with a bloody junkie pop star. So sad.

3) Pete Doherty ain't such a wastrel. Shown relaxing with his band in the Crypt, he pulled the usual waster styles for the cameras, looking bleary-eyed and about to pass out on the table. Up on stage, prepping the audience before their song, he was 100% entertainer, leaping about, hamming it up conversing wittily with the audience and managing to toss Haribos in the air and catch them in his mouth, time and time again, as well as some particularly good drop kick and head butt moves. That takes some skill.

4) My ligging has limits. We were invited to the after-show party but my boots were cutting into my heels and my new teeth hurt (and there were far too many younger and more scantily-clad liggers in the bar), so we went for one drink and went home - tragically, just as the Babyshambles guitarist arrived. I feel proud though - I could have shagged Pete Doherty, but I turned down the chance. That's what I'm telling the grandchildren, anyway.

5) Goldie Lookin Chain are certainly a one-joke wonder, but they're loads better and funnier live than their videos would have you believe. And one of them is an utter fox. Mmmmm.

6) Leaving mics on and the volume up in-between filming is great entertainment for all. I was party to most of Patsy Palmer's 'how do I get more work?' conversation with host Tim and it was bloody funny. (Sadly, they must have turned off the sound by the time it got to 'Do you fancy a line then?' ;))

6) I will never ever leave home without my digital camera again. Gutted.

Anyway, bed calls. I think I fell in love every time I turned around tonight and it's scrambled my brain somewhat.

> INTERNAL JUKEBOX: Delirium, Francine McGee

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Here's.... Grace! 

Ooh, it's just me, me. me round these parts at the moment, innit? But if you can't be self-indulgent on your own website, then where can you be? (The lounge, the pub, the bus, etc...)

So yes, I made sure I got another lottery ticket, entered the Metro competitions, paid my £1 for the meat pack raffle. See, I've won two things already this week, and all good things coming in threes as they do, I'm due another lucky windfall. I do hope it's £9 million. Although I'd settle for a five-star holiday.

Until I hit the jackpot, however, I'm going to fill in my time with a whole lot of last-minute gigs with absolutely stellar line-ups. Tonight, it's Babyshambles, Goldie Lookin Chain and Dizzee Rascal (and Johnny Vegas) in Old Street - cheers Quentishtown. Here's hoping Mr Doherty actually turns up this time.

And tomorrow, of course, it's the afore-mentioned Trevor Horn extravaganza - ABC, Art of Noise, Belle and Sebastian, Buggles, Frankie Goes To Hollywood (with, er, special guest), Grace Jones (!!), Lisa Stansfield, Pet Shop Boys, Propaganda, Seal, t.A.T.u., Yes... Actually that's the first time I've looked at the confirmed line-up. Fuck me. I think I might implode.

> INTERNAL JUKEBOX: Video Killed The Radio Star, Buggles


I just won tickets to see the Trevor Horn tribute @ Wembley tomorrow night! Thanks BBC6 6 Music!! (Yes, I was the "giggly Kiwi" if you were listening this morning and wondering who that spoon was on the radio. Idiot.)


A Morrissey musical? Heaven knows I'm miserable now...

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

I love music 

Thanks to everyone who emailed reminding me how much I wouldn't like New Zealand were I to return - which of course we'll put to the test in January, when I make the Great Trip Home for two weeks of boosting my vitamin D supplies and scoffing good seafood.

I'm back on track anyway, having now caught up on the necessary sleep. A few good omens have been popping up in the Smacked Face Inbox of Life too. I won the lottery (well, a tenner anyway), an old friend offered me to hook me up with her contacts in Barcelona (the long-term plan), out of the blue I've been invited for two job interviews, and an almost-forgotten side-venture has reignited.

And anyway, the wasted weekend wasn't a total waste. I just looked at my iTunes and what a fantastic selection of tracks we downloaded while smoking all those cigarettes on Saturday morning... I've managed to replace just about everything I lost last time the hard drive crashed, plus a good whack of new shit courtesy of the Life Of Reilly's incredible music savvy.

Get to Soulseek now and download these little beauties, for starters:
Dexy's Midnight Runners There There My Dear; Television Marquee Moon; Elton John Tiny Dancer; Supertramp Take The Long Way Home; New Order Run Wild; Rolling Stones Gimme Shelter/Rocks Off/Can't Always Get What You Want; The English Beat Tears Of A Clown; The Postal Service Such Great Heights; Devo Whip It; Simon & Garfunkel Baby Driver; Otis Redding I've Been Loving You Too Long; MIST & High Contrast 3am; Jane's Addiction Jane Says; Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers Roadrunner; Sylvester Over & Over; Dandy Warhols Hells Bells, The Only Ones Another Girl Another Planet...

You get the picture. The O-Jays would be proud. Anyway, that's enough rambling for tonight. Till tomorrow - when I'll have brand new white'n'shiny teeth. (Although hopefully not too bright or shiny - vision's a wonderful thing, apparently.)

Monday, November 08, 2004


Predictably, watching all of South London's fireworks from our rooftop was absolutely spectacular. Predictably, in a boozy haze later that evening, I managed to select the "delete all photos" option on my digital camera, leaving me with no visual record of the event (or my stunning green jumpsuit ensemble). Predictably, I ended up partying all weekend, losing my mind, my dignity and my precious Aviators in the process. Predictably, I feel like utter rubbish today.

Having been distracted by the presence of a divinely sexy NASA scientist (whose name I can't remember and whose number I didn't get, it's a utter tragedy) at Pigeonhold's 'Space'-themed 7th birthday celebrations, I didn't realise the time and thus managed to entirely miss my dear friend Jodie's leaving party up at Ruby Lounge in King's Cross. To try to make amends for my appalling slackness, we met up for a few wines at Market Place yesterday.

I left feeling tearful and displaced. We'd talked a great deal about New Zealand - Jodie has loved the four years she's spent here, but these days she wants a better quality of life. She wants to live in a nice house, in a nice city and actually be able to save money for a change. She wants to trade travelling an hour across town to get boozed with friends in a smoky pub for jumping in the car and driving five minutes to a friend's place for a freshly-caught seafood dinner. She wants to go jogging around the waterfront, in the sunshine and looking out over one of the most beautiful harbours in the world.

I was struck by the sudden thought I might go back to NZ for my holiday in January and fall in love with the place again. It's a possibility that's never occurred to me the whole time I've been here. I came over in 2000 with one suitcase - last time I moved house, my stuff filled three Transit vans, and I don't even own a sofa. Leaving the Northern Hemisphere was never in the programme.

Luckily Quentishtown put me straight this morning: "Don't get suckered into the homesick vibe - remember how wet, boring and claustrophobic it can be... and expensive. You're just suffering from the weekend."

He's probably right.

> INTERNAL: JUKEBOX: Tears Of A Clown, The English Beat

Friday, November 05, 2004

Boom shake the roof 

This week was going to be the start of hot new interactive feature The Smacked Face Saturday Sessions, where you, the reader, get to suggest exciting activities to get our hungover arses off the sofa and out into the big wide world of London. But that's going on hold until next weekend, because this one's gonna be a biggie.

This evening, Smacked Face Towers plays host to a wee Guy Fawkes soirée, where we get to see all the fireworks you lot paid for from our rooftop vantage point. For free! Nothing paid! And with Brockwell Park and the Tooting and Clapham Common displays within view, it promises to be quite a show.

Saturday brings with it the challenge of making it to as many events as possible, including a friend's farewell party in King's Cross and the 7th anniversary bash of the esteemed institution that is Pigeonhold, at the Salmon & Compasses.

And Sunday is Moodymann at Plastic People. If I'm still standing.

So yes, no time for getting out and about - but as of next week, it's all on.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usBefore I go, a heads-up to a couple of sites that have stumbled across these pages of late: J Eastman, for his charming Halloween picture - which reminds me both of how I felt this morning and of the old Popbitch joke I forgot to tell last week (Q: What do hillbillies do at Halloween? A: Pump kin); and Stressqueen, who appears to be my North London doppelganger, continuing my good work in Stoke Newington but without most of the boozin' and whorin'.

Lastly, if you really want to rock out this weekend, flick the Sky over to VH1 and make sure you catch the No 1 clip of their Worst Videos Of All-Time - Bobby Conn's brilliant Never Get Ahead. I thought I loved Bobby Conn (<--) before - now I want his babies.

And take 15 minutes to pay further homage to St John of Peel with Optimo's perfectly appropriate tribute, which you can find HERE.

> INTERNAL JUKEBOX: The Roof Is On Fire (hopefully not literally), Bizzy Bone

Unmitigated disaster 

Regular readers of this site will know I'm no Belle De Jour - I don't kiss and tell, and tend to keep my 'romantic' (yeah, right) life out of the papers.

Until now. Because I think I've probably just had the Worst Date Ever, and that's worth a brief mention - and it's better than thinking about Bush (capital B, that is - although after last night, perhaps it's time I went down a different route, so to speak...).

It wasn't really even a date, but merely a meeting to facilitate the retrieval of the ring I had left at his house last week after a boozy session took a, ahem, more 'back to his' turn. Still, I recalled him being a nice Irish lad, tall and rather devastatingly cute, with a very interesting and well-paid job in the film industry. And of course, he worshipped Bueller, which earned him a few extra points.

So after a week of sporadic texts, he invited me to meet him at the Alex in Clapham, of all godforsaken places. Despite my strict anti-Cla'am philosophy, I grudgingly agreed and arrived fashionably late at said pub, looking pretty fly if I do say so myself. And thus began the most awkward hour of recent times.

It was like having to look after a client or something. I don't think I can recall a more stilted, uncomfortable occasion. We had absolutely nothing in common, or if we did, I certainly couldn't be bothered finding it out. Lisa and Ralph Wiggum's date in The Simpsons had nothing on last night (though it is not recorded whether I resorted to using the immortal line, "So. Do you like... stuff?").

I pride myself on being able to strike up a reasonable rapport with just about anyone, especially with a glass of wine and fag in hand, but this one had me stumped. We finished our drinks and he asked if I wanted another one. "Erm, I don't really know. Do you?" I replied. "Um... OK. I'll get them in. Just one more though," he said, committing us to another 10 minutes of forced small talk and uncomfortable silences.

I downed my red wine in the time it took me to finish my cigarette, and bolted for the door. People stared as I shook my head and giggled all the way to the bus stop.

> INTERNAL JUKEBOX: We Don't Talk Any More, Cliff Richard

Thursday, November 04, 2004

End of the world as we know it 

Go Luxembourg! The Benelux nation finally makes the news, with the Luxembourg PM's presumably ill-advised slip o' the tongue, saying Arafat died 15 mins ago. Get in there!

The Sky News flashes this afternoon have been laughable - "He's brain dead" (referring in this instance to Arafat, not Bush), "He's not brain dead but critically ill", "He's dead", "He's not dead", "His condition has become more complex"... We all know his people are playing for time while they get their damage control systems in place. As if that'll help. It's gonna kick off.

Anyway, I'm just going to stick my fingers in my ears and concentrate on enjoying this delicious Green & Black's Milk Chocolate with Butterscotch I've just been handed, and ignore the encroaching sense of impending doom. La la la la.

And if any Septics want to marry me for my British passport so they can get the fuck out of Jesusland, you know where to send your bribes.

> INTERNAL JUKEBOX: Armageddon Days Are Here (Again), The The

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

F*ck Bush - literally 

If someone had told me four years ago I'd be biting my nails and agonising over the results of the American election, I would have laughed in their face. Hell, four years ago, I'd probably have been lucky to know they were even holding an election.

How things change. The mood round these parts is subdued, to say the least. Every five minutes I receive an email from someone containing sentiments similar to this:

"F**kin c**t,c*******r, m**********r, that m**********r is going to win again. Where's my b****y gun, I feel like tearing him a new a*****e and ripping his eyes out and p*****g in the sockets and s*****g down his throat then cut his f**kin head off with a blunt rusty breadknife, f**kin c**t,c*******r, m**********r.

This rant was brought to you by one p****d off Reilly. And the * key..."

From Stateside comes this:

"I'm very drunk and I haven't eaten dinner, because I couldn't get the knot out of my stomach.  Decisive Bush victory, more Americans citing 'moral values' as the most important issue in the campaign, beating both the economy and terrorism.  I live in a country experiencing a religious revival. Want to find a silver lining for me?  Because I can't see it at the moment. There isn't even anyone in the room for me to commit immoral acts with in defiance of the idiotic American electorate."

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usWhich gives me an idea. Fuck Bush. Specifically, fuck AGAINST Bush*. Go out tonight and commit vile, depraved, obscene acts of immorality and flip Bush and his redneck followers the bird.

Who knows, it might be like yogic flying and provoke a huge change in global consciousness. Regardless, it's the most enjoyable act of protest you'll ever carry out.

* Ba-doom-tish

Counting chickens 

What fucked-up news to wake up to. I would say: Americans, you are the most stupid fucking people on the planet - but I don't think that's 100% true. You have a political system almost as corrupt as the worst third-world ones - what's the point of turning out in your droves to vote when huge sections of your society (generally the demographics likely to vote Democrat) have already been targeted with dirty tricks?

It's not often I give much thought to our future on a global scale, but today I truly fear for it.

(And in other news, goodbye dance music. Much like we all will be - should virtual "president-elect" Bush continue down his evil little path - it's officially dead.)

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usTo stay up and wait for the election results or not to stay up and wait for the election results? As they will no doubt involve weeks of legal wrangling and dirty tricks, I'm taking the easy way out and hitting the hay. Here's hoping I wake up to good news tomorrow morning. (Thanks to Life Of Reilly (<--) for the pic.)

EDIT, 11.37pm: My San Fran correspondent informs me the latest exit poll data is indicating "a Kerry blowout - something like 311 EV to 213" (see also Slate.com) - ie. a huge victory for Kerry. Here's fucking hoping.

And before I forget, I've just found the theme of my next party (swiped from the Popbitch board, which I returned to tonight after a long sabbatical, looking for more insider election info:

Chloe Sevigny's Halloween party was a "Night of 1,000 Morrisseys" party, where virtually everyone dressed up as a pompadoured Mozza.
uncle whuppity, 17:08 2/11


Monday, November 01, 2004

As if we didn't already have enough reasons to loathe Tony Parsons, he gives us another one, in the form of his farcical "Tony Blackburn was better than John Peel" rant in today's Mirror.

There's so much wrong with this "column" that I'm not even going to bother starting on it (and that's not just a kneejerk reaction due to my personal belief the man should be sainted). I don't often side with Julie Burchill, but she's always been right on the money as far as her opinion on this odious, jumped-up little twat is concerned.

> INTERNAL JUKEBOX: Teenage Kicks, Undertones

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