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Month: March 2009

For years, I’ve wanted to catch one of Ken Dodd’s marathon performances, but, when he comes to the Marina in Lowestoft, he always sells out before a single poster can be put up to publicise the show. Thanks to a friend who’s on the theatre’s mailing list, I got in this time, and am unbelievably glad that I did. Much is made of the length of his shows: well, it ran for 5 hours, but felt like a very well-paced…

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Bonanza night on BBC4 – Dave Brubeck Quartet in Jazz 625 at 7.30pm, Dizzy Gillespie in Jazz 625 at 11pm, with 1959: the Year that Changed Jazz at 10pm. Caveat 1: these are the completely pointless early 1990s BBC2 re-edits of Jazz 625 with celebrity introductions (EDIT: I’ve never been happier to be wrong. Despite the billing indicating that the Slim Gaillard-introduced re-edit would be used, Brubeck was the 1964 original with Steve Race all present and correct. I’ll forgive…

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Hey kids. Come and join me on Twitter. I am chronicling each of my bowel movements in as much detail as I can in 140 characters. I can’t help but feel that this is what all communications technology has been working towards since the invention of the telegraph.

Glad tidings for missing episode hunters. News reaches us from Vienna of a 2-inch quad tape of Josef Fritzl’s appearance on the Austrian version of Ask the Family being found, misfiled, in the ORF archives. Meanwhile, there are unconfirmed reports from the BBC archives at Windmill Road, Brentford, that a reel of 16mm mute Ektachrome featuring Jade Goody being chased by a gigantic Dougal has been found propping up a coffee machine in the Film Exam department.

An interesting line appears in Anthony Quinn’s Independent review of Lesbian Vampire Killers (I do love a good rom-com), starring Mathew Horne and James Corden. Says Quinn: “A loveable pair of mates in Gavin and Stacey, here they have flagrantly overstretched their appeal, and now look in danger of becoming the Hale and Pace de nos jours”. I’m afraid that Horne and Corden can only dream of being the new Hale and Pace. I’ve caught a few editions of Hale…

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Tom Driberg has long been a figure of fascination to me. He was a life-long friend of Evelyn Waugh and John Betjeman, a man of the left, a rapacious homosexual, a disciple of both Lord Beaverbrook and Aleister Crowley and an alleged double agent. About 20 years ago (tempus fugit, etc), Francis Wheen wrote an excellent biography of Driberg, and, last night on BBC4, William G Stewart added to the sum of Dribergian knowledge with an excellent documentary on his…

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The paperback edition of Turned Out Nice Again is out in the summer, and the nice people at Atlantic want me to send them any corrections and amendments arising from the hardback by the end of the month. If you read the hardback and anything struck you as erroneous or suspect, I’d love to hear from you as soon as possible on le@louisbarfe.com. Thanks in advance. No, really.

Being an adult and moderately shameless, I haven’t felt embarrassed in a shop for years. I could quite merrily barge into a particularly eclectic retail emporium and request sex toys, hardcore pornography and a Richard Clayderman LP without a second’s hesitation. Yesterday, however, I came as close to being abashed as I’ve ever been. The record-cleaning fluid that came with my Knosti Disco-Antistat (see Cheeseford passim) is getting a bit dirty, as you might expect. However, I resent paying £15…

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I knew Kecske Bak was a man of taste and distinction, and his response to yesterday’s Nick Lowe posting merely underlines the fact. I responded by citing ‘All Men Are Liars’ from 1990’s Party of One album as an example of Basher’s greatness, and, in a spirit of show, don’t tell, here it is. There’s also a full band version on the ‘Tube with Paul Carrack, Bobby Irwin and (I think) Steve Donnelly, but I find this unplugged version oxymoronically…

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Nearly 15 years of bafflement and anxiety have just come to an end. That’s the length of time I’ve been familiar with ‘Love Gets Strange’ by Nick Lowe on his 1988 album Pinker and Prouder than Previous, and the length of time I’ve been trying to work out the chords on guitar. I assumed that it was beyond my meagre skills, but as most of Basher’s excellent back catalogue can be expressed in four chords at most, I thought it…

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