Sunday, September 19, 2004

"Stands the church clock at ten to three?
And is there honey still for tea?"
"Yes dear, and brains too."
It’s Saturday night (or for the pedants, very early on Sunday morning) and I’ve enjoyed an evening of zombies, mussels and knowing burlesque topped off with a brief reading of Poppy Z Brite’s more lilac-hued American Gothic pretty-boy vampire horror, helpfully recommended by Taxloss as "like reading a homosexual necrophiliac Brideshead Revisited." As you can imagine, I fell on the proffered book like one of the slavering vampires its pages contain – he knows me so well.

We finally watched Shaun of the Dead and laughed our pants off - Spaced series one and two on DVD has to be my favourite ever Christmas present from the beloved and I have watched those two discs over and over and over and over again. And Shaun of the Dead is like watching an extra-long episode of this top-quality comedy series – with extra zombies! Fabulous. Especially the Paul McCartney and John Lennon outtake and the flipchart version of the film…

Knowing burlesque was an unexpected bonus of my visit to the Thames festival with my parents in the early evening. We missed the Akita Kanto due to rain but then we caught the first three (and best) acts of Lost Vagueness - I missed their big weekend event in Brighton despite Former Flatmate A’s best efforts to take me along when she went a few weeks ago, and was so excited to see this naughty bunch do their stuff right next to the London Eye…

Father was slightly dubious about being out in the cold and damp, and didn’t seem particularly impressed with the drag act MC who cracked jokes like "I used to be a music hall star… I sang songs like ‘My Lovely Thrush and Me’… I mix-up my old songs with more modern sounds now, I throw in a bit of hip hop and breakbeat… Maud Evans from the retirement home does the decks for me… she’s got Parkinson’s, she’s great at spinning the discs…" Then the can-can dancers came on and Father was surprisingly more focussed on the event, even making sure we all stood closer to the front...

The slightly ropey can-can dancers (one pair managed to completely fail the handstands with legs opening and closing bit but 6 out of 8 sets of crotches flashing in and out of view isn’t bad) was followed by a wonderful Marilyn Monroe in resplendent Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend outfit; she sang that well-known song and then launched into an amusing ukele ska version of Blondie’s The Tide is High with a selected loon from the audience providing the dancing with no trousers on.

A long tour of the rest of the festival was great with lots to see but cold and worryingly dark as the lights seemed to have short-circuited along the Gabriel’s Wharf stretch of the river – sort it out Ken! Nonetheless, I went home happy and slightly hyperactive, just like in the good old GLC days when this sort of riverside festival was a fixture in our summer holidays. A night carnival finishes things off tomorrow with what promises to be big fuck-off fireworks – yes, I will be there with bells on.

Great stuff. How was your weekend?

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