OK, the main part of "The Project" has been done. (Phew!) Now we play the waiting game!
All will be revealed in, perhaps, two weeks time!
posted by Gina Snowdoll 9:39 pm
Monday, June 28, 2004
The weekend's doings
Well, I had quite a busy weekend, which involved two visits to the gym, re-doing my roots (and I still managed to miss some right on top of my head, so I have a dark patch there now!), some last minute tweaks on "The Project", and a trip to Camden on Sunday night.
On Saturday night I watched the Olympic Torch ceremony thingy in London on the telly. There were various celebs there, and Ozzy and Kelly Osbourne sang "Changes" accompanied by the lovely Grog on piano.
Sunday night I went to see Grog's band Die So Fluid at the Monarch in Camden. It was ages since I've seen them (managed to miss the last couple of gigs through either being elsewhere or being ill), which was something each of the them mentioned to me. I spent half the night explaining where I'd been for the last year or so (without going into too much detail). Al asked if I'd been out of the country, as he said my skin tone looked a different colour. I explained it was most likely the blonde hair making my skin colour look different in contrast. Chatted to both Drew and Grog too... which was nice. Grog came over and gave me a big hug and a kiss when she saw me! You don't get treatment like that from many bands!
Earlier in the day, I hadn't been too sure about going into London. Apathy very nearly set in and stopped me from going, but I'm glad it didn't as Die So Fluid played a storming gig which I throughly enjoyed. The set consisted mainly of new songs from the forthcoming "Spawn of Dysfunction" album, with three oldies included for good measure. The new song "Bitterness by Discipline" (available for download here) was particularly impressive. The album is out on 9 August and Grog told me that there'll most likely be a Album Launch gig that week. Can't wait to see them again.
It was a pity that the Osbourne brats couldn't have come along to see Grog play in her own band after she'd been helping them out on Saturday.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 11:24 am
Friday, June 25, 2004
I can't find any Stoli Vanil for sale in Oxford's off-licences. Have I drunk the town's entire supply, I wonder?
One shop offered me a bottle of Absolut Vanilla, but I declined. I bought a bottle of that stuff last week and it isn't a patch on Stoli Vanil. Also, it has this weird aftertaste. Not nice.
Where's the real deal? Will I have to buy it on-line somewhere and stock up on a few bottles?
posted by Gina Snowdoll 12:44 pm
It's not my fault!
I didn't jinx the football results with my rant yesterday, honest guv!
I'm only I had that kind of power! Hahhhhahhhaaaaa!
And to prove my point there's still people out there wearing flip-flops, "Baby On Board" signs in cars, and Jamie Oliver's still doing crap Sainsbury's ads. Don't you think I've TRIED jinxing all of those. I even went so far as to make a voodoo doll of Jamie Oliver, wearing flip-flops and sitting in a Barbie car with a "Baby On Board" sign in the rear window, and I sent the whole sorry thing up in flames, but did my voodoo work? Hell no. Worse luck.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 8:19 am
Thursday, June 24, 2004
Now here's a cunning wheeze...
...I could actually post something on my blog. That would be a novel idea, eh what readers?
My digital 8-track studio thingummyagig turned up the other day. It's a serious piece of kit, It has all these built-in effects, guitar effects, vocal effects, amp simulators, etc. I've not even tried recording with it yet, I've just been playing the guitar through it and trying all the different settings. Great fun.
I watched the Most Haunted Live special on Living TV over the weekend (and Monday night). It was largely a bunch of nothing, to be honest, with some mildly interesting things happening on the last night, e.g. Derek Acorah getting possessed yet again (but this time by a NICE spirit for a change) and the mysterious pile of boxes that appeared in the middle of the floor when no-one was looking. It's all a bit tame really, but I keep on watching in the vain hope that one day something really amazing will happen.
I've been going to have a rant about these fucking stupid flags that people are attaching to their cars. Don't they realise how sad these make them look? Also, I'm sure that they can't be legal - they could be potentially dangerous. Anyway, the ones that really make me laugh are the St George's flag with ENGLAND printed across the middle. Just in case we didn't recognise the St George's Cross and make the England link. Surely, anyone THAT stupid would not be able to read anyway, so that whole thing is even more pointless. Whatever, whenever I see a car with one or two of these flags on it (there was one parked in out street with FOUR on it... sad sad bastard) it amuses me to picture the flags going up in flames in my mind's eye.
Sorry, but as you may have gathered, I do not DO football. I loathe AND detest the game - and that's all it is, kids, just a silly game.
Last week, there was some silly match on, and at work we were told that we could leave early only if we were going to watch the football. WHAT????? That's bloody mixed standards. Because I didn't want to watch the football, I had to stay behind in the office on my own until closing time. Is that fair?
I was even accused of not being patriotic. Well, I'm not English so I fail to see how I was being un-patriotic. That's another thing that pisses me off about this football thing and all those arsing flags - it's denying the whole UNITED Kingdom thing and just emphasising the one part of the country, England.
So, alternatives to football. Well, as far as the media and the press is concerned the only things that we should have any interest in at the moment is the sodding football, the boring tennis, or the pile of arse that is Big Brother. Really, we do not need this unholy trinity shoved down our throats by the minute day-in day-out. ENOUGH ALREADY!
Is it any wonder I just sit in my room and play the guitar?
posted by Gina Snowdoll 11:26 am
(Hey, wasn't that an Abba song? If not, then it should have been). I know, I've not been posting much. I can't explain how TIRED I've been feeling recently. It's unreal. And three times recently I've started nodding off in telephone conference meetings with the office in the USA - it happened again yesterday. Was it coincidence that I'd just been drinking camomile, honey and vanilla herbal tea? I'm beginning to suspect that that particular brew makes me too relaxed and makes me sleepy.
Yesterday evening after work, all I wanted to do was go home and collapse in a heap. I just felt drained. However, I didn't do that. Oh no, I went to the gym and did weights, cycling machine, rowing machine, etc. I didn't really want to go, but I knew I had to, because I am committed to this exercise regime. I'll force myself to go again on Sunday too, irrespective of how I'm feeling.
No other news, I'm afraid. I've got nothing planned this weekend. Perhaps that means I'll get my head around finishing off "The Project". And then all can be revealed!
Oh, actually, there was some other exciting(-ish) news. I was the winning bidder on an eBay auction for a digital 8-track recorder. That ought to arrive soon (Monday?). That means that I can put my guitars to work and start producing some more of my strange musical meanderings.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 9:43 am
Thursday, June 17, 2004
It's free listing day on eBay (so long as you list PayPal as a payment option).
So, if anyone fancies a cast-off pair of Gina Snowdoll's stilettos, then now's your chance! (Hey, I used to be famous once upon a time on the UK tranny scene).
I'm selling various other bits and pieces too, although nothing else quite so fabulous.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 12:47 pm
Sunday, June 13, 2004
Sparks, Royal Festival Hall, London, 12 June 2004
This gig, which was part of Morrissey's Meltdown Festival at the RFH, was utterly fabulous and I'm so glad I didn't miss out! This was the Big One as far as Sparks fans the world over were concerned.
Morrissey had invited Sparks to perform one of his favourite records - the 1974 album "Kimono My House" in its entirety. Sparks had said, "Yes but as long as we can play our current album too". (Or words to that effect).
So, the show was split into two halves - one set comprising "Kimono My House", then an interval, and a second set comprising "Lil' Beethoven". As Russell said to the audience at the start of the show, "Compare and contrast."
Of course Sparks have changed over the years, so to achieve the "Kimono" sound an extra guitarist (Jim Wilson was his name, I believe) was drafted in alongside the usual guitar player Dean Menta, and also a very happy looking chappy called Steve MacDonald (no, not the one from Coronation Street) on bass guitar. Oh, and I was pleased to see - and hear - that he was using a Rickenbacker bass for that authentic "Kimono" sound.
The show started after a bit of a wait following lights out (I had visions of someone trying to get Morrissey to go on-stage and introduce them, but you know what a stubborn git he is...) when a kimono-clad geisha girl walked out onto the stage. There were whispers of "Who's that?", but then she took her place behind the drum kit and it became clear that it was Tammy Glover in disguise. Then I noticed Ron was walking out onto the stage and I managed to Whoop before anyone else in the audience, which I quite impressed myself with. I dunno what Ben who was sitting next to me thought. He probably thought it was the janitor or someone wandering onto the stage.
Ron sat behind the keyboards and Russell came onto the stage in a tight-fitting dark zip-up suit. Immediately Ron launched into the opening of "This Town Ain't Big Enough For Both Of Us". Hang on, I thought, this is supposed to be a full band. But as I was thinking that the guitarists and bassist chappy wandered onto the stage, picked up their guitars just in time for the part of the song where the guitars come in. Excellent timing. I wonder how long they'd practiced that walking on and starting together thing.
I could go on and on about how fabulous the "Kimono" set was, but unless you are familiar with the album it's a pretty pointless exercise. Suffice it to say that the material was performed brilliantly and sounded just like the record from 30 years ago. The guitar and bass parts were absolutely perfect, and dear Tammy was bashing away on those drums like a good 'un. (Someone from the Sparks message board rather arrogantly had predicted that Tammy wouldn't be a powerful enough drummer to cope with the "Kimono" material... Well I hope that person saw the show and has now eaten his hat!) However, she did very nearly come a cropper when she hit the gong at the end of "Thank God It's Not Christmas" and it nearly fell on her!
Ron sat behind his keyboard making those strange creepy expressions, and looking out the corner of his eyes at people in that bizarre way that he has. He has this knack of making it look as if he'd really prefer to be somewhere else, but then occasionally you see that he's mouthing the words to the songs (he is the song-writer of nearly all these ditties, after all) and then there's the odd moment when he looks almost possessed and he'll pound the keys with a wicked grin on his face for a few moments, before the "I'd rather be somewhere else" expression returns.
Russell was great throughout, giving a first rate vocal performance. He may not have the Marc Bolan curls these days, but at 51 years old he's still got the voice. The voice was highlighted on the ad-libbing at the end of the final song, "Equator". Having listened to the album previously in the day I couldn't work out how Russell was going to get away with it, but he pulled it off expertly. He also played the castanets on "Hasta Manana Monsieur" and these were cast into the audience as soon as they were no longer needed. (Turns out that one of the girls on the Sparks message board got them, and after the show met Ron and Russell and got them signed).
Following "Equator" there was rapturous applause, and after it died down Russell told us all about b-sides and how in the days before CDs, records had two sides, and the good song was on the a-side and the bad song was on the b-side. "...and now we're going to play two bad songs", he said, and they played "Barbecutie" (the second Sparks song I ever heard, it being the b-side to "This Town..." - also Steve MacDonald did this one proud with his bass-playing, especially that bass intro) and "Lost and Found". This rather neatly finished the first half of the show as those two songs were the bonus tracks on the "Kimono My House" CD.
The second part of the show saw Russell and Ron (and Tammy and Dean) perform the "Lil' Beethoven" album. I'm not going to go into any detail about that here because I have spoken about it before here (21 March 2003) and here (21 March 2004). This was the third time I have seen Sparks perform this album now, and it's still a captivating show. Very entertaining, and I look forward to the DVD of the Stockholm show that's going to be coming out in a few months time.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 11:44 am
Friday, June 11, 2004
Whoah! Friday already, and I've not posted much this week. Actually, I say "Friday already" but yesterday I was going around all day thinking it was Friday. What a disappointment that was when I realised my error.
Things are feeling weird at the moment because on the one hand I'm being very busy, and on the other I'm feeling very tired and sleepy. Yesterday I was involved in a telephone conference with the States and I was having serious problems in keeping myself awake. I wonder if this Honey, Apricot and Camomile tea I've been drinking recently is making me too relaxed?
Having said that, I'm very busy at work and am getting loads of jobs done. The other day we had a buffet lunch laid on for us, as a kind of reward seeing as how we'd achieved a certain target sales-wise, and there was about half a bottle of wine left over, which was handed to me. "Finish that off," they said. So, that afternoon was spent working whilst I finished off the wine. And I got LOADS of work done. I was really able to concentrate on the task at hand. Perhaps I should drink in the office more often!
Tomorrow night I am off to the Royal Festival Hall in London to see the wonderful Sparks who will be performing their "Kimono My House" album (it's the 30th Anniversary of that record, you know) in its entirety, and will also be performing the whole of their more recent "Lil' Beethoven" album. The concert is part of this Meltdown Festival curated by Morrissey.
Other news?... well, I'm a bit behind on "the project" - I should have got it all finished about two or three weeks ago. SOON, I hope!
posted by Gina Snowdoll 2:57 pm
Tuesday, June 08, 2004
I spoke to Shel last night on the phone, and she reckons that when I'm glammed up I look like Natacha Atlas (see that pic I posted below).
Here follows the transcript of an interview that I did with some of the regulars (and irregulars) on The Damned message board. (We were bored, OK?) Some of it might not mean much to those outside of the group of people involved, but I thought I'd record it here for anyway for prosperity.
Ghost: Is it true you are known as the Imelda Marcos of Didcot and how many pairs of shoes do you own?
Gina: I dunno. I've never counted them. I've got three crates full, plus a bag ful, and various lying around in the bottom of my wardrobe. Mind, I've got less than I used to have 'cos I've given quite a few pairs away.
Private Pike: What's your favourite soup?
Gina: It used to be mushroom, but I've got a thing about tomato right at the moment.
Roger Irrelevant: Porridge or cement mixer?
Bollocks: Is God a MAN?
Gina: God WHO?
Jane Ant: How do you fit five elephants into a Mini?
Gina: Five. Two in the front, two in the back, and one in the boot (or should I say "TRUNK")!
spartacus mills: Do you hate Sebastian Coe?
Gina: For some reason I was thinking of Robin Cousins then, and was going to go off on a rant about him and his pathetic felt-tip pen drawings that he was showing off on Noel Edmond's Multi-Colored Swap Shop many moons ago. The man was simply vomit inducing. As for Sebastian Coe, I was always more a fan of Steve Ovett who was Coe's biggest rival at the time. Isn't he (Coe) some kind of Tory twat these days? Poor misguided fool. I think I feel pity for him, rather than hatred. I wouldn't hate him simply because he's a Tory. I mean, look at Boris Johnson - he's hilarious - how could you hate him?
spartacus mills: Can you hear a rainbow?
Gina: Geoffrey, Bungle, Zippy and George - they were certainly audible enough! Ask Captain to do a Zippy impression for you next time you see him.
AL FIENDISH: Best guitar ever?
Gina: Best one I've ever owned is my Gibson Flying V. I was at a friend's house at the weekend and he had a new Gretsch - you know the Brian Setzer style guitar - I had a go on that and it was wonderful. I think it's the same guitar that Poison Ivy of the Cramps plays. I couldn't afford one personally. Actually, I'm always a bit worried if I get my hands on a really expensive guitar, just in case I knock it, or scratch it or something. It stops being a guitar and becomes like some museum piece and you're scared to give it a good thrashing, which is what the bloody thing was built for in the first place. There's loads of great guitars out there. I'm always disappointed that so many people choose Fender Stratocaster and Strat clones, as I just think they are really boring. Everyone uses the damn things. You'd think people would want to show a bit more originality. Having said that, I do have a Strat that I made from parts, but I put a left-handed Explorer style neck on it, so it looks really funky with this weird upside-down hockey-stick headstock.
AL FIENDISH: Best Welsh band ever?
Gina: Super Furry Animals. (No contest really)
AL FIENDISH: Have you been propositioned by a male when all 'tarted up', ever?
Gina: Frequently. I've been propositioned, invited back to hotel rooms, groped, chased, pinched on the bum... Bloody hell, you name it, it's happened. I've never taken up any one on any of these "invitations" though, before you ask. Sometimes I think that all men at some point in their lives should be transformed into a woman for a day and then made to endure the treatment that guys dish out in clubs, etc. It's a bit of an eye-opener! Women have to put up with this @#%$ all the time.
Limit Club Dickie: Why are there so many syllables in the word monosyllabic?
Gina: Dunno. That's irony for you.
Limit Club Dickie: What was Captain Hook's name before he lost his hand?
Gina: Captain Hand?
Limit Club Dickie: Is God an Atheist?
Gina: Who's this God character everyone keeps harping on about?
Limit Club Dickie: If you had to have your photo taken for the 'History Of The World Pt.1' book...would it be as Gina or the 'other you'? Why has there not been a 'History Of The World Pt.2'?
Gina: Definitely me as Gina. Would have to get glammed up and look my best, obviously.
664 neighbour of the beast: Having locked myself out and my mobile phone in. I trudged off to the phone box to call a locksmith. Trouble was, I couldn't recall the last time I'd seen a phone box anywhere. Do you know where your nearest phone box is? Did you know that one can't call directory enquiries from a phone box?
Gina: Yes and No.
Bagpuss: How do you feel about a fat thread-bare cat writing you poetry and having a bizarre crush on you?
Gina: The cat sounds OK, but I've never been the biggest fan of poetry. Spike Milligan's stuff I quite enjoyed, but that was about it. As for "Bagpuss", I'd recommend reading Olver Postgapte's autobiography "Seeing Things". Absolutely fascinating.
Bagpuss: Would you be filmed having double penetration for the right fee?
Gina: Ouch! The very question makes my eyes water.
Bagpuss: What is the actual meat content of a Ginsters Chicken and Bacon pie?
Gina: I've not been close enough to one to find out, as I am mostly vegetarian. (I saw "mostly" because I do eat fish, and don't want to endure the whines of "You're not a proper vegetarian if you eat fish".)
White Rabbit SKGs: How does it feel to go to the bar and order a cup of tea for others during a live performance by Captain Sensible?
Gina: It was a pleasure, although it wasn't Captain I missed singing, I think it was Claypole's rendition of "Stop The Cavalry" sung in the style of Stephen Hawking. Did you manage to video that one with your camcorder thingy?
steve final: Does 'ghost' really wind you up?
Gina: Ghost is a little tinker, isn't he? Nah, it's all friendly good-natured ribbing.
steve final: What's your favourite style of dress? (desperation for decent Qs creeping in there I think)
Gina: Something that makes me look slim! This transvestism malarkey is all about illusion, I always said. People would often comment that when they'd seen my pictures before meeting me in real life they expected me to be much more petite, and the thing is I've used the power of illusion to make myself look in proportion although I am actually bigger than most real girls. So things like long dresses, high heels, etc all help in creating the illusion of the right proportions. Oh, and fake boobs help too.
fiveround: briefly, please tell us about your working background- a short CV is acceptable.
Gina: Was originally a computer programmer, but I was crap at it. I was however the only person in the department who could spell so I was side-tracked into doing documentation. This led to a career in typesetting scientific documents for a company specialising in mathematical software, and then led to editorial work for another company working on training materials. Later I got involved in the marketing side of things, producing various pieces of marketing literature, and then when we jumped on the World Wide Web bandwaggon I moved over to doing all thing internet-related and these days am employed as a "webmaster" (stupid job title).
Was that boring enough for you?
If I was feeling really creative I would have invented something.
Gareth: What questions would you like to be asked?
Gina: Would you like to take this LARGE WAD OF CASH?
664 neighbour of the beast: What do you do with your old socks?
Gina: They sort of get left at the bottom of my drawers and the cat goes and sleeps on them.
spartacus mills: Gina, what are your opinions on Cambazola cheese?
Gina: Absolutely splendid stuff. It's the sort of cheese you can never keep for very long because it is just too yummy and you keep going back for another piece. Having said that, I haven't had any in a long while.
strawberry: Gina - do you wear a nightie for bed? if so what colour?
Gina: Sorry to disappoint, but No I don't. I don't actually like the feel of any fabric against my skin when I'm trying to sleep. It makes me feel somehow confined and I don't like that. I never understand these people who wear socks in bed for warmth. That'd make me itch like mad. The most bizarre thing I've worn in bed is probably a scarf (I bet Private Pike always wears his) - this has been when I've been getting tonsilitis which I occasionally get when my neck gets cold at night.
Curtain Call: Do you go clubbing and if so what type of club do you go to? I seem to remember talking to you about this in Knaresborough.
Gina: I used to go to the WayOut Club all the time. This is a transvestite club near the Tower of London (in London, naturally). They have a drag cabaret usually, and all the usual clubby music and what-not. I used to like it in the earlier days before they got too "mainstream" clubby as I hate the music that they play these days. I preferred it when the music was a bit more cheesy. As for the people you get the TVs, transsexuals, drag queens, gay guys, people from the fetish scene, girls on a night out, etc, and the inevitable men trying to pick up a tranny. You used to get a fair few of the "working girls" too, but I think they've been persuaded to keep away now.
I used to also go to another club in the East End called "Ron Storme's Travestie Extraordinaire". This was much more down to earth than the WayOut, had much better music, and a very friendly bunch of people. The bar prices were much more friendly too. But then poor ol' Ron Storme (who was the drag queen that ran the place and was in his 70s) died and they tried to carry it on without him, but it was never the same, and later the music suffered and then they lost the venue...
I used to go out to various other places. At one time I used to go to the clubs in Brighton quite a lot (one of my fave places in the world), and have also visited Canal Street in Manchester a couple of times, plus venues elsewhere around the country including Cornwall, Milton Keynes, Northampton... and others I probably forget right now.
corporal clot: Question for Gina - when being offered some nice home made rice pudding, that's been baked in the oven, do you eat the browned surface with all that lovely nutmeg sprinkled on?
Gina: Sorry, I always hated the skin. It's that whole "hot milk" thing. It makes me retch.
45 ReVs: Hi Gina, what's your favourite tipple?
Gina: At the moment it's Stoli Vanil (vanilla flavoured Vodka) which a certain guitar player introduced me to. Which reminds me, I must get another bottle for the weekend. My favourite beer is Badger's Golden Glory which has a subtle taste of peaches!
45 ReVs: Were you ever a punk?
Gina: Not really. I suppose I was a weekend punk, but I was too young really for all that malarkey. I was just a schoolkid who liked the records.
CRYSTAL GAYLE: Gina shug, why d'ya hate me so? Ya know it breaks the Lord's heart if we don't all get along. I've found it in my heart to forgive you, praise Jesus, amen.
Gina: My Mum used to have that "Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue" single. It wasn't that bad, I suppose. I never liked it nor hated it. And I neither hate nor like Crystal Gayle. I'm indifferent to her (or YOU should I say, if that's really you and not Ghost or someone).
Again, who is this "Lord" bod you are on about? Wasn't he in Deep Purple?
Doubting Thomas: Have you met my brother... he's a bathroom tiler from Piddletrenthide. Could you say a big hello to Grouting Thomas?
Gina: Wasn't this where Claypole made a wisecrack about "Sprouting Thomas"? Now let's see, who else could there be? Shouting Thomas? Clouting Thomas? Louting Thomas? Touting Thomas? Trouting Thomas?
Not so funny are they? Next question...
smiffymouse: Question for Gina, Your skin looks great on your latest pic... Any skincare secrets you would like to share?
Gina: Moisturise! Which I ought to do far more often.
It's all illusion, I tell ya! That'll be the foundation I'm wearing. I've probably got a beard like Captain Birdseye underneath that lot!
spartacus mills: What do you think of Siouxie Sioux?
Gina: I think she's a toilet... Am I allowed to say that?
"Happy House" was alright, and "Christine" I quite liked. But she never made an impression on me, and so many punkettes used to copy her style that you ended up with all these Socksie clones and the whole look became rather tired and passe. She always used to speak bollocks in interviews as well.
DAMNED FAIRY: gina will u marry me?
Gina: OK, but I want to be the one in the wedding dress.
WhitbyEllie: Who's your favourite band member and why?
Gina: I think they are all splendid chaps and chapesses (in Patricia's case), but I'd have to say Captain 'cos I've known him longer than the rest, and 'cos he was good to me years ago when I was in a right old state about my sexuality (I was considering going the transsexual route but really I was suffering from depression and was looking for the answers in the wrong places).
Kevin Ruscoe: Gina - Apart from Captain which band member did you think looked best in a dress at Montey's? And were you disappointed that Mr Vanian did not enter into the spirit of the occasion?
Gina: Stu - definitely!
I was glad Dave didn't drag up. Some people just shouldn't, and Dave is one of them. He has a very profound style all of his own and that would be spoilt if he dressed out of character, if that makes sense.
Saddamned insane: "Wot is your SNOOOOOSH!!!!!!!"
Gina: Isn't that another one of those anteater things like an aardvark or a pangolin?
Saddamned insane: "Have you ever had a ride in a Hel-I-cop-TeR?"
Gina: No. But I get them buzzing over the house with their searchlights on every now and again. Lovely neighbourhood I live in.
John Noakes: Who was your favourite BLUE PETER presenter?
Gina: Well, I'm not being all crawly bum lick, but it does indeed have to be John Noakes. The programme was never the same after he left. Peter Pervert was quite good too.
deadmike1: if you were about to build a guitar on a shoestring budget and had to build the body out something more accessable than a proper lump of seasoned wood, what would it be?
Gina: You just want me to say "toilet seat", don't you?
Miskatonic: What's your opinion of Hamer guitars? Overpriced nonsense, a six string "Rolls Royce" of craftsmanship or you'd not kick a free one out of bed?
Gina: I think Hamer were alright. I mean look at the guitars that Rick Neilson of Cheap Trick commissioned from them. There was the now legendary guitar with five necks. There was the doubleneck guitar that was built to resemble Rick Neilson himself! I mean, they must have had a good sense of humour to have got involved in all of that. Also, still in Cheap Trick land, they built the first 12-string bass, which is a very interesting instrument. So yeah, I like them - they were innovative and they were fun!
Paul Reed Smith, though. There's overpriced nonsense for you. They're not guitars, they're pieces of expensive furniture.
corporal clot: given the amount of money that can be made would you ever consider a career as a truffle pig?
Gina: Actually, that sounds like a bloody good idea.
Lottie: 1) stripey tights or socks
Gina: I like stripey tights, but have never personally tried wearing them. Socks are OK for day to day wear, but I hate wearing them around the house. I prefer to go barefoot.
Lottie: 2) tights or stockings
Gina: I normally prefer stockings but sometimes they are too small (even when they say "Large" on the pack) and they end up half-way down your leg. I have experimented with Suspender Tights, which are tights with all the bits cut out around the top of the leg, so that they are like stockings & suspenders all in one. However, they are a bit fiddly to put on, and then when you get them in place you realise that you should have put your knickers on afterwards (else when you go to the loo, you can't pull your knickers down).
Lottie: 3) black lipstick or purple
Gina: I tried black lipstick once - I thought it'd look really cool - but I ended up looking like I'd been making a mess of myself eating a lot of liquorice. So, in that case, purple lipstick gets my vote.
Lottie: also... if u could go out to dinner with anyone dead or alive who would it be and why?
Gina: Spike Milligan. He was always a favourite of mine. I think I shared his mad anarchic sense of humour, and also he had other facets to his personality that I could relate to - his serious side, his indignation about the despicable way in which people treat one another, his history of depression... When I heard that he'd died (in February 2002) I was at work, and I was so upset that I went and locked myself in the toilets and cried.
So, that was fun, wasn't it readers? I wonder what that little question and answer session says about me?
Confused? You WILL be!
posted by Gina Snowdoll 10:06 pm
Ladyboys in Brighton
I ended up spending most of the weekend in Brighton. Supposedly the weather was going to be magnificent, and often the weather in Brighton can be bright and sunny whilst the rest of the country has shitty weather, but if anything it was a little cloudy on Saturday. (Sunday afternoon more than made up for that, though).
Cap had invited me to go see the now legendary Ladyboys of Bangkok who were doing a show in a marquee set out in front of the Pavillion. In the afternoon before the show, accompanied by Cap's daughter Daisy and her friend Bethan, we went for a bite to eat in the Vegetarian Pub and afterwards wandered around the Lanes for a while, when who should we bump into other than dear ol' Wreckless Eric and Karen. Which was nice! We had a bit of a chat and as usual Eric had me laughing like a drain with his dry observations on life.
As for the show itself in the evening, it was quite a spectacle to behold. The whole show was supposedly performed by a 17-strong all-male cast. Some of these took on the male parts, and about 10 of them took the female parts. Some of the ladyboys were extremely beautiful and incredibly convincing. You would never have guessed that they weren't born female. I suspect that a few of them are actually post-operative transsexuals so that the "all male cast" claim isn't really accurate. Nevertheless, I'm not trying to quibble.
Each of the set-pieces saw the performers lip-syncing to a variety of tunes from the world of musicals and from contemporary music. You can probably guess at some of the material: Liza Minelli's "I Am What I Am", The Weather Girls' "It's Raining Men", Beyonce's "Crazy In Love", an Abba medley, and "I Did It My Way" (the performer removing the "drag" at a mirror and changing into his male aspect - the music starting out with Shirley Bassey and ending on Frank Sinatra).
The costumes were absolutely exquisite and we especially like the ornate Georgian (Edwardian?) silver and gold ball gowns. I was also admiring the make-up and was mentally making notes as to how I could achieve some of the same effects.
After the show, the girls went home and Cap and I went for a couple of beers and then caught up with Eric and Karen again and watched a gig by a band called The Muckys, who were quite entertaining and had a nice jangly Telecaster vibe going on.
Had a nice long lay-in on Sunday, and most the day was spent with Cap trying to write a new song and me trying to help with rhymes, lyric ideas, etc. I hope that the song gets finished and is used (on the new Damned album?) because it's got a killer of a chorus and is really catchy.
Popped out to the Lanes again for a bite to eat, and bumped into both Louisa and Lucy - the Teasing LuLu girls - so that was nice to see them again. I'll have to go and visit them properly sometime in the not too distant future.
I had been considering making a quick visit to see my dear friend TinTin, but I found out on Saturday from Daisy that she has moved back to Holland. I was quite upset about that, as I was really looking forward to seeing her again, and also the fact that she's permanently moved away means there's not going to be much opportunity in the future to see her. *Sigh* ... Perhaps one day I'll visit her in Holland.
The journey home was not too eventful; I had a couple of ciders and read my book, played CDs on my Walkman, etc, so it went quite quickly and I was home by 10 o'clock.
A really thoroughly enjoyable weekend.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 12:08 pm
Friday, June 04, 2004
At last! I've found a website for one of my very favourite female vocalists, Natacha Atlas. Most of her music is sung in Arabic, although sometimes she will sing in English, French or Spanish. I really love that kind of music, the traditional Arabic and Egyptian music meeting with modern rhythms.
I first became aware of Natacha on Daniel Ash's first solo album, "Coming Down", on which she shared vocals with Daniel. To be honest, much as I like Danny's work and that particular album, it was a waste of her vocal talents which were simply not explored nor challenged by that album.
She has also sung with countless other artists from Transglobal Underground to Jah Wobble and Jean Michel-Jarre. It's a mystery to me why she isn't a bigger star in the UK, however she is very popular in France and in Egypt (I heard a lot of her songs when I visited Egypt back in 2000).
She's also a mean bellydancer. I'd love to see her perform live. I was doing a search for her on Google and found that she was doing a gig at London's Union Chapel and I got all excited... until I found out that it was last year. Grrrrr... Some people really ought to update their websites!
posted by Gina Snowdoll 2:16 pm
Actually, that wasn't quite true what I said yesterday about those having been the first new books I'd bought this year, because I remembered afterwards that I'd bought and read Tom Holt's "The Portable Door" about a month or so ago.
As to the books, I've just got, I'll very rarely tell you what I'm reading, just in case someone says to me, "Oh, I've read that," and goes on to spoil the rest of the book for me by telling me what happens.
Is that paranoid or what?
posted by Gina Snowdoll 10:08 am
Thursday, June 03, 2004
...I've been letting this blogging lark slip over the last few days. Mind, I have been quite busy at work, and I've been up to stuff most evenings too, so haven't had many spare moments in which to write a few words.
This lunchtime I nipped out to buy something to eat and ended up spending a small fortune. First of all I bought a DVD that I've been after for a while, that is, "Munchhausen" (the original and superior German version from 1943, not the Terry Gilliam re-make), then I bought three books in Waterstones in their 3 for 2 promotion. Those are the first new books I've bought this year, as since the start of January I've been re-reading old books I already own or else reading second-hand books bought off eBay.
Then I was returning to the office and it occurred to me that I ought to go to Oddbins and get another bottle of Stoli Vanil for the weekend. I'm sure it's gone up in price a couple of quid since last week. It's most likely because I've been buying it from there regularly and they think there's a rush on it so they can afford to take advantage of the situation by increasing the price. The blighters!
So, yeah, nipping out for a sandwich ended up being quite expensive.
As to the weekend, well I'm going to Brighton, but I'll tell you all about that when I get back.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 8:59 pm
Tuesday, June 01, 2004
The weekend didn't exactly go to plan, not that that was a bad thing as such. I was supposed to be finishing off the "project", and although I worked hard at it on Saturday right up until midnight, it was all but forgotten on Sunday and Monday.
Sunday I went into Oxford and met Gillian, and we took a walk out to the Plough (which now has very camp bar staff, so I'm not sure what's happened there) and had a spot of lunch. I also had a couple of ciders and that together with the bright sunlight most likely brought on the terrible headache that incapacitated me in the evening. I ended up lying on the sofa watching telly ("Simpsons", Cozzer, and "Most Haunted" repeats on Living TV) and then went to bed earlier than usual.
On Sunday I had a nice long lay-in and then had to rush off to Wantage to visit Paul, who showed me some of his latest guitars: a Gretsch semi-acoustic with Bigsby tremolo - very nice, a Rickenbacker 4003 bass, and a Martin 12-string acoustic built completely from mahogany. His guitars make mine look like cheapo models!
Waited for ages in Wantage town square for the homeward-bound bus. I was getting very hungry so went and bought fish and chips and ate them sitting on a bench. When the bus finally came, it filled up with a bunch of young louts who were incredibly noisy and seemed to just want to take the piss out of everybody. I escaped lightly, with just someone calling me a "ladyboy" (which actually I found quite amusing).
I was too tired for anything much when I finally arrived home, so just watched some more telly and went to bed early and had a read.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 8:18 am