Friday, 24 December 2010

22 December 2010 Christmas Dr Sketchy Set List

Photobucket
Because nothing says "Christmas" like Ann-Margret in a leopard skin catsuit ...

Another night of Christmas-a-go-go! Much as I love it, by now even I am sick of Christmas music! Obviously on Christmas day I’ll be playing some 1950s Christmas lounge and jazz music while pounding back glasses of snowballs and mulled wine – but after that my Christmas compilations are being put on mothballs for twelve months.

This night Dr Sketchy was at probably my favourite of all our venues: the Royal Vauxhall Tavern. It’s long been the home of London’s most cutting edge alternative cabaret club nights (living up to its reputation as a historic music hall venue), and (gratifyingly for a DJ) its sound system is thunderously loud. The RVT was decorated with beautiful Christmas decorations (including big plaster cherubs), with moody atmospheric night club lighting and candles glowing on the tables: think festive but Weimar Republic decadent, as if the seedy nightclub in Josef von Sternberg’s The Blue Angel(1930) was decorated for Christmas. In other words, the perfect locale for Dr Sketchy at Christmas! So I was annoyed when suddenly the houselights were cranked up again just when people were starting to filter in. There also seemed to be a commotion outside, with RVT staff rushing in and out, but I was busy DJ’ing and oblivious. Finally one of the bartenders came over and explained why they’d turned up the lights: there was a bomb scare outside; the surrounding area was taped off while it was being investigated. That’s the kind of news that really jangles your nerves, but we carried on in the British blitz spirit and hoped that we wouldn’t have to cancel, and that people would be able to arrive safely. Mercifully the bomb scare was a false alarm, and the place gradually filled up. We just had to push back the start time from 8:00 pm to 8.30 pm to accommodate late comers.

We had two models: Platinum blonde burlesque starlet Slinky Sparkles (a Dr Sketchy veteran) performed an adorable Christmas-themed striptease number giving new meaning to the concept of “Christmas stocking”. We also had a sinewy male model, Beau Black. The RVT is primarily a LGBT venue, and our shows there tend to get a little raunchier than normal, sometimes featuring full male nudity. At the end of night for the final sketch the two models plus suave emcee Dusty Limits and a member of the audience recreated a kinky, non-traditional (sacrilegious?) nativity scene onstage – for which Beau posed stark naked except for a Santa hat, while I played Wayne Newton belting out “Jingle Bell Rock!” My kind of Christmas!

Doing two sets now of Christmas tunes this month (see my playlist from 6 December 2010) made me realise how many endless versions of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” and “I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm” I’ve played. Great songs that open themselves to infinite interpretations, but considering the lyrics of neither ever make reference to Christmas, it’s funny how they have been embraced as Christmas standards. (For the record, Julie London’s sloooowed down version of “I’ve Got My Love ...” is the sultriest of all time).

As of the next Dr Sketchy on 8 January 2011, normal musical service will be resumed. In the meantime ... Merry Christmas!

Photobucket

Santa Claus is Comin' to Town / White Christmas - Jimmy McGriff
Winter Wonderland - Chet Baker
Violets for Your Furs - The Continental
Candles Glowing - Marlene Dietrich
Silent Night - Dinah Washington
First Snowfall - The Coctails
Exotic Night - Martin Denny
Let Christmas Ring - The Coolbreezers
What Are You Doing New Year's Eve? Nancy Wilson
My Christmas Prayer - Billy Fury
White Christmas - Elvis Presley
Santa Bring My Baby Back to Me - Mae West
Santa Claus is Sometimes Brown - El Vez
Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Wayne Newton
Jingle All the Way - Lena Horne
I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus / Jingle Bells Bossa Nova - Eddie Dunstedter
Sorry to See You Go - June Christy
Winter Wonderland - Peggy Lee
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas - Lou Rawls
Let It Snow! Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer - Eddie Dunstedter
Christmas Time is Coming - Stormy Weather
JIngle Bells - The Vel Mares
Merry, Merry, Merry Christmas - Ruby Wright
Santa! Please Don't Pass Me By - Jimmy Donley
Sleigh Bells, Reindeer and Snow - Rita Faye Wilson
I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus - Jimmy McGriff
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer - Al Martino
Jingle Bells / Jingle Bell Rock - The Hollyridge Strings
Santa Claus is Comin' to Town - Lena Horne
Far Away Christmas Blues - Little Esther
Blues for Christmas - John Lee Hooker
I'd Like You for Christmas - Julie London
Christmas Time Is Here - El Vez
Santa Claus is Back in Town - Mae West
Christmas in Jail - The Youngsters
Ole Santa - Dinah Washington
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer Mambo - Billy May
Winter Wonderland - Dean Martin
Jingle Bells - Gene Autrey
Fat Daddy - Fat Daddy
Merry Christmas, Baby - Lou Rawls
Nothin' for Christmas - Eartha Kitt
Christmas Kisses - Ray Anthony
I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm - Julie London
Christmas Wish - El Vez
Blue Christmas - Elvis Presley
Santa Baby - Eartha Kitt (1960s version)
I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm - Billie Holiday
Warm December - Julie London
Baby It's Cold Outside - Dean Martin
Cha Cha Cha All the Way - Capital Studio Orchestra
The Merriest - June Christy
White Christmas - Peggy Lee
I'll Be Home for Christmas / Baby It's Cold Outside - Jackie Gleason / Jack Marshall
Everybody's Waitin' for the Man with the Bag - Kay Starr
Jingle Bell Rock - Wayne Newton
Christmas Island - Bob Atcher & The Dinning Sisters
I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm - Sammy Davis Jr and Carmen McRae
This Year's Santa Baby - Eartha Kitt
Santa Claus is Back in Town - Elvis Presley
Frosty the Snowman - The Ventures

Flamingos in Snow
Haunting Christmas scene: pink flamingos in the snow

Keep up to date with upcoming Dr Sketchy's in the new year here

Monday, 13 December 2010

6 December 2010 Christmas Dr Sketchy Set List

Jayne M Xmas
Wishing you a Jayne Mansfield Christmas ...

For the first of our two Christmas extravaganzas this month (this one was at The Paradise in Kensal Green), Dr Sketchy’s glamorous promoter and stage manager Clare Marie emerged from behind the scenes to emcee the night herself. Marianne Cheesecake (who’s done three Dr Sketchy’s in a row and is starting to feel like Dr Sketchy’s burlesque artiste in residence!) charmed the crowd with a great Santa’s little helper routine in green sequins. Considering it was a Christmas spectacular, we spiced things up with a grand total of four beautiful models: Marianne Cheesecake, Ruka, Violetta and Ellie.

Later on there was high drama when a woman in the audience accidentally set her hair on fire! She was leaning back to get a good photo of the performers onstage and leaned right back into the candle on the table behind her! I was DJ’ing and distracted, when I heard a woman scream, there was a puff of smoke and suddenly the air was filled with the stench of scorched hair. What was cartoon-like was the people surrounding her spotted her hair was on fire before she did and started screaming. She was initially oblivious. Horrifying, but mercifully she wasn’t hurt or even lost much hair! Also luckily it happened toward the end of the night. Once we realized she was OK we tried to get on with the rest of the show and pretend nothing had happened, but it was hard to ignore the smell of singed hair. She even said, "I feel like Michael Jackson!" She also said she was wearing lots of hairspray -- it could have been much worse. It was a very John Waters moment, actually! So please remember the hazards of combining long hair and candles this Christmas season, ladies.

Musically, it was a great opportunity to go heavy on the abrasive kitsch Christmas tunes. Things started off quite elegantly, with the focus on 1950s cool jazz (Chet Baker’s Christmas album – think Christmas standards played at sultry junkie tempo) and exotica / lounge (an ethereal Martin Denny track, a bossa nova interpretation of “Jingle Bells”, Marlene Dietrich huskily exhaling Christmas carols while still sounding like she’s straddling a chair backwards and wearing fishnet stockings). Later on I ramped up the campiness and sleaze appeal: Christmas novelty songs,Christmas doo wop, Christmas surf instrumentals, Christmas raunch (Mae West’s 1966 Christmas album),Christmas rockabilly (Elvis Presely, Billy Fury, Jack Scott), Christmas rhythm & blues (Little Esther, Dinah Washington), glitzy Vegas Christmas (Wayne Newton, Dean Martin), sex kitten Christmas (Julie London, Eartha Kitt), plus other oddities and curiousities.

Our next Christmas Dr Sketchy will be at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern on 22 December – I’ll inevitably play the same tracks, but in a different order!

Christmas Song - Chet Baker
That's What I Want for Christms - Nancy Wilson
I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus / Jingle Bells Bossa Nova - Eddie Dunstedter
Santa Claus is Comin' to Town - Lena Horne
The First Snowfall - The Coctails
Candles Glowing - Marlene Dietrich
Exotic Night - Martin Denny
Let Christmas Ring - The Coolbreezers
Santa! Don't Pass Me By - Jimmy Donley
Christmas Island - Bob Atcher & The Dinning Sisters
Silent Night - Dinah Washington
My Christmas Prayer - Billy Fury
Santa Bring My Baby Back to Me - Elvis Presley
Merry Christmas Baby - Mae West
Sleighbells, Reindeer and Snow - Rita Faye Wilson
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer Mambo - Billy May
Brown Christmas - El Vez
Jingle Bells - The Vel Mares
Jingle Bell Rock - Wayne Newton
I'm Gettin' Nothin' for Christmas - Eartha Kitt
Christmas Wish - El Vez
Far Away Christmas Blues - Little Esther
Warm December - Julie London
I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm - Billie Holiday
Blue Christmas - Elvis Presley
Ole Santa - Dinah Washington
There's Trouble Brewin' - Jack Scott
Santa Baby - Mae West
Christmas Time Is Coming - Stormy Weather
What Are You Doing New Year's Eve? Nancy Wilson
Happy Holidays - Peggy Lee
Fat Daddy - Fat Daddy
All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth - Nat King Cole
Have a Merry, Merry, Merry, Merry Christmas - Ruby Wright
Sleigh Ride / Jingle Bells - Al Caiola & Riz Ortolani / Jimmy McGriff
Jingle Bells - Gene Autrey
Little Drummer Boy - Marlene Dietrich
Snowfall / Snowfall Cha Cha Cha - George Shearing / Billy May
I'd Like You for Christmas - Julie London
Christmas in Jail - The Youngsters
The Christmas Waltz - Nancy Wilson
Blues for Christmas - John Lee Hooker
Santa Bring My Baby Back to Me - Mae West
Christmas Time Is Here - El Vez
Christmas Kisses - Ray Anthony
Santa Baby - Eartha Kitt
I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm - Julie London
Baby It's Cold Outside - Dean Martin
Everybody's Waitin' for the Man with the Bag - Kay Starr
Frosty the Snowman - The Ventures
Jingle Bells / Jingle Bell Rock - Hollyridge Strings
Here Comes Santa Claus - Elvis Presley
I Wish You a Merry Christmas - Big Dee Irwin & Little Eva
Let It Snow - Wayne Newton
This Year's Santa Baby - Eartha Kitt

Essential Christmas viewing ... John Waters' 1974 classick "Female Trouble":



"I hate you, I hate this house and I hate Christmas!"

Mae West's 1966 Christmas album:

Photobucket

Stay up to date with Dr Sketchy here