Sunday, 26 September 2010

22 September 2010 Dr Sketchy Set List

/ Esquerita at the height of his beauty. I only wish I'd been there to light his cigarette for him /
This time as well as the usual ass-shaking vintage sleaze I incorporated some calypso (Robert Mitchum and Mamie van Doren singing calypso = kitsch heaven), latin exotica, doo wop, rhythm and blues and more rockabilly than usual. Obviously I try to take my musical cues from the costumes the models are wearing and the poses they strike. For example, when Peekaboo Pointe posed wearing black sparkly cat’s ears, I went with a feline vibe (i.e. “Sweet Little Pussycat” by Andre Williams, “The Pussycat Song” by Connie Vannett – a song whose single entendre lyrics are so blue the audience always starts tittering). More of a challenge was Bomb Voyage who wore a blood-splattered corset and a nurse’s hat – tricky to know what to do with that! That’s why midway down my set list it suddenly takes on a bit of a morbid horror theme.
Vírgenes del Sol - Yma Sumac
Eso - Conjunto TNT
Oink Oink Mambo - Chuy Reyes & His Orchestra
Thunderbird - The Casualaires
No Good Lover - Mickey & Sylvia
Jelly Roll Rock - Walter Brown & His Band
Beauty is Only Skin Deep - Robert Mitchum
Go Calypso - Mamie van Doren
Intoxica - The Centurions
Peter Gunn Locomotion - The Delmonas
Night Scene - The Rumblers
Tight Skirt, Tight Sweater - The Versatones
Near You - Marlene Dietrich
Like Young - Dave Pell
Dancing on the Ceiling - Chet Baker
Gimme a Pigfoot and a Bottle of Beer - Nina Simone
Maybe Baby - Esquerita
I'm Not a Juvenile Delinquent - Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers
The Flirt - Shirley & Lee
Vesuvius - The Revels
Daddy Daddy - Ella Mae Morse
The Whip - The Frantics
Crawfish - Johnny Thunders & Patti Paladin
Blue Moon Baby - Dave Diddle Day
Cyclone Bop - Bill Black Combo
Life is But a Dream - The Harptones
Bye Bye Young Men - Ruth Brown
I'll Upset You, Baby - Lula Reed
Hump-A-Baby - Little Ritchie Ray
Blockade - The Rumblers
Jim Dandy - Ann-Margret
Peter Gunn Twist - The Jesters
Anytime - Bill Black Combo
Sweet Little Pussycat - Andre Williams
Pussycat Song - Connie Vannett
Aged and Mellow - Little Esther
Make Love to Me - June Christy
Shangri-La - Spike Jones New Band
Do It Again - Eartha Kitt
Lazy - Marilyn Monroe
Caravan - John Buzon Trio
Frankie and Johnny - Mae West
Stagger Lee - Lloyd Price
I Was Born to Cry - Dion
You'd Better Stop - LaVerne Baker
Kiss Me Honey Honey - The Delmonas
Jungle Drums - Earl Bostic
Wo Ist Der Mann? - Jayne Mansfield
Bloodshot - The String Kings
The Strangeness in Me - The Runabouts
She's My Witch - Kip Tyler
I'd Rather Be Burned as a Witch - Eartha Kitt
Sinners - Freddie & The Hitchhikers
Werewolf - The Frantics
Black Tarantula - Jody Reynolds
Give Me a Woman - Andy Starr
Esquerita and The Voola - Esquerita
Yogi - Bill Black Combo
Boss - The Rumblers
8 Ball - The Hustlers
The Stripper - John Barry (Beat Girl soundtrack)
Mack the Knife - Bill Black Combo
C'est Si Bon - Ann-Margret
Love for Sale - Hildegard Knef
Pop Slop - Bela Sanders und Sein Orchester
One, Two, Let's Rock - Sugar Pie & Pee Wee
Eager Beaver Baby - Johnny Burnette
Rip It Up - Little Richard
Pink Champagne - The Tyrones

I can’t imagine DJ’ing and not playing at least one track by the late, great Esquerita – an endless source of fascination and inspiration for me. Little Richard may be the Queen of Rock'n'Roll, but Esquerita (his chief influence) comes close. I played “Esquerita and the Voola” while Bomb Voyage and Peekaboo Pointe posed together – with Esquerita’s knuckle-pounding off-key piano and blood-curdling whooping, it sounds like the soundtrack to a voodoo ceremony. Read about the demented genius and tragic life of Esquerita on this excellent blog.

Another heroine (and one I had the chance to meet before she died): sex kitten deluxe Eartha Kitt. "Do It Again" tends to be perceived as one of Marilyn Monroe's musical signatures, but I love Eartha's sensual, purring rendition. Check out her singing it on a 1962 television special -- her constant smouldering eye contact is mesmerising.

Keep up with upcoming Dr Sketchy's here.

Enter the Void: A Reunion with Cyril Roy

Cyril Roy is like my petit frère. I got to know him in the mid-90s when he used to play in the awesome garage punk band The Sires (I interviewed them for the legendary hardcore punk zine MAXIMUMROCKNROLL). He also used to work behind the bar at The Elephants Head in Camden Town (my all-time favourite pub). With his raspy Pepé Le Pew French accent and Gallic joie de vivre, Cyril was a much-loved fixture in London on the retro rock scene. Years ago he married a Japanese woman and re-located to Tokyo, where he managed a bar. Every few years he visits London, and is as reliably debauched and hilarious as ever.

A while back I started getting occasional cryptic emails from Cyril saying he got an acting gig and would be appearing in the new film by Gaspar Noé, the French-Argentinean enfant terrible / provocateur notorious for the brutal rape revenge film Irreversible (I’ve never seen that film and don’t intend to – I’m very squeamish. I know someone who saw it years ago and is still traumatised!). This was a very surprising development, as Cyril had never expressed an interest in acting. Sure enough, when the film Enter the Void screened at Cannes in 2009 there was Cyril photographed with Noé and the rest of the cast on the red carpet. I’ve been dying to ask him about it ever since.

Finally caught up with Cyril this week when he was passing through London (touring with the Japanese garage punk band The Minnesota Voodoomen), which coincided with the film’s premiere in London. Managed to snatch a quick drink with Cyril before seeing a screening of Enter the Void at The Curzon in Soho (at the French House, appropriately enough). Over a large Pernod Cyril explained how someone from Noé’s production company asked to rent one of the function rooms at the bar where he works to hold auditions for the film. Cyril had been a fan of Irreversible and was curious to meet Noé. When they finally did meet, Noé – presumably impressed by Cyril’s charisma and grungy sense of style -- asked him if he’d be interested in doing a screen test. Apparently he liked the results, because Cyril wound up with one of the lead roles! To me, Cyril is the best thing in the film – but then I would say that.

Enter the Void is Noé’s hellish, hallucinatory vision of Tokyo as a neon-lit purgatory. The soundtrack is mostly one long menacing industrial throb while Noe’s astonishingly mobile camera swirls and swoops overhead, capturing a cavalcade of depravity below. In truth I’d find it hard to recommend the film (it’s two and a half punishing and intense hours of having your face rubbed in squalor!) but it is virtuoso and original filmmaking – Enter the Void is a bit of an endurance test, but also a genuinely memorable experience. And I’m so proud of Cyril! He told me that Noe paid him the compliment that he “eats the screen.” It’s true, he does.

/ Characteristic pose for Cyril outside The French House in Soho: drink in one hand (Pernod), cigarette in the other. Note the beautiful skull ring /

/ Cyril and Dominique Gillan outside the Wenlock Arms in Shoreditch /

/ Cyril and I outside the Wenlock Arms in Shoreditch /

/ Cyril and French chanteuse Fabienne Delsol (his former bandmate in The Sires) outside the Wenlock Arms in Shoreditch /

/ Cyril displaying his impressive Japanese tattoo. (Trust me, it extends down to his ass) /

Enter the Void UK trailer:

Read Peter Bradshaw's five star (!) review of Enter the Void in The Guardian here.

Read an interview I did with Cyril circa 1998 and his bandmates in Dollicious for Razorcake.

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Dr Sketchy Set List from 4 September 2010

Quickly posting my set list from earlier today -- I depart to Canada for two weeks early tomorrow. It was a fun and memorable Dr Sketchy: the burlesque performer / model this time was Khandie Kisses. Our usual resident emcee Dusty Limits was indisposed; his replacement was glamorous burlesque performer Kiki Kaboom. I’d never worked with her before and she was a blast: a wry, relaxed and engaging mistress of ceremonies, and best of all she finished things off by serenading a guy from the audience with an alluring rendition of the Marilyn Monroe standard “You’d Be Surprised.”

Kiki in action (her showreel, to the tune of the awesome "Boss" by The Rumblers):

Playboy's Theme - Cy Coleman
Eso - Conjunto TNT
Mi Palomito - Yma Sumac
Chihuahua - Luis Oliviera
Vesuvius - The Revels
Java Partout - Juliette Greco
Gizmo - Jimmy Heap
Go Calypso - Mamie van Doren
Sunny - Robert Mitchum
Frankie and Johnny - Bill Black Combo
I Found Her - Esquerita
Bye Bye Young Men - Ruth Brown
Stranger in My Own Home Town (x-rated version) - Elvis Presley
I Need Your Lovin' - Don Gardner & Dee Dee Ford
Strange Love - Slim Harpo
Bewildered- Shirley & Lee
Begin the Beguine - Billy Fury
Rock'n'Roll Waltz - Ann-Margret
Destination Moon - Dinah Washington
Fever - Nancy Sit
Here Comes the Bug - The Rumblers
Groovy - The Groovers
L'Appareil a Sous - Bardot
It's Legal - Shirley Ann Field / John Barry (Beat Girl soundtrack)
Jungle Drums - Earl Bostick
Where's the Money, Honey? Chubby Newsome
Crybaby - The Honey Sisters
Boss - The Rumblers
Love is Strange - Johnny Thunders & Patti Paladin
Salamander - Mamie van Doren
Yogi - Bill Black Combo
The Whip - The Originals
8 Ball - The Hustlers
Summertime - Little Esther
Little Things Mean a Lot - Jayne Mansfield
Sweet Little Pussycat - Andre Williams
Pussycat Song - Connie Vannett
I Feel So Mmmm - Diana Dors
Like Young - Dave Pell
C'est Si Bon - April Stevens
Pop Slop - Bela Sanders und Sein Tanzorchester
Hot Toddy - Julie London
Last Night - Lula Reed
Dragon Walk - The Noblemen
Heartbreak Hotel - Ann-Margret
Chattanooga Choo Choo - Denise Darcel
Blue Kat - Chuck Rio & The Originals
Aged & Mellow - Little Esther
The Girl Can't Help It - Little Richard
St Louis Blues - Eartha Kitt
I Was Born to Cry - Johnny Thunders
I Love the Life I Live - Esquerita
Monkey Bird - The Revels
Someone to Love - Dinah Washington
Astrosonic - Jimmie Haskell
Hearts Made of Stone - Rudy Gray
Comin' Home - The Delmonas
Train to Nowhere - The Champs
Tiger - Sparkle Moore
Thirteen Men - Ann-Margret
A Guy What Takes His Time - Marlene Dietrich
Jim Dandy - LaVerne Baker
I'd Love to Take Orders from You - Mildred Bailey
Tuxedo Junction - Bill Black Combo
Wo ist Der Man? Jayne Mansfield
My Daddy Rocks Me - Mae West
Nite Hawks - The Chicken Grabber
Boulevard of Broken Dreams - Sam Butera
Whatever Lola Wants - Eartha Kitt
You're My Thrill - Chet Baker (instrumental version, not vocal version)
I'll Upset You, Baby - Lula Reed
The Beast - Milt Buckner
Je t'aime, Moi Non Plus - Serge Gainsbourg & Brigitte Bardot
Black Coffee - Julie London
Ou es-tu Ma Joie? Caterina Valente
Mambo Miam Miam - Serge Gainsbourg
Lover - Peggy Lee
Ole Devil Moon - Chet Baker
Wondrous Place - Billy Fury
Fever - Timi Yuro
Beat Girl - Adam Faith
Honeysuckle Rose - Marlene Dietrich
Look-a-There, Ain't She Pretty? Bill Haley & His Comets
Uptown to Harlem - Johnny Thunders & Patti Paladin

Nice'n'sleazy does it every time ... "The Whip", one of the ultimate bump and grind titty twisters by The Originals:

The sublime Brigitte Bardot in 1963. Music by Serge Gainsbourg:

Keep up to date with Dr Sketchy here