Sunday, 27 June 2010

Seasick Steve 'n' Me

David Shrigley - Dead Cat. Tate Britain. Rude Brittania

Conrad Butlin.

Securitity at Andrew Lamberty's Shop, Pimlico Rd.

Seasick Steve 'n' Me, originally uploaded by petercocks. "Sorry Steve, we're fully booked. What about Feb?"

Reader, whadda week! Phew.
Following the runaway success of Private Widdle's first Social Club meeting (and my lurking grief from the untimely death of friend Frank Sidebottom) my old pal Seasick Steve was on the blower, trying to book in for the next Pte Widdle meeting (pencilled 2nd October, Astor Theatre, Deal 7.31 [sharp] ). I said I would meet with him at the BBC, where he was lounging around smoking and drinking red, waiting to be abused by Jonathan Ross.
Of course, I know Steve from my days with "Brian J and the Westerneers" when we used to play on the same bill in the CIU clubs along the Thames Estuary. Steve once invited us over to play in Tennesseee, but we could not afford the train fare to Wales. Of course, I know Jonathan Ross vaguely, too, having beaten him at arm wrestling at his more famous brother, Paul's, wedding.
It was fortunate for Steve (Sicky..or Steve or SSS, as I call him) that I was at the BBC on Thursday, promoting my daughter, Rusty O'Hara's, documentary idea for a pop talent show featuring stripping fourteen year olds. Sadly they didn't bite, but showed great interest in developing mine and Mark Billingham's new idea for a new kid's sitcom 'My Gay Grandad'.
"I think we're ready for our first gay kid's show," the producer said. "But can the grandad be from a minority?"

Apparently gayness alone doesn't cut it at the BBC any more, Grandad needs to have a gene pool from at least one sub-continent and, preferably, a missing limb. I will contact Richard Pryor's people: he's been dead for 5 years, too, so he should be a shoo-in

The other downer was that I had to blow Seasick (SSS) out for Oct 2nd as I am getting so much interest from other acts. I said I may get back to him for next winter's Private Widdle meeting but, let's face it...he only plays one or two strings whereas I have acts that can play the full six strings, and other instruments including the kazoo and ukelele.
He said he was playing a festival somewhere near Glastonbury. I will watch how well he does and proceed on that basis.
Later that evening I went to the Pimlico Road antique dealer's annual jolly with my London boyfriend/walker, Mr Sprake. We were allowed into Mr Andrew Lamberty's chic emporium: "I sell James Bond furniture to Blofelds". We gave the correct password and were ushered into the inner sanctum by the Top Models/Ukranian pornstars he employs as security.
Inside there were Blofelds, Blo-drys and Blo-jobs a go-go. Amongst them, Nicky Haslam and Viscount Linley (my old friend from retail) and Ms Anoushka Hempel. The place was crammed to botox-bursting point: my wrinkles disappeared just breathing the rareified air, and my gentleman's ball-purse looked like a six year old's party balloon (pink) on my release.
Amongst the party-titterati, I bumped into my old friend , male model, dicker and diver and man-about-shoreditch, Conrad Butlin (no relation). I had not seen Connie for fifteen years, but he looked great; gold-toothed and buff. Three bottles of Veuve Cliquot under (it was a hi-tone evening...what recession?) I rambled on to Conrad about our days down at Greenwich DHSS on the Enterprise Allowance Scheme (Maggie T's £40 quid a week beer allowance to do market stalls.) Conrad and I used to spend it in the pub and then buy silly things that didn't sell.
Into my second hour of rambling, Conrad looked over my shoulder (again) and insisted that he needed to 'mingle'. I assumed that this was cockerney rhyming slang for 'scoring pussy-cats'-which is the term I generally use. However, having reluctantly posed for a photograph, he took his similarly gold-toothed majordomo, who was on day -release from Belmarsh, and who had insisted on 'no publicity - no photos' and swanned off into the night.
See you in another 15, Conrad.
I took a rickshaw back to my brother's in top London suburb, Stockwell, where I slept off the excitement and, la manana, having feasted on eggs and bacon, locally and seasonally sourced from 'Sainsburys 24' in Clapham, I took in the Tate Britain show of 'Rude Brittania' the following morning.
I was blown away by a dead cat.

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