Wednesday, 19 October 2016

It's been a while.....

Hello fellow fananarama's...

It's been some time since I last posted and an awful lot of things have happened in the world of the bananas (that's not code for anything rude, just in case you get the wrong idea....although... no.........I won't go there)

The absolutely amazing In A Bunch singles Boxset was released, for starters.  Fananarama's across the globe couldn't believe their luck.  The release of the deluxe edition albums was already mind-blowingly fabulous...but to top that seemed unimaginable.  This really was the icing on the cake and the end of a truly, truly brilliant collection of exceptional releases from Edsel.

A tour of Australia happened.  Supported by the legends Wang Chung.... and a group that not many people have heard of, the Chumtoopsies (or whatever they call themselves...)  The Chimptumsies apparently had a minor career in Australia back in the 18 hundreds and one of the 'band' members seems to have an ungrateful, huge mouth according to an interview that I've read.  Oh well, the tour ended and she can go back to her day-to-day job as a spiteful nobody now.  I wish her well (did that sound sincere?....thought not)  The fans loved the tour and Keren and Sara seemed to have a hoot.  Hurrah.

Our girls have just returned from performing a few gigs in Japan to a very enthusiastic audience.  They also performed on a show with Japanese music legends SMAP  (try to beat that, Champteefies!...sorry, I stop doing that now...probably)

So, where are we now?  Well, a publishing deal with BMG was signed earlier this year.  There is hints that a book is coming, and of music.  They have been working with Ian Masterson and some new people.  There are lots of plans afoot, so I believe.

I will try to post more.  I promise. 
Oh, in new news, the Chufftitsies have a new
album out.... 

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Goldfrapp - The Singles

Goldfrapp are a British duo who have released so many iconic songs since their creation back in 1999.  It's brilliant that they can be celebrated by the release of 'Goldfrapp - The Singles' (out now!)

The collection includes 2 amazing new tracks.  'Melancholy Sky' and 'Yellow Halo'.

Check out the above promotion video.

Whitney Houston: RIP

The media frenzy around the story of Whitney Houston's death was unsurprising.  Her (un)private life has been the subject of tabloid and gossip magazines for years now.  The breakdowns, addictions and marital issues were hard to read because Whitney was loved by so many.  What a talent.  That voice.  That unmistakable voice.  It's so sad.

Monday, 16 January 2012

Sunday, 15 January 2012

The changing face of shopping

Phew! Another successful shopping trip!
I love to shop.  I like to walk into town (which is only a stones throw away) and go into my favourite haunts, browsing through the rails or inspecting things on shelves.  I love it!  Although, it's also become quite a depressing activity. How many more recognised high street brands are closing down because of falling sales?  I guess there are several things to blame for this:

The rise of the supermarkets

The supermarkets have taken over.  Large chains have gotten larger.  What used to be considered a large superstore is now dwarfed by even larger stores...  I believe that there is a Sainsbury's a few miles away from my home that is so huge, you need a buggy to drive around it! (slight exaggeration)

It's not only the size of the stores that have changed.  The sheer range of items has increased.  They now sell everything from TV's, bikes, camping equipment etc..  They even own their own mobile phone companies, sell insurance and have their own banks!  The supermarkets are massively convenient for most people.  Why go to another store, when you can buy everything you need in one big store?

The big chains have also taken over our smaller high streets.  In many areas, you won't be able to find any small independent 'corner' shops.  Now, in their place, you'll see a Tesco's Express or something similar.

Independents or smaller companies just can't compete with the prices that the large companies offer customers.

Advantages:  Convenience, Price, Decent parking

Disadvantages:  Many big stores are out of town, Quality of service can vary, Lacks individuality - personality and style

The internet

Companies that sell via the internet don't have the same costs as those on the high street, and they can pass those savings onto the customers.  It's a price war - and if you have a busy life and don't have the time to go into a shop, why try to?  Just order your shopping to be delivered.  It convenient and it's often cheaper.  You can't blame people for looking for internet bargains if the discounts are so significant.

Advantages: Large discounts, Easy to do price comparisons

Disadvantages:  You can't pick up and feel items before purchasing, Delivery periods are not always great, Security


Sadly, it seems that our high streets are still going to dwindle.  More shops will close and our high streets won't offer the variety and will look shoddy.  Nobody likes to see 'For Rent' signs on shops.

I wish I had an answer.  Shops need to offer something that the internet and supermarkets don't.  I hope that there is a revolution ahead to get our high streets back on track!

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Champagne for Lulu! - Absolutely Fabulous is back!

I was chatting with a girl pal the other day and she name-checked two television shows that I also happen to love.  'Sex & The City' and 'Absolutely Fabulous'.

These are two shows that have huge followings by women and gay men, so it was of little surprise that we were both gushing about them.  [Forgive my sarcasm] Believe it or not, women like to have sex!  They like to party! They can take drugs if they choose and party until the early hours of morning.  Yes, these two shows exposed the truth about how many women behave (in an exaggerated way).  It was so refreshing to see some strong women on television, behaving in a way that is all too often displayed by men.  Imagine this - not all women are content housewives.  BUT - this was no battle of the sexes.  This was just a plain and simple truth.  Of course both women and gay men have known this since the beginning of time.  However, for some straight men, this was quite a revelation.  "What if my girlfriend talks about our sex life to her friends?"  Some men are so dim.

It was so great to see Jennifer Saunders back on television over the Christmas period, as last year it was revealed that she was going through treatment for cancer.  I wasn't disappointed with either of the new offerings (a third episode will air later this year to tie in with the Olympics). 

The most exciting news for Ab Fab fans is that there are more episodes being planned and a movie!  I can almost hear the excited screams of women and gay men across the world.  Hurrah!

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Do we really need to know everything about celebrity life?

Whilst reading the recent interview that Girls Aloud star Sarah Harding gave to a national newspaper, it occured to me; Why do we need to know so much about celebrity life?

Why did Sarah decide to tell all about the horrific and violent fight she had with her boyfriend?  I have no idea. The article was accompanied by photos of the injuries she sustained and emotional shots of a distraught and teary Sarah.  Poor Sarah.  Though I'm still confused why she chose to do the interview.

Has she become so accustomed to living her life through the media that she feels compelled to tell reporters (and everyone else) about every aspect of her life?  Probably not.  I'm sure there is more to this story.  I hope she is OK.  She certainly seems to have had her share of ups and downs with addictions.  It just seems so odd.  Perhaps this story would be better placed when she had sorted herself out; healthy, settled and happy?  A story of triumph over her addictions - instead of a story that highlights that Sarah is currently physically and emotionally bruised.  I'm not sure that the story benefitted anyone. Perhaps it was simply just a chance to fight back at her (ex) boyfriend?

Knowing that Madonna has fallen out with Gwyneth Paltrow, or that Kylie Minogue has a had an operation on her big toe shouldn't be of any interest to me - and do you know what? It isn't!  I couldn't give a rats arse.  So - why does the media think we want to know?

The fact that Sarah is battling addictions is no business of mine.

Everyone loves a bit of gossip - but if I'm honest, the best gossip is about people that you actually know in real life.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Bananarama 30th Anniversary

Next year will be iconic girl band Bananarama's 30th anniversary.  It's hard to believe that 30 years have gone by since Bananarama first appeared on the music scene.  The band have achieved so much over the last 3 decades. 
The cover for 'Wow' features Bruno Tolioni -
he's the guy in the centre that Sara is clutching onto!
Band member Sara has indicated that there will be news coming about the anniversary.  Sara responded to a tweet from a fan on Twitter: "lots of news to come VERY soon!"  Back in August they tweeted that they are planning several projects - a book, DVD, Greatest Hits album and a tour.  The finer details are unknown at the moment and fans are speculating about what kind of book is being planned.  It might be a 'tell all' biography (although that is doubtful as in the past Keren and Sara have not seemed keen) or maybe a photo book documenting all of the major moments in their career.  I'd love to read a book that details all of the main events in their career... Siobhan's leaving, the chart successes, Band Aid, Jacquie and maybe it could even include some input from some of their famous friends from the era like George Michael.

Overseas fans are also hoping that a tour will extend beyond the UK.  In the past, the ladies have hinted about a possible live DVD.  Fans are enthusiastic about this but most hope for a collection of all of their videos.  With DVD collections being released frequently, it's hard to believe that a DVD hasn't happened already.
Some Bananarama Facts

Bananarama have one US number one single to their belt.  'Venus' hit the top of the Billboard charts in 1986.  A feat that is still quite rare for a UK act.

There has been a number of Bananarama parodies over the years, including one by Tracey Ullman and comedy act French & Saunders - who later performed with them on a charity single for Comic Relief.

French & Saunders and Kathy Burke's parody of Bananarama was brilliant fun.
The ladies thought it was hilarious.
In the early days, Bananarama practiced their act in the Sex Pistols old rehearsal room.  Ex-Sex Pistols drummer Paul Cook produced their first single.

After releasing the single 'Robert DeNiro's Waiting', DeNiro himself phoned the ladies and asked to met them.  At first, they didn't believe it was him, but they later went out for a drink and rumour has it that DeNiro was quite taken by Sara!

When seminal band The Specials split and Terry Hall formed 'Fun Boy Three', he spotted Bananarama in the pages of the fashionable magazine 'The Face', and the 2 bands later collaborated on 2 hit singles.

Original member Siobhan Fahey left and went onto form the highly successful 'Shakespear's Sister'.

When Siobhan left the band, Sara and Keren recruited friend Jacquie O'Sullivan, who went onto record one album with the band and tour the world on their 1989 Greatest Hits Tour.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Madonna - Give Me All Your Love

As much as I love Madonna and that I have been desperate for some new material, I wasn't quite prepared to read that a demo of the supposed new single had been leaked and posted on YouTube.  I'm not going to post a link.  I did listen though.  I like.  It's sounds a bit like 'Hey Mickey'.  That's not a bad thing in my eyes. 

L.U.V. Madonna.
Y.O.U. You wanna?

It must be awful to find that your hard work has been compromised.  Put yourself in Madonna's shoes.  Go on.  Ouch.  Hurts, right?  You expected that though, huh?  Anyway, enough sillyness.

Above is a photo of Madonna and the star of her new movie.  Buy the new US edition of Harper's Bizarre for new pics and an interview.  Nice.

Has reality TV turned us into lazy fame-seekers and cynics?

Before you read this, please note that I am a fan of this genre. 

Reality TV has existed for a long, long time.  We used to call them TV documentaries - albeit short ones that didn't have a three month run or have premium rate telephone numbers. 

In recent years, television viewers across the globe have been bombarded with new talent shows, 24 hour game shows and footage of celebrities (or even non-celebs) in their homes.  From Big Brother to X-Factor, the public have lapped it all up - but has it been a good ride?  Is it possible that 'reality TV' has done all sorts of negative things for society?

Take X-Factor for instance. It's a phenomenon.  A ratings winner.  There are only a few people on this earth that have it all.  'All' being a great singing voice - and perhaps an infectious personality? Individual style? Humour? Good looks? 

The public suddenly realised that anyone regardless of age, looks and background can be a star.  It's as simple as turning up for an audition, winning a place on a TV show and the rest is history.  It's not really that simple though is it?  Someone should tell the millions of people across the globe that believe they are the next big thing. 

What about Big Brother? Talent doesn't even need to be an issue here.  A big personality is the key.  Perhaps an outrageous wardrobe? A funny voice?  A sob story?  If you have all of the above then you've maybe got a ticket to celebrity life forever (or at least 3 or 4 years).

Yes, some reality TV shows tell us that you don't need an education or a particular talent to be fabulously rich.  We can all name people that have built massively successful careers out of reality TV.

I have no problem with anyone that has done well for themselves via reality TV, but are they really good role models?   Don't scoff at that comment.  For some people, reality stars are role models.  That's a fact and there are thousands of fans to prove it.  Just ask most Jordan or Kerry Katona fans?

As long as we are fed reality TV shows, there will always be some mediocre, young wannabe wasting his or her life away on a dream that just won't ever come true.  All because he or she truly thought that 'it could happen to me'.   I hope that there aren't too many people putting off university education to audition for a show, but there probably are.

What about the losers of the shows?  The small few that get so far but don't make the grade and are left to pick up the pieces of their shattered dreams.  They might make a few grand from a few more interviews and then it's back to working in B&Q.  That must be hard to handle.  One week they are on national TV watched by millions - three weeks later, they are serving people on the tills and wondering where life is going to take them - or worse, still hopeful and hanging onto an unrealistic dream?

With this genre, the public has also learnt much about what goes on behind the scenes.  Gone are the days when a new pop star appeared on the scene, shiny and glistening with perfection.  Now we all witness the rags to riches stories in pure HD.  Cheryl Cole's wonky teeth and wild eyebrows.  Who'd have thought that there was such a stunningly beautiful woman under there?  All it took was some cosmetic dentistry, a stylist, several beauty therapists and thousands of pounds.  Easy peasy!

We see the managers, the judges, the choreographers, photographers and crew.  We witness the decision making.  The signing of contracts.  It's not a mystery anymore.  Is the twist in the story an amazing reality or is it a carefully planned and scripted strategy developed by a production team?  Nobody knows what to think anymore.  Is Amelia's (UK X-Factor) shock return to the show something more sinister?  Probably not.  We've all been let down by so many media outlets that it's hard to know who to believe.