Showing posts with label Sophie Parkin. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sophie Parkin. Show all posts

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Molly Parkin's Sequinned Relic show a hit - but will it overturn Irish ban?

Molly Parkin & Andrew Logan at
Vout-O-Reenee's
Molly Parkin's return to the stage last night was an overwhelming success. Perfectly set at daughter Sophie's fab London E1 club Vout-O-Reenee's, the show - titled X-Rated Ruminations of a Sequinned Relic - wowed a full house. Among the audience ( I almost want to say congregation) was darling Andrew Logan whose Alternative Miss World returns this October. I'll have more to say about that shortly - meantime, do read my review of his 2009 extravaganza.

It was a mere 28 years ago that Moll last did stand-up - though she might not describe her show as such. So wild and gorgeous was she then that she got herself banned from Ireland - "I think I still am," she tells me. May I suggest to our friends over there that Moll, 82, be forgiven for whatever indiscretion(s) she committed. In all likelihood, most of the audience of that time have either passed away or are queuing up for assisted suicide now that it's fashionable not to suffer any more prior to death.

Certainly, Ruminations covers life's gamut of experience. It includes Moll's poem Viagra (read here - but beware David Beckham's cock. I know how sensitive some of you are; never having got out) as well as a reminiscence about a steel ladder she purchased in order to expedite her passage up the astral tunnel, prematurely, via the Thames. Moll's genius is talk and her magical ability to convert the daily humdrum into the sublimely comic. And she does it without telling one joke. It just comes natch. Her Ruminations show will be touring parts of the UK (and Ireland?) so keep a beady eye on your local ents listings when you can quite tear yourself away from regional coverage of the church fete or magistrate's court.

Moll and I are now permanently engaged once again - and she has a ring from Venice to prove it. Quite what that means in your world is frankly none of your business but ours. And stay in touch with Moll on Facebook.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Molly Parkin: Return of the X-Rated 'Sequinned Relic'

My gorgeous former permanent fiancee Molly Parkin is about to unleash herself on a public grown flabby on TV tat. On Saturday, July 12, she returns to the stage with her new stand-up show, X-Rated Ruminations of a Sequinned Relic. Her comeback previews at daughter Sophie Parkin's great new club Vout-O-Reenee's in London's E1.

Here's the foreplay: "Wisdom poetry Filth poetry Laughter poetry Glamour tears of joy - a celebration of life aged 82. £10 includes glass of wine or soft drink." You don't have to be a club member for entry on this occasion.

She tells me that the show will be quite salty - "I added 'X-Rated' to the title to keep kids away and prepare the audience for some surprises." Sequinned Relic is already being booked by various venues around the UK - so keep eyes peeled, poppets.

To get to Vout, here's the link. There's also the club's Sequinned Relic Facebook page here.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Ruminations of a Sequined Relic: a new poem by Molly Parkin

I LOST MY LOOKS AT 82
AND TURNED INTO A CRONE
REFLECTED IN MY MIRROR
WAS A FACE I'D NEVER KNOWN

I SHAVED MY HEAD AT 82
SOWING THERE BRIGHT SILVER HAIR
I DUMPED MASCARA, LIPSTICK-PAINT
THE END RESULT WAS QUAINT RESTRAINT

HARSH ARTIFICE, MASKED-GLAMOUR GONE
REPLACED BY SMILING EYES THAT SHONE
WITH KIND CONCERN, AND NOW PRONOUNCE
 A FRIENDLY, GENEROUS COUNTENANCE

I'D NEVER REALISED BEFORE
THAT THERE ARE DIFFERENT TREATS IN STORE
LIFE BRINGS US GIFTS, THE SPIRIT LIFTS
US HIGH ABOVE WHAT WE'VE ONCE BEEN
WHILST OFFERING A SWEETER DREAM

molly parkin 2014

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Imelda Marcos musical to party at Vout-O-Reenee's!

Molly Parkin cuts Vout's umbilical cord with 'birth-mother' Sophie Parkin (in fuschia, darling) to our right
Even the suits among you know the truth. That I know better. So, trust me. I sense your sexual excitement.

I am therefore delighted to welcome a new club of joy and culture to the London biosphere, launched on May 15. It is called Vout-O-Reenee's and thank God it's in London's Shoreditch and not adjacent to the media whorehouses of Soho and their parasite bar mirror gawpers. Its mother is Sophie Parkin, a Gemini woman of nonpareil good taste and unforgiving insult - and frankly the kind of robust soul required to found and steer such an establishment, dedicated to the artist, the iconoclast, the maverick - in short, to someone who is fresh of flesh yet able to settle her or his bar bill. The Chelsea Arts Club (aka The Old Cunties' Convalescent Home - commodes available on request) must be spitting. They missed a trick when they passed on Sophie.
Muriel Sophie Parkin invites you to party

But don't just believe me. I learn that the very best are flocking to Vout to celebrate the lucrative expressions of their life force. In September, for instance, it is the chosen venue of the after-party for the Fatboy Slim/David Byrne Imelda Marcos disco musical, Here Lies Love. Dubbed a 'poperetta', it opened to rave reviews in New York in 2013. It is the London theatre event of 2014 - and I am delighted that its creatives will celebrate inevitable glory at Vout's. Only the best shoes will be admitted.

I understand that Here Lies Love - created by Talking Heads' icon Byrne and superstar DJ Slim - opens the National Theatre's newly named Dorfman Theatre in the autumn.

See you there, dearies.

For Vout membership details, email: info@vout-o-reenees.co.uk. 07753702910. 30 Prescot St, London E1 8AZ

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Amanda Eliasch: Fame, movie acclaim and cakes of sperm

Amanda Eliasch
I like my weirdos glam and clever. Weirdo? A person who manifests her or his organic interior in a fascinating, creative, non-homicidal way. This blog is peopled with natural weirdos - and now that I am back for a while, I've just noticed another one to add to the galère. 

Her name is Amanda Eliasch.

She's been under my nose for quite a while. Ages back she said I was her favourite blog (well, you won't confuse this site with anything by Toby Young) and I peeped at her biog and saw she is a photographer, and peripatetic fashion editor of Genlux Magazine in LA. She seems highly proactive. Always white-teeth smiling. And blonde. (Sort of sleb-ish herself - I mean, your average magazine person is pure subfusc with sniffs.) And about 25. Now I read she's 53 (Taurus - luxury lovers). For me, this is perfection. I cannot abide authentic youth. I will not have them in the house - except my new friend Lyndsy Spence (see interview here). There is nothing more vile than a human being in evolutionary transit who's dreaming over your shoulder. Why should I be bothered with this sort of fate-harlot?

But 53 is arrival time. 53 is about right.

Then recently I noticed Nicky Haslam ('Oh God, not him again!') pushing his latest heterosexuality-celebrating album of song, Midnight Matinee. And one of the tracks is called Amanda written by Amanda Eliasch. She assures me on Facebook that it is her voice. She sounds like a heavenly choirboy approaching the cusp of his first wet dream. Here listen (it's track 16 for a sample).

Recently, I noticed something about a movie. It's called The Gun, The Cake and the Butterfly. She wrote it, directed it and stars in it. This is auteurism at its most extreme. Don't call her Orson! She's won an award for it. I've not seen it. But apparently it's about her awfully glitzy, stars-strewn life. I am assured she has never had sex with Boris Johnson. But I believe she may have gone all the way with Sir Tim Rice. Lord Lloyd Webber will be well jel. At some point in her life she baked a cake containing the sperm of two fuckees. Well, that's what it says here.

Oh, here's the film trailer. I have a feeling I may say more about amazing Amanda.


Monday, December 24, 2012

Madame Arcati's Christmas message: The best way to dodge Stephen Fry

Santa Fry
Darlings, a merry festive time to you all - except those cunts I hate. 

Well, I'm being honest. You're like me really. Only on Facebook just now I spotted a very famous opinionist celebrating the accidental self-incineration of a terrorist-looking bearded person from the Middle East. That sums up the spirit of Christmas for me, as we merge with the TV screen and snuggle up in the warm dank 3D folds of Stephen Fry's chins (hopefully he's had a proper shave, for once). David Walliams - welcome to your future!

Let us hope that not all of us are swept away by the floods - except perhaps the dog next door that's howling because its pensioner owner is forever out. The present inundations were of course predicted over a year ago by the astrology annual Old Moore's Almanack 2012 - perhaps more than a year ago, as the editorial letter in this edition is dated October 2010.

Allow me to quote for December 2012: 'Heavy rains could cause serious flooding in the west. Storms early and late.' The seer who wrote this then rather ruins it all by adding: 'On the whole, close to the normal pattern.' And the prediction started sooooo promisingly. 
Yet as a hit-and-miss forecast, it beats the hopeless Met Office that only five minutes ago was getting the Express all excited with promises of Arctic conditions.

Will Madame Arcati prevail in 2013? Probably. The challenge now is that most of my original readers are bloggers themselves - what a fashion I started! There they are on Facebook and Twitter gracing us with their synaptic crackle and pop (and family photos) - plainly Madame's work is cut out in capturing a new generation of glancer. I promise not to find solace in right-wing politics or more PhotoShopped celebrity cock.

Should you find yourself at a loss this Christmas, marooned by the Fry deluge of his repeats, quizzes and folksy, marron glacé thespianism (adverts included), then revisit one of the most popular of my 2012 posts: my interview with Sophie Parkin about her splendid bestseller on The Colony Club. Click here. (If you are predisposed to being offended, then best not read it: Blogger was soooo appalled by the language and references to bodily secretions in the piece, that Google adverts were pulled from this site.)

The Times and Sunday Times have raved over her book; more acclaim is due. And she published the book herself. Further proof that one's literary fate need no longer be decided by some privileged twat in an office.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Julie Burchill - join Francis Wheen and help fund her book (61% there!)

Julie Burchill
A while back I (along with others) received an email from the divine goddess Julie Burchill. She was seeking my financial support for a book she wants to publish called Unchosen: The Memoirs of a Philosemite - about her adoration of the Jewish race. She had signed up to a crowd-funding publishing outfit called Unbound - if an author can find enough loot via backers (ie interested readers with cash) to sponsor their book, then they, too, will find themselves between covers.

But why would an award-winning author such as Burchill take this route to publication? Have commercial publishing editors entirely taken leave of their senses in their crazy pursuit of Yuletide instant bio, supermarket soft-porn and the celebrity chef TV tie-in?

In a promo video on the Unbound site, she says she wanted to write the book her 'own way'. More to the point, as she revealed in the Telegraph recently, she was put out that publishers had had the gall to demand she submit a sample chapter of 6,000 words. The very idea!

Even more to the point, and In all probability, editors were nervous of the theme. Suddenly the prospect of lucrative wall-to-wall media coverage of the title and its outspoken author paled by the fear of an upset.

How times have changed. Many years ago I couldn't find a publisher for my novel Farce Hole (an 80s-set fashion satire, due to be republished as Vicki Cochrane's Astral Chronicle) despite rave reader reports. Then one day the late Sheridan Morley drew my attention to a new publisher called Citron (now defunct). Even Martis Amis and Fay Weldon were singing its praises. For a nominal fee to cover marketing (I think around £100) this print-on-demand cooperative, with exacting editorial standards, brought out my book. It sold several hundred copies - 25 alone at a Kinky Fiction Night reading at Waterstone's in Oxford Street.

Oh, but the snobbery! I remember the idiotic Jason Cowley, now editor of the New Statesman, sniffing about Citron being a 'vanity publisher' (even though it was nothing of the sort). The Jasons of the day decreed that author talent had to be determined by flaky souls in publishing offices - from whom bookish journalists took their cue, in their anxiety to be seen not in the wrong.

And now look. Famous authors everywhere are finding and funding new ways to sideline the redundant Snipcocks - who gives a fuck about vanity? Why Julie is not self-publishing Unchosen as a Kindle e-book I do not know. And how close is she to publishing Unchosen? She has 61% of the necessary funding as of today - I'm sure she'll soon hit her target. The likes of Private Eye's Francis Wheen, Candida Lycett Green, Barbara Ellen and Paul Burston have made a contribution.

We'll see if Madame Arcati feels so generous.

To watch Julie Burchill's video for Unchosen, click here

Monday, October 08, 2012

Sophie Parkin interview: The Colony, the stars and the sailor's cock

'Driberg also admitted to Christopher Hitchens in the Colony that he loved going into special committees in the House of Commons with semen still sticky at the corners of his mouth'

The late Sebastian Horsley at the door of his local
To order a copy of The Colony Room Club 1948-2008, visit Sophie Parkin's dedicated site, here

In 1948, Muriel Belcher founded the The Colony - the Soho private drinking den that became infamous for stellar misbehaviour over 60 years. In 2012, one of its patrons, Sophie Parkin, releases The Colony Room Club 1948-2008: A History of Bohemian Soho, which charts the secret life of a refuge that drew some of the most celebrated minds, talents and livers of the second half of the 20th Century (and Kate Moss) and tells a great many tales of unreported high jinks and debauchery. Parkin interviewed upwards of 50 surviving former Colony habitués for the book and has dug up a trove of fab photos.

Madame Arcati enjoyed a bout of intercourse with Sophie - those of a tender sensibility may want to pass on this interview...

Q: Sophie Parkin! You’ve written The Colony Room Club 1948-2008 – is anyone alive from that era who remembers anything?

SP: ‘Plenty of both I‘m glad to say,’ as Muriel said to Dan Farson when asking her about her sexual proclivities. Paul Johnson was a great interview as was the fruity and funny Sir Peregrine Worsthorne. Anne Valery (think Tenko) , Irma Kurtz - wonderful about John Hurt and Francis Bacon ('Last night I was stuck between a Ham and a Bacon') - and the definition of a bohemian bar. And once I reminded mother [Molly Parkin], a few indiscretions popped up around Tony Shaffer (playwright), Cedric Price (architect), Ernő Goldfinger and Robert Brownjohn, the designer of the first James Bond credits; oh, and John Bryce the producer of The Avengers in his Aqua car. All very 1960s.

Shove in the whipping guardsman story concerning Victor Spinetti and the Colony couple from Hampstead and it's almost a Joan Littlewood production. Fings Ain't Wot They Used T'be – you’re telling me!

Q: ‘The Colony was a club for lushes and is best off gone. Incidence of liver cirrhosis will decline’. Discuss.

SP: Have you been to other clubs? Some of the ‘new wave' of fashionable clubs are so depressing and unfriendly you drink to forget you are there. They never organise beanos like the 'Come in Chapeau Party' 1968 to raise money for a disabled children’s Christmas party for kiddies with MS. Victor Lowndes kindly supplied the waitresses - Bunny Girls, Annie Ross and George 'wigglebum’ Melly provided the entertainment, poor kids! 

One day Jeffrey Bernard organised a trip to Ascot for the horse fanciers and got an open top double decker to stop outside whereby members got on through the first floor window. Bernard took all the bets and when the races ended mysteriously disappeared. 

The club wasn't just a place for lushes, it was for outsiders whether from the upper classes or the lower, Burroughs/Bacon/Freud or Sir Frederick Ashton, Trevor Howard, LS Lowry, Sir Robert Helpmann and Lady Rose McLaren. It was for the blossoming of great conversation whether with Keith Waterhouse; or Johnny Speight with Kate Moss as a bar maid or Daniel Craig with Joe Strummer on guitar and Todd Matshikiza on piano and Lisa Stansfield on vocals. 

Everyone played there on Sunday nights from The Hours, The Magic Numbers, Badly Drawn Boy to Alabama 3 and The View.
Ian Broad on Hampstead Heath

Q: Who’s the cunt who decided that the Club should be no more. I mean, if I Google ‘The Colony’ there is a website claiming the Colony still exists. Please explain.

SP: I don’t know why someone hasn’t taken that down. I don’t know who built it but Michael Wojas, who paid for it, has been dead for 2 years.

Perhaps it was the landlord Mr Ibrahim after Ian Board tried to strangle him; perhaps it was Michael who wanted the legend to die with him. The Colony however is less a place more a state of mind and when I open the Deal Arts Club from the huge funds of my book The Colony Room Club 1948-2008 it will transfer there. It will have to be a membership club - ordinary people on a day trip to the seaside might be offended by the full use of our language and the freedom of our thoughts.

Now, if we assume most members of the Colony were/are drunken reprobates with casually vacant genitalia, who will threaten to sue you? There's a pretty tale or two to tell. 

Foreign Correspondent Dick West swears it didn’t happen to him but that an Australian reporter went up to interview Tom Driberg MP. The Colony he thought would be a Gentlemen’s Club. He was greeted at the door by Muriel and asked to be directed to Mr Driberg, ‘He’s the one in the corner with his hand round that sailor's cock.’ Driberg liked a man in uniform. 

But he also liked a working class man - Geoffrey Wheatcroft apologised to Driberg at the Colony for putting a picture of Driberg, Lord Boothby and the Kray twins in a compromising photo in a book by his publishers. Driberg said mournfully, ‘It’s just it’ll stop me getting into clubs’. Not the Colony. As Muriel drily noted: ‘He never worried about it when Ronnie’s cock was in his mouth.’ 

Driberg also admitted to Christopher Hitchens in the Colony that he loved going into special committees in the House of Commons with semen still sticky at the corners of his mouth.

It wasn't only homosexual activity, however. Christine Keeler and Stephen Ward were often at the bar (is it true Lloyd Webber is making a musical of it all?). Paul Johnson said she was very dreary, though Ward used to like to have dog collars and leads on girls he took to pubs and he didn’t drink more than an orange juice. A decade later, Peter Langan - the famous Brasserie owner - could often be found of an afternoon delighting middle-aged ladies by crawling around the banquette and putting his head up their skirts and (as George Melly put it) 'yodelling in the canyon.'

But why did Peter choose to wear those white linen suits? The follow-through stains showed up something awful.

Q: You were a member of the Colony. Were your genitalia casually vacant? Don’t you say to your wonderful mother Moll: ‘How could you have exposed me to such a place, with all those ghastly drunks slavering over each other!’

SP: It was a wonderful place; you must be a tiny bit jealous? I am eternally grateful to both my Ma and Pa for taking me in there and I was proud to be a member but it was odd seeing people like Jude Law or Stella McCartney in there at the end.

As to my vacant or otherwise purse I shall quote Irma Kurtz, agony aunt of Cosmopolitan -“The Colony wasn’t a pick-up joint. If you fell in love or lust, that was nice, but it was beside the point. Bohemian behaviour meant that you didn’t share the same restrictions and morality. Now everybody sleeps with anybody from Hendon to Highbury. Sleeping with someone because you want to doesn’t mean anything now.” Quite.
The Colony enjoys free promo
Q: What were Muriel’s teeth like? Was she lesbotic? I think you say somewhere she was only a bit lesbotic. Ian Board was definitely lesbotic – didn’t he throw Francis Bacon out once and said he was a useless painter or something?

SP: Never. Everybody was frightened of Francis; he had such a huge presence, and a charisma bigger than Nelson’s Column. 

Muriel was known as a Portuguese Jewish lesbian from Birmingham whose parents owned the Alexandra Theatre – all total bollocks. Along with the fact that The Colony was named after her Jamaican girlfriend Carmel. Carmel, aka the Fox, wasn’t about when Mu first took over the club; it had been a club for old colonials. Paul Johnson was taken there first in 1947, pre it being Muriel’s, with Jimmy and Teddy Goldsmith - and they were on the lookout for Benzedrine – it was all the rage then. She definitely had a soft spot for pretty boys and good-looking women. Ian liked leather-clad men who would beat him.

Do you want a picture of him as a male model on Hampstead Heath? [Yes please, see above - MA]

Q: Is it true Will Self was a habitué? I believe he was particularly kind to persons behind the bar. Yet he now claims the Colony was a hideous place – didn’t he satirise it in Liver? I can’t recall the title but there was a liver in it. 

SP: I don’t know if that is satire. I know all the Private Eye lot like Peter Cook went in the Colony and he opened up The Establishment where Lenny Bruce performed in London - and Terry Southern.

I thought satire was meant to be funny? Anyway, Self was (so he tells me) in love with the barman Ben Tranin, but that’s his story to satirise or otherwise. It's strange how people's drug of choice separates them. I personally can’t stand popping pills or puffing weed or shooting up, which tends to kill many more people who do it than the percentage of people who drink and die of liver disease. He insists everyone died of cirrhosis of the liver, but Wojas was a druggy more than a drinker, and Ian’s liver was fine. Unfortunately cancer of the lungs killed him. He liked a fag.

Q: I see your book is published by you. Don’t tell me the cunts who run publishing didn’t sense a bestseller in their midst. What’s wrong with these hairy-eared swine? What were you supposed to do – re-title it ‘Harry Potter Goes Tits Up At The Colony’?

SP: Or arse up and heads down - I‘d like to have seen the book jacket in WH Smith. Actually we are publishing it ourselves because it’s the only way to make any money from publishing. Authors advances have shrunk to the size of a cock in the North Pole. And having spent 2 years of my valuable life on this precious tome I didn’t want to be paid peanuts and then see it sink from lack of proper marketing. It’s a great and glorious book not just about sex - there’s some culture in there too. As Muriel said about Peter O’Toole, if he’d been any prettier they’d have had to call it Florence of Arabia.

Q: Do you consume muesli before you write? Do you wear shades as you ply the keyboard? There are many aspiring writers out there hanging onto these bio details. 

SP: I like a nice piece of sourdough smeared with apricot jam before I set to. Would I encourage anyone else to spend 2 years on a history of the Colony? No, don’t bother - I’ve already done it, there’s nothing left to tell….

Q: Sophie, darling. You're a joy and a credit to all loose-livers, so to speak. Good luck with your glorious book.

To order a copy or two of The Colony Room Club 1948-2008: A History of Bohemian Soho by Sophie Parkin, visit her dedicated site. Click here


In a separate post, I report on the Arts Club - boasting a membership engrossed in London arts culture -  snootily declining Sophie's offer to talk about the Colony and her book - it's 'not suitable'. Click here.


Friday, October 05, 2012

The Arts Club is too good for Sophie Parkin's new Colony book!

Sophie Parkin
Shortly, author Sophie Parkin will be talking to Madame about her delicious new book, The Colony Room Club 1948-2008: A History of Bohemian Soho. Just about everyone who was anyone in British cultural life in this riotous period, and drank, appears between its covers, from Francis Bacon and Will Self to Princess Margaret and Kate Moss. 

It's the biggest, butchest, bitch book of the year, darlings.

Quite naturally, Sophie is currently raising awareness - to lapse into charity-ese - of her tome with personal appearances and talks: Sophie is, like her vivacious mother Molly, an ambulatory entertainment and orator. So, it was entirely to be expected that she would approach the legendary Arts Club in Dover Street, London, with an offer to give a talk on the Colony and her book. After all, the Arts Club "is very much a place where creative people come together to meet, exchange ideas, eat, drink, entertain and relax," to quote a line from its own website. It boasts: "The Arts Club has reclaimed its place at the heart of the contemporary cultural life in London and on the world stage."

Alas! A letter from the Club to Sophie has fallen into my hands which suggests it imagines itself well above the grizzled alpha hoi polloi who once guzzled and gossiped at the Colony. I won't reproduce the entire document or identify the Hyacinth Bucket who wrote it, but the key de haut en bas passage reads:

"Thank you for your email and the information about your Book [capitalised b as written] – this is certainly a great review of these exciting years and people..

"Unfortunately, I don’t feel it is suitable to us at The Arts Club (not the Scottish one!). Our Club has changed slightly and so have our members.

"I am sure you understand my view."

What a peculiar response from an institution which claims to "maintain a special focus on London-based artists." The Colony was all about London-based artists. Has the Arts Club turned into the kind of salon de thé one might patronise on the outskirts of Worthing?

Perhaps the real problem here is the Arts Club's "complete renovation" in 2011. "It has been completely transformed into a truly world class establishment," it reports, with pinkie out-stretched, in its History. Even better: "The interior has been designed by David D’Almada who has tastefully created a timeless ambiance juxtaposing vintage furniture with new."

Sounds gorgeous. Very P&O cruise liner.

To order a copy of Sophie Parkin's The Colony Room Club 1948-2008, click here. The title is released in December.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Colony Room bio! If you're any kind of cunty, buy now

I never had the pleasure of being called 'cunty' by Soho's Colony Room founder and proprietor Muriel Belcher. Some people have all the luck. So, I'll have to settle for second best.

Sophie Parkin's chronicle of the high culture boozing parlour, The Colony Club 1948-2008: A History of Bohemian Soho, is due out on 10 December 2012 - and she's declared open a dedicated website where you can find more book details - click here.

The book is a huge collaboration involving a great many of the former habitués of the establishment. Memories, conversations, goss, names - they're all here. Francis Bacon, Dylan Thomas, Tracey Emin, Princess Margaret, Molly Parkin, Lucian Freud, Jeffrey Bernard, Peter O'Toole, Kate Moss (barmaid), Christopher Hitchens, Will Self and so many other super-luminaries of stage, screen, canvas and piss contributed to the Colony legend.

Sophie is the ideal biographer. Quite possibly (or not), she trod on the dew of the vomit that Dylan Thomas projected onto the Colony carpet: she absorbed the soul of the place as a hereditary bon viveuse at her mother's knee, and for decades thereafter. Just how many of the ex-Colonists will still be talking to her post-publication?

Three editions of the title are available: Collectors, Limited and Standard (the last priced currently at £30). Without giving too much away, the Collectors and Limited editions comprise artists' prints which alone are worth the investment. Never-seen-before photographs grace all three. If nothing else, think Flog It!

Visit The Colony Room website as soon as and secure your copy - aside from my personal horoscopes, what better Christmas present is imaginable (to oneself)?

PS: For a flavour of the Colony, do read my post on writer Duncan Fallowell and the night he took off with Muriel Belcher's crutches. Be warned: the piece is illustrated by a nude photo of Duncan, cock and all. Click here.

Francis Bacon at the Colony, video

Friday, August 03, 2012

Molly Parkin: 'Cunts' at Harpers & Queen and her London Olympics movie

Molly & Sophie Parkin
I'm not entirely certain that I have returned to blogging but while I'm here, an opportune moment to catch up on the doings of permanent fiancee Molly Parkin.

Today is launched Julien Temple's collage-documentary movie London: The Modern Babylon (or, 'BabyLon/Don', my preferred title, still on Imdb), pegged to the Olympics. One of its stars is Molly who sheds aesthetic light on the filthy capital and its sulphur glamour. The film is Time Out's flick of the week so it must be good. Certainly the Guardian's Peter Bradshaw thinks it's brilliant, so hopefully it will get national distribution beyond the limited number of London flea pits, and help counter the insidious influence of the latest Batman movie, starring a certifiable psycho who hates his mother and was rude to his grandmother.

I would link the film but some jobsworth has decided the trailer can only be viewed on YouTube, so you can find it yourself if you can't shift up to the metropolis.

Molly is also to be viewed in the delightful movie linked below, in conversation at the Soho Theatre the other night with daughter, writer Sophie Parkin, currently working on a book about the infamous, seminal Soho Colony Room, out in December. What both have to say about Soho is almost as fascinating as the edgy interplay between mother and daughter. Remind me not to fall out with either of them. Moll reports that in the 50s, when she was a virgin and an art teacher, it was not uncommon, as she made her way along Soho thoroughfares, for her to be taken for a French tart, and 'a Degas ballet French tart' at that, by lowlife doorway club urchins.

We learn more about Colony queen Muriel Belcher, too, who was only a bit lesbian apparently. 'Come here, cunty,' she'd say to Moll. Apropos of Moll's glittery employment history, 'I did have an awful gruelling time on Harpers (& Queen), what a bunch of cunts there....'

To view the encounter, click here
.