Yesterday we were sitting in the garden enjoying some gin and discussing Colonel Gaddafi’s son and how he was basically once my neighbour (according to my friend Sam, Colonel Gaddafi’s son used to live around the corner from me, but according to Hamish he lived much nearer to Jonathon Ross, but according to a boy that Hamish slept with he lived in hiding in the basement of the derelict Heath House which was by far the most exciting idea but unlikely as we all know Colonel Gaddafi’s son was hardly a stowaway, he hired Beyoncé to sing at his birthday party for fuck sake. Or was that Mugabe’s son? There really should be a section in Hello! for all this, it's almost as if someone doesn't want us to know that dictators' families spend the summer season soaking up West End shows and dining in Jamie's Italian in safe-as-houses London, and so we reached an agreement that the late Colonel Gaddafi’s son once lived in North London somewhere) because the Evening Standard said so.
Then the conversation moved briefly onto erotic cushion covers by Trademark and then SUDDENLY Emma starts talking about this openly gay pop star that she likes who is like “Meatloaf meets P!nk” (I swear a lobbyist pays Emma to drop these topics into conversations with gay men)
“Sorry, go back” I say, trying to breed Meatloaf with P!nk in my tired head. “Who are you talking about?”
“Adam...?” says Hamish, frowning.
“Lambert!” says Emma, ignoring the cloud of indelible cynicism slowly grouping in the air around the four of us.
I look at Sam who looks at Hamish. “Yeah I think we saw him at Heaven once?”
“I didn’t see him at Heaven once” I say immediately. But I did, and I do know who he is, obviously. It’s just I’ve forgotten because nobody EVER plays his songs (does he even have songs?).
“Oh. Did you go with Sam?” asks Hamish.
“You ALL know who Adam Lambert is” says Emma, tears welling realising she’s backed the wrong horse this time..
“Maybe” allows Hamish, fiddling with his cuff.
“He’s been on BOYZ magazine!” cries Emma.
“Well!” claps Sam. “That narrows it down to ANY MAN who has EVER sung a song or taken their shirt off in the last two decades” [I should point out here that we always read BOYZ and adore it]
And so out comes the laptop onto the garden table and there goes “Adam Lambert” into the Google search bar and up pops his evil camp face.
“Turns out only 3 of his 8 singles actually charted in the UK and he’s never had a number one ANYWHERE” says Hamish, suddenly interested.
“Which is quite embarrassing when you think about it - even Diana Vickers can wrangle a number 1 these days” I say, still hating her since she got to fuck George Craig.
“If you’re a gay pop star in studded shoulders pads and the British aren’t buying your records then who the fuck will?” says Sam, right as ever.
“Guys I think you’re all being mean” says Emma. “You’re all gay, you should be supporting him, it’s tough enough already with psychos in America leaving him hateful comments all the time”
So we made it a task for the day to make ourselves more aware of Adam Lambert’s pop efforts and get to know his songs, because it’s about the music right and the bigger message?
Here are the three songs by Adam Lambert that have made it across the Atlantic to England:
A shaky song that sounds like Evanescence ten years ago. Whereas stars like Beyonce know how far to take a preachy Baptist sound (Smash Into You and Halo), Adam Lambert’s team take it toooo far. The lyrics are painfully simplified - “With every step you climb another mountain”. Sick in my mouth.
For Your Entertainment:
If only. This one is straight out of a musical episode of Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps. It’s as if Womanizer had an interlude written by car park attendants on Prozac and you were listening to it through a bag.
Disappointingly Adam’s dancing is nauseatingly static. He sort of lunges himself up and down like a steam engine and whenever the opportunity for a literal dance move pops up – that opportunity is SEIZED with all the imagination of Anusol. It’s all a bit Peter Kay. The clothes aren’t great either, like, asymmetrical studs. It’s as if Fisherprice abducted Patrick Wolf and forced him to design a clothes range, and here is his deliberately feigned result.
Whataya Want From Me:
In his third real song Whataya Want From Me Adam ups his game a bit musically, “Ooh” said Hamish, and this video has enjoyed over 23 million views on YouTube, dizzy figures that Shania Twain or Jennifer Paige can only dream of. It’s a bit Foo Fighters this song, which is a MASSIVE compliment heading Adam Lambert’s way. He looks like Dawn French playing Julian Clary though, which could be a compliment if Adam Lambert was a Barcelonan street act.
Talk about being a gay role model, this video is MISERABLE, Adam Lambert just sits around on empty sofas or sits in bed WITH ALL OF HIS CLOTHES ON, brooding over the song’s recipient who is presumably someone who didn’t reciprocate the Flame button on Gaydar. I’m not saying gay pop stars have to dress like Red Indians and clap for their dinner but let’s not convince youngsters that all we do is cry against IKEA book cases and wait for terminal illness to take its toll. Compared to The Pet Shop Boys, Erasure and Soft Cell this is a hefty step backwards.
It is clear from the YouTube comments on Adam Lambert’s channel that he has a sizeable fan base, in all senses. Sadly a lot of the comments follow this damp line of gay rights rhetoric, stuff like “Look people. He’s gay – so get over it Girlz – he Ain’t EVER gonna marry you because he’s a GAY MAN and we LOVE Adam forever and his hair is BETTER than Bieber’s” – that kind of gay message, written by girls who in four years time will be suing Claire’s Accessories because they got their tit stuck in a hand dryer, the type of girls who sort their Haribo into colour piles whilst their toenails dry because they’re allergic to yellow.
SO. Adam Lambert. Who knew icing your face in mascara, wearing two rings on each finger and wingeing about life’s difficulties could get you a Number 4 hit in Finland? Oh actually, his boyfriend is a Finnish TV presenter, my bad.
To some Adam Lambert is a role model, an openly gay pop star who gay kids can identify with because – no wait – he was BORN IN 1982? He turns THIRTY soon? Holy shit, do his fans' parents know this?
To me, Adam Lambert looks like a dancer from a budget cruise line’s repertory theatre group, his songs are either dull ballads or lacklustre pop scrapings and anyone who dons him “one of the few openly gay pop stars” is insulting the plethora of ignored talent that is, has, and will always be out there.
If anything, Adam Lambert is a role model to young gays because he demonstrates the fact that the gay card isn’t enough in the world of pop, and that’s the way it should be. You have to be good at what you do too.
So, well done Adam Lambert, I’m sure there’s a bunch of people out there who need you, but I’ll stick to my Peaches getting-ready playlist and Patrick Wolf evenings, thanks.
* * *
Sam just read this blog post whilst I walked away for a minute and he added the following paragraph:
BASICALLY this blog post boils down to me wanting to say the following: “Look at MEE I live in Hampstead and I don’t give a shit about Adam Lambert and I want to say he’s fat but know better coz I is a gay journo.”
JESUS CHRIST SAM! You’ve effortlessly paraphrased my entire post down to 140 characters exactly. There should be a website for this kind of succinct genius...
“Oh my God, have I just written a perfect Tweet?!!” says Sam, who is an engineer, trying to suppress an orgasm of cocksure glee.
“Not really because you haven’t left any room for a link”
We still don’t know anything about Adam Lambert, and I can’t even recall the three songs that we just watched at least three times each. Perhaps the problem is us.
This tall guy with cool hair was at last night’s Firetrap party and I REALLY recognised him from somewhere, not in a 'shagged-him-last-winter' way or a 'looks-like-a-minor-celebrity way', but in a slightly haunting way like perhaps he was in my swimming class in 1993 and I subsconsciously recognised him?
After watching him out of the corner of my eye a bit too much the lady I was officially chatting to had to tell me to stop staring, I get really bothered by familiar face conundrums. Thankfully though an hour or so later I was walking up the stairs between the smoking area and the bar and said boy was blocking my way. As he turned I snatched the oppurtunity to do that whole quizzical ‘Do I know you?’ thing (where you're privately PRAYING they're not a complete tit, or you know them because you broke their parents' Grayson Perry vase at an after-party once).
Turns out he’s called Mat and we actually went to boarding school together. It's quite unusual to meet someone from the same boarding school and not be 100% sure who they are, because boarding school is such an intense and close-knit ennvironment, it's like having several hundred fathers, brothers and children.
We worked out that the reason we didn’t properly know each other was probably due to a combination of the following:
a) We were in rival boys houses
b) We are two years apart
c) He left aged 16
d) He spent most of his time playing his guitar in his dorm
e) He has asymmetrical hair now and a trendy coat. I have yellow hair and have grown by about three feet since school.
ANYWAY. We had a nice little chat about London, sex, Sunday Girl and the monotony of fashion parties*, and Mat told me he's in band called The Special Ks. Here’s their single Crystal Fields:
And here’s a sexy little acoustic version in which Mat shows a lot of ARM:
So. A standard Wednesday night really - got drunk, saw Diana Vickers sitting on her own stirring a drink somewhere, made a prat out of myself in front of my editor, sucked rum out of a hollowed-out coconut shell and met a boy in a band. But with a twist, as this time weirdly the boy went to the same school as me AND his band are actually worth listening to.
Fingers crossed the Special Ks will make it big time. You heard it here first bitch.
- - -
*My friend who goes by the alias Shirley Not just texted me having read this blog post saying " 'the monotony of fashion parties?' - you're Jack Cullen not Peaches Geldof"
Torres is an odd one in the hot footballer charts. He's clearly a piece of twinky football man candy, yet he hasn't sought recognition from the fashion industry particularly, courted the paparazzi or acquired a gay fanbase in the way that David Beckham and Christiano Ronaldo have. I think Torres is just one of those hot footballers that straight men have a soft spot for, they don't fancy him or anything gay like that, but if they were cell mates and times got tough then, you know, the goal posts might be widened a little and Fernando's rosy face would get to know the pillow quite well whilst his oily tax-fraud dorm pal clutches onto those long blond locks.
Presumably he dyes his hair blond, because he's supposed to be a Spaniard right?
Other stories in today's Metro included:
- A publicity stunt conducted by Monster Slippers
- A girl was crushed to death in a Northampton nightclub (an unlikely place for such an occurence - I wouldn't have thought more than six people go out on a Wednesday night in Northampton?)
- Westlife are breaking up (this better not mean the gay one is going to inflict us all with a solo career attempt)
- There's something on television later
At the very end of last month I spent the night with Pete Maciejowski, interviewing him for Gay Times. We spent the evening drinking white wine and gin on his Earl’s Court balcony, discussing a wide range of adult topics, until we both passed out and the next day interrupted us.
Pete Maciejowski is the star of the 2012 BUTT calendar, as well as the poster boy for some of Amsterdam’s biggest gay nights. Most recently he has been featured in an exhibition in Berlin. When he's not busy he holds intimate evenings of male indulgence, evenings at which sometimes he takes photos and at other times he simply sits in a chair wearing a mask and pouring more drinks.
My interview with Pete isn’t yet published, alas it is sitting in my iTunes library like a symphony of sordid soirées, but you can view a preview piece on my Gay Times blog, and you can take a look at a couple of snaps on Pete’s site The Homosocial (including a rare photo of ME! (before you get too excited, it's not naked but simply of me storming down an urban path)).
SO. Here are your links you sexy chicken face Jack of Hearts readers:
Finally... you can follow Pete on Twitter @TheHomosocialAbove: a snap that Pete took of me collapsing onto the steps of his Earl's Court pad.
Anastasia's is Cromer's only nightclub. It's a basement club built into the depths of the sea defense wall and it is only open at the weekend. Locals call it 'The Pits', and usually give it a miss preferring to travel into nearby Norwich if they fancy a boogie.
Nautical themed light displays line the upper coastal paths around Cromer. This particular design is a shrimp. A bit creepy if you ask me. Very Studio Ghibli.
Part of the upper coastal path at night. It's really dramatic with the rolling waves to the right, and as your eyes adjust to the darkness - the Norfolk coastline stretching out for miles.
This photo from the 1870s shows a very similar seafront to the Cromer that is there today. This collier ship was bringing coal in from Sunderland. Children used to play around the stern at low tide and look for a dropped pieces of coal which they would hide in their clothing and take back to their grateful parents. The introduction of railways to Norfolk brought about the end of this business.
The Hotel de Paris is the most famous hotel in Cromer, once visited by Oscar Wilde, the place was built by Lord Suffield. Stephen Fry once did a stint there as a waiter too, no doubt chasing the footsteps of his idol. Sadly it's nearly impossible to stay at the Hotel de Paris as they have a handcuff deal with a coach tour company (and so the place is packed with pensioners). I popped into to ask about the stained glass images of Cromer in their restaurant windows, the man on reception told me they knew nothing about them and all historical items had been sent to head office. I can't imagine where or what their head office is?!
If you Google "Cromer Gay Scene" then all you get is a few notes on Squirt.Org mentioning this public toilet on the seafront, next to Dunes Arcade (just a little way along from the pier front). I went along to check out what was going down. Nothing.
During my stay the Pavilion theatre on the pier had a Raymond Froggatt show on. £17 seemed a bit steep for someone I've never ever heard of. A Wikipedia paddle taught me that he was a singer in the 60s and has written hits for The Dave Clark 5 and Cliff Richard. A lot of pensioners turned up to watch him.
These two adult men were on the promenade every day playing with a remote controlled car. It was kind of sweet.
Cromer Lighthouse. It used to be operated by an all-female staff. You can hire the place for holidays.
Cromer enjoys a wonderful twilight period, during October between 4.30 and 7. The light is magnificent and the sky is very imposing, especially from the pier where you are effectively out at sea.
It never fails to stun and sadden me just how many boys fought and died in the World Wars. This memorial is for a tiny, tiny village called Runton, and yet look how many young men were killed horribly abroad. Some families lost five men, whilst others lost men in both wars. Terrible.
Surfing and body boarding is a popular pastime in Cromer. It's quite a common sight to see boys sprinting down from the north of the town in their wet suits with boards under arm in order to catch the waves in time. Elderly folk stand and watch from the promenade with faint admiring smiles. It's great to see the town's teenagers making the most of Cromer's mercurial seascape.
This boy was body boarding when his board's lead came loose. He ran up to the promenade and asked if he could borrow a key to prize it back together. I thought he was going to yap at me for taking photos. Always happy to help.
I was a little scared to see a newsagent so solidly affiliated with the Daily Mail, so neat and tidy, and to double up as a tearoom! However, I popped in for a cup of tea and the local Norfolk girls who worked there were lovely and good fun to chat to.
A pair of fisherman's thigh-high leather sea boots. Despite their weight adding to the risk of drowning, these huge leather items were popular in the fishing community for centuries. I rather like them. Also - that stuffed crab is an example of the type you see crawling around on the beach in Cromer. Terrifying. And to think those boys dart about barefoot with their body boards!