A Meeting With Queen Minogue…

This is something I don’t really like to talk about but I am a Kylie Minogue superfan. I’ve loved her since I was 7 years of age and can’t ever imagine her not being a part of my life. I’ve been lucky enough to meet her once before (at her Harrods book signing back in 2012); but other than that my fandom has been confined to attending concerts, listening to her music, the occasional Tweet from her, writing freelance articles about her and having my cover version of her single All The Lovers featured on Popjustice.

I woke up Saturday morning with a mild hangover and with no idea how the rest of my weekend was going to pan out… At around lunchtime I saw a Tweet from Liberty saying a competition was being held for 30 winners to attend the unveiling of this year’s Christmas window display which the queen of the universe was commandeering. I hit the retweet button, gazed longingly at my Kim Kardashian West prayer candle and hoped for the best.

Fast forward to 6pm and I was sat on my Kylie At Home bedsheets (leopard print, obvs) and applying my limited edition Kiss Me Once lipstick when I saw a notification appear on my phone… “Congratulations!!! You’re going to meet Kylie tomorrow!” I immediately turned into a shaking, gibbering mess and my heart was pounding. Although I’d met my idol before, I’d never had a photograph with her that hadn’t involved me photoshopping myself into it…was this finally going to be my chance? My mind was filled with a million questions and all I had was a time and an address to meet the following morning and an instruction that due to security no phones or handbags would be permitted.

I barely slept that evening, and woke up super early feeling like a child on Christmas Day. I was shaking as I selected a t shirt I’d designed myself to wear which I accessorised with a red sparkly giant Christmas hairbow I’d already purchased for her concert at the Royal Albert Hall next month. My journey was an unmitigated disaster. I left with twice as much time as needed but due to road closures by 11.15 I was still stuck in an Uber near Westminster; at one point I really thought I wasn’t going to make it and I think the poor driver was quite taken aback by my hysterics (fingers crossed it hasn’t affected my 4.9 rating!). At 11.26 I finally got out the Uber at Piccadilly Circus and proceeded to RUN up Regent Street. Anyone who knows me will testify I don’t run but please see the evidence below!


With one minute to spare I arrived at the office entrance to Liberty and I was beetroot red and making little sense as I checked my handbag in with security, obviously hiding a few personal items for signing under my cape and was given a VIP wristband to wear:


We were ushered upstairs to the 4th floor and escorted into a small ornate side room with three rows of chairs, a pink sparkly Christmas tree and two arm chairs at the front. On each chair was a small purple Liberty giftbag that contained a deluxe edition of her new album Kylie Christmas. I was lucky enough that two of my friends Danny and John had also won tickets so I sat with them and we chatted to the people around us as we made the most of the complimentary pastries and beverages.

At around 12.15 a buzz went around the room… She was on her way! First into the room was her new exceptionally handsome boyfriend Joshua Sasse who lingered at the back staring at her adoringly. Seanny Sean her tour manager was also accompanying her. A representative from Liberty brandishing a microphone came out and introduced her as the entire room stood to give her a standing ovation as she entered the room. “Sit down, sit down!” she said as she took her seat.

The representative from Liberty proceeded to interview her; I presume for their website as the entire event was filmed. Kylie explained that she’d decorated the pink sparkly Christmas tree herself as part of a charity initiative for ITV’s Text Santa. My Christmas tree always features my Ms Minogue Barbie doll dressed as an angel but I guess Kylie was going for a more understated appearance for her interior décor.


The interview itself was mainly about her thoughts on Christmas and Minogue family traditions. The most revealing part which had the room howling was probably that her ideal Christmas day would involve “spending the morning in bed, then I’d take it from there”. Also, world exclusive, on her Christmas list this year is a wick trimmer which I initially misheard as “wig trimmer”. I was sat in her direct eye line, and each time we got eye contact my inner 7 year old died a little.

When the interview ended it was time for the meet and greet part of the session, and each person got to go up to the front one by one, row by row. After the first photograph was taken Kylie took command to alter the set up as there was a table with a floral arrangement on between the two chairs. “This isn’t working. Let’s move this table” she said. “The guys will get a much better picture if the chairs are closer together”. Thanks babes!

Eventually it was my turn and as I sat down next to my idol it struck me how much this reminded me of a Santa’s Grotto, but with an opportunity to meet someone much more glamorous and fragrant than Father Christmas.

“Hi nice to meet you, I love your bow!” was Kylie’s opening line. “Thanks so much, I bought it for your Christmas gig at the Royal Albert Hall; thought I might as well get in the festive spirit early” I responded. “Oh you’re coming!” she said, “I’m so excited about it and want to make it special. I hoped all the audience would be dressing up!”

Being a responsible Aunt I have brainwashed my four year old niece into being a Kylie fan too; and when she found out I was meeting our shared idol she burst into tears, informing my sister “That’s not fair, Auntie Cha Cha has already met her”. I handed Kylie a photograph of Florence singing into a microphone with Kylie on the television screen behind her. “Oh my goodness, she’s so cute!” said Kylie and she looked horrified when I told her she was upset she couldn’t come due to the no plus ones policy. “Why couldn’t she come? It’s not a school day” was Minogue’s response as she dedicated the picture to Florence and we talked about how much fun being an Auntie is.

As a side note Florence is not sure that Kylie did indeed sign this herself as she’s not sure that Kylie would be able to spell F-L-O-R-E-N-C-E, but at least this is a great souvenir for when she’s feeling less sceptical.


The next item I’d bought with me was a bit of a gamble as I handed Kylie a photograph of some artwork I’d created in which I’d superimposed myself into a photo with her and Dannii. “Please don’t be alarmed by this” I warned as I handed it over. “What is this? And how did you do it?” asked Kylie as she raised the picture to her perfectly formed face to inspect closer, as she cackled away. “Oh just a little something I created using a phone app” I retorted as my brain envisaged the nail varnish emoji. “I always fancied being the third Minogue sister”. “I can see that!” giggled Kylie.


Other items that she signed were the Christmas CD she had gifted me with and also I bought the insert she’d created to replace the dire cover for her Greatest Hits 1988-92 album. “This is a blast from the past!” she informed me as she signed the collector’s item.


We posed for the professional photographer who took some pictures of the two besties and it was all over. “Thank you so much Kylie!” I said, “I hope you have a fab Christmas”. “You too!” said Kylie as she beamed her magnificent smile at me.

And that was it. The whirlwind was over and I exited the room. It all seemed so surreal and dreamlike. I only hope that when the photographs are e-mailed to me later this week I’m not pulling an odd facial expression. But, hey, even if I am at least La Minogue approves of my photoshop skills!


Ten Years of Confessions On A Dancefloor

Even thinking about ‘Confessions On A Dancefloor’ takes me back to a magical time in my life. 24 years of age and living my own version of ‘The Simple Life: Interns’ in NYC this album just fitted with my mindset at that time; even my MySpace page in a cringe-worthy fashion featured lyrics from “I Love New York” (presented without irony). My only real concerns were clubbing and making the most of the beautiful city I was blessed to call home; thinking back it’s hard to recognise that carefree person as it seems far removed from the person I am a decade later.

This was (for me) before the time of MP3s and iTunes and the morning of release I did my favo(u)rite trick as the PA to a prominent architect of announcing in an authoritative tone that I was going out on “errands”. Very rarely were there actual work related errands to be found and not once did anyone question me. My office was based in Soho and it was my mission to get my hands on a copy of this yet to be heard album and as soon as possible. This turned out to be a trickier task that planned as I marched the crisp streets of downtown Manhattan; none of the independent record stores in Soho or Greenwich or the West Village had received their deliveries yet. Eventually I reached the now defunct Union Square branch of Tower Records and handed over what was a sizeable chunk of my disposable income for Madge’s latest work of art. With a shaky hand I placed the disc into my Sony Discman and as I marched back downtown I instantly fell in love with Madonna’s return to disco music. THIS was what I’d been looking for. By this point I’d lived in my favourite city in the world for ten months and fallen in love with the likes of Le Tigre but finally I had a whole record that understood how I felt.

The buildup to its release had been intense; with no leaks the only indication of how the album would sound came from the lead single ‘Hung Up’ which seemed to send the clubs that I frequented wild. ‘Hung Up’ almost clashed with Halloween and I have brilliant memories of accidentally stumbling across a Madonna night at the Pyramid night club after the Motherfucker Party I had planned to attend had been shut down by police. I remember dancing on the stage whilst dressed as the bride of Dracula and tossing my bouquet over and over into the crowd as the Abba sample pulsated around the legendary club.

My most favourite place to go out dancing in the whole of New York was the weekly Saturday night dance party held at Luke+Leroys known as Misshapes. I was such a frequent attendee that I could swan in straight past the heaving crowds with the doorbitch Tomas just saying “hello English” as each week my head swelled bigger and bigger. The Saturday prior to the release of ‘Confessions On A Dancefloor’ I had two of my best friends visiting from the UK; and I had planned to take them to visit. However the night before had turned messy and when faced with the choice of another night out or staying in and eating chinese food and watching a horror film starring Freddy Krueger as a killer clothes press (you couldn’t make this up) we plumped for the latter.  I was dead to the world at 1am when the text messages started rolling in. “WHERE ARE YOU JAZ?”. “MADONNA IS DJING AT MISSHAPES”…. I don’t think I’ll ever recover from the disappointment though at least in this pre-selfie simpler time I probably wouldn’t have had any evidence to show for it even if I had have hauled my arse off the sofa.

There is not a dud on this album, and the Stuart Price format of a continuously segued album with each track running into the next seemed perfect for the time. I listened to it on repeat on my portable CD player; in this day and age I only seem to listen to it on shuffle on my iPod which just is not the same *makes mental note to listen to it properly tomorrow*.

It’s not even my favourite Madonna album; without a doubt that accolade goes to ‘Like A Prayer’; but whenever I listen to this one it transports me back in time. Is there any better place to be than 24 and living out all of your dreams? I’ll forever be grateful to Madge for providing me with my own time machine!

A lookback at Kylie Minogue’s Anti Tour


Three years ago this week St Kylie of Minogue really got into full swing with her #K25 celebration of her first quarter century in the music business by embarking upon the ‘Anti Tour’. With the Anti Tour Kylie trod where none of her peers would dare to by doing a handful of dates (in both Australia and the UK) in which she sang rarieties; b sides, album tracks and unreleased demos. Anyone who’s been to see Kylie live will be aware that these are not typically understated affairs, but Ms Minogue stripped all of this back to perform theatre venues with just a backing band and none of her usual embellishments. Except perhaps a small glitter canon. And few tiny lasers.

I was lucky enough to be in attendance at her one London date at the Hammersmith Apollo and it truly was a unforgettable evening. As (despite rumours to the contrary) it has never received a DVD release all that survives of the evening beyond my memories are a selection of YouTube clips and my much prized souvenir t shirt. As tricky as it is to sift through such a one of a kind performance I’ve tried to pick some of my absolute highlights below:


In the 25 years of Kylie fandom I’d experienced prior to this moment ‘Made In Heaven’ was the number one track I was desperate to see live. The only previous memory I have of the b side to number 2 hit single ‘Je Ne Sais Pas Pourquoi’ being performed live was at the 1988 Royal Variety Performance, and I’d nearly worn my taped-off-the-telly video cassette out I’d rewatched it so many times. Back in the heady days of the late 1980s my only way of listening to the audio was via my 7″ inch record; I was unable to listen to it via my Fisher Price cassette player as Queen Minogue had failed to include it on her 2 million selling debut album. Perhaps this omission has helped it to reach godlike status in my mind but whatever the reason this was an absolute highlight.


KYLIE! RAPS! This was my immediate thought when I first listened to Kylie’s 3rd album release ‘Rhythm of Love’ back in 1990. Rapping had previously been the exclusive domain of the People’s Minogue younger sister Dannii. Perhaps I was too young to know better but I genuinely thought her rap skills were second to none. Well except perhaps Betty Boo that is. The One Boy Girl rap has long since been an in joke amongst Kylie fans and thought of her performing this live seemed preposterous. But then the Anti Tour came along and blew all of our preconceptions out of the window: “Hey yo Kylie, wats up wit that one boy girl thing”. Classic!


An unused track from her 1998 classic ‘Impossible Princess’ album ‘You’re The One’ has never been commercially released and only exists in a very low quality scratchy leaked demo version. The fact that Kylie even acknowledged that her fans have enjoyed it over the years speaks volumes about her relationship with her fanbase and when she chose to sing this live it was such a special moment.


The only track from La Minogue’s 2010 album ‘Aphrodite’ not to be performed live on her epic Aphrodite: Les Folies World Tour. Co-penned by Minogue herself with Calvin Harris and Jake Shears from the Scissor Sisters it’s madness to me that this amazing song was overlooked as single choice. Classic Kylie. However it’s fun to see such a stripped down fun version. In terms of spectacle Aphrodite: Les Foiles set the benchmark for touring productions, I can’t imagine any of her peers ending a concert with a human water fountain; and the contrast between this performance style and the Anti Tour demonstrates Kylie’s versatility and comfort on stage.


The title track from Kylie’s 1989 sophomore album is in my top five Minogue tracks of all time. Never has the feeling a song gives you been so perfectly summed up by it’s title, pure joy from start to finish. However my 8 year old self could never understand why she sings ‘enjoy it’ on the chorus when the song is called ‘Enjoy Yourself’, and 26 years later I’m still confused. The perfect song to end the gig with this underrated classic is a pure adrenaline shot and I always blast it if I’m feeling blue. The reaction she got from the audience was so great that she even resurrected it for last year’s Kiss Me Once Tour. I defy anyone to listen to this song and not have a smile on their face.

My original review of the Anti Tour can be found here: http://www.virginmedia.com/music/features/kylie-minogue-anti-tour-review.php


What were your highlights? Comment below!

A Spotlight on the Arthur George range by Robert Kardashian

The Kardashian-Jenner dynasty have their immaculately manicured fingers in a lot of pies: fashion, haircare, cookbooks, make up, Olympic gold medals, diet pills, sex tapes, etc, etc but there was one vital area they had overlooked. Thank goodness for Richard Branson in the making Robert Kardashian Jnr and his Arthur George line of footwear. It’s not even slight hyperbole for me to admit that browsing the Arthur George website is one of my favourite uses of time, and I’m going to talk you through some of my favourites from the range.


1) Classy Bitch socks


Family matriarch Kris Jenner uploaded these beauties to her Instagram account earlier this week with the accompanying (alleged) quote from Coco Chanel “A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous”. If I were to visualise a classy, fabulous girl they would most certainly be wearing these on their feet and Coco definitely isn’t turning in her grave. 10/10

2) Smoke Weed socks


For my flatmate’s birthday I decided to splash out on pair of Arthur George socks for the lucky girl. Deciding which option to go for was the modern day gal’s equivalent of Sophie’s Choice but in the end I plumped for these beauties. Of all the things in the world a young professional woman would want written on the soles of their feet “smoke weed” is at the bottom of this list, so these won mainly for their surreal shock value. They had their intended result and she GASPED when opening the package. Gold star to me! 9/10

3) YOLO socks


If my favourite Momager wasn’t personally holding these YOLO socks (whilst sporting a Kardashian Kollection frock) they wouldn’t feature so highly on my list. Such a goddess. And with her hair styled in that fashion she is the living embodiment of YOLO so who better to model them? Get that 10% gurlfriend! 8/10

4) Rich Bitch socks


For me these socks evoke the golden era of elder sister Kim Kardashian-West; the halcyon days before she’d found fame in her own right and was still employed by former school friend Paris Hilton as a stylist. Looking back at pictures from that era it’s evident that she’d have swallowed bleach if it would have resulted in her replacing frenemy Nicole Richie in The Simple Life. That era really was the embodiment of the Rich Bitch era, a simpler time for us all. Please note Kim’s feet are not visible in the below picture so feel free to join me in imagining she is wearing these beauties to keep her ankles warm…. 7/10


5) ❤ My Boyfriend socks 


The reasons behind Rob’s break up with Rita Ora were much publicised at the time, mainly as a result of his Twitter rampage in which he accused her of cheating on him with over 20 men amongst other things. BUT. Perhaps the real reason was that he tried to coerce her into wearing these monstrosities? 1/10

If you’d like to purchase a pair for yourself they are available directly from http://www.agsocks.com/ 


A definitive ranking of the greatest Joans of all time.

I normally spend more time than the average girl of my age thinking about Joan Collins; but with her recent Damehood and guest spot on perhaps-the-greatest-television-show-ever-created ‘The Royals’ she’s been taking up an increasing amount of my brain space. What a woman. HUMBLE BRAG ALERT – I once met her and she calling me “dahhhhling” and told me I had a fabulous name.

BUT. What about the other women called Joan? There are a higher than average amount of amazing ladies with this seemingly unglamorous name, and luckily for you I’m going to rank them in order of their fabulosity rating:

5. Joan of Arc. An undisputedly bad ass 15th century bitch. An uneducated peasant girl who was burned at the stake aged 19 for her Catholic cross dressing anti-English ways which resulted in her posthumous Sainthood. Perhaps most pertinently she inspired Madonna’s 2014 album track from her ‘Rebel Heart’ album. A true unapologetic bitch.


4. Joan Cusack. A cursory glance at her Wikipedia page to check her filmography pretty much sums up all you need to know about the elder sister of John. What’s not to love about a woman who’s featured in Working Girl, Sixteen Candles, Addams Family Values, Confessions of a Shoppaholic, Say Anything AND Ice Princess?? If that didn’t win you over this hair do surely will…


3. Joan Rivers. The Queen of the E! Channel (sorry Kim) and the only woman able to outbitch Miss Piggy in the 1984 classic ‘Muppets Take Manhattan’. Since her sad death last year award season will never be the same again.


2. Joan Crawford. The original Mommie Dearest is the only actress thus far to accept her Academy Award from her sickbed (until I win one that is). That coupled with her penchant for making her adopted children experts at dirt removal surely makes her the patron saint of lazy girls everywhere? Born Lucille Le Sueur in an unconfirmed year Crawford quickly made it up the ranks from chorus girl to one of the most prominent movie stars of the Classical Hollywood era, and was the embodiment of a new age of glamour with her Adrian designed sharp shouldered jackets and red pout. Selflessly campaigned to put the wire coat hanger business into liquidation and her role in 1962’s classic ‘Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?’ inspired Cara Delevigne to stop plucking her unruly brows. Fact.


1. Joan Collins. My love affair with Ms Collins started in the 1980s when I’d (successfully) beg my Mother to let me stay up late and watch ‘Dynasty’. Dynasty was all I wanted from life and how I imagined my adult world would be. Joan as Alexis Morell Carrington Colby Dextor Rowan single-handedly inspired my love of red lipstick, veiled headwear and over dramatising EVERYTHING. She lives in a parallel world to us mere mortals and is perhaps our only remaining living link to a byegone age. Much like our official Queen the country would fall apart if anything were to happen to the goddess that is St Joan of Collins, so thank goodness that even at the age of 81 she shows no signs of slowing down.