troubled diva  

My freelance writing can now be found at
Recently: VV Brown, Alabama 3, Just Jack, Phantom Band, Frankmusik, Twilight Sad, Slaid Cleaves, Alesha Dixon, Bellowhead, The Unthanks, Dizzee Rascal.

On Thursday September 17th, I danced on the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square.
Click here to watch, and here to listen.

Monday, May 01, 2000

We lectured... index of lecture notes.

From time to time, I'm asked to give lectures about the blogging phenomenon. These are my notes from each of the lectures.

Creative Collaborations conference, October 2005.
Lowdham Book Festival, July 2007.
Nottingham Trent University Creative Writing MA course, February 2008.


Saturday, April 01, 2000

We freelanced... index of reviews and features.

Go here for artist interviews.
Go here for gig reviews.


The Guardian: Eurovision 2009: A night of a thousand key changes.
The Guardian: Sleccy's vinyl countdown. (2009)
Slate magazine: America, Meet the Eurovision Song Contest. (2006)
LeftLion magazine: Gay Up Me Duck. (2008)
LeftLion magazine: Ours Was A Nice House, Ours Was. (2009)
Stylus magazine: Too Many Effing Drums. (2005)
Nottingham Evening Post: Eurovision preview feature. (2007)


Most of these pieces first appeared in the Nottingham Evening Post or Stylus magazine.

agnostic mountain gospel choir: ten thousand
ali farka touré: savane
athlete: beyond the neighbourhood
brett anderson: brett anderson
british sea power: do you like rock music?
bucks fizz: the very best of
datsuns: smoke & mirrors
defected presents: charles webster
duke special: songs from the deep forest
erasure: light at the end of the world
the eurovision song contest: the official history: john kennedy o’connor
george michael: twenty five
golden afrique vol.3
hard-fi: once upon a time in the west
hidden cameras: awoo
kevin ayers: songs for insane times
kevin ayers: the unfairground
lady sovereign: public warning
lcd soundsystem: sound of silver
lone: lemurian
lou reed: berlin (live dvd)
marc almond: stardom road
mountain goats: get lonely
mr. hudson & the library: a tale of two cities
queer noises 1961-1978: from the closet to the charts
rufus wainwright: does judy at carnegie hall
rufus wainwright: does judy! judy! judy! (dvd)
rufus wainwright: release the stars
sean lennon: friendly fire
the rascals: rascalize
ultimate eurovision party

stylus singles jukebox 2005: archive of reviews


Wednesday, March 01, 2000

We gigged... full index of professional reviews.

Most of these reviews first appeared in the Nottingham Evening Post.

ADULT., battant
agnostic mountain gospel choir, congregation
alison moyet
amp fiddler
amy winehouse, mr. hudson & the library
...and you will know us by the trail of dead
andy williams
animal collective
the automatic, mumm-ra
barry adamson
basement jaxx
the beat, neville staple
black kids, team waterpolo
black mountain
bonnie "prince" billy
boy george
british sea power, make model
bucks fizz, brotherhood of man
buena vista social club
bugz in the attic
chris brown (ft. rihanna)
crystal stilts, wet paint, the manhattan love suicides
david essex
diana ross
the dodos, euros childs
donny osmond
drive-by truckers
duke special
duran duran
dv8 physical theatre
easy star all-stars
euros childs
evan dando
fallout trust, computerman
the feeling
fionn regan
fleet foxes
from the jam (may 2007)
from the jam (dec 2007)
the futureheads
gary numan: replicas tour
get cape. wear cape. fly.
girls aloud
glasvegas (2008)
glasvegas, friendly fires, white lies, florence & the machine
the gossip
greg dulli & the twilight singers
guillemots, joan as police woman
hard-fi, the rumble strips
heavy trash, powersolo
here and now tour 2008
hidden cameras
the hold steady
holy fuck
hope of the states
human league, abc, heaven 17
i'm from barcelona
imogen heap
joan as police woman
joe lean & the jing jang jong
john barrowman
journey south
juana molina
kaiser chiefs, black kids, esser
ken dodd
la roux, heartbreak, magistrates, the chapman family
late of the pier, fan death (2008)
late of the pier (2009)
laura marling
laura veirs
lionel richie
liza minnelli
lorna luft
los campesinos!
manu chao
maria mckee
martha wainwright
maxïmo park, bombay bicycle club
mgmt, menomena
the musical box: selling england...
nouvelle vague, gabriella cilmi
nuru kane & bayefall gnawa
the orb
the osmonds
pam ann
piney gir
portico quartet, red, natalie duncan
public enemy
puppini sisters
rachel unthank & the winterset
the rascals
rhydian roberts
richmond fontaine
rodrigo y gabriela (2006)
rodrigo y gabriela (2007)
ryan adams & the cardinals
seasick steve
scissor sisters
secret machines
seth lakeman
show of hands
spiers and boden
the sugababes
system 7
telepathe, times new viking, rainbow arabia, icy demons
the temptations
the ting tings
twilight sad
the verve, reverend & the makers
victorian english gentlemens club, das wanderlust
white denim
will young
the x factor live
young knives, ungdomskulen


Tuesday, February 01, 2000

We wrote... the full index of favourite posts.

These are my favourite posts on Troubled Diva, from October 2001 to the present day.
The list does not contain any professional writing. As will soon become apparent...


25 favourite posts
2007: the year in blog
2007: the year in mike
2008: the year in mike
25 things to do: before i die
25 things to do: before you die
accommodating: the f-word
all time: fave singles
ambushed: by unexpected emotion
apotheosis of blog: 1a / 1b / 1c / 2 / 3
arbeit: macht frei
archbishop: sex shop scandal
are friends: electric?
are you: a proper blogger?
astrology: hmm (1) (2)
autographs: the collection
bands which: left me cold
battle: of the band aids
big nights out: what changed?
blending: with the english
blogging tips: for newcomers
best music: 07 / 06 / 05 / 04 / 03 / 02 / 01 / 00
blogmeets: popular myths dispelled
bobbly fruit & pillows: for whom?
bob dylan: suggested coping strategies
book review: 2005 blogged
boutique hotels: never again
boutique shag: squint squint squint
bridget riley: & wolfgang tillmanns
bt vision: diary of horror
carnet: parisien
celebrity angst: what to do?
civil partnership: london 2008
chino latino: get shum bongo
clapped out has been: yes or no?
conkers: bonkers!
conversation: with an 11 year old
cottaging: fond memories
crisp sharp edges: k's guest blog
cross butts: the aga was a godsend
cumberland hotel: i want my apples!
curvy: balls
daddy: what's sex?
dancing the hard house: on beer
do ya: think i'm sexy?
dreams: of returning
duckie: hula hoops & hoo-hahs
easter holiday: in numbers
emotional tailspin: inner retreat
fashion: sexy no-no's
famous people: i could be
fave albums: of the 1970s
first dance: at the disco
flush: of shame
future dream: shopping scheme
gay partnership rights: blah
gay up: me duck
general election 2005: 1 / 2
god-man: in the airport
grandad's on: the guest list
happy happy happy: splurge
hi i'm ken: gayest moment ever
hiking: to the gate
hit me: with your rhythm stick
how much: do you WHAT?
if wishes: were horses...
...beggars: would ride
i have bought: a pedometer!!!
if wishes: were horses...
inland empire: oh, the agony
iPods: feel the love
iPods: feel the pain
it's time: the tale was told
i was: that cabin boy!
john peel: and the "noble savage"
jongleurs: nottingham
latvian baywatch interlude: beaver patrol!
lit crit: bitch sesh
longnor nights: ronnie corbett ramble
magisterial: coruscations
membrillo: cottage style
me, dear 1: local media calleth
me, dear 2: good morning nottingham
memories: of the cerne giant
michael's big day: with "the creatives"
motoring: with mike and k
my desk: exhaustively annotated
my mummy: the movie star
my mummy: the vogue model
my week: barcelona business wonkery
naked diva: port in a storm (parody)
new dawn fades: failed space-age
nicholas hellen: the new serenata flowers
one night in: amsterdam
on this day: 1966/76/86/96
orange mivvis: wrong message?
petite anglaise: book review
philip pullman: the vignette
phuket nights: before the flood
political mike: what happened?
poofs & lezzers: in pop
popbitch: worst records
racist ducks: by request
recitatively yours: in beeston
regarding: regards
reiki: balancing me chakras, like
remove power: and we have nothing
resolution watch: happy endings
rvt: a diva perspective
sambuca drinking game: just DON'T
should gay men: give blood?
sky mirror: a sudden profusion
social smoking: who said oxymoron?
soft furnishings: a social history
songs: containing lists
spiked: a cautionary tale
statement: of jadedness
successes: and unknowns
sunshine, balance: and lurrve
swanky do: playing the game
tacky stab: celeb status
ta-dah: rough tasting notes
tales from: amsterdam: 1 / 2 / 3
tatchell/humphries: today howler
thatchenfreude: stuff of nightmares
the secret: gay signal
the thespian life: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5
the world won't end: 9/12
the year in blog: 2003
too many people: multiple mikes
through bad times: and good
trams: so this is hucknall?
trapped in a lift: priorities
trashy pop: a justification
trentbeat: the nottingham sound
tufts: and chuffs
unlikely: new interest
up for grabs: in both senses
vinyl countdown: re-learning the rituals
what i did: on saturday
when good cliques: go bad
whither: the political blog?
whore to culture: why opera bores me
why i like: queenie
working in paris: 5 stages
you lattay: i lartay


100 things about 100 bloggers which also apply to this blogger
defining vignettes of the 1980s
format firsts
hangzhou diary
nottingham, my nottingham
of seating plans, turtle doves and symphonies in watered silk
shaggy blog stories: the full story
stations of the diva
telegraph poles on snob alley
the 90 best singles of 2004, exhaustively described
vietnam diary
walking the forest path
which decade is tops for pops? (2009)
which decade is tops for pops? (2008)
which decade is tops for pops? (2007)
which decade is tops for pops? (2006)
which decade is tops for pops? (2005)
which decade is tops for pops? (2004)
which decade is tops for pops? (2003)
which is the best madonna album?
window into my world: the troubled diva pointlessly detailed journal theme week

(My professional gig reviews can be found here.)

!!! (chk chk chk)
basement jaxx, audio bullys
bay city rollers
the bellrays, the d4
beth orton, ed harcourt
bob dylan
brian wilson
bryan ferry
butterflies of love, tompaulin
chicks on speed
daevid allen
damo suzuki's network
datsuns, polyphonic spree, interpol, thrills
david bowie
doves, the coral
duran duran, goldfrapp
flaming lips
franz ferdinand, von bondies, the rapture, funeral for a friend
franz ferdinand, fiery furnaces
hidden cameras (2004)
jon spencer blues explosion
kevin ayers
kylie minogue
lemon jelly
madonna (2001)
madonna (2006)
the magic band, wreckless eric
manitoba, four tet
mark gardener
the music
neil diamond
omara portuondo
patti smith
pet shop boys
prince: o2 arena & aftershow
richard ashcroft
robert newman, mark thomas
rolling stones
scissor sisters, atomizer, readers wifes, synthetic pleasures
scissor sisters (the social)
scissor sisters, syntax, david wrench
scissor sisters, phoenix
smokey robinson
sons & daughters, vincent vincent & the villains, ralfe band
sophie ellis bextor
the streets, blackalicious
summer sundae festival (2007)
the thrills
ulrich schnauss
white stripes
yes (magnification)
yes (full circle)
yeah yeah yeahs


tallinn 2002: mike's estonian eurovision fiesta
riga 2003: the seven stages of eurovision
2004: previews
2005: previews
2005: too many effing drums (Stylus magazine)
athens 2006: backstage reports from rehearsals week
athens 2006: america, meet the eurovision song contest (
2007: previews
2009: a night of a thousand key changes (preview feature for The Guardian).
2009: collaborative liveblog


trodicast #3
trodicast #2
trodicast #1
notts dialect: a gay guide
boutique shag: squint squint squint
alphabetical: short story (context)
25 lines: lyrics quiz


1990-92: the social linchpin years
anglesey abbey: winter garden
banyan tree: phuket
barbara hepworth: sculptures
beyond limits 2008: chatsworth house
civil partnership: 2006
cottage garden (pdmg#1): 2003
cottage garden (pdmg#1): 2005 blurb
cottage garden (pdmg#1): 2005 pics
cottage garden (pdmg#1): 2007
manifold valley: easter stroll
mike's 40th party: 2002
nottingham guest team: george's 2004
stiles: of the white peak
thrill: to my tulips
trevor hall: jimmy's 70th birthday bash
vietnam pics: 2002
virtual tour: cottage
virtual tour: nottingham
virtual tour: blurb
xmas greetings: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6


big blogger 2005:
festival of blog
"last to be picked" champions league
fancy dress (and ill-advised drag)
my greatest pride...
... and my greatest shame
a tale for the little ones *
irrational fears & how to overcome them
the seven ages of mike
seven deadly sins of blogging
where are they now? *
seven stonkers & seven honkers
seven reasons why i don't want a dog
(* warning: contains in-jokes)

feeling listless:
review 2005: if it moves, rank it

guild of ghostwriters (hand-drawn):
When I Was A Little Boy...
The Professionals
(all three in one place)

my boyfriend is a twat:
troubled twat, or my boyfriend is a diva
popping out for meat

neil's wild years:
1993: doya do do do doya
1994: away with the fairies
1995: things they'll never see

finger food
hosting company from hell
enforced jollity
capsule review: blondie
fun facts about toilet paper
dry your eyes, mate
ah, barcelona

swisstoni's place:
earworms of the week

the art of noise:
conceptual art: king constantine
in the dock: the eurovision song contest
memories can't wait: new beginnings
5x5 (2006)
5x5 (2008)

the naked novel (a collaborative work of modern fiction):
chapter 3

the singles jukebox:
eurovision 2009: collaborative liveblog
blackout crew: dialled
demi lovato: don't forget
just jack: embers
shontelle/akon: stuck with each other
bela b ft charlotte roche, david guetta vs the egg, alesha, da buzz, the spinto band (august 2006)
laura lynn, kasabian, marisa monte, shanadoo (august 2006)
nadiya, beatriz luengo, ne-yo, the similou (july 2006)
paolo nutini, mcfly, franz ferdinand, plan b, sarah nixey (july 2006)
conjure one, the ordinary boys, rahat fateh ali khan, kapanga, lil wayne, taTu (february 2006)
tokio hotel, chris brown, elena paparizou, west end girls, the go! team (january 2006)
a-ha, cascada, remioromen, pharrell williams, richard hawley (january 2006)
arctic monkeys, ashlee simpson, belle & sebastian, cat power, mark owen, the veronicas (january 2006)
stylus singles jukebox 2005: archive of reviews
b-side special: will young, mcfly, busted, jose gonzalez, lemar, girls aloud, goldfrapp, embrace, the streets, ladytron, jamelia, teenage fanclub, sophie ellis-bextor, belle & sebastian, the delgados (november 2005)
towers of london, royksopp, the tears, charlotte church (june 2005)
shakin' stevens, jem, the long blondes, patrick wolf, bark psychosis (june 2005)
jojo, saint etienne, lcd soundsystem (june 2005)
faithless, mc lars, groove coverage, ben adams (may 2005)
oasis, turin brakes, jennifer lopez ft fat joe, black eyes peas, rob thomas, hot hot heat, javine, new order ft ana matronic, mylo, stevie wonder ft en vogue & prince, trick daddy ft ludacris, antony & the johnsons (may 2005)
system of a down, cliff richard, juliette lewis & the licks, gorillaz, kelly osbourne, doves, the futureheads, lemon jelly, the game ft 50 cent, hall & oates, praise cats ft andrea love (may 2005)
lucie silvas, the killers, the dears (may 2005)
battle, black rock ft debra andrews, athlete, destiny's child, raw bud vs roni size, the tears, le tigre, snoop dogg/justin timberlake (april 2005)
ja rule ft lloyd, tegan & sara, nine inch nails, the caesars, bodyrockers, hard-fi, the rakes, editors, kim lian, chemical brothers (april 2005)
feeder, elton john, the bees, garbage, kelis ft nas, vitalic (april 2005)
50 cent, natalie imbruglia, tom vek, mario, british sea power, million dead, dizzee rascal, the faders, roots manuva (march 2005)
G4, beck, shapeshifters, tony christie, gwen stefani ft eve, t.i, basement jaxx (march 2005)

tranniefesto ("collaborative dialogue"):
conversations of an email variety

channel 4 script editors
eat your neighbour
recipes of yesteryear
YAHNET acronyms
online enagement party: (1) (2)
a song from under the floorboards
chapter 8: pandora's inbox (start here)

wherever you are ("consequences"):
sorry, did that spoil it for everybody?


· Anna, D, Faustus, Mr.D, Noodle
· Lyle, Mr.D, qB, Robin
· Aunt Cyn, John, Mac, Quarsan
· Buni, Fiona, Mark, Melodrama, Zena
· Asta, Danny, Gordon, Martin, Venus
· best of guest month
· Alan, Ben, Buni, Mish, Nixon (1) (2) (3)
· blogging consequences: 26 guest posts


stylistic tic eradication week:
1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5

the shirt off my back project:
start · finish

the let's get more comments than wil wheaton project:
the diary · the comments

diva rhyming slang:
problem · solution

partners & weblogs:
poll · result

who's the w@nker:
1 · 2 · results

songs you have to hear:
a reader-compiled mix cd

the "can't be arsed to find my own links" competition
start · shortlist · result

the I Love Music 1000 UK Number Ones Poll:
final results

introducing a new acronym:
CBATG: can't be arsed to Google

meme aid:
the bloggers' disco · mix tracklists

write like a diva:
intro 1 · intro 2 · april 1st hissy fit · contestant 1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · votes · results

readership survey:
questions · results #1 · #2 · #3 · #4 · #5 · #6 · #7 · "most typical reader" contest · results

civil partnership caption competition:
photo · entries

trodicast caption competition:
photo · entries · results

the my boyfriend is a twat virtual book tour:
mr & mrs: zoe versus quarsan

the death of blogging poll:
what killed blogging?


1 The Au Pairs (66-68)
2 The Step-stepfather (94-96)
3 The Simulated Wank (85)
4 The Toy Store (80)
5 The First Single (71)
6 The Queeny Put-Down (99)
7 The First Hissy Fit (64)
8 The First Gay Club (82)
9 The Rent Boy (88)
10 The Heterosexual Phase (74)
11 The Lifestyle Switch (00)
12 The Empty Floor (87)
13 The First Poem (67)
14 The Amsterdam Weekend (91)
15 The First Time (79)
16 The Perfect Moment (94)
17 The Year In Berlin (83-84)
18 The Trade Years (94-98)
19 The First Memory (64)
20 The Anniversary Party (95)
21 The Incompetencies (62-02)
22 The Pricking Of The Bubble (73)
23 The Club Residencies (87-89)
24 The "Tales of the City" House (93)
25 The Musical Epiphany (76)
26 The Worst Thing I Ever Did To Anyone (86)
27 The Royal Procession (72)
28 The Parental Disclosure (89-90)
29 The Concept Albums (75-78)
30 The Romantic Obsession (75-78)
31 The Failure (81)
32 The Apotheosis of Queer (97)
33 The Shove From Above (93)
34 The Interrogation (78)
35 The Professional Rut (89-96)
36 The Rebirthday (79)
37 The First Boyfriend (83)
38 The "Catharsis Of Joy" (94)
39 The Funeral Address (99)
40 The Falling In Love (85)
+ The Summary, In Verse (by Anna)


Saturday, January 01, 2000

We interviewed... the full index.