Freelance Friday #6

A very brief Freelance Friday this week, containing just the one live review, and hence yet another opportunity to plug the very wonderful Maria McKee and her superb Late December album. On stage, Maria was all glammed up in Victorian vintage-boho-chic, all scarlets and beaded blacks, with a ribbon in her hair and a big rip on her jacket sleeve. She was in a good mood, chatting happily about her addiction for burning DVDs off the movie channels, and raving over the classic Nottingham movie Saturday Night Sunday Morning (as did Morrissey a few months ago, down at the Arena). I attended the show with the lovely Tina, whom I hadn’t met before, and who duly joins the Please Be My Plus One cc list. (She saw Captain Beefheart back in the day, you know. Several times. Big respect.)

Next week’s Freelance Friday promises to be a blockbuster, as I’ve got a whopping six pieces to bash out for t’local paper between now and Wednesday night, not to mention a phone interview with the trolley-dolly comedienne Pam Ann on Tuesday. Prepare yourselves for live reviews of Diana Ross and Bruce Foxton/Rick Buckler from The Jam; a 400-word review of the forthcoming Rufus Wainwright album (which I’ve just prised open, only to discover La Wainwright posing in lederhosen with his fingers stuffed down the front, straddling the comic-erotic divide in a really quite disturbing way); a 400-word review of the newly updated official Eurovision history book; and an extended preview of this year’s Eurovision finals (a tricky assignment, given that the copy deadline falls in advance of the Thursday qualifiers, but I shall bluff it and busk it as best as I am able).

Oh! And speaking of Eurovision, and blimey, isn’t it high time that I did: the customary song-by-song previews will be appearing on Troubled Diva over the next few days, in manageable chunks, whenever I can find the time. Maybe I just won’t sleep. In the meantime, hardcore devotees should proceed with all due haste to the various fan-blogs which are being posted live and direct by a diverse bunch of “accredited journalists” lucky bleeders from the rehearsals in Helsinki (City of Contrasts), even as we speak: OnEurope_Live (with video clips), All Kinds Of Everything, Schlagerblog and the photo-stuffed Helsinki ESCKaz. As for me, I’ve put down a tenner on Ukraine at 11-1, thus breaking my betting virginity.

Speaking of virginity-busting: I broke the Labour loyalist habit of a lifetime yesterday evening, by voting for the Lib Dems in the Nottingham City Council elections. And let me tell you, it felt good. (I’d go into more detail, but I don’t Do Politics on Troubled Diva. There’s a fine line between Expanding One’s Range and Exposing One’s Weaknesses.)

Nevertheless, and against all predictions, the Labour share of the votes in our ward increased, and two of the city’s eight Lib Dem councillors lost their seats (but happily, not Alex). Hey ho. We live to fight another day, my newly adopted brethren.

It’s going to be a busy weekend. Tinariwen at Leicester De Montfort tonight, and then a marathon journo-jam, interspersed with light gardening duties. Thank God for the Bank Holiday, and Thank K for accidentally booking a business meeting on Monday, thus leaving me free to bash the living daylights out of the laptop without feeling guilty about it.

Have a lovely Bank Holiday, readers. Doing anything nice?

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