17 Metres Of Clingfilm

More random musings from Fat Roland. On his mind this month (as far as we can tell) is Cabaret

AI Art directed by Mark Hall

A ‘Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret’ sounds exhausting and more than a little impractical. This was, of course, the title of Soft Cell’s debut album, which was released back in 1066AD, or at least a very long time ago.

Soft Cell were edgy, like a, erm, dodecahedron or something else with lots of edges. They put the “oral” into “morality”. They had leather jackets and sometimes moustaches, which definitely made them naughty. They probably had leather chaps too – by which I mean the suggestive clothing and not some random dudes made from cowhide.

Life was free and wonderful back then – unlike life today, which is full of disappointment and desolation, where all we have left are mortgages and psoriasis and The 1975. That said, a non-stop erotic cabaret would be too much for me.

The cabaret element is fun. Everyone loves a sing-song… and I don’t mind the erotic bit. You should see what I can do with 17 metres of clingfilm and a sink plunger. It’s the non-stop element I worry about. It would be great at first, but literally going on forever? All that dancing? All that writhing? Until the end of time?! The chafing would be terrible. No wonder their love got so tainted.

Electronic pop has had flashes of lipstick and eyeliner, none more so than with the energetic bleeps of Erasure. I’m still scandalised that they only had one solitary chart-topping single, but that’s for another column. There was also Brian Eno, who added a touch of feathery glam to Roxy Music, looking like a startled ostrich that had just coughed up a synthesiser.

Since then, electronic music has been unrelentingly miserable, like tax returns and rickets and, er, The 1975. Our pop stars have been reduced to dour duos being ironic in rain-soaked streets. Stoned synth-twiddlers in dimly lit student clubs. A gay cowboy straddling a glittery horse. Wait. That last one is Lil Nas X, the most cabaret human ever to exist. Maybe there is hope after all.

Introduce a cabaret spirit into your dreary life. Start by watching the 1972 film ‘Cabaret’, in which Liza Minelli plays a working-class rapper who finds his voice in freestyle rap battles on the tough streets of Detroit. Hmmm, I might be getting my films mixed up…

There are other ways to cabaretise your world. Only buy vinyl records if they’re neon pink. Only wear accessories made from leather, and yes I’m including contact lenses. Do random jazz hands, maybe while strimming your lawn or performing open-heart surgery. Or, next time you’re in a queue at the post office, start a dance routine like out of that film where everyone does the full monty. Can’t remember the title. I bet Marc Almond would remember, the naughty little dodecahedron-shaped sausage.

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