Website M.O.T.

The talented Master Of Webs Mr Neil Scott has kindly upgraded the machinery behind this site, in the interests of vaguely keeping up with the Internet Joneses. Or at least, vaccinating against the latest security risks. So this now comes to you courtesy of WordPress 2.0.5. The new colour scheme for the diary entry box (which readers can’t see) looks a bit like one of those stylish notebooks from Liberty Of Regent Street’s Gift Room on the ground floor. So, many thanks for the Christmas present, Mr Scott.

One side-effect of the implementation appears to be a few recent entries inadvertently re-sent on the RSS feeds, looking like I’ve having November’s Beautiful & Damned all over again. In which case, please forgive such erroneous electronic burps as the new system’s stomach settles.


DE Mailing List – Dec Newsletter

Here’s the latest email sent to subscribers of the DE mailing list.


Dear Creature

At the moment, when people come up to me and ask “what do you do?”, I splutter and worry. I feel I’ve done next to nothing in the last year but loaf around, drink, consume, skulk in Highgate, wait for public transport, sit on public transport, moan, worry, and generally get upset.

Then I remember. There ARE a few things to mention where I’ve vaguely left my mark.

Tonight, Tuesday Dec 5th, BBC1, 10.35pm. “Imagine”.
The producer assures me that I AM appearing on this BBC documentary about blogging, talking about being an online diarist for nine years and counting, and how anyone else who has a blog started after 1997 is frankly copying my idea.

Out now in bookshops. Edited by Rowan Pelling. Published by the 20-year old independent Dedalus Books. It’s a white gift-book style hardback with an Aubrey Beardsley woman on the front, plus a shiny gold spine. I’ve contributed an account of my trip to Tangier with Shane MacGowan, plus a set-list from my club night Beautiful & Damned, plus a photo of me with Anne Pigalle, walking a lobster. It’s £15 RRP, but I’m told you can order a discounted copy for £13.50 including p&p by phoning 0845 458 9910 and asking for ‘The Dickon Edwards Offer.’ Or buy it at Amazon.

“The book is an antidote to bland modernity…includes contributions from contemporary libertines such as Dickon Edwards (pictured left with pet lobster), to the godfathers of decadence – The Earl of Rochester. J.K.Huysmans and Oscar Wilde. Five stars.”
– The Leeds Guide Book of the Fortnight

“…’El Hombre Indelible’ by Dickon Edwards has a wonky charm of its own….”
– The Daily Telegraph.


Date: Thursday 21st December. Times: 9pm to 12.30am. Venue: The Boogaloo, London N6.
“Unmissable!” – Time Out.
“A divine London night out” – The Penny Magazine.
This month’s club will include a few of the classier and less painful Christmas songs by the likes of Ms Garland, Mr Sinatra, Ms Day, the Cocteau Twins, Big Star, and the Carpenters.


Buy online.

Scarlet’s Well are a fantastic baroque-pop band fronted by Bid, formerly of The Monochrome Set. I can heartily recommend all the Scarlet’s Well albums; they’re little treasures of secret joy. On their latest release, “Black Tulip Wings”, I’ve written the lyrics to a Gilbert & Sullivan-esque song called “Narcissus In The Maze”. Hearing a musical hero such as Bid sing my lyrics is a complete dream come true.

VARIOUS – THE KIDS AT THE CLUB (How Does It Feel Records)
Buy online.

I also have my own band, Fosca. We’ve been releasing albums and gigging for years. John Peel played us. We’ve got fans who make their own videos for Fosca songs (now on YouTube). The next Fosca album is still a work in sporadic progress, due to my spiralling anxiety and general bouts of minor ill-health, physical or mental. But in the meantime, you can hear us on “The Kids At The Club”, a compilation of current indiepop bands. Fosca contribute a track from the current sessions, “I’ve Agreed To Something I Shouldn’t Have”, which is about as straight-ahead indiepop as we get. The rest of the new album will be more… deviant. A quick Google reveals that the track has been played on a number of radio stations from Texas to California to Germany, Portugal, France and Sweden. It’s great when you get emails asking when you’re playing Austin, Texas, but also rather frustrating. The answer is, “when we get some kind of decent backing in our own country”. Will that ever happen with Fosca? Well, let’s get the album done first.

As of this month, you can download Fosca songs legally from the iTunes Store. This includes both albums and “The Kids At The Club”.

I contribute a smattering of film reviews for the monthly alt-music magazine Plan B, edited by Everett True.

Finishing the Fosca album… writing more lyrics for Scarlet’s Well and the composer Martin White… writing stories… possible lyric-writing work with various different London characters… “The Dickon Edwards Songbook”… moping about the British Library… trying to stay healthy, energetic and staving off the sadness and madness… trying to do more as opposed to just thinking about doing more…

I’ve also spent a lot of time enjoying the works of others. Here’s some favourite things of 2006:

FILMS: Breakfast On Pluto, Capote, The History Boys, The Queen, Red Road, Wild Tigers I Have Known, Brothers Of The Head.

DVDs: Happy Endings, Oh! What A Lovely War, Peep Show Series 3, Doctor Who (2006 series).

ALBUMS: Xiu Xiu ‘The Air Force’, Dresden Dolls ‘Yes, Virginia’, Hidden Cameras ‘Awoo’, Doris Day ‘Darling: Songs From The Films’, Joanne Newsom ‘Ys’, Jarvis Cocker ‘Jarvis’, Tender Trap ‘6 Billion People’, Morrissey ‘Ringleader Of The Tormentors’, Final Fantasy ‘He Poos Clouds’, The Organ ‘Grab That Gun’, Elizabeth Taylor ‘In London’, Maria Friedman ‘Now And Then’,

AUDIOBOOKS: Alan Bennett – ‘Untold Stories Parts 3 & 4’, ‘That Mitchell & Webb Sound’

BOOKS: Pat McCabe ‘Winterwood’, Jake Arnott ‘Johnny Come Home’, Karina Mellinger ‘A Bit Of A Marriage’, Tony O’Neill ‘Digging The Vein’, Herbert Rosendorfer ‘Grand Solo for Anton’, Rupert Everett ‘Red Carpets and Other Banana Skins’, Sarah Waters ‘The Night Watch’, The Dedalus Book Of Finnish Fantasy, The Portable Edgar Allen Poe (Penguin – 2006 Edition), Sophie Parkin ‘Best Of Friends’.

GIANT MECHANICAL ELEPHANT: The Sultan’s Elephant, London.

Thanks for reading this,

Mr Edwards


Beautiful & Damned Reminder

Dear Creature (if you’re in London)

Last call for this.

Tomorrow night, right near Highgate tube. Oh, the RELIEF it exists!

Date: Thursday 23rd November
Times: 9pm to 12.30am.
Venue: The Boogaloo, 312 Archway Road, London N6 5AT, UK. 020 8340 2928.
Tube: Highgate (Northern Line). Buses: 43, 134, 263.
Price: Free entry, but do please dress up.

More information on the News page.


A reminder that this month’s Beautiful & Damned night is next THURSDAY, Oct 19th.

Date: Thursday 21st October
Times: 9pm to 12.30am.
Venue: The Boogaloo, 312 Archway Road, London N6 5AT, UK. 020 8340 2928.
Tube: Highgate (Northern Line). Buses: 43, 134, 263.
Price: Free entry, but do please dress up. Cocktails for the best dressed.

Full description on the DE News page.


Beautiful & Damned – Last Call

Quick reminder that this month’s Beautiful & Damned night is this THURSDAY.

Recently featured in Time Out magazine’s special on ‘Secret Scenes: The hottest underground trends and subcultures in the capital today.’

Date: Thursday 21st September
Times: 9pm to 12.30am.
Venue: The Boogaloo, 312 Archway Road, London N6 5AT, UK. 020 8340 2928.
Tube: Highgate (Northern Line). Buses: 43, 134, 263.
Price: Free entry, but do please dress up. Cocktails for the best dressed.
“Unmissable!” – Time Out.
“A divine London night out” – The Penny Magazine.
With its proud motto of ‘Never Knowingly Underdressed’, The Beautiful And Damned now includes silent movies like ‘Pandora’s Box’ screened on a backdrop to illustrate one’s dancing or conversation. A timezone-jumping decadent disco curated (as opposed to ‘DJ’d’) by Mr Dickon Edwards and Miss Red, the B&D encourages patrons to dress up in their own take on period glamour, ideally with a nod to the styles of the 1920s & 1930s, though anything more stylish than the ubiquitous Old Street fashions is welcome. Cigarillos, braces, tweeds, beads, silk scarves, summer dresses, unforgiving teddy bears, Pimms & high hats.
Drink, dance, and ponder the nights tenderness to an eclectic but discerning mix of Sinatra (Frank & Nancy), Strauss waltzes, soundtracks, musicals, El Records, Peggy Lee, Doris Day, Gilbert & Sullivan, Ella Fitzgerald, Dory Previn, Bugsy Malone, Cabaret, Chicago, deviant disco, shadowy soul, parvenu pop, insouciant indie, and easy listening for difficult children.


File Under What?

I am featured in Time Out this week, Page 32 for those of my friends who like to browse in newsagents. I would scan it in to feature here, but I don’t have a scanner. Add that to the Inside Out and Enfield Advertiser features and I’m building up a bit of a clippings backlog for the day I finally procur such a device.

Anyway, it’s as part of a themed issue on London’s New Scenes. The heading for my section is ‘Freak Or Unique’.

Ms S from the magazine, who organised the piece, tells me she’s mortified about this description, saying this was her editor’s heading, not hers, and that she fought against it. She’d wanted ‘London’s Coolest Subcultures’, but he clearly thought ‘Freak Or Unique?’ was better.

I don’t mind; it’s more eye-catching, I suppose. And I’d certainly never call myself cool. Though while I admit myself and the person in the next photo, a Kash Point & Anti-Social regular called Molaroid, appear freakish enough to many, perhaps it’s a bit unfair on the others in the feature, Olly Hodgson and the Stitch And Bitch knitting club ladies. They’re wearing jeans and trainers and look entirely un-freakish. Maybe they’re more ‘unique’ than ‘freak’.

I suspect the editors in question were trying to find a more interesting way of saying ‘London Scenes: Other’, after the preceding features on women’s boxing, performance poetry and so on.

But of course, filing me under simply ‘Other’ is closer to the mark than anything else. I’ve always felt ‘Other’ in most settings.


Things at 35

So much in my head. Where to start? Where to stop? Write it down, that’s all that matters.

Tomorrow, Sunday Sept 3rd, is my 35th birthday. I shall be marking this unpleasant event with a few drinks at The Boogaloo, from about 7pm. Consider this your invitation, Kind Reader.

The next Beautiful & Damned is on Thursday Sept 21st. The Boogaloo, again. Do come – and do dress up. More info on the News page. Recently, the club was featured in a local newspaper, the Enfield Advertiser, with interview quotes and a nice photo of me. I would scan it in, but I don’t have a scanner. About time I bought one, really.

I’m performing one epic Fosca song, ‘File Under Forsaken’, at the H-Bird event on Sept 18th at the Betsey Trotwood, 56 Farringdon Road, EC1. Charley Stone is accompanying me on guitar, just as she did on the Fosca recording.

Fosca are still tinkering away on the new album, “The Painted Side Of The Rocket” before playing further concerts. Though the end is in sight. The album is now being made on a Mac as opposed to a PC, so we’ve had to transfer all the bits from the earlier sessions. And Tom’s bought a more expensive vocal microphone, so I’m redoing most of my vocals.

What else? I’m featured in the current issue (September 2006) of ‘Inside Out’ magazine. It’s one of those ‘Homes and Gardens’-type lifestyle publications. I think the target market is people with well-paid jobs who own their own properties and spend lots of money on making them look nice. So having me in there, a technically unemployed man with less than no money at all, who rents a furnished bedsit, must surely be the height of perversity for the editors. But I’ve always been good at bringing out the perverse in people. I specialise in making darts pause in mid-flight.

My photo caption is “Dickon Edwards: Dandy, 34, London”. It’s in a piece on people who live out of time or somesuch. Nice colour photo of me standing before my landlady’s curtains, as if they’re theatrical curtains. Which makes sense: in the interview I describe the bedsit as a dressing-room with the world as my stage.

The photographer left behind his big silvery flash reflector, collapsed and zipped up in a flat circular canvas case. I phoned him to impart this information about a month ago. He still hasn’t collected it. Perhaps he’d rather lose the reflector than speak to me again. When he was taking my photo, his phone rang. A job from the Guardian. He must be far too busy and rich to even pick up his own equipment.

This week I’m going to be photographed by Time Out for a feature on ‘New London Scenes’ or somesuch.

Soon after that I’m going to be filmed by BBC1’s ‘Imagine’ programme talking about why people keep diaries on the Internet. The programme is called ‘Here Comes Everybody’, which pleased me – a nice little James Joyce reference.

I’m also writing up a lengthy interview with Shane MacGowan for a magazine. It’s a cover feature, and – whisper it – I’m actually getting PAID. Perhaps the real world has finally let me in, one step at a time. Happy Birthday, indeed.


Fosca on “The Kids At The Club” CD

Fosca have a brand new song on a compilation album that’s just out now, “The Kids At The Club”. It’s been put together by former Melody Maker scribe and club promoter (and now label owner) Ian Watson, and is connected with his club “How Does It Feel To Be Loved”. There’s a been a healthy amount of praise for the album from quarters of the press and various radio DJs.

The Fosca song, “I’ve Agreed To Something I Shouldn’t Have”, is tucked away at the end, just before a wonderful track by the group Suburban Kids With Biblical Names, whose music manages to be as impressive as their name. The other bands include Tender Trap, whose singer Amelia Fletcher made me the man I’m not today, and I’m From Barcelona, a rather splendid Swedish indiepop choir named after a Fawlty Towers catchphrase. The video for their song is terrific and quirky in a Napoleon Dynamite way, or creepy in a Waco-esque religious cult way, depending on your mood. But do take a look at it at YouTube, it’s quite striking:

The Fosca song has far too many guitars on it, but works quite well as a grumpy pop anthem for strange children. I get to play a Wedding Present-like guitar solo at the end, too.

It’s going to be a while before the Fosca album proper comes out due to no small dilly-dallying on my own part, so this is technically the only Fosca release for the time being. I do hope you’ll buy it, Dear Reader. It’s worth buying. Also included is an eight page booklet, with sleeve notes and photographs from the first four years of HDIF.

Full details about “The Kids At The Club” and instructions for purchasing it online can be found at:


Boogaloo tonight – Indie Comedy Night

Short notice, I know, but tonight at the Boogaloo there’s an ‘indie comedy night’, The OK Club. Nothing to do with me, but I feel obliged to publicise it as the venue’s Ambassador, and I’d like to see more live comedy at The Boogaloo. As long as it’s not the usual ‘trouble with airline food / difference between men and women’ drivel.

I’m also plugging this because Josie Long asked me to, and I think she’s fantastic. She was handing out flyers for this at the Latitude Festival.

So the aforementioned excellent comic Ms Long is hosting the night. Robin Ince is also mentioned as appearing, but given he’s also doing his solo Edinburgh show in Luton the same night, it’ll be interesting to see if he manages to do The Boogaloo as well. The Thameslink to Luton is very fast, but even so…

Anyway, I’ll be there.

Here’s the flyer details:
The OK Club: live comedy, music & DJs. Theme: “My Favourite Mix Tape”.
Thursday 27th July. Starts 7pm. £3 entry.
Venue: The Boogaloo, 312 Archway Rd, N6 5AT. Next to Highgate tube.


Beautiful & Damned – July

The July Beautiful & Damned, last Thursday, starts slow but ends pretty well, with a decent amount of happy dancing people. The barbecue is cancelled, as the people organising it are convinced it’s going to rain that night. I go along with their fears and say fair enough, as I’m not the one who has to light the thing and serve the food. Of course, it then completely fails to rain. Still, if I’d been proven wrong in the other direction – the barbecue going ahead on my insistence and it raining – it would have looked far worse for me. A case of choosing the lesser of two evil outcomes.

Mr MacGowan & Ms Clarke turn up and dance. I’m wearing a white shirt, braces and one of the bow ties kindly donated by The General. Seems far too hot to wear a jacket, so I’ve gone to town with my hair by way of compensation, heavily slicking it down so it looks drawn onto my head in proper 1920s style. Mr MacGowan points out that HE’S happily wearing a black jacket, black shirt and tie, and is not bothered by the heat. “You’re a dandy lightweight!”

Meanwhile in Cardiff this week, sweltering skin-baring shoppers watch David Tennant running around in a full suit, as filming goes on for the Doctor Who Christmas Special. If both Doctor Who and Shane MacGowan can wear suit jackets in this heat, there’s really no reason I should let the side down. Besides, the Boogaloo is well air-conditioned these days.

Earlier, when I describe the night to Mr MacGowan, he replies, “So it’s a Fag Rock night, then?”

Well, who am I kidding. On one level, I suppose it is. But I like to think it can also be cool, or friendly, or strange, or camp, all depending on what angle you look at a club that plays Doris Day and showtunes next to David Bowie, Sinatra and the Divine Comedy.

This month we try out showing silent movies, projected upon a screen at one end of the room. It’s feared among the staff that people might just sit and watch the films rather than dance or chat to each other, but this proves ungrounded. I think if the film is black and white and comes with its own vintage caption cards (as opposed to subtitles), and is actually designed to be seen with music in the first place, people don’t find it off-putting to their dancing or conversation. The film illustrates the club’s music, rather than the other way around. Tonight we screen ‘Pandora’s Box’ and ‘Piccadilly’.

Also present: David Barnett & his mother, Anna S, Suzi L, Robin & Ellen, Emma Jackson, Anneliese, Ms Red’s Mr Ollie, Ms Hazel, Ms Mary. I meet a couple from Canada who are absolutely thrilled with the night.

El Records have accidentally sent me two review copies of their new Doris Day compilation, ‘Darling’, so it seems fitting to offer my spare CD as an extra prize for the best-dressed people there, in addition to the usual cocktails. The Canadian young lady is well turned-out in 20s garb, and I’m feeling ambassadorial, so the CD goes to her. I point out to her that El Records is a gem among UK indie labels. These days it puts out classy compilations and rare albums of classic artists, such as the Elizabeth Taylor In London album. None of your tacky TV-advertised compilations cashing in on a dusty old song used in some yoghurt commercial. El Records CDs are made to be seen with in public.

The cover photo of ‘Darling’ is typically unusual in the El Records way: an early shot of Doris looking unrecognisably young and girlishly sexy, as opposed to the more common later photos where she’s faux-virginal and camp. It’s Doris Day before she became ‘Doris Day’.

Mr O’Boyle suggests I play ‘Fiesta’ by the Pogues, and it works surprisingly well. I also spin both versions of ‘Beyond The Sea’, ie M. Trenet’s ‘La Mer’ as well as Mr Darin’s hit. During ‘One’ from ‘A Chorus Line’, Ms Red – who is an experienced musical actress as well as my fellow DJ – performs a proper leg-kicking dance with her boyfriend Mr Ollie. People applaud.

Noel Coward’s ‘The Party’s Over’ makes a pretty good closer, but I’m asked for a DJ encore. Cue yet more selections from ‘Bugsy Malone’, ending with Doris Day’s ‘Secret Love’. Emma J tells me she knows all the words to ‘Deadwood Stage’ from ‘Calamity Jane’, and promptly recites them to me on the spot. The whole song.

I’m disappointed that there’s many men in attendance who haven’t bothered to dress up at ALL tonight, but Ms Lou tells me the bar takings are the highest for a B&D night so far, and I like to keep the venue happy. It’s a dress recommendation, not a dress code enforced on the door. I don’t want to turn casually-dressed people away if they’re not giving the dressed-up dandies any trouble.

Still, I do wish I could convince more men to make the effort in their attire. I never have any trouble getting women to dress up. I suppose I could literally shout at the offending gentlemen like Matthew G does at ‘Kash Point’ (“How DARE you come to MY club in JEANS and a T-SHIRT! How DARE you!”). But no, that be rather out of character.

I do tell them off when they ask for requests, though. Albeit with a harmless smirk.

“Got any Etta James?”
“I’ll tell you when your clothes are worthy of an answer.”

Next month’s Beautiful & Damned is on Thursday August 17th. For the silent movies, I’ll screen ‘Metropolis’ and something with Ms Garbo, I think.