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February 2021 Archive
28.02.21 > An A to Z of Katie
If ever you find yourself needing to describe Katie to someone, then AAK as always is here to the rescue! This is my little Katie thesaurus. Learn it by heart and you'll never be stuck for words!
27.02.21 > The Adventures of Bad Katie - Episode 8
Bad Katie almost meant it when she told her mother she was going out for a run. It was such a beautiful morning, and she was wearing her expensive new golden tracksuit with matching jewel-encrusted trainers, which she was hoping would wow onlookers. She had been given it by a wealthy admirer and thought an Instagram pic of her wearing the outfit would bump the price right up before she put it on eBay. But by the time she had jogged to the end of the street she had already muttered “sod this” and hailed a cab.
The cab pulled in beside her and she hopped in.
The driver looked at her in the rear-view mirror and groaned. “Oh no, not you again.”
“Hi Arnie, how are you?”
“Why are you calling me Arnie?”
“Cos’ you keep coming back.”
Arnie sighed and wondered if the job at the fish-gutting factory was still going. “Where to miss, I mean ma’am?”
She decided a leisurely stroll back through the park would get her home at about the right time. “Oh, far side of the park. Drop me off at the North Gate.”
She sat back in her seat and gazed out of the window. It had been raining hard overnight and there was a huge puddle of standing water in the gutter ahead. Then she spotted a policeman was approaching it on the pavement. “Hey Arnie, drive closer to the kerb.”
“It’s Eric,” said Arnie. Or rather, Eric.
“Whatever. Just do it. Quick, or I’ll get you to take me to Bognor Regis for a day trip.”
Eric swerved in towards the side of the road and his cab ploughed through the standing water, soaking the poor policeman with a blanket of cold water.
Bad Katie took several quick fire photos and then shrieked with glee. “Wicked! Nice one, Arnie.”
Eric shook his head. “Have you considered getting help, ma’am?”
“Actually, I have,” said Bad Katie. “I’m getting someone else to write the lyrics on the next album. Might even get someone to write the music as well.”
“I thought you liked to write your own songs?”
“Oh, I’d take the credit for them, obviously. It would be in the small print of their contract to say it was my work. No one ever reads the small print.”
“You are one wicked lady, ma’am.”
“Aw, thanks, Arnie. Now get a move on, I’m feeling peckish and that café in the park has a special on bacon triple cheeseburgers before eleven.”
Crispin and Annie were sat on their usual bench in the park. They spent so much time there they called it the ‘crispie bench’. Crispin was a retired writer who had fallen on lean times. Annie was a former academic with a keen interest in everything that had suddenly woken up one morning and decided she could no longer be arsed to do anything. She was never able to really explain what had changed in her life, though it probably is no coincidence it happened the day after a dead squirrel fell out of a tree and hit her on the head. Crispin met Annie in a soup kitchen and they discovered they had a shared passion for sitting in the park all day doing nothing, so they began doing nothing together.
“Wonder what the time is,” mused Annie.
“Quarter past ten,” said Crispin.
“How do you know?” said Annie. “You haven’t got a watch.”
“Here comes Shrek.”
Crispin nodded towards a fat, middle-aged guy jogging towards them, panting heavily.
“Why do you call him Shrek?”
“Cos of those massive headphones he wears. Like big ears.”
“Oh. But why does that mean it is quarter past ten?”
“He runs past here same time every morning. Just after the church clock has chimed quarter past, and the bells rang ten times on the hour.”
“How observant you are!”
“Curse of being a writer. You just observe everything. Like the fact that Shrek probably won’t run past tomorrow.”
“Because that kid on the bike coming at him from the side is too busy staring at his phone to notice him. There’s going to be a pile up.”
Moments later there was general mayhem at the path crossroads. A solitary bike wheel rolled past them and passers-by ran to the scene in order to get pics of the carnage for their social media accounts.
Crispin sighed. “Like I said, a curse. Wish I could just sit here for once and not notice anything.”
“Well, you don’t seem to have noticed Golden Girl,” said Annie.
Annie gestured to a young woman in a glitzy gold outfit ambling towards them from the opposite direction.
Crispin took a long drag of his spliff and handed it to Annie. She passed him the bottle of finest Georgian red wine in a paper bag in return.
The woman drew level with them and stopped. “Ooh, do I whiff ganja?”
“What, undercover policewoman are you?” said Annie/
Bad Katie laughed raucously. “Couldn’t afford this outfit on those wages! I’m a singer. Mind if I join you?”
Annie eyed her suspiciously. Crispin shrugged and shuffled along the bench. Bad Katie sat down between them. She pointed at the spliff. “May I?”
Annie was still eyeing her suspiciously. Bad Katie removed the spliff from her fingers anyway and took a long drag, then offered it to Crispin in exchange for the wine. She gave the top a cursory wipe with her sleeve before taking a few deep gulps. “Wow! Saperavi! You old goats have taste.”
“Singer, eh?” said Annie. “What’s your name?”
“Never heard of her.”
“Well, you wouldn’t have done if you spend your whole life here getting paralytic.”
“I’ve heard of her,” said Crispin.
“Really?” said Bad Katie.
“Really?” said Annie.
“Yes, she used to be a singer for that Womble bloke.”
“It wasn’t for him, Grandad. I was his prodigy. And I still am a singer, and a very respected and sought after one at that.”
“And very easy on the eye too.”
Bad Katie eyed him warily. “Don’t get any ideas, Gandalf.”
Annie sniggered. “Don’t worry, he hasn’t had a good idea in years. He used to be a writer you know.”
“Really. I like reading,” said Bad Katie. “Or is it Reading? Always get the two mixed up. Anyway, you write anything I’d know?”
“Maybe,” said Crispin half-heartedly.
“No,” said Annie emphatically.
“Oh. Well I had Nine Million Bicycles. Surely you’ve heard that?”
“What on earth for?” said Annie. “Why did you need so many. Couldn’t you have bought a car instead?”
Bad Katie frowned and studied her, trying to decide if she was a couple of fleas short of a circus.
“Just ignore her,” said Crispin, and handed Bad Katie the spliff. “I’ve found it the best strategy.”
Bad Katie had another long drag and washed it down with a glug of wine. “Well, I could get used to this life….”
Half an hour later, Bad Katie and her new friends were sat munching on the bacon triple cheeseburgers that she’d kindly decided to treat them to. And she was still up on the deal, having paid with a twenty pound note she’d found outside the café. Crispin had rolled a couple more spliffs while she was fetching the burgers and Annie had fished another bottle of red out of her moth-eaten bag for life. It seemed like the three of them were settling in for a chilled afternoon.
Then Bad Katie’s phone pinged. She fished it out of her pocket and swiped it, leaving a nice trail of melted cheese. “Bugger,” she said, and gave the phone a quick wipe on Crispin’s sleeve.
“Kids today,” bemoaned Annie. “Can’t go five minutes without beeping at each other with their little gadgets.”
“Sugary shards,” cursed Bad Katie.
“Trouble, dear?” said Crispin.
“Oh, I forgot I’m meant to be baby-sitting for a friend this afternoon. I was hoping to have a good mooch around the art gallery. There’s this hot guy works there as a guide on Mondays.”
Bad Katie stuffed her phone back in her pocket, folded her arms, and stared into space moodily.
“Never mind,” said Crispin, and offered her a spliff. Bad Katie gratefully accepted the offer, and graciously received the wine Annie offered her. She sat in silence for a while, broodily puffing and guzzling. Crispin and Annie joined her in melancholy contemplation.
Suddenly, Bad Katie perked up. “How long will you guys be parked up here for?”
“Usually till they close the gates at dusk,” said Annie.
“Excellent!” said Bad Katie. She leapt to her feet. “Have to go. Thanks for the wine and weed. Take care. See you later!”
She set off walking purposefully, leaving Crispin and Annie to their normal state of lethargy.
“Did any of that actually just happen?” said Annie eventually.
“Any of what?” said Crispin.
A couple of hours later, a glamorous lady in a sparkly dress and high-heeled boots walked up to Crispin and Annie. The woman had a small boy with her. He was clutching her hand dutifully and looked bored shitless.
“Hi guys, it’s me,” said the woman.
“Me who?” said Annie.
“No, Melua. Katie Melua. Remember, we met this morning!”
“Did we?” said Annie, confused.
“Course we did,” said Crispin. “The hot girl in the gold outfit. Bought us lunch. Used to be a singer.”
Annie frowned. “Nope.”
Crispin rolled his eyes and shook his head. He gazed at Bad Katie, all made up and dressed up. “You’re even hotter than I remember.”
Bad Katie winked at him. “And I’m still a singer. Look guys, I need a favour.”
“Anything for you, Casey,” mumbled Crispin.
“What’s in it for us?” said Annie.
Bad Katie handed her a carrier bag. Annie grabbed it and peered inside. It contained a couple of bottles of Georgian wine and and a small packet of something probably rather dubious.
“Deal,” said Annie.
“What do you need, Kerry?” said Crispin.
Bad Katie lifted the small boy up and sat him down on the bench between the grizzled old-timers. “This is Connor. I just need you to look after him for a few hours. I’ll be back for him later, thanks.”
Crispin gazed at Connor. “Your mum is bloody lovely,” he said.
“I’m not his mother, you goon,” said Bad Katie.
Connor started sobbing.
Bad Katie pulled a bag of fizzy fishes from her purse and shoved them into the boy’s hands.
“Be a good boy Connor, these nice people will look after you,” lied Bad Katie. “Right guys, must dash, thanks a million!”
Connor started laying in to his sweets.
Annie ruffled his hair vigorously. “Don’t you worry lad, Auntie Annie will take good care of you.”
When Connor’s mother returned home she found her son lying on the living room carpet pointing at the ceiling and chanting “my god, it’s full of stars”. Bad Katie was asleep in an armchair, her lipstick smeared and hair a mess.
Bad Katie slowly woke up. “Oh, hi Paula. Did you have a good day?”
“Well, better than you by the looks of things. You look like you’ve been dragged backwards through a hedge, poor thing. Has Conn given you a hard time?”
“Oh no, no. He’s been good as gold. Little angel!”
“Really? That’s not like him. And what is he doing? Why is he saying the ceiling is full of stars?”
Bad Katie shrugged. “No idea. He’s been doing that since we got home.”
“Got home? Have you been out?”
“Oh, just took him for a walk in the park, you know, feed the ducks and stuff.”
“Ah, well, maybe that explains it. He’s not used to fresh air. Spends most of his time playing computer games.”
Paula crouched down beside her son. “Hi Conn, are you okay?”
“Far out, man,” drawled Connor.
“What? Why are you talking like that?”
“Chill, man. Auntie Annie showed me a real good time.”
“Annie?” Paula looked at Bad Katie. “Who’s Annie?”
Bad Katie laughed. “Oh, we’ve just been role playing, that’s all. He’s been calling me Annie and I’ve been calling him Crispin.”
“Uncle Crispin’s a cool dude,” said Connor.
“Uncle Crispin?” Paula looked at Bad Katie again.
Bad Katie shrugged. “Kid’s got some imagination, I’ll give him that.”
Paula sniffed. “What’s that strange smell?”
Bad Katie looked innocent. “Dunno. He was fooling around near a choisya bush. Maybe the scent rubbed off.” She leapt to her feet. “Anyway, must dash, I’m doing a livestream in an hour.”
“Oh, okay. Well, thanks so much for looking after him. You’re an angel. Don’t know what I’d do without you!”
Bad Katie grinned. “No worries. See ya then. Bye Connor!”
“Bye Katie! Can we go see Auntie Annie again soon?”
“Yes, yes, we’ll play again soon…”
Bad Katie shot out of the door. Paula looked after her in puzzlement.
“Mummy,” said Connor. “What’s a spliff?”
26.02.21 > Lyric Cards
Just a quick reminder! If you like the lyric cards you can find them all, over a hundred of them, in the Gallery section. Click the menu link on the left, or, if you are even lazier than me, you can click here. As you were.
25.02.21 > Lyric Card: Wonderful Life
19.02.21 > The Adventures of Bad Katie - Episode 7
Bad Katie was having her weekly chinwag with her manager in his office.
“Katie, do you always have to put your feet up on my desk?” said Sumit.
“Yes,” said Bad Katie.
Sumit pulled a face like a meerkat sucking a sour cola bottle. “Gross. You’ve got a lump of chewing gum stuck inside your heel.”
“Thanks for reminding me. Proper handy place to store it. I put it there yesterday. Should still have a bit of flavour left.”
“Please tell me you’re not serious.”
“Hey, you never know when you might need a little minty refresh.”
Sumit buried his face in his hand and rubbed his eyes wearily.
“Anyway,” said Bad Katie. “I was jogging through the park the other morning...”
“Whoa, wait, what? You? Jogging?”
“Yes, of course, I’m very health-conscious you know.”
“No. I didn’t know. This comes as an utter shock.”
“These looks and this figure don’t come next day from Amazon, you know. It takes dedication and a special diet.”
“Yeah, gin and fags.”
“You have a very dim view of me, don’t you?”
“Well, I’ve started a new fitness regime. High intensity training. I walk for seven minutes then jog for seven seconds.”
Sumit looked doubtful. “Not quite sure that’s an optimum routine.”
“Yeah, might drop the jogging down to three or four seconds. Don’t want to overdo it. Anyway, the thing is, I was just walking along minding my own business when this bloke in a manky mac leapt out of the bushes and flashed at me.”
“Don’t be ridiculous. Of course it wasn’t Jesus.”
“What happened? Did you call the police?”
“Police? What on earth for? No, but it was lucky I had my phone in my hand though. I grabbed a pic of his chipolata and stuck it on Instagram.”
“Katie! It’s a serious matter. The guy could have been a psycho.”
“Well so could I!”
“Good point, well made. But you should probably carry something with you, for protection. Pepper spray or something.”
“Ooh, yes. I know a guy can get me something a bit better than that…”
Next morning, Bad Katie was walking in the park again and the very same pervert leapt out in front of her for the second time.
“Ha!” he said and flung open his mac.
Bad Katie looked at him quizzically. “Why have you got all that Lego taped across your privates?”
“It’s pixellated, in case you try posting it online again!”
“But if I can’t see your withered tiny todger than what’s the point of flashing?”
The pervert looked peeved. “Oh. Hadn’t thought of that.”
He trudged back into the bushes, though not before Bad Katie had managed another snap for Instagram. She quickly posted it, with the caption “just encountered old Lego nuts again…”
By the next morning, Bad Katie had had enough of him. He leapt out once more and stood there, gyrating his Johnson with a silly grin on his face. She put her hands on her hips for a moment and patiently watched him, rather like Indiana Jones, then pulled a taser gun from her pocket and tasered him in the Cairngorms. The flasher yelped and hobbled back for the cover of the bushes. Bad Katie grinned and continued on her way, whistling “Nutbush City Limits.”
Later that day, there was a knock on the door. Bad Katie answered it.
“Who are you?” she said.
“Are you Miss Katie Melua?”
“Might be. Depends. If you’re selling something then my name is Norah Jones.”
“I’m Inspector Plodd from the Metropolitan Police.”
“Inspector Plodd, eh? Been promoted then?”
Plodd’s expression suggested he’d heard that one before. “Might I have a word with you about an incident in the park reported to us earlier today?”
“Ah, yes. That old biddy with the blue rinse was feeding the ducks again, wasn’t she? I did warn her, though to be fair, she does give them multi-seeded wholegrain. Can’t be that bad for them, can it?”
The Inspector harrumphed. (If you have any idea what a harrumph is, good for you. I don’t, personally.) “I’m afraid this is a more serious matter, miss. An individual has come forward and made a complaint about you. He claims you tasered him in a sensitive area.”
“How do you know it was me?”
“The person in question has admitted indecent behaviour towards you. He claims to be an admirer of yours and said he’d deliberately targeted you. ”
“Oh, him. He was asking for it. Been leaping out at me all week flashing his tiny todger, the perv. He’s obviously got a screw loose. And a couple of nuts,” said Bad Katie. She giggled.
“This is a serious matter, miss. I’m afraid you can’t go around tasering testicles on a whim.”
“Don’t be afraid, PC Plod…”
“Whatever. If he’s admitted stalking me and flashing, why haven’t you arrested him instead of standing here like Inspector Clouseau, bending my ear? I was only acting in self-defence.”
“The individual has been arrested, miss, and remains in custody. But we are obliged to investigate his claims as well.”
“Why? I was just doing your job for you. Throw the bugger in jail. He can flash all he wants there. See where that gets him. Anyway, don’t you know who I am?”
“Actually, miss, I do. You’re my mother’s favourite singer.”
“Oh really,” said Bad Katie. She beamed at him. “How’d you like a signed copy of my new album for her?”
Plodd’s eyes lit up. “Really? You’d do that for me?”
“Sure. As long as you sod off and never threaten to darken my door again.”
The Inspector looked troubled. “I don’t know, miss. Allegations have been made against you, and now you are attempting to bribe a police officer.”
“You can have a selfie with me as well.”
Bad Katie was sitting in her manager’s office nibbling a Kit Kat and reminding herself that other products are available. Sumit was dipping his Oreo into his coffee and reminding himself that that is most definitely not a euphemism.
“Ooh, new mug?” said Bad Katie.
“Yes, my niece bought it me for my birthday.”
“With your face on it.”
“A mug shot!” cackled Bad Katie.
“That’s quite an expression on your face.”
“Well, I’d just sat on a cactus she’d sneaked on to my chair.”
“Heh, heh. Nice one. But why does it say ‘your text’ underneath it?”
“Ah, she’s not the greatest with computers. Apparently, it said on the web site ‘Enter your text here’, so that’s what she did.”
“Oh. Takes after her uncle then.”
“Bloody cheek. My IT skills are second to none.”
“Yes, second to nun.”
“So anyway, I understand you decided not to press charges against the perv in the park?”
“And you’ve even given him a job as a roadie?”
“Yup. I believe in giving people a second chance.”
“Really? Not like you to even give people a first chance.”
“That’s very wounding, Sumit. I’m a caring soul.”
Sumit snorted coffee through his nostrils and had to quickly fish out his hanky to wipe down his laptop.
“Besides,” said Bad Katie. “The courts would only have given him a slap on the wrist. As my roadie I can make sure his life is a living hell.”
“There’s my girl, back in the room.”
“He’ll be wishing he’d volunteered for community service once I start finding uses for him.”
“Ab-uses, you mean.”
Bad Katie grinned. “It’s only karma. Shouldn’t have jiggled his Johnson at me, should he?”
“Well, no, of course not, but to be honest I am actually starting to feel a bit sorry for the guy. And haven’t you got enough roadies?”
“You can never have enough roadies. Useful things, but not very durable.”
“Yes, you put two in hospital last week, didn’t you?”
“Not my fault if they’re weak. They should work out more.”
“Talking of which, how is your new exercise regime going? Your high intensity jogging thing?”
“Oh, I’ve finished that. I mean, just look at me. I look amazing. If it ain’t broke…”
“But I thought you had to do exercise regularly?”
“That’s right. Three times a year. Every year. It’s exhausting, but I’m done now for another year. Back to the cakes and khachapuri!”
Bad Katie leaned back in her chair and put her feet up on Sumit’s desk.
He groaned. “Katie! That chewing gum is still under your shoe.”
17.02.21 > AYMHM 13: The List
Another album you may have missed... (see them all HERE)
When Rosanne Cash was 18, her father, the legend that was Johnny Cash, gave her a list. It contained 100 songs that he considered to be an essential base of knowledge if you wanted a career in country/folk music. Like any rebellious teenage daughter trying to find her way in the world in the shadow of famous parents, Rosanne did her own thing, wrote her own songs, and forged a very successful and impressive career for herself. But, as wise old Joni sang, "you don't know what you've got till it's gone". Johnny died in 2003. Rosanne poured her grief into her next album, "Black Cadillac", in 2006, but not long after that she began thinking about his legacy, and remembered The List. She went through it, picked out a dozen songs, and in 2009 released "The List" in homage and gratitude to her dad.
Rosanne isn't riding along on her Daddy's coat tails. She has an amazing voice and has earned her reputation as a singer/songwriter on her own merits. On this album, she proves she can interpret as well. For some reason, she chose to duet on four of the songs—notably, with Bruce Springsteen and Elvis Costello among others—but I'm not entirely sure why; she could have handled the songs perfectly well alone. Still, if you can get guys like that to duet with you then, why not?
For Katie fans, the most notable track here is "Girl From The North Country". Written by Bob Dylan, and covered by Katie recently. Both versions are gorgeous. Katie's version captures fond reminiscence of a time from the past; Rosanne's more plaintive interpretation hints there is still some rawness to the lost love. Don't ask me to choose, I refuse.
Listen to The List on Spotify via the link below:
14.02.21 > Bad Katie: All The Adventures!
I know some of you are enjoying the shenanigans of Katie's alter ego, Bad Katie. I just want to remind you that you don't have to trawl through the blog to find them because Bad Katie has her very own page! Every episode will appear there in chronological order so you can binge on BK (if you can handle her). You can use the sticky link above, or click on the pic to the right to go there. And do you know what? I'm feeling so generous that even clicking the graphic below will whisk you away to BK's parallel Universe. Why am I so good to you? I don't know, I just can't help myself.
13.02.21 > Free Online Event: Katie in Conversation
📆 Friday 26 February 2021, 18:00 GMT
Hearing Katie talk about her life is never anything less than pure joy. It is hard to think of anyone in the industry more intelligent and articulate and with such a fascinating background. So you really don't want to miss her chatting about her life to the artistic director of Georgia's Fantastic Tavern, Maya Jaggi, on February 26th. To find out more, head to:
👉🏻 Georgia's Fantastic Tavern
12.02.21 > The Adventures of Bad Katie - Episode 6
Opportunities for publicity appearances were proving few and far between for celebrities during lockdown. Bad Katie’s manager, Sumit, was trying his best to find ways to keep his top girl in the spotlight. He called her to sound her out about his latest thought.
“South Kensington Sunshine Home for the Terminally Bewildered,” answered Bad Katie, in a soft Scottish accent. “We care for the confused so you don’t have to.”
“What?” said Sumit. “Katie, I know it’s you.”
“Oh. Hi, Sumit.”
“Why do you always try to make me think I’ve got the wrong number?”
“It’s not for you, silly. Sometimes fans manage to get hold of my number. It’s a good way of deflecting them.”
“Right. Okay. But could you just add me to your contacts so you can see it’s me calling?”
“Can’t be arsed to be honest.”
“Oh. Well, anyway, just a quick idea,” said Sumit, tentatively. “I thought maybe you could do Cash In The Attic?”
“Yes!” enthused Katie. “Brilliant idea. I’ll start preparing for it right away.”
“Really? Oh, well, in that case I’ll go ahead with the booking. Are you sure, Katie?….Katie?”
Katie had already hung up and was leaping up the stairs.
Sumit put the phone down and looked puzzled. “That was too easy,” he thought to himself. “I thought she’d bite my head off at the suggestion of a meaningless daytime television appearance.”
“Come on, Z, I need a hand clearing the junk out of the attic,” said Bad Katie.
“Why do we need to do that?” said Zurab, without looking away from his computer screen.
“I’m turning it into a recording studio.”
Zurab sat back in his chair, closed his eyes and took a deep breath, then started making slow, Zen-like movements with his arms.
“What the hell are you doing?” said Bad Katie.
“What are you on about, you mutton-headed geek?”
“You’re clearly in ‘busy’ mode. I can’t handle you in that state without first finding my inner calm, centring my chi and aligning my chakras.”
“I’ll soon align your chakras for you if you don’t get your butt out of that chair and into the loft in the next five seconds!”
“Oh sis! You’ve already got a studio, why do you want another one?”
“That’s for writing, and, well, getting away from you lot. But the acoustics are rubbish for recording. The attic is going to be my recording studio. All that insulation makes great soundproofing. Don’t know why I hadn’t thought of it before.”
“But what’s wrong with actual recording studios? Joe’s never gonna lug his drums up there.”
“It’s not for the band, you tame galoot. It’s for me to do solo acoustic stuff.”
“Oh. What about me?”
“We’ll see. If I need your accompaniment you’ll have to sit on the floor. Your own fault for eating like a horse when you were growing.”
“I was a good boy, I ate my greens. Not like you, living on Monster Munch and Red Bull. Sometimes I think all that Monster Munch turned you into an actual monster.”
“How very dare you! After all I’ve done for you. I could cancel your comic subscription with one call to the newsagent you know.”
Zurab hung his head. “Sorry sis. Didn’t mean it. You know I love you really.”
“Of course you do,” said Bad Katie, grinning. “How could you not? I’m a model sister. Haven’t I always looked out for you? Who else would have smuggled Snickers bars and Fizzy Fishes into your lunch packs and removed the fruit when Mum wasn’t looking?”
“I used to wonder about that. What did you do with all that fruit? You didn’t eat it did you?”
Bad Katie scoffed at him. “Yuk. Course not. I sold it to that Vegan goody two-shoes girl in my class. Good little supplement to the pocket money, that was. Mind you, I never did believe she was from Vega.”
Zurab looked at her quizzically.
“Never mind,” said Bad Katie, “let’s get cracking. This attic won’t clear itself.”
She leaped up the steps into the attic and pulled the dangling string to turn on the light. “Light’s a bit dingy, but the skylight blind is down. Soon yank that off and it will be much better in here. I’ll even be able to record by moonlight. Right then, Z, I’ll start passing boxes down to you.”
“Where shall I put them?”
“Stick ‘em all in the guest bedroom.”
“Mum will go ballistic!”
“It’s okay. I’ll tell her it was your idea. You can do no wrong in her eyes so you’ll get away with it. Not as though we can have guests anyway during lockdown.”
Zurab sighed, then looked up towards the loft entrance just in time for a box of old dolls to land on his face. He fell in a heap on the landing floor, surrounded by a dozen scary dolls staring at him creepily.
Bad Katie peered down at him. “What are you doing? No time to play now. Get a move on.”
Zurab shook his head. “Gonna be a long afternoon,” he grumbled, and started stuffing the dolls back into their box.
Sumit was rubbing his head and wincing after bumping it on a beam.
Bad Katie was chuckling. “I told you to stay in the middle of the room.”
“This isn’t a room. It’s a loft. There’s barely room to swing a cat in here.”
“Lucky for you. I take a dim view of animal cruelty. I love cats. Ooh, Love Cats. Haven’t sung that in a while. I’ll add it to my list of lockdown distractions. Besides, it’s an attic studio, not a loft.”
“But why record up here? You could afford to build a state of the art studio in your garden.”
“Your missing the point.”
“It’s about the vibe. The ambiance. The mystical sense of cosmic energies aligning themselves with your delta-wave patterns.”
“Bollocks,” said Sumit. “You just want to save on studio fees.”
“I’ll treat that remark with the contempt it deserves,” said Bad Katie. “The sloping roof makes it feel like being in a pyramid. There are magical forces in the air up here guiding my psychic consciousness.”
“I think that’s the ganja.”
“How dare you! That’s the sandalwood and lotus blossom incense sticks.”
“Hmmm. So anyway, why have you dragged me up here?”
“To show you my progress on your great idea!”
“Oh yes, right.” Sumit looked confused. “Remind me again, which idea was that exactly?”
“Cash in the Attic, silly!”
“Ah. Okay. So, erm, what did you find up here to sell?”
“Sell? What on earth are you babbling on about?”
“When you go on Cash in the Attic?”
“Go on? Speak English, Sumit,” said Bad Katie, looking irritated. “This is where I’m recording the stripped-back, intimate acoustic versions of Johnny Cash covers, for my new album, ‘Cash In The Attic’.”
A veil of pained realisation fell over Sumit’s face. “Ah.”
“Katie, I was talking about the television show.”
“What television show?”
“Cash in the Celebrity Attic. I’ve booked you for it now. They’re expecting you at the studio on Monday morning.”
Bad Katie looked aghast. “Are you insane? I can’t be seen on daytime tv. Why on earth did you agree to that, you knuckle-headed bog brush.”
Sumit rubbed his eyes wearily. “You agreed to it when I asked you about it last week.”
“No, I did not. I was agreeing to the Cash in the Attic album idea.”
“That wasn’t my idea.”
“Fair enough, I’ll take all the credit then.”
“You can’t get out of it. I’ve signed the contract.”
“Sumit, you fluffy-tailed baboon! I’m not doing it.”
“It’s for a good cause. Whatever you sell, the proceeds go to a charity of your choice.”
“Then I’m definitely not doing it.”
“You still get a substantial appearance fee, of course.”
“Yes. Pretty lucrative for a day’s filming, I’d say.”
“Oh. So what do I have to do?”
“Just find an old antique or something that was hiding away in the loft or garage and take it with you. They’ll value it and sell it at auction. You just follow the expert around and look suitably impressed when they say stuff. Money for old rope really.”
“Ooh, I think we have some old rope in the garage...”
“I didn’t mean literally. Surely you must have come across something you could sell when you were clearing this place out?”
“Wasn’t paying attention to be honest. Just chucking boxes down at Z. He put them all in the guest bedroom. Mum hasn’t noticed yet otherwise there’d have been a stink. I’ll have a rummage later and see what I can find.”
“Good. You do that. I’ll email you the exact details of the show later. They’ll send a car for you Monday morning.”
“Get me out of the house for a bit I suppose.”
“I’ll pretend I didn’t hear that. So tell me more about this Cash album idea.”
“I hurt myself today,” said Bad Katie.
“Oh, I love that song. His version is so raw,” said Sumit.
Bad Katie looked at him blankly. “No, I hurt myself. I trod on a plug.”
“That must have been a shock,” said Sumit. He laughed at his own joke.
“It wasn’t plugged in, you idiot!”
“No, of course, I was just making a little joke.”
“Well don’t. You’re rubbish at humour.”
“All right. Sorry, I know that stepping on a plug can really make you smart.”
“Can it? Well, I’m smart enough as it is. Made me use some choice words though, which isn’t like me at all.”
Sumit raised his eyebrows. “Have you even met yourself? You have the pottiest mouth I know.”
“Oh fuck off.”
“There you go you see!”
Sumit shook his head. “Anyway, you are going to record some of his songs in this confined space?”
“Aren’t I just?”
“Have you chosen the songs yet?”
“A few. I’m kicking off with ‘A Boy Named Sue’.”
Sumit looked dubious. “Okay…. interesting. Well, can’t wait to hear that, but I’ve spent enough time in this Toblerone box of yours, I’m heading back to my lovely spacious office. Don’t forget to find something old to sell for that television show.”
She winked at him. “If all else fails I can sell you!”
“Hello and welcome to another amazing episode of Celebrity Cash In The Attic,” said the cheesy host. “This week we are joined by the girl from Georgia with an enormous bicycle collection! It’s the incredible Katie Melua!”
Bad Katie looked at him in confusion. “But I don’t own a bike at all.”
“Cut!” yelled the director. “Katie, can you just smile and play along with him?”
“He’s an idiot.”
“I know. But this is television. You need to pretend he’s funny and interesting.”
“I am here you know,” said Cheesy host, hand on hips.
“Yes, luvvie,” said the director, patronisingly. “How could we not know? Now let’s start again from the beginning. And Katie, try to engage with him.”
“I’m not getting engaged to this orange antique,” said Bad Katie indignantly.
The director put his palm over his face. “This is going to be a long day...”
“So anyway, lovely Katie, what special item have you managed to find for us after rummaging around in your attic? Remember folks, whatever Katie’s item makes at auction will go to a charity of her choice.”
Bad Katie opened her Sainsbury’s Bag for Life and pulled out a small wooden box, which she placed ceremoniously on the velvet covered table. She flashed a cheesy grin at Cheesy host.
“Right, so, what have we here?” said Cheesy host. “A little antique box of some kind.”
“Not the box, you bewildered satsuma. Open it.”
Cheesy host carefully opened the box to reveal a set of yellowed false teeth. He squeaked and recoiled in horror. “What on earth? You want to sell someone’s teeth?”
“Not anyone’s teeth,” said Bad Katie. Her eyes widened, and she adopted a dramatic tone of voice. “These belonged to Stalin!”
“St.. Stalin?” stammered Cheesy host. “THE Stalin?”
“No, Bob Stalin from down the road,” sneered Bad Katie. “Of course, THE Stalin.”
Cheesy host picked up the box gingerly and pushed his spectacles further up his nose. He peered at the artificial gnashers with a mixture of fascination and disgust. “So tell me, Katie, how did you come to be in possession of Stalin’s teeth?”
“I’m from Georgia,” said Bad Katie.
“So was he.”
“Yes. Perhaps a little more detail?”
“Oh. Well, you see, my grandfather knew him.”
“Really? In what capacity?”
“Ah. Thing is, there’s something of a veil of secrecy surrounding the whole business. Grandad didn’t like to talk about it much. He was proud of the teeth but deliberately vague about how he acquired them.”
Cheesy host frowned. “Well, without provenance I’m not sure we can place a great deal of value on them.”
“Provenance?” scoffed Bad Katie. “You have my word. And I’m Georgian. Georgians don’t lie.”
“I’m sure,” muttered Cheesy host, doubtfully.
“I could sign them if you like. Well, print my name at least. Katie along the top set and Melua on the bottom ones.”
Cheesy host looked mortified. “No, no. We’ll just take them along to the auction and see what we can get for them. You never know, on the day there might be a collector of famous false teeth in...”
“Well,” said Sumit. “I have no idea how you pulled that off.”
“Pulled what off?” said Bad Katie.
“Getting ten grand for those fake false teeth at auction!”
“How dare you! How do you know they weren’t Stalin’s?”
“Erm… I’ve met you. Whose were they, really?”
“Haven’t the foggiest. But the box they were in belonged to my grandad and he didn’t have false teeth so they weren’t his. Bit of a mystery. Could have belonged to anyone. Including Stalin, I might add. And it was pretty lucky my number one fan attended the auction.”
“Wasn’t it just? He must have happened to see your Tweet mentioning the time and location of the auction and the fact you’d have a selfie with the highest bidder.”
Bad Katie shrugged. “No harm in maximising potential.”
“That poor woman must have been gutted to lose out to your number one fan though. She pushed him all the way to that 10k.”
“Wasn’t a woman!” sniggered Bad Katie. “It was Z in a blonde wig and dark glasses.”
“Katie! Poor Zurab. Honestly, the things you make your brother do.”
“He did okay out of it.”
“I let him keep the wig.”
“Anyway,” sighed Sumit. “You got a decent appearance fee. And your nominated charity will be over the moon with the ten grand. What was it again?”
“South Kensington Sunshine Home for the Terminally Bewildered,” said Bad Katie.
“Shouldn’t do. I only set it up a couple of days ago.”
Sumit buried his face in his palms. “Don’t tell me. You’re the treasurer, aren’t you?”
Bad Katie grinned at him. “Somebody has to bank that cheque...”
06.02.21 > Blackbird
I hope Bad Katie is giving you a laugh in lockdown but in the real world, Real Katie is giving us a string of beautiful covers that continue to soothe our souls and make us believe everything will be all right. And now Bob makes way for the Beatles...
05.02.21 > The Adventures of Bad Katie - Episode 5
Bad Katie was slumped in a chair in Sumit’s office, her feet up on his desk. She was fiddling with her phone.
Sumit entered, carrying a couple of mugs.
“That better be gin,” said Bad Katie.
“Sorry. Coffee only here, you know that. We need to stay on our toes!”
“Your coffee tastes like rat’s bile.”
“How would you know?”
She screwed her face up at him.
“So, I heard you helped a little old lady across the road the other day?” said Sumit.
“That’s right, I did indeed.”
“Good Katie?” Sumit looked at her suspiciously. “Doesn’t sound much like you.”
“Ah well, I do have a good side you know. Besides, I noticed she’d dropped her purse in the gutter. Once I saw she was safely on her way I was able to nip back and claim it. There was nearly seventeen quid in there! Result.”
“Wait, it gets better. Her address was inside so I was able to send Z round to return it to her, tell her he found it. She was so grateful she gave him twenty quid as reward.”
“You really are a monster, aren’t you?”
“What do you mean? I let Z keep a couple of quid for doing it. That left me thirty-five quid up on the deal in total!”
“That’s probably a week’s food for the poor dear.”
“Nonsense. At that age they only eat gruel and broccoli.”
Sumit shook his head and slurped his coffee.
“So, you found me any gigs yet?” said Bad Katie.
“Fraid not, there’s not much going on at the moment, what with lockdown and everything.”
“There’s still chat shows on.”
“Most of them have black-listed you for past behaviour.”
“Oh for god’s sake. It’s not my fault if they ask inane questions that deserve an appropriate response.”
“Well, there’s always the One Show. They’ll take anyone.”
Sumit looked philosophical. “If life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”
“If life gives you lemons tell it to shove them up its arse.”
Bad Katie sat at her desk, staring dreamily out of the window. She was nibbling pistachios, skilfully extracting the kernels with her tongue and spitting the shells out on to the floor. The carpet was strewn with them, but she knew her mother would sort that later. She had more pressing concerns. Lockdown had caused all her nice little earners to dry up. All those lucrative appearances at weddings, funerals, children’s parties, corporate functions and the like, where she could roll up, belt out ‘Bicycles’ and one other, dependent on the occasion, pocket a grand, and be back in time for dinner. She was having to come up with new ways of generating income. Sales of merch on her online store had been disappointing of late, especially the new range of signed ashtrays and poop scoops. She would have to go old school...
“Hey, Z! Pack up your guitar, we’re going busking,” said Bad Katie.
“Oh no, I thought those days were long over,” groaned Zurab. “I was just about to play ‘Call Of Duty’.”
“Tough titties. You have a duty to answer my call.”
“Do I have to?”
“Yep. I’m your big sister don’t forget.”
“But I’m much bigger than you now.”
She gave him ’the look’.
“Okay, okay, I’ll get my guitar.”
Bad Katie and Zurab were sat outside Kensington station. Bad Katie had propped up a sign saying “Please help my poor mute brother pay for his operation”. Lots of people were passing by and there were several coins and a few notes in Bad Katie’s guitar case.
“Why do we need to go busking, sis?” said Zurab.
“I like to perform. Put on a show for people. Let the world see how talented I am.”
“It’s about the money, isn’t it?”
“Well, if people want to show their appreciation of my gift it would be rude not to accept their gratitude. Now be quiet, someone’s coming. Crazy, quick.”
They began playing ’The Closest Thing To Crazy.’
A woman stopped and listened to them for a while. “Aw. He plays beautifully. Is he dumb too?”
Bad Katie scowled at her. “He’s mute, not deaf. Hasn’t been able to speak since a traumatic event when he was young.”
“Oh dear. What happened?”
“None of your business. Anyway, I still don’t think it was my fault. I get blamed for everything.”
The woman gave a half smile, dropped a few copper coins in the guitar case and moved on. Bad Katie shook her head slowly and extended a digit towards the woman’s back.
“Sis,” said Zurab. “Why won’t you let me talk in public?”
“Shush,” said Bad Katie. “Someone might see you. This is a lucrative little earner.”
“But you’re worth millions! You don’t need this extra few quid.”
“Of course I do. It all adds up you know, and besides, I’m saving for something.”
“Saving for what?”
“To buy Batumi.”
“Anyway, just think of all the comics you can buy with your ten per cent.”
“Why do I only get ten per cent?”
“I’m the star, obviously. Just be grateful. You wouldn’t make anything on your own, being mute.”
“I’m not mute though!”
“The public don’t know that. Anyway, I always buy you chicken nuggets for lunch on the way home. What more do you want?”
Zurab sighed. “This is so humiliating. Sitting on this dirty pavement waiting for people to throw coins at us. And why can’t I have a little folding stool like yours?”
“Because I’m the singer. I have to have the correct posture to project my voice properly.”
“It’s so you can look down on me, isn’t it?”
“There’s that too. Look, I could do this on my own you know. You should be grateful I’m giving you a job.”
“I could have been a doctor, just like Dad,” grumbled Zurab.
“What, and work twenty-three hours a day poking around in places we really shouldn’t see?”
“It’s noble work—saving lives and making people well.”
“Singing is noble work—making people happy. And making lots of money.”
“Is money all you care about?”
“How dare you?” said Bad Katie, looking wounded. “Music is my passion, my life. It’s all I care about. Hey, grab that 5p in the gutter. Some people couldn’t hit a barn door with a banjo.”
Zurab reached for the coin and dropped it in the guitar case.
“All adds up,” said Bad Katie. “Anyway, just you listen to your big sister and you won’t go far wrong. Look at the life you’ve got now. You hardly ever have to do any work. Sit around all day, playing your ‘Call of Ducks’...”
“Call of Duty!”
Bad Katie then spotted a lady in a fur coat strutting towards them. She was carrying a designer bag with a chihuahua in it. “Hey, Z, look morose. This one looks a right patsy.”
They started playing “Nine Million Bicycles.”
The woman stopped and watched them for a while. She seemed clearly moved. “Aw. That’s lovely. Poor boy, he looks so sad. How much is his operation?”
Bad Katie pretended to cry. “Thousands,” she sobbed. “At this rate, it’ll take us years to save up.”
“Oh there, there,” said the woman. “Don’t you worry, my husband’s an oligarch.”
“Sorry to hear that,” said Bad Katie.
“Has its benefits,” said the woman. She fished a cheque book out from under her dog.
Bad Katie winked at Z. The dog stared at her as if to suggest it knew she was a scammer even if her dumb owner didn’t.
The woman scrawled away. “Who should I make it out to?”
Bad Katie had to think on her feet, realising she couldn’t risk using her own name in case the woman had heard of her. “Oh, er, Ms K. Toseland.”
The woman signed the cheque, tore it off and handed it to Bad Katie. “There you go, sweetie. You go get your brother sorted out. You could be the next Carpenters you know. Keep believing!”
She strutted away, her Louboutins clicking on the pavement.
Bad Katie looked at the cheque. “Five grand!” she exclaimed. “Bloody brilliant result. Good job I kept that secret account open. Had a feeling it would come in useful. Right, pack up, that’ll do for today. Give me the notes, you can keep all the coins, I’m feeling generous.”
“Thanks, sis. You’re the best,” muttered Zurab.
“I know. Come on, let’s get you some nuggets.”
A week later, Bad Katie returned to meet her manager. As she walked down the corridor towards Sumit’s office, she quickly finished her banana and went straight inside. “Hi, Sumit.”
“Have you heard of knocking on doors?”
“Dylan, wasn’t it? Why, do you think I should cover it?”
Sumit rolled his eyes. “Make yourself comfy, I’ll go and grab us a couple of coffees.”
Bad Katie sat down and put her feet up on the desk, then whipped out her phone to check her social media.
A couple of moments later there was a yelp and a thud in the corridor outside. Bad Katie quickly opened the camera app and ran to the door. Sumit was lying on the floor, drenched in coffee.
“What are you doing down there?” said Bad Katie.
“I’m admiring the rendering on the ceiling,” barked Sumit.
“Really?” said Bad Katie, looking up.
“Of course not! Some moron had left a banana skin on the floor.”
“Oops,” said Bad Katie. Then she took a few snaps. “Wasn’t fussed about the coffee anyway.”
Sumit got to his feet and made his way to his desk. He peeled off his coffee-stained shirt.
Bad Katie wolf-whistled. “Nice abs. For your age.”
He scowled at her. “What am I gonna do now? I have an important meeting in ten minutes and I haven’t got a spare shirt or time to get another one.”
“Oh, well, you can have mine.”
“One of my ex-boyfriends left it behind in his rush to leave. He was about your size.”
Sumit looked at her doubtfully. “Please tell me you’re wearing a bra under it.”
Bad Katie had a quick peek to check. “Yep.”
She unbuttoned the shirt and tossed it over to him. She stood there grinning as he put it on.
“For god’s sake, Katie, put your jacket back on and button it up, someone could walk in.”
“Nah, I’m the only one that doesn’t knock first.”
“Surprisingly, this shirt fits really well,” said Sumit. “Who was this boyfriend?”
Bad Katie tapped her nose and winked. “That’s for me to know and you to wonder. At least you’ll look presentable in your meeting, even if you do smell of freesias.”
“Yes, well. I just wanted to let you know I’m still trying hard to get you some bookings.”
“Oh, yes, about that. I wouldn’t sweat it, bro. I’ve been busking all week. Raked in over twenty grand.”
“Twenty grand! I’m in the wrong job.”
She gazed at him levelly. “No, you’re not. I’m a legendary, multi-platinum selling artist remember. I’ve heard you sing, it’s like a castrated orangutang. You wouldn’t make twenty pence never mind twenty grand.”
Sumit sighed. “Anyway. The One Show have been pestering me again.”
“Just tell them to stick it up their big O.”
“They are desperate for guests. They say nobody has anything to plug at the moment. There’s a nationwide plug shortage.”
“Well I’m not sitting on that manky sofa for half an hour pretending to be interested in stories about commoners with talking ferrets just to get my three minutes in the spotlight. Wild horses couldn’t drag me there.”
“They want you to do a live performance as well. They’re offering ten grand.”
03.02.21 > Lyric Card: Fields Of Gold