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Essays » “weird sex under the pier” (published 28/11/2014)

What fun we had at The Colony, talking books and writers, loving words and laughter we both got on well. Each month we both got up and did The Colony Showtime along with Alabama 3, The Magic Numbers and Badly Drawn Boy; the only night where Shane McGowan paid to sing. I thought it wouldn’t be long ‘til Salena was discovered by the rest of the world, such talent and beauty, inside and out rarely go together and a great natural performer.

Sophie Parkin on Salena Godden‘s books of poetry and autobiography.

Buzzwords » The Missing Links (published 11/01/2014)

Wonderful piece on Nick Land: “His work still poses acutely — in a variety of forms — the challenge of thinking contemporary life on this planet: A planet piloted from the future by something that comes from outside personal or collective human intention, and which we can no longer pretend has anything to do with […]

Essays » The Colony of Outsiders – Professional Bohemians in Soho (published 07/11/2012)

It was Muriel Belcher who bought them all there into her private cocktail party where you could be yourself at a time of prosecuting homophobia, it gathered all the key components of Wolfenden and the Montagu case together at the bar. Her legendary charisma, warmth, wit and foul mouth, “If you joined all the cocks she’s had together, it would build a handrail across the Alps” and when Driberg tried to stop a compromising picture of himself and the Krays appearing in a book she commented, “Tom never complained when Ronnie Kray’s cock was in his mouth.” She had been active in the West End night club scene longer than she was willing to reveal later on. She had been involved in two other clubs prior to taking over the Colony. But she was in the business of building her own legend, not always from the upmost truth, perhaps it was easier to be known as ‘Muriel Belcher the Portuguese Jewish lesbian’ than denying it, perhaps it added to her glamour along with the lie that her parents had owned The Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham. We can all dream.

Sophie Parkin tells 3:AM about her forthcoming account of Soho institution The Colony Room.

Buzzwords » Somewhere between The Ritz & the gilded gutter (published 24/08/2012)

From the Standard‘s diary last night: A welcome return to the Colony Room as one of its habituées, writer Sophie Parkin, is set to publish a history of the infamous Soho club. “It’s about the cultural and social hub of London from 1948 to 2008,” she says. “The book will be crammed full of gossip, […]

Buzzwords » Colony days (published 15/08/2011)

Author Sophie Parkin is writing a new book on the legendary Colony Room drinking club which closed its doors for the final time on Dean Street in December 2008. Sophie is looking for memories and anecdotes of times spent and misspent in the club in its sixty years of existence, and if you have recollections […]

Buzzwords » R.I.P. Sebastian Horsley (published 17/06/2010)

Writer, artist and Soho dandy Sebastian Horsley has died of a suspected heroin overdose, just days after after a play based on his memoir opened in London. As Toby Young says, “I’ve met a few Soho characters in my day and most of them were drunken bores. Not Sebastian.” He continues: “He styled himself an […]

Buzzwords » Somewhere between The Ritz and the gilded gutter (published 07/06/2010)

Fleet Street reports the death of Colony Room bar hand Michael Wojas at 53. Our resident barfly Sophie Parkin reported from the Soho bohemian dive on its 60th birthday and interviewed fellow habitué Sebastian Horsley, whose Dandy in the Underworld begins its run at the Soho Theatre on Wednesday.

Buzzwords » 3:AM Reloaded (published 24/01/2010)

What you (may have) missed on 3:AM recently: Fiction: ‘Lucky’ by Utahna Faith, ‘Brain Chemistry’, ‘Extinction’, & ‘Moon Honey’ by Meg Pokrass Interviewed: Sophie Parkin talks to Anouchka Grose, Alan Kelly speaks with Melissa Auf der Maur Poetry: In Maintenant, the first of a new series on contemporary European poets, SJ Fowler interviews the Finnish […]

Interviews » Stupid Women With Glasses (published 22/01/2010)

cover3If your body dictates that you should try to breed with a violent sociopath, then you may find yourself with a good story to tell. If you survive. Animals do all that scanning stuff too, but they don’t write books or pop songs. Still, that’s no reason to ignore science. Or animals. It’s just that recent scientific developments in no way supersede all the fascinating work on love that humans have produced over the last few thousand years — science is just another strand of it.

Sophie Parkin discusses love with Anouchka Grose and asks tricky questions about her new book.

Buzzwords » ampere’s and (published 14/10/2009)

Today’s quick lit [& alt.cult] links from around the web: The Museum of Everything, a (London) space for artists & creators living outside modern society (includes Henry Darger) (via KultureFlash) & The future that had arrived, Artforum on J.G. Ballard (via A Piece of Monologue) & Are we now post sci-fi? & Neil Gaiman to […]