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No, YOU Listen Up!

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Fraser McAlpine | 18:40 UK time, Friday, 8 June 2007

The Gossip

Hey, anyone remember that we were after questions for the Gossip? No? C'mon, surely you remember? We were going to interview Beth Ditto and didn't want to take a load of offensive man-journalist hooey-questions about her size and her sexual orientation when we could take some real questions from real fans...remember? OK, most of the questions you sent in were about her size after all (well done on leaving the sex thing alone), but still, it was gonna be brilliant, yeah?

No? Oh well anyway, that's what was going to happen. Want to find out what DID happen? Then read on...

The story goes like this. On May 15th, in the year of Our Lord 2007, we asked you for your questions to put to the Gossip for an interview which was due to take place two days later. You very kindly obliged with the collection of hardline feminist dogma and total nonsense which is sitting under this very article right now (ChartBlog readers are clearly VERY clever, and also VERY easily distracted!) Then, because the Gossip are what that man in Zoolander would call "so HOT right now", the interview was moved back a day. These things happen all the time, no big deal...

...Sadly, on the day in question, the interview didn't happen cos the time set aside for the band to talk to reporters was also the time when the band were travelling by train up to Manchester, and they had an appalling phone signal. Little did I know at this point how the telephone was to dominate my next few weeks. Still everyone concerned agreed that it was no big deal, and that the interview would be very easy to reschedule. "Hell", they said, "if push comes to shove, we'll give you Beth's mobile number and you can ring her when she gets back to New York after the weekend".

So that's what we arranged. I got the number, and the new time, and that was that. Come the hour, cometh the ChartBlog...little bit of finger-tango on the keypad, handset to ear, ring-ring-ring, a click, a slight pause...

Suddenly an INCREDIBLY LOUD and distorted snippet from the song 'Wild Women Do' by Natalie Cole skewers my skull to the wall. It takes a couple of seconds to realise that this is Beth's voicemail message, rather than leaving a nice friendly "I'm sorry I can't take your call right now..", she wishes everyone who rings her to experience the true agony of a ruptured eardrum.

Oh well, the pain soon passed. So, thinking she must've just been out of the room when the phone rang, I tried again, with the same mind-stabbing consequences. Then again, and again. Half-an-hour or so later, ear-battered and confused, I gave up.

Another date was organised, and another, and another. Each one proceeding in the exact same way. I'd be told to ring at a certain hour, I'd ring, become deafened, ring again, and eventually collapse into a sobbing heap on the floor.

I offered to send the questions over in email form, for Beth to answer at her leisure, but was told she definitely wanted to do the interview properly, and could I ring tomorrow at six? With the usual painful outcome.

So, being VERY BORED of this game. I'm giving up. Thank you to everyone who sent their questions in, but you are now witnessing a very mild-mannered equivalent of a diva strop. The coffee has been stirred the wrong way, the puppies are the wrong colour, the cotton isn't Egpytian...that's IT.


And in the manner of someone who's been dumped but is trying to gain a tiny smidge of dignity, I'm offically say that even if Beth Ditto WANTS to answer your questions. She can't. I won't let her. Sorry, love, but this boat has SAILED. No, don't beg, don't cry, you made your bed, now lie in it, OK??

And before finally putting the lid down on this little box of pain, allow me to share some important lessons that I have learned along the way....

The Gossip

IMPORTANT LESSON NUMBER 1: Since this interview was first arranged, the world has become a very different place. Rihanna has knocked McFly off the top spot, the 2012 London Olympics Logo has been press-released, and withdrawn, Sophie Ellis Bextor has released the best pop album of the year so far, the Eurovision Song Contest came and went, as did Scooch, and someone in the ChartBlog team had tonsillitus, then went on a full 10-day course of antibiotics, and is now back at work. This just goes to prove that REAL LIFE is way more important than the shimmering ghost-aura of 'celebrity'. Unless the 'celebrity' in question answers her phone, then it's the other way around, natch.

IMPORTANT LESSON NUMBER 2: I've got Beth Ditto's phone number! In certain indie circles, just having Beth Ditto's phone number bestows instant cool on anyone who has it. You could be Chico himself, but if you had Beth Ditto's phone number, you would have indie respect. Beth Ditto's phone number...that's like having a hotline to GOD HERSELF, right?

Well, sadly, it's cack-all use, cos she never answers the bloody thing. Now, if you aetheists wish to draw some snarky comparison between this situation and praying to a God who isn't there, and then going on to criticise organised religion in general, you be my guest. I'm saying nothing.

OMG! What if this whole thing has been a plot by Beth to expose organised religion as a total sham or something?

What if she has used the shallow and meaningless rigmarole of a ChartBlog interview (you've seen our other interviews, right?) as a way of getting a very clever message directly to YOU about how you should never put your faith in false gods, even when they're really good at singing.

I think we should all pause a minute here and think about the wisdom of this message...

...all done? Good.

IMPORTANT LESSON NUMBER 3: The Gossip have a new single out on June 11th called - OH IRONY OF IRONIES - 'Listen Up'.

Should you feel like boycotting watching this YouTube video in solidarity with my poor aching ears, that's entirely up to you. Personally I rather like it...

The Gossip are also available in internet form...although perhaps 'available' isn't the right word...


  1. At 07:48 PM on 15 May 2007, Lisa wrote:

    Beth, you've recently said that you feel big is beautiful and you love that you're a curvy woman.

    I completely admire that you are comfortable in your body and find it amazing that a big woman will flaunt herself in the way she does and for that i congratulate you.

    But haven't you ever considered the concequences. Surely you saying it's beautiful to be obese is the same as saying it's beautiful to be Size 0? And if so are you willing to take the responsibility when susceptible young girls start piling on the pounds because they think it's cool?

    I myself am a size 12 and not 100% happy in my body but i find it hard to believe anyone really is. However in the middle of the whole upcoming obesity and widespread anorexia crisis that is spreading through not only the UK and USA, don't you ever wonder if you have the same inpact as the super-skinny role models?

    After all, more people die of obesity-related illnesses every year than they do of anorexia.

  2. At 08:29 PM on 15 May 2007, Hazel wrote:

    Beth Ditto says she's very happy with her size and feels that she is proving the sexual appeal of "larger" women and being stridently feminist by wearing revealing outfits etc. However, how would she field the criticisms that she is actually stabbing her argument in the foot here because 1) feminism, although partly concerned with female sexuality is also concerned with women not being seen as sex objects, by men or other women and 2) she is unhealthily overweight and so surely she sets no better an example than someone who is unhealthily underweight, although it would be intolerable in the media for someone unhealthily thin to say that they feel beautiful in their ailing body?

    If that's too long then:
    Does Beth not think that her politics, being very female-centric are not actually emancipatory?

  3. At 08:41 PM on 15 May 2007, Kat wrote:

    Oh golly gosh people, stick with the spirit of the chartblog!!

    "What's the best piece of gossip you've ever heard?"

    [Ha ha! This is gonna be such a great interview. Part feminist critique (and read by a man!) and part ChartBlog whimsy. Listen for the boom as their brains explode with confusion! - Fraser]

  4. At 09:50 AM on 16 May 2007, jade h wrote:

    hiya wat u doin lol

  5. At 10:00 AM on 16 May 2007, Liliana wrote:

    Beth, what's the deal between you and Alex Kapranos?

  6. At 11:51 AM on 16 May 2007, Kat wrote:

    Lol won't it just.

    You've lost jade's comment.

  7. At 01:18 PM on 16 May 2007, Helen wrote:

    Fringes are the most important bit of a haircut and have to be done well. Is having a fringe whilst being on the road difficult?

    Does you find time to get it cut properly or do you do it yourself?

  8. At 02:06 PM on 16 May 2007, Conor wrote:

    The Gossip are one of the important bands for me, listening to there new album was just mind blowing, great songs that capture the times that I have lived through and makes me listen to Beth’s powerful and soulful voice especially on the track Dark Lines, it just amazes me.
    Brace, your guitar works suit Beth voice so amazingly that the velvet quality of Beth’s voice comes wonderfully across on the track Listen Up!
    Hannah your drumming talent is just Superb on the track Coal to Diamonds, the roughness of the beats really makes the song so much more powerful.
    I love your work and I can’t wait to see you play at Oxegen this year.

  9. At 02:09 PM on 16 May 2007, Conor wrote:

    Can you tell me as a band what formed you to come together. Was it the music, your personal political beliefs in America, or was it just the talent that all three of have and it works brilliantly.
    Can't wait to see you in Oxegen this summer.
    I adore The Gossip


  10. At 02:57 PM on 16 May 2007, Jessica Fielding wrote:

    Here's my question or should i say questions 4 the gossip:

    1) Is it true that your hit single "Standing in the way of control" was a re-release??


    2) If u weren't in the gossip what'd u be doing??

  11. At 04:35 PM on 16 May 2007, Flossy wrote:

    My question....
    Whats your favourite song of yours???????

  12. At 11:50 PM on 16 May 2007, Kat wrote:

    Looking forward to the interview tomorrow? Remember and take a white flag in case feminist debate gets outta control :P

    And in case you feel low on chartblog whimsy (not that you ever are!)..

    Q: If you heard a really juicy piece of gossip who would be the first person you'd tell. (and if they say that it's rude to gossip tell them that it's REALLY juicy :P)

    Have fun!

  13. At 10:47 AM on 17 May 2007, Amy wrote:

    My friend went to see you last night and told me that you'd chucked a load of sanitary products into the crowd. Did you have to rush to a supermarket this morning?

  14. At 12:38 PM on 17 May 2007, Jamie wrote:

    do you like the song 'gossip folks' by Missy Elliot feat Ludacris? Is this your inspiration?. . . Kat got the best question, mines lame in comparison.

  15. At 02:47 PM on 17 May 2007, Kat wrote:

    Naw mine was an easy shot.. yours involves thinking of a song I can't remember ever hearing of! :P

  16. At 03:52 PM on 17 May 2007, Jamie wrote:

    really? tbh I can't remember how the song goes. I just remember the title and that the video was pretty cool. crazy dancing etc.

    Another question you could ask is:

    If your name is Beth Ditto does that technically make your name Beth Beth?

  17. At 05:10 PM on 17 May 2007, Kat wrote:


  18. At 08:21 PM on 17 May 2007, Kat wrote:

    Gah! Damnit Fraser now that just looks super random and crazy!!

    I like the Ditto part.. it sounds kinda funky :P

  19. At 10:43 AM on 18 May 2007, Rachel wrote:

    Hii there! I think that Beth Ditto looks rather familiar. Then it came to me that when I looked at Beth I seen my good old friend Beth Murray!! My word what a look-a-like!!

  20. At 04:06 PM on 18 May 2007, sophie wrote:

    heya =],
    just thort id let you guys in on the latest. There have been sum rumours going around school about dougie poynter
    (a band member of mcfly) who apparently has gone gay with danny jones(also a band member)
    is it true ?????
    i'd be so sad if it was true though coz they are both totally stunning two of my mates are lyk in love with them sumbody fill me in do you think its true??

    Thanks 4 reading
    luv soph xx
    ((I L Y))

  21. At 04:34 PM on 18 May 2007, Kat wrote:

    1. Rumours are usually nonsense.
    2. It shouldn't matter anyway.

  22. At 04:53 PM on 08 Jun 2007, Kat wrote:

    Much funnier than the interview could ever have been! Way to show Ms Diva that you have better things to do than chase down an interview with her constantly. She's good, but not THAT good.

    Shame though, I would have liked to hear her answers to the first 2 questions.

  23. At 09:57 PM on 08 Jun 2007, ems wrote:

    i wouldn't have expected her to be such a diva. thanks anyway for trying, i hope your eardrums heal.

  24. At 10:34 AM on 12 Jun 2007, kerry carrick (frome) wrote:

    hiya wat u doin lol

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