Fed up of the froth, mirth and sentimentality of the Yuletide muzak yet? To bring you an antidote and alternative soundtrack for your Christmas holidays we caught up with the utterly charming Roi Robertson of Mechanical Cabaret over a sorbet and peppermint tea and ruminated on the band’s latest single, pastoral London views and the fact that we’ve never seen him and Noel Fielding in the same room together…
Who’s in the band?
I do all the writing, recording and programming in the studio and Bruce Lovelock does all the artwork and imagery for all the records, adverts and so on. When we play live Bruce plays the basslines on an analogue monosynth, I do the vocals, jump about and act-up in general, and we usually get one or two mates in to play live synths or drumpads, depending on how we fancy doing it and who’s available at the time.
Whereabouts in London are you based and what’s ace about it?
We’re based in North London, around Highgate and Muswell Hill. I’ve lived in this area for 12 years and I love it. There’s the amazing views of London from the hills, all the fantastic woods and parks around there, like Waterlow Park, Highgate Woods and the Cemetery, Alexandra Palace etc, some brilliant buildings, and a very bizarre community too… all this and it’s still near enough to central London to feel like you DO live here, and not in some suburban hell-hole miles from anywhere.
What are you up to at the moment?
We’ve just released a new single this week called Disbehave which is out on Major Records as a CD single and the obligatory download from iTunes. Also, I’m recording a new album at the moment due to be released next spring.
What do you sound like?
‘Sleazy, spiky synth-punk’ seems to be the most common opinion amongst people, so who am I to argue? They must be right!
Why should we listen to you than every other band out there?
You should listen to them all, including us, and then make your own decisions.
What’s your favourite London venue?
Electric Ballroom – big stage, huge PA and lots of room for people to dance!
Can you think of an unusual London location that should open itself up
Buckingham Palace. The Royal Family could organise the door security, and take our money from us in person for a change!
Have you ever busked on the underground… how was it?
They don’t have any plug sockets in those tunnels…
What’s your favourite record shop in London?
Sister Ray on Berwick Street.
What’s your favourite club night in London?
Electrogogo which is a night I do at Madame JoJo’s in Soho, with DJ’s Mark Moore and Frankie D.
What’s your favourite song so far this year?
‘Destroy Everything You Touch’ by Ladytron
What other new London bands / artists should we be checking out?
Where can we see you playing next?
Friday 21st December at Camden Underworld playing with Soho Dolls and Selfish Cunt. We’re on at 8pm.
What’s your London secret?
I was an extra in the first series of The Mighty Boosh. I’m in the crowd during the ‘Electroboy’ song where Howard Moon loses all his clothes.