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Onion Talking: James Cook’s Adventures in Ausland Part 2

28 Feb
© James Cook / Media Curve

© James Cook / Media Curve

If you’re a die hard fan of The Mighty Boosh or a lover of alternative music crafted with care for the details, chances are you’ve heard of James Cook. If you haven’t, then perhaps you haven’t been reading TVO properly these last five years.

With his new album out now, Cook has returned to the London music scene in recent months, and sat down to talk to TVO’s editor-in-chief Paul Holmes, about his past, present and future in a revealing two-part interview, ahead of the next round of his club night, Outsiders, on February 26th.

Part One was shared with you in mid February, and you can read the second part of our discussions below…

History tells us that the most famous of men named James Cook sailed thousands of miles across largely uncharted areas of the globe, mapping lands from New Zealand to Hawaii to an unprecedented level during his voyages of discovery.  There’s a sense of irony in the way his namesake – cult musician James Cook, formerly of NEMO, has traversed the globe over the past decade.

“The last ten years have been pretty crazy to be honest,” Cook tells TVO, as we continue our first in-depth catch-up since James performed at The Velvet Onion Live night almost three years ago.  “I started touring in 2004,” he continues, “when I was the guitarist in IAMX for about a year. We travelled across Europe, Russia and the USA – a rotating line-up featuring Chris Corner, Noel Fielding, Sue Denim, Dee Plume, Julian Barratt, Julia Davis and myself.  It was an amazing year, and the first time I started earning money from music.  Unfortunately,” he adds, “I couldn’t remain in IAMX because I had to concentrate on NEMO.”

© James Cook

© James Cook

NEMO were the electro-tinged indie darlings who released three albums in four years, concurrently with the televisual run of The Mighty Boosh, with which they were closely linked.  While they never cracked the mainstream in England, the band were particularly successful across Europe, taking James to Germany, Poland, Austria, Switzerland and the Czech Republic.  However, James decided to disband NEMO in 2008, and move to Berlin.

“I started touring solo,” he recalls, “with just a laptop and electric guitar. This actually enabled me to be even freer with my movements, so I continued my European travels as well as venturing further away to the Americas, visiting Uruguay, Argentina, New York and LA.  I was mostly invited to these places, or I knew people there and sought out gigs and travel. Myspace allowed NEMO to have fans all over the world, so it was a relief and a dream come true to be able to travel through music.”

All of this travel enthused his latest record, Adventures in Auslandnamed after the German word for ‘abroad’. “It can also mean ‘outside’,” Cook notes. “Or ‘otherness’.  Wanderlust is addictive. Once I had a sniff of that lifestyle, I was hooked! There was no question of me not taking every opportunity to escape the comparative confines of London, and the experiences gained from all this travel fed directly into the new album. Songs were written and recorded across several years in LA, Montevideo, Buenos Aires, Prague, Berlin, Vienna, Genova and London, now I’m based here again.”

© James Cook

© James Cook

Adventures in Ausland marks James’ second full length solo album, following 2012’s Arts and Sciences and 2013’s covers EP Reverse Engineering.  With three NEMO albums and the full-length record by side-project The Dollhouse behind him, however, the album is technically his sixth complete record, and arguably his best work yet.

“The feedback has been great so far,” Cook states, “which is obviously why you continue releasing new material. The aim is to constantly improve and grow, and hopefully never repeat yourself. I think I am physically unable to repeat myself artistically. I never make the same album twice, and have never even used the same method and techniques twice. I always use new and different musicians and instruments, and the process of recording is as important as the writing stage. It’s basically a series of filters, like distilling alcohol like some sort of electro/chemical process.”

Well, quite. Indeed, the album adds brass elements to Cook’s impressive canon, The usual degree of classy strings and James’ curious ability to sound both impassioned and distant at the same time remain, but this album feels less immediate and more mature than ever before.  James’ natural influences – Lou Reed, David Bowie, Scott Walker – remain at the heart of his work, and as the years have progressed, other artists have crossed James’ path and made an enormous contribution to his style. TVO notes that there appear to be strong traces of Neil Hannon’s work across Cook’s catalogue, and James is quick to own up to an admiration for the songwriter.

© James Cook

© James Cook

“It’s hard to disguise formative influences,” he notes, “and the first two Divine Comedy records were definitely a big influence on me, and it took me a while to shake the influence off! I initially discovered them whilst living in Paris and was blown away by something that seemed to me to come from another universe. I then investigated Scott Walker and Jacques Brel as a result of listening to them, so I owe Mr Hannon quite a debt!

The mention of Brel draws conversation to an intriguing aspect of Adventures in Ausland: Cook’s voice has often been compared to Marc Almond, and the album features a new interpretation of Brel’s magnificent Jacky, which was infamously given a camp disco makeover in the early 90s. James was aware that this could draw closer comparisons to Almond’s work, but his love for the original song overrode any reservations he had. It was time, he suggests, to finally do it justice.

“Brel was one of the 20th century’s greatest songwriters,” James explains. “People like Scott Walker brought his amazing songs to an English speaking pop audience in a way he could never have done himself. However, as a university student of politics and French, I became obsessed with how badly his songs are actually translated into English. Most of them totally miss the point, or just simply don’t make much sense, and it is perhaps impossible for anyone who doesn’t speak French to understand that.”

“They’re very satirical songs,” he continues. “Very personal, very dark and very funny, so doing a proper translation is really no mean feat. I had always dreamt of doing my own modern translations of his song. Scott Walker’s version of Jacky was my main reference, but so was Momus 1986 version, Nicky.”

“People have been saying I sound like Marc Almond for years,” he sighs. “I’ve never really been a fan. I think that first Soft Cell record is great, but I think it’s more that we had a similar music and cultural upbringing. We definitely share similar tastes and influences in our music, so that’s probably where it comes from. But Marc Almond’s version of Jacky is pretty crap and pointless really, so I decided to pluck up the guts to go for my own version. It’s a very personal song, so you have to make it about yourself – which is why my version is called Jamie, after my childhood name. Then you have to have the appropriate cultural references, and requisite irony, correctly translated and updated. When I sing it live, I update the words to fit current situations. That’s how it should be done.”

© James Cook

© James Cook

We’re suddenly touching on ground that has come up in the Cook’s work previously: a sense of frustration about the abandonment of art and discovery, hand in hand with the rise of technology and the era of disposability. It is something TVO is only too acutely aware of, and James shares our frustration and apprehension about the way society is headed.

“Without sounding too depressing,” he explains, “I genuinely feel we are in some sort of cultural nadir right now. Technology should be allowing us to create more and more insanely mindblowing art, but all we seem to be doing as a collective community is tweeting nonsense, and posting up pics of ourselves, our food and our pets. The idea that we have all the information known to man inside our pockets, is something that would have been inconceivable even fifteen years ago.  Somehow that potential access has frozen us in fear, mediocrity and narcisism.”

“Music has been devalued to virtually nothing,” Cook continues. “Disposable, vacuous art permeates popular culture. Narrative creativity seems to be anachronistic. Attention spans are at an all time low. Our technology is controlling us right now, rather than the other way round. Let’s hope we snap out of this dystopian Orwellian nightmare and take control of our lives and collective destiny!”

TVO proposes that one way independent artists are trying to do exactly that, is by abandoning traditional release structures, and turning to pledge culture to release their work via fundraisers and special releases. Could the future for James involve making albums through this method?

“I am open to it,” he suggests, considering the angles. “I’ll try anything and everything I can with my future releases. I’m currently working on three new albums, and must find new ways for people to experience them. Unfortunately, I have a small fanbase, and am not really very good at self-promotion or asking for money when it comes to my own music. Those Kickstarter type situations seem unappealing to me, somehow, but I’m looking into them.”

There’s an interesting honesty about Cook. He is perhaps, his own worst critic, yet acts also as his own personal champion. Proud of his achievements, but keen to downplay his abilities, there’s a sense of an artist who still has so much left to give and an awful lot more to say. As conversation moves briefly onto science fiction, and Cook and TVO share a mutual moment of Doctor Who admiration, he teases about a treatment he is working on for an animated time-travel detective spy thriller. There’s a sense that he has so much more to give, and TVO could listen to him talk about his plans for hours. Sadly, it is time for James to disappear into the early dusk of a Winter’s day. Before he goes, however, TVO suggests that, in an ideal world, Cook would be utilising his delicious string arrangements, cryptic lyrics and silky smooth vocals on the next James Bond theme. “Oh, god, yeah! That would be another dream come true,” he beams. “But I guess I’ll have to join the queue for that one!”

James Cook returns with Outsiders on 26th March. His new album, Adventures in Ausland is available now via Bandcamp

Onion Talking: James Cook’s Adventures in Ausland Part 1

18 Feb
© James Cook / Media Curve

© James Cook / Media Curve

If you’re a die hard fan of The Mighty Boosh or a lover of alternative music crafted with care for the details, chances are you’ve heard of James Cook. If you haven’t, then perhaps you haven’t been reading TVO properly these last five years.

With his new album out now, Cook has returned to the London music scene in recent months, and sat down to talk to TVO’s editor-in-chief Paul Holmes, about his past, present and future in a revealing two-part interview, ahead of the next round of his club night, Outsiders, on February 26th. The initial results are below…

The story of any cultural movement that shaped the course of an entire industry is always fascinating to hear.  Some stories, however, have yet to be told in any real detail, such as the birth and subsequent explosion of the new wave of alternative comedy and music that existed in tandem at the turn of the millennium, focused primarily in the heart of North London.

One major player in all of this was James Cook – former frontman of cult favourites NEMO, collaborator of Chris Corner and regular guest star with The Mighty Boosh.  For the last six years, Berlin has been Cook’s base, and thanks to large amount of travel, he knows his ‘way around’ LA, Montevideo and Prague, too. But London will always be his real home. 

© James Cook / Media Curve

© James Cook / Media Curve

“This year has definitely felt like some sort of homecoming,” he tells TVO as he strolls the cold streets of a capital knee-deep into Winter. “It feels like home, really. I was born and grew up in Luton and Dunstable, but London was somehow embedded in my subconscious. It was the teenage dream for a musician and songwriter, to head into the Big Smoke!”

Now following a period of several years spent living abroad, Cook has returned to London to make it his permanent home once more, and has already begun finding his feet again with a new regular live night in the works.

Indeed, as TVO caught up with Cook, he was filled with enthusiasm for the opening night of Outsiders – his alternative pop cabaret at Aces & 8’s in Tufnell Park. “The room was completely full,” James exclaims, full of joy. “The audience was great and the night was fun and exciting – for the band as well as the crowd. It was a lovely way to begin the live side of things again.”

Outsiders features Cook hosting a night of, in his terms: “music and nonsense, with a bit of classic pop dj-ing from yours truly”. It’s also an opportunity to see his ever expanding live band, plus special guests every month. Fifteen years after NEMO began their career as part of legendary club night, The System, there’s a sense that his journey has come full circle.

© James Cook

© James Cook

A whole decade has passed since those heady days, when NEMO ran The System as an electro/indie club night of their own.  “It was unheard of back then,” James states.  “The scene blossomed. Robots in Disguise, Chris Corner and Sneaker Pimps… who later became IAMX, The Mighty Boosh, Imogen Heap, Graham Coxon… they were all regulars.”

“We all used to hang out together as friends,” he continues.  “We’d go to each others events, get drunk together, perform, collaborate, and guest in each other’s shows. I remember once performing a song onstage at the Hen & Chickens with The Mighty Boosh, and Julian Barratt pretending to ‘fancy’ me after seeing me perform. He tried to snog me!” He bursts out laughing, and adds: “Much to Noel’s annoyance!”

Cook subsequently shared a flat in Angel with Barratt and violinist Anne Marie Kirby, with whom he still works to this day. “That was between 2003 and 2007,” explains James.  “So it coincided with my touring with IAMX, NEMO’s rise to infamy, and the writing and filming of all three series of The Mighty Boosh.  They kept calling me in for some weird and wonderful cameo…” He adopts an impression: “James Nemo? Are you available to come to shooting 8am tomorrow morning with the Boosh? Today you will be a blue alien nomad. Can you play this Oud?”

Indeed, Cook’s cameos on the show are numerous. He was one of the Ape of Death’s bodyguard mandrills, a Mod Wolf, a mutant postman, magical shaman, dying hipster, a blue tennis player (The Blue McEnroe, no less), and perhaps most delightfully, Kevin Rowland, searching for the New Sound.  His biggest role in the show, came as a blue-faced nomadic minstrel, slave to Rich Fulcher’s Blue King Alan, who is composes a song about Vince Noir being ‘The Chosen One’.

© Baby Cow Productions

© Baby Cow Productions

“We seriously wrote that song together five minutes before we shot that scene,” James reveals.  “Shooting the Boosh was a bit like that. There was always room for people to put themselves into the role, add lines and improvise. That was the reason for so much laughter and hilarity on set. They were truly magical times.”

It is perhaps hard to believe that it’s now over seven years since the third series aired, and almost eight since the Boosh team were making new episodes – a fact that Cook is all too acutely aware of.  “It still feels very recent,” he tells TVO, “but everyone involved has been so creative and busy that it also feels like forever.  So much amazing material has gone out into the world from that little scene of comedians and musicians.”

“I was so glad when TVO came along,” he adds passionately, “to help join the dots for people. In the early days I felt like I was the one constantly talking about the collective hive mind we had. That family feel. We used to go on holiday together, make short films…” He trails off as a near-forgotten memory rises to the surface.  “We made a legendary silent horror film which we shot in France.  It was called ‘La Rose D’Envie’, and featured Julian Barratt, Chris Corner, Sue Denim and myself. Never even released!”

© Baby Cow Productions

© Baby Cow Productions

The creative family has widened, remoulded and become increasingly fluid in recent years, yet at its core will always be two inter-connected groups – that of Ealing Live (a comedy troupe featuring Alice Lowe, Richard Glover, Oram & Meeten, Katy Brand, Simon Farnaby and many, many others), and the Boosh/IAMX collective across the city.

“When you started to write about it in TVO,” James enthuses, “I was relieved that someone else had noticed the connections and references. It means it has been initially documented and recognised, but the full story can and should be fleshed out properly one day.”

“There was so much creative overlap,” he continues, “between the comedy shows, music nights, albums and tv programmes. The energy was bursting out of North London at the time. A lot of it is captured within the art, but there are so many little notes and stories…” He pauses for a moment, then adds with determination: “I would love to write some sort of memoir about it one day!”

James Cook returns with Outsiders on 26th February. His new album, Adventures in Ausland is available now via Bandcamp. Part Two of this interview will follow next week.

Mercedes Grower: Bringing The Ooo And The Eee To Life

8 Feb

© Mercedes Grower

Earlier this week we caught up with actress and film maker, Mercedes Grower. She’s phenomenally well-connected to the web of creative people who we write about, and we’ll be bringing you more about the work that she’s doing in due course (including news of a really exciting project that includes lots TVO-linked folk!). Right now, however, we’ve been talking to her about her role directing the video for Psycho Delia‘s current single ‘The Ooo and the Eee’.

The promo video for The Ooo and the Eee is an eye-pleasing coupling of London bike ride-based psychedelics and Studio 54 performance glamour. Its formation is the result of a female-centric partnership between Psycho Delia‘s Dee Plume, director friend Mercedes Grower, DOP Shiraz Ksaiba and editor Pat Grimm. It provides the perfect cinematic indie art house backdrop to the song’s carefree folksy/punky/electronica sound.

The inspiration for the film was the song itself, an initial storyline from Dee, and an early idea that Mercedes had about seeing the world float by. Dee had recently been spending time cycling around the city, and Mercedes liked the idea of capturing the strange feeling of a solitary bike ride, and of something creeping up on you.

They didn’t have much filming equipment at their disposal so they had to improvise, using a camera attached to the handlebars of Dee’s bike, which focusd on her face, and a second camera attached to Mercedes’ old Mini. “It was hilarious! I was driving the Mini really slowly around Hackney Wick, with Dee looking like an amazing terrorist Olympic gymnast.” she laughs.

© Psycho Delia

To create the interior sequences, Mercedes rigged up a projector to throw images of giant insects and landscapes onto Dee’s body. “I was telling her these weird stories while she was dancing to get different emotions from her.” Mercedes explains. And the approach worked: “In the arts it’s important that you trust the other person, in order to creatively exchange ideas.” She says.

Floating image projection is a technique Mercedes used to employ to create installations for parties when she lived in New York. This approach meant persuading Dee to get naked. It leads us to discuss the sexualisation of female singers in mainstream pop videos and the effect it’s having on young music fans (“the girls who just see these other girls gyrating” Mercedes laughs).

© Psycho Delia

It’s something she gets irritated about, contrasting it with the musical role models who she admired when she was growing up (the likes of Blondie, Patti Smith and Kate Bush), who she distinguishes as having balls and something to say, without taking themselves too seriously. She’s also a fan of 90’s feminist punk band Bikini Kill, noting that Dee reminds her of the band’s singer, Kathleen Hanna.

I wonder if Mercedes would ever consider directing a video for one of today’s mainstream musicians?

She’s tickled by the idea: “I’d like to put some clothes on them, show them some Blondie or Patti Smith – artists with humour. Even though Dee is in a swimsuit in our video, it’s not done in that way,” Mercedes explains. “She’s climbing walls and doing tomboy things. It’s more sexy in fact, because it’s weird.”

To watch the video in full, take a look below:

The Ooo and The Eee by Psycho Delia is available to download from amazon or iTunes now.

Many thanks to Mercedes for taking the time to talk to The Velvet Onion.  

Ooo, Eee, It’s A New Song From Dee!

15 Dec

Dee Plume has unleashed the third single from her solo project Psycho Delia.

Formerly one half of Robots In Disguise and a regular guest star in The Mighty Boosh, Dee has been working on Psycho Delia for some time now, and this track: The Ooo & The Eee, comes complete with a charming music video you can see below.

The song will be available to buy shortly, but links are still being confirmed. We’ll try to update you when we can, but in the meantime, keep your eyes on Dee’s Twitter page for more info.

What Happens In Vegas…

16 Mar

© Psycho Delia

Psycho Delia continue their kickass musical assault on the US with further gigs confirmed, including one this Tuesday in Las Vegas!

They will be performing a set for friends of the LV Zine Library  on Tuesday night at a special open house (the library’s first ever open house no less!). The venue invites you to: “Come get to know your local underground library, dance and get funky!” We’re guessing Vegas libraries aren’t quite the same as the ones we have over here then. For more information, visit the event Facebook page.

Keep a close eye on Dee’s twitter account for last-minute announcements of other gigs while they’re over there. The duo are currently leaving a stream are happy fans in their wake following a series of ad hoc shows, so don’t miss out.

 

Go Psycho At Home

9 Mar

© Amanda Guerra

You may have spotted that Dee Plume has been offering fans the opportunity to experience a Psycho Delia gig in the comfort of their own home. Now one kind soul has offered to extend her ‘at home’ invitation to you lot!

The very generous (and possibly slightly mad) Madeleine Mendell will be hosting an intimate Psycho Delia gig, featuring Dee and Paula Faircloth, in her back garden in Los Angeles USA, on Sunday March 30th. The estimated show time is “at around 4pm”.

Unsurprisingly, audience numbers will be limited, but if you fancy being there please message Madeleine via the event facebook page for more information.

And if you fancy hosting your own gig, why not contact Dee via her twitter? Don’t forget to ask nicely though.

Short Arms Short Legs EP

18 Feb
© Easy Action / Psycho Delia

© Easy Action / Psycho Delia

Psycho Delia fans got some exciting news today. The EP for ‘Short Arms, Short Legs’ is available for download on iTunes.

Featuring four different versions (including two dance remixes and one sung in French!) the EP costs just £3.16 in the UK / $3.96 in the U.S. or £0.79/ 99¢ for individual song purchase.

So what are you waiting for? Let’s get Psycho!

Woolly Psycho

11 Jan

© Dee Plume

Brrrrrrr! If you’re in the northern hemisphere, winter’s here. And Dee Plume has very kindly catered for the weather with a new line of woolly snoods as part of her Psycho Delia merch range!

The two-tone limited edition woolly neck warmer, modelled beautifully by Dee is this picture, is “knitted by a Psycho” and available for £15 with or without pom poms. To find out more, and to see it modelled on what might possibly be her teddy bear (bless!), click here. Scarves are so last season.

To see the rest of her kicking range of Psycho Delia products have a nosy at this.

TVO’s Review Of The Year 2013: Part Four

4 Jan

Hello and a warm welcome to the final part of our Review of 2013. Although October to December may feel like it only just happened, prepare to be amazed by how much you’ve forgotten. We were, but then we’re getting on a  bit.

So here are the best bits from the fourth quarter of the year – cherry-picked from news stories about both our regulars and a few new faces too. Enjoy.

OCTOBER

October was the month that Booshmania returned.  Just as the fantastic Behind the Boosh exhibition started its run at Proud Camden, showcasing the history of that most Mighty of comedic troops via the majesty of Dave Brown‘s photography, the boys were back in town.  Or rather, on the pier, as The Mighty Boosh went from the Soho Theatre to Tenacious D’s Festival Supreme in LA. A final (chaotic) UK warm-up show and a further run through at The Comedy Store, almost halted by a Visa saga, paved the way for a live performance that turned out to be one of the Festival’s highlights. Fan forums and social media platforms were buzzing with photos, footage and reviews of the show.

Another announcement that got us more than a bit over-excited in October was the news that Ben Wheatley is to direct the first 2 episodes of the next series of Doctor Who, starring the new Time Lord, Peter Capaldi. How good is that!?  We’re itching to see what happens when you combine one of the UK’s finest directors with its biggest export, now in the capable hands of an Oscar-winning acting legend to boot.  You can see the moment Capaldi became the Doctor in the 2013 Xmas special below…

More telly stuff, with the launch of Matt Berry’s new series, Toast Of London.  We’d been itching to see it since the pilot back in 2012, and it did not disappoint…

Elsewhere, Richard Ayoade established himself as a permanent fixture on prime time panel shows with a stint as team captain on Was It Something I Said? on Channel 4. Ayoade’s intellectual sparring with host David Mitchell certainly made our Sunday evenings feel a bit more highbrow!

What else?  Well, in movie news, there was an update on the cast for Paul King‘s long-awaited Paddington Bear feature film, which included mention of Rufus Jones and James Bachman. To end the month, TVO artists offered us a veritable smorgasbord of comedy options for Halloween night’s out, with special spooky performances from Colin Hoult and Richard Sandling.  And we were sad to lose the talented comedy actor Felix Dexter, who died at the too-young age of 52. He left behind an incredible legacy of great TV performances on shows like Bellamy’s PeopleAbsolutely Fabulous, The Fast ShowKnowing Me Knowing You… With Alan Partridge, Mongrels and Alexei Sayle’s Merry Go Round to name but a few. He will be much misse, and would typically hate all this fuss about him, so let’s remember him with one of his silliest moments – dancing for Sport Relief alongside Rhys Thomas and Lucy Montgomery.  What a dude.

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Onion Talking: Psycho Delia Unplugged in New York

21 Nov

© Taras Hnatyshyn

Last month Dee Plume made a short visit to NYC, and whilst there performed a few acoustic sets in her own inimitable pop/punk “in your face” style. Our Velvet Onion NYC correspondent, Gina R Snape, met up with her after her open mic performance at Sidewalk Cafe for a one-on-one. Here’s how the conversation went:

You came to New York on holiday?

I’ve been to New York before, so I’m not that bothered to go to the Empire State Building and other touristy stuff again, and I thought I really need to be doing some music! I came here with the intention of finishing some songs off. And when I got here, I just thought – I really need to do some live performing!

How is it playing your solo material in an unfamiliar setting? 

It’s good. It’s really progressing me as a musician and a performer. I’ve been doing a lot of gigs with my drummer. I’ve been playing electric guitar, with loads of effects, so then with drums and two vocals it’s a big sound, loads more sort of rock’n’roll. So to come and play guitar and just sing, it’s hard because it’s all on me! And then I have to be good! There’s no more hiding behind a wall of sound. And what I like about playing open mic is that you’re testing out your songs. So if they don’t work in that context, you have to rewrite them.

It felt like you were doing that, testing things out, seeing how things flow…

Yeah, yeah yeah! And also, it’s really good to do things on your own. When I was with Robots in Disguise, we took turns being the front person, and we had a backing track. I didn’t really have to fully take responsibility. If I didn’t sing a note, Sue would sing the note. So there was always someone to fall back on in a really big way. So now, doing it on my own and only with an acoustic guitar – you’ve really got to be good.

And really good is what Dee was. While in NYC, she performed three acoustic sets of her new material, which included: Now I’m a Square (about giving up drink and smoke), Two Degrees of Separation (“About my ex”), Don’t Fuck Your Producer (“I wish someone had given me that advice when I was starting out!”) a cover of Physical Attraction by Madonna (“I’m a massive Madonna fan”) and Short Arms Short Legs (a comedic song – in English and French!) When played acoustically, her songs have a very personal feel to them, and they illustrate Psycho Delia’s ability to combine catchy hooks with genuine emotion and good fun.
© Taras Hnatyshyn

© Taras Hnatyshyn

It’s hard. Because when you write with someone else, we would write a verse and a chorus each, and then meet up and bash it out. But I’ve been doing bits of writing with my drummer, Paula. And on the recordings I’ve done – Two Degrees of Separation, Short Arms Short Legs and My Own Language – I had Faye from The Savages, she wrote all her own drum parts; we kind of did that together. So I think that really helps me, writing with a drummer. I need to write with someone else. You need to bounce off someone. But then that’s why open mic is good, in terms of feedback, because you can take that back and see if it works.

How does the material that you use for your solo songs differ from the material you used for RiD?

Well they’re not a million miles away, because I was half of that band. Lyrically, they’re all about me now. Whereas with Robots, even if it started on my own, it became quite shared emotionally, because both of us were putting ideas in. So this is completely about me.

A lot of my songs are kind of funny, which is what I’m interested in. I want my songs to be entertaining, and have interesting themes, and make people laugh as well. I suppose they are kind of like Robots songs because they were always really positive on purpose – even if the starting point was negative. It’s like a place to put emotion, but I want it to be entertaining and not negative.

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Rude In Camden With Psycho Delia

19 Nov

Psycho Delia will be performing this Thursday, 21st November, as part of RUDE at Proud in Camden.

© Dee Plume

Every Thursday, the music club RUDE curates a weekly rendezvous with an eclectic variety of next wave bands and DJs. Psycho Delia will form part of the live section of the evening, which will be presented by Cool for Cats.  Also on the bill will be Mooli(a double-act of Ben Copland and Kristina Smith) and Lone Taxidermist (“Skewed glam electro pop with a disconcerting and psychedelic edge” – The Quietus).

The night runs 8pm-1.30am and advanced tickets cost £4 from here. General admission is £7, and the (somewhat confusing) Proud guestlist gets you in for free before 10pm; then in for a fiver after 10pm. For more information visit the event Facebook page.

Fans of Psycho Delia can look forwards to our exclusive interview with Dee Plume from her recent trip to New York, which will coming to these pages very soon!..

Psycho Delia Gets Arty

30 Oct

© Dee Plume

This Friday, Dee Plume as Psycho Delia will get arty with ‘A Dialogue Of Sound And Vision’ at Alleycat in central London.

Dee will be teaming up with artist Maricarmen Felices to combine music and the visual arts in what promises to be a rather surreal evening. Live music will be provided by Psycho Delia and friends Six Years and Sister Mercedes with the arty side provided by ‘live projections in paint on the band and audience.’

If you want to be part of the art, instructions are to dress in white all over (including painting your face and limbs).

The evening is part of the regular ‘New Shoes’ night at Alleycat (near Tottenham Court Road tube) and entry is just £4.84. More details can be found on the night’s Facebook event page.

Psycho Delia in Willyburg!

14 Oct

© Gina R Snape

Calling all Psycho Delia fans! Dee Plume has lined up one more gig before departing NYC!

Billed as an “Acoustic noodlings of the extensive PD songbook” Dee Plume invites all to “Join in on vox and foot-tap” for this tour of Psych Delia oeuvre at Spike Hill Music in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

So come on down for this free gig, before she flies back to the UK for Oxjam Brixton!

(Stay tuned for more on her adventures in the Big Apple!).

Dee Goes Psycho In Brixton

13 Oct

© Oxjam Brixton Takeover

Dee Plume will be performing as Psycho Delia at next Saturday’s Oxjam Brixton Takeover 2013.

The festival takes place on Saturday 19th October and aims to raise cash for Oxfam. It will feature more than 40 acts in total (including bands, artists and DJs), with 13 hours of live music performed across six venues in Brixton. Psycho Delia will be performing at The Windmill at 10pm. For the full line-up at The Windmill visit the venue’s website.

Advanced tickets are £10, and buying one gives you access to all six of the festival venues. They are available now from WeGotTickets.

For the full event listings take a look at this, and to keep up to date with general Takeover news visit the event’s Facebook page.

If that isn’t enough Dee for you, look out for our exclusive report of her recent trip to New York. Coming soon!

 

 

Go Psycho In The Library

30 Jul

© Patrycja Grimm

Psycho Delia will be performing as part of the Mayor of Camden, Jonathan Simpson‘s summer library concerts.

You can see Dee play at Holborn Library on 8th August (the show starts at 6pm), and what’s more it’s completely free! Ankura (a local female-fronted rock/blues four piece) will also be performing on the bill.

You can find Holborn Library at 32-38 Theobald’s Road, WC1X 8PA.

For more information about the gig, check out the event facebook page.

Wake Up (And Bid)!

22 Jul

© Dee Plume

Robots In Disguise fans may be pleased to know they stand a chance of owning a really special slice of memorabilia… in the form of a Robot Lipstick costume!

The quirky outfit in Tatty Devine blue was designed to promote the band’s Wake Up! single back in 2010, and was also used on stage during live performances.  It is now the latest bit of RiD costumery and the like to be auctioned off by Dee Plume via e-bay, so if you fancy getting something a little different in your living room, this could be it!

You can bid over yonder, and revisit the brilliant Wake Up via it’s music video below.

Psycho Delia Goes East

10 Jul

© Emmett Green / Dee Plume

Psycho Delia will be performing at East End Live on Saturday, July 13th!

East End Live is the perfect event for music fans as it promises 60+ artists on 12 stages with just one ticket. Dee Plume and Paula Fair will take the stage at The Shoreditch just before 8pm so you will have plenty of time to soak in the atmosphere and pump yourself up.

Tickets for East End Live are a mere £16.50 and as aforementioned, this gives you access to 12 stages and over 60 acts. Who doesn’t want to spend a day listening to bands with names such as Wet Nuns, Blurt, Grumbling Fur, Good Throb, Happy Hooves and Weird Menace?

You can get your tickets to this music bonanza over here and start planning your Saturday by visiting the official website to see the full line-up.

See & Wear Psycho Delia

13 Jun

© Dee Plume / Mercedes Grower

New opportunities have opened up today for fans to show their support for Psycho Delia.

If you’re up for experiencing the band perform live you can see them on the Women’s Stage at the London’s Pride Festival on Saturday 29th June. All performances will take place between 2 and 8pm, and it happens at Candy Bar Soho, 4 Carlisle Street, London W1D 3BJ. For more information about the full line-up visit the event’s facebook page.

If, however, you prefer to wear your admiration for Dee Plume‘s music on your body, why not check out Psycho Delia’s new merch range? There are some seriously cool printed tees, socks and tights, plus a framed print for just £10. To see the full range and start shopping click here.

Psycho Delia & The Moustache

2 Jun

© Emmett Green / Dee Plume

This week Dee Plume spoke to blogger Chloe Has a Moustache about her partnerships with creative brands such as Tatty Divine and Barry M, and what makes her tick as an artist.

It’s a short wee interview, but it provides us with a few little gems such as what inspires Dee (“Visuals and movement…colours/shapes and energy”) and what lies behind her beauty regime (“Cycling. Black eye liner. Sue Denim’s homemade lip balm.”). To read the interview in full click here.

Don’t forget that Psycho Delia‘s first single 2 Degrees Of Separation is out now – and you can download it from iTunes here.

Psycho Video Madness

28 May

Yesterday, we saw the release of Psycho Delia‘s first single 2 Degrees Of Separation and today the official music video is out.

Dee Plume‘s solo project Psycho Delia started out on the live circuit but slowly developed into a fully realised concept. Now fans can finally feast their eyes on the first (of many, we hope!) music video from the forthcoming album release.

The video for 2 Degrees Of Separation is a high-energy visual madness created by Pat Grimm and shows Dee Plume and Emmett Green frolicking in colours with countless accessories, finger puppets and catchy lyrics. Watch the pop art affair below or on Youtube, and don’t forget to download the single.

 

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