Roisin & Bertie

One can't help but notice the similarities between Liquorice Allsorts mascot Bertie Bassett and one of Roisin's recent stage incarnations.

Just a coincidence or is Roisin the girl caught with her hand in the sweet tin?

You Know Me Better - out today!

Don't forget that Roisin's new single You Know Me Better is released today, so head over to your local record store for the physical formats or start downloading online!

In the meantime, here's a nice little review from musicOMH.com:

Class is something we associate with Roisin Murphy, and You Know Me Better exudes this effortlessly over Andy Cato's Balearic house beats.

In some way that pushes it closer to a Groove Armada guest slot, but Murphy's vocals are strong enough to pull it back, a slice of electro-disco that may be polished within an inch of its life, but comes back for more with its yearning melody.

As a reminder of Murphy's excellent Overpowered album it does the job - there's plenty to rival it on the album - and the remixes from Samim, Trevor Loveys, Guy Williams and Toddla T are well chosen.


Ramalama Shout Out

This blog has now been enhanced with a shout-out widget, which I have labelled as the Ramalama Shout Out.

You can find the Ramalama Shout Out in the side menu.

31.03.08 Update: I much prefer the sound of Ramalama Blah Blah, so the name has been changed.

Roisin's habitat

Have you ever wondered what Roisin's house is like?

Blog reader Mike sent me this scan of a recent article from a News of the World supplement, where Roisin poses in and talks about her London home. She even throws in a few style tips.

Way Down Under

Here's a picture of Roisin in the Australian sun light doing what she does best. She's performing several more shows over the coming week. - Picture courtesy of I am Cassius.

In the meantime, Roisin's tour is getting quite some press in the country. From The Age newspaper:

Weird signs
Her individual style has put her at odds with a wider audience. But is now, asks Guy Blackman, finally the time for Roisin Murphy?

Roisin (pronounced "Rosheen") Murphy, an artist at odds with herself, heads to Australia this week for the V Festival. As the kooky Irish half of English duo Moloko, she dominated charts and dance floors around the turn of the century with singles such as Sing It Back and Time Is Now, a pleasingly odd, idiosyncratic presence in the generally conservative world of commercial dance music.

Then, after the end of her eight-year relationship with Moloko partner Mark Brydon, Murphy went solo in 2005 and made perhaps the best dance-pop record released this decade. Overseen by British auteur producer Matthew Herbert, Ruby Blue balances luminous jazz-tinged melodies with Herbert's subtly experimental approach, fashioning percussion tracks from rustled chip packets, riffled notebooks and whisked eggwhisks.

The thing is that despite its brilliance, Ruby Blue was a sales disaster, altogether failing to make the British or US charts. Even her then label Echo refused to get behind it. "They were like, 'This is the wrong record'," Murphy said recently. "I was like, 'Oh, I left the right one outside. Jesus, I must have left it in the car'."

So for second album Overpowered, released in October on EMI, Murphy toed a more conservative line, working with seasoned hit producers such as Groove Armada's Andy Cato and Bugz In The Attic's Paul Dolby. This approach got Murphy back into the British top 20 (barely - the album debuted at 20, then dropped quickly away), but came at the expense of much of her natural personality.

EMI had snapped Murphy up because of her charisma live, saying they thought of her as a potential female Robbie Williams. But really, Murphy is an altogether different creature - capricious, vulnerable and flamboyant, given to wearing outlandish costumes on stage and injuring herself in the line of duty (like in Moscow late last year, where she fell and hit her head while singing, gouging a large hole above her eyebrow that needed plastic surgery to prevent scarring).

So Overpowered's mostly straightforward four-on-the-floor club style sits uneasily with Murphy's acknowledged weirdness.

Perhaps she truly wants to straighten herself out. "It's not nice to be called a nutter," she told the The Guardian in 2005, "because it dismisses the input I've had into my own destiny over the years. I'm up for experimentation and a laugh, but 'nutter' is shorthand for . . . Shaun Ryder is a nutter."

It's worth pointing out, though, that Sing It Back, one of Moloko's biggest hits, was only a hit in drastically pumped-up form, remixed by German DJ Boris Dlugosch in 1999 and hastily tacked on to the end of Moloko's third album, Things To Make and Do, after the non-hit version had already appeared on previous effort I Am Not a Doctor. It seems, then, that Murphy only strikes commercial gold when she allows her kinks to be ironed out by producers and remixers.

So what does this all mean for Murphy's musical future? Overpowered was hardly the smash hit her compromises aimed for, although with third single You Know Me Better released this week in Britain, there may still be some life left in it.

Perhaps she'll next head somewhere totally unexpected - which, judging by her career so far, isn't really unexpected at all. Recently, Murphy has joked about making an album of raw Irish folk tunes: "Not folky-wolky-doo, but really rough-sounding," she suggested to The Times.

Here's hoping, then, that whatever steps Murphy takes next, she finds a way to reach a wider audience while remaining true to her odd and engaging self.


Some new promo pictures

Roisin striking poses in some of her current stage outfits. - Once again a big 'Thank You' to Betty for the pictures.

Sydney Morning Herald interview

Miss Murphy is off to Australia for some gigs, which the Sydney Morning Herald saw as a good reason to interview her:

You might not have heard of Roisin Murphy but you may well have danced to her fiery voice in Sing It Back, one of the biggest hits from British band Moloko.

Since the electronic duo's split in 2004, the Irish-born singer and songwriter has successfully gone it alone; she recently released her second album, Overpowered, to high praise.

Murphy's vocation wasn't an obvious path for her. As a child, she didn't like singing. Later she enrolled at art college in Sheffield and it was there, at a party in 1994, that she met Mark Brydon, the other half of Moloko. She approached him and asked, "Do you like my tight sweater?"

The chat-up line would become the title of Moloko's first album. The band released three more albums and reached world fame with The Time Is Now and Sing It Back, remixes of which have featured on more than 100 compilation albums.

Even at the height of Moloko's success, Murphy didn't feel like it was a career. "It felt like an expression of the relationship that I was in," she says. "I took it really for granted. I woke up in the morning, I was in Moloko; Mark was beside me in the bed."

It was only when Moloko started to wind down that Murphy realised how much singing meant to her.

"I think it cemented some kind of sense of 'Oh, Lord, I really love doing this'."

Murphy started working on her first solo album, Ruby Blue, straight after the band split up. "We did the last show at the Brixton Academy; the next day I was in the studio with Matthew Herbert," she says.

A minor success, Ruby Blue helped carve a name for her as a solo artist and in 2006 EMI signed her.

Murphy's two solo albums were produced in very different ways. "The first one was a more experimental process, whereby you just go into the studio and see what happens," she says. "The second one is a more determined outcome."

For Overpowered, Murphy went back to her musical roots in Sheffield and listened to disco records with DJ friends. The outcome is full of house, pop and electro music with beats from the '80s. She calls it disco but doesn't limit it to the Saturday Night Fever variety.

"Any kind of dance music that's very functional on the one hand and emotional on the other becomes disco to me."

Murphy likes the contradiction of being happy on the dance floor while listening to a sad song. "This idea behind the song may be very sad but we've all felt it so there is a kind of joy in that connection between everybody in the club," she says.

Murphy had so much fun on her last visit to Australia that if it weren't for her family in Ireland she would live here, she says. "Australian people are so warm and full of energy ... It's a great place. But it's a touch far for my mum and dad."


YKMB promotions

EMI has launched a micro site for the upcoming release of You Know Me Better. You can check it out here.

Also, Roisin will be all over UK TV for the next couple of days to promote the single:

- Freshly Squeezed (making of the YKMB video) // Friday 28/03, 7:00, C4
- Roisin Murphy - E4 Knows Her Better (special) // Friday 28/03, 8:00, E4
- The Album Chart Show (interview & performance) // Saturday 29/03, 0:25, C4
- Freshly Squeezed (interview) // Monday 31/03, 7:00, C4
- Freshly Squeezed (performance) // Wednesday 02/04, 7:00, C4


Roisin & the Beckhams

Speak about world peace, the environment or your favourite movie and the media couldn't care less. However, express your view on the Beckhams and they lap up your words.

Reported by WENN:

Singer Roisin Murphy has launched a stinging attack on soccer ace David Beckham, accusing him of displaying a "disturbing" lack of charisma whenever he's interviewed.
The former Moloko star is infuriated by the L.A. Galaxy hunk's inability to speak from the heart, claiming he employs a robotic response and a blank facial expression to answer questions about his personal life.

Murphy has issued an appeal to Beckham to stop hiding his true personality on TV - because it makes for dull viewing, and leaves her feeling angry.

She tells WENN, "He gets on my tits! I saw him on (British talk show) Parkinson and they had this close up of his face. The whole interview was just his face on the screen - his face was filling the screen. And there was nothing there. There was no let-up in the stock answers - he was like a politician, in his own way.

"I find it quite surprising - he doesn't have to be like that. He's a good looking lad and he's really talented. He doesn't have to play it that safe with his own persona. Victoria (Beckham) doesn't do that, does she? She lets slip.

But he never lets slip. And there's not even a flicker or a blink and he's straight into the answer he wants to give and to me that's a bit disturbing. He should just let loose a little bit and be himself."

In the meantime she has hailed David's wife Victoria's bold style choices. And Murphy believes Beckham's influence on the fashion industry will be a lasting one - but concedes she'll never make an impact on the "high brow" market.

"I think she's actually got her own style now. I think she's getting there with something that might last. I think she's at the point where she's made some or enough images that will actually stand some kind of test of time. "It'll never be high brow what she does. But it'll never be that normal either and I kinda like her for that. It's not that average either, it's not bland. She's giving it a go. She makes it work, sometimes."

Picture courtesy of Alistair Allen


Light up the Roundhouse

Any of you who attended Roisin's gig at the Roundhouse a couple of weeks ago will have undoubtedly noticed the amazing stage lighting. Here's an interesting article about how it all came about:

Award winning UK lighting and video rental companies HSL and XL Video both supplied a specials package to LD Rob Sinclair for Roisin Murphy’s show at London’s Roundhouse. Sinclair has been working with Roisin since January, and this high profile London showcase was a continuation of her ongoing ‘Overpowered’ tour which visits Australia later on this month. Sinclair brought a new design to the Roundhouse which was based around the house rig plus additional visual elements.

HSL supplied four i-Pix BB 16s – which were used on the floor as massive LED wash light sources, described by Sinclair as “rather marvellous and the first LEDs that I’ve used that can happily replace the old skool 4 cell cyc”. These were joined on the deck by four Martin Professional Atomic strobes along the back.

Front and back of stage were some Lowell Omni floods on stands, and at the sides, also on Manfrotto stands, Source Four profiles were positioned to provide tightly shuttered beams of light focussed precisely onto Roisin’s head. HSL supplied a white cyc from their extensive drapes department, which was used as a projection back-cloth, and deployed Ian Stevens to tech all the kit.

This show followed on from HSL’s supply of Robe DigitalSpots for the European leg of the tour in January, plus numerous other projects on which they have worked with Sinclair.

Mike Oates project managed from HSL, described by Sinclair as “a super-project manager – he should really wear his underpants on the outside of his trousers” adding, “We worked to a very tight budget for this gig and HSL pulled out all the stops to help. Ian Stevens was fantastic and it was great to work with him.”

The Roundhouse’s lighting rig contributed 12 Martin MAC 2K profiles, six Vari*Lite 5 moving lights, PARs and Source Fours to the equation. Sinclair controlled all the lighting – house rig and specials – from his Jands S1 console, which also drove a Catalyst digital media server used to store and replay all the video content.

XL Video’s Des Fallon took care of Sinclair’s projection requirements, supplying a pair of Barco R12 projectors, which were front projected and overlaid. The show’s video content was produced by artist Simon Henwood. Sinclair’s lighting and overall show visuals coupled with Roisin’s performance saw the stage transformed from rehearsal room to disco and back again.

From etnow.com/Picture courtesy of Ceats.

Album Chart Show

Roisin performed her new single You Know Me Better & was interviewed on the last edition of Channel 4's Album Chart Show.

> You Know Me Better

> Interview


Culture Show revelations

> The video of Roisin on the Culture Show last night, where several revelations were made:

1. Roisin was quite nervous before her busking in Covent Garden.
2. She collected £65.14 in total during her 15 minute performance, which makes her the most successful busker so far.
3. Movie Star will be released as a single in the summer.


YKMB at 7digital

From March 30, no less than four different digital formats of You Know Me Better will be available for download from 7digital:

One - Single track
You Know Me Better (Live at Koko)

Two - Single track
You Know Me Better (Andy Cato Demo)

Three - EP1
01. You Know Me Better (Radio Edit)
02. Keep It Loose
03. Pandora

Four - EP2
01. You Know Me Better (Album Version)
02. You Know Me Better (Toddla T Vocal)
03. You Know Me Better (Guy Williams Dub)
04. You Know Me Better (Trevor Loveys Dub)

TV busking reminder

Don't forget to watch Roisin's busking challenge on the Culture Show tonight. The program starts at 19:10 on BBC Two.

PS: A big thank you to the Culture Show for linking to this blog on their website!

Roisin - Anno MM

A lovely picture of Roisin from the May 2000 edition of The Face.

At the time, Roisin confessed to the interviewer: "I'm just a big clumsy heifer in real life, but when I'm dancing I just change. I become really graceful, like a delicate ballerina."


Familiar feeling: Moloko to reunite?

Roisin has spoken to entertainment news network WENN about the chances of Moloko reuniting:

Singer Roisin Murphy is refusing to rule out a Moloko reunion, despite the heartbreak she suffered when her romance with bandmate Mark Brydon ended.

The Overpowered star and Brydon started dating before forming Moloko, but, by 2003, they had split and she was forced to undertake promotional duties alone, which made her feel terrible. Murphy admits she was an emotional wreck at the time, because she missed spending her days with her ex-boyfriend.

However, the couple are still on friendly terms - and Murphy sees no reason why they couldn't make music as Moloko again in the future.

She tells WENN, "I would never say never. I know myself if I said, 'No, I'll never do that again,' five, 10 years down the line I'll end up f**king doing it and you'll come back and say, 'Ahhh - you said you'd never do it,' so I'm not going to say I'll never do it." When asked if she missed her bandmates after Moloko split, she replies, "I did to begin with. I kinda missed them more after I broke up with Mark and was still in love. I missed having someone with me when we were doing interviews and the promo and all that kinda stuff."

"To be fair, he did try to do the promo but it just didn't make sense - we were too miserable together at that point."

"But I miss Mark Brydon, he's a top geezer."


Keep it Loose preview

With You Know Me Better being released in less than two weeks, you can now listen to a preview of the brand new b-side Keep it Loose.

Click here to listen.


Poll: Next musical direction

In a recent interview Roisin said she would like to record an album of Irish folk songs. Do you feel this is the music direction she should move into or would you like to see her do something else?

Live news

Groningen - The Netherlands: On Saturday 31 May, Roisin will perform in De Oosterpoort. Click here to purchase tickets.

Melt! Festival - Germany: Roisin has been confirmed as one of the acts performing at this year's edition of the Melt! Festival, which takes place July 18-20. You can buy your ticket here.

More from Mulberry

A report by LondonKicksTV from last week's Mulberry party. Roisin talks about cocktails and... nothing else really.


"They still haven't a clue who I am"

On the eve of her St Patrick's Day performance, Roisin was interviewed by UK newspaper The Times.

It's not every day that a pop star in killer heels - “Balenciaga, and they weren't f***ing cheap either” - walks through the doors of the Corrib Rest. And yet, of the half-a-dozen drinkers watching the horse racing on TV on Tuesday afternoon, none of them bats an eyelid at Róisín Murphy. It's as though, unable to compute her presence in an old Irish boozer, it's far easier to ignore her.

Come Monday, she may be back - if not here, then to a place very much like it - to continue a St Patrick's Day celebration that will begin at Trafalgar Square on Sunday, when she headlines the capital's annual celebration of all things Irish. The timing couldn't be better, she says. The purring disco synths of her new single You Know Me Better - along with its acclaimed parent album, Overpowered - may lie closer to Detroit than Dublin, but the full benefits of going solo with an Irish name are just beginning to reveal themselves. “In Ireland, people who wouldn't necessarily have guessed it from my time in Moloko have twigged that I'm one of them - so I'm all over the radio.”

The era of Amy, in which the strong female singer rules, rather suits the 34-year-old Murphy - so much so that it's easy to forget how long she has been doing this. Few would have tipped her for the long haul in 1996, when her voice graced the half-spoken quirk-pop of Moloko's debut hit Fun For Me.

Noticing that the duo - Murphy and Mark Brydon, then her boyfriend - didn't have a Britpop bone in their bodies, critics decided that Murphy and Brydon were trying to ape the West Country trip-hop scene spearheaded by Massive Attack and Portishead. The criticisms she could take, but when the bands started joining in, the barbs got to her. “We played a gig in Bristol,” she says, “and the geezer from Portishead [Geoff Barrow] turned up wearing a T-shirt that said: ‘Accept no imitations'! Six months later, when Morcheeba appeared, they started slagging us off. They said we were hairdresser music! We were like, 'Hello?'”

To say Murphy that was unprepared for such “bitchiness” is an understatement. She says that Moloko weren't a band so much as “a by-product of our relationship”. Even their debut album, Do You Like My Tight Sweater?, was named after Murphy's chat-up line when they first met.

When they cut their first demos Murphy didn't even know whether she could sing. To a certain extent the two huge hit singles they scored - Sing it Back (1999) and The Time is Now (2000) - obscured the fact that Moloko were more of an inspired mismatch than a pop-minded enterprise. Brydon had cut his teeth with the industrial funk of Sheffield's Chakk, while Murphy's musical awakening took place on the dancefloors of a loved-up Madchester, to which her family had moved, from Arklow, Co Wicklow, in 1986.

Perhaps because of Brydon's left-field pedigree, chart success exerted a strain on both Moloko and their relationship. “Any notion within Moloko of me being the star would have been unacceptable,” she remembers.

But, of course, a star was exactly what she became. “Mark used to joke about it. There's two of you - a bloke and a girl - and whenever you see a photo the bloke's in the background, blurred out.”

But just because Brydon was able to joke about Murphy's transformation from singer to fashion icon, it didn't make it any easier to manage the changes that came with fame, such as the magazine covers that did away with Brydon altogether.

As if to fill that space there came a new entourage, eager to make themselves indispensable to Murphy. “A stylist is a case in point. I've never ever needed a f***ing stylist, really. And yet here I was with one borrowing boxes of stuff from Christian Dior for me to wear. And for her to not send it back - and then I see holiday snaps of her wearing the Dior - it's just, like ... you're making me look a t**t.” The fallout from this period is laid beautifully bare on Statues (2003), the swansong that chronicled their separation. “Is this me breaking free/Or just breaking down?” she sang on Come On, while, over nine minutes, the sad, shivering strings of Over and Over shaded a poignant picture of the gulf between them. “The songs were mostly autobiographical,” Murphy says, “so it was bound to be emotional.”

More so, it seems, for Brydon's declaration that, if the album was to be made at all, he needed to take charge. “All along it had been 50/50 - the production and the writing - and all of a sudden it was like, 'I'm going to be the sole producer of this record'. You can imagine the d-raamas we had in the studio.”

It seems that Brydon was compelled to take it over because he knew he was losing her. Maybe he felt that this amounted to his last chance to make a record that really mattered - an admission that he would probably never find another singer like Murphy.

“I think he thought it was the last record he was ever going to make,” she says. “Which would have been a shame if it was true, because he's a proper genius. Everything I am, he taught me.”

There's a recurring theme to Murphy's life that - even if she isn't aware of it - is unavoidable over the course of an afternoon. In periods of flux she takes matters into her own hands. It's always been like this. At the age of 15, with her parents breaking up, she was caught shoplifting clothes - not as a cry for help, but in an attempt to address the fact that “there was no washing done in the house and I couldn't work the washing machine”. When her mother returned to Arklow, Murphy, still not yet 16, moved into a flat on her own.

What surprises you now, talking to her, is that she stuck not being a solo entity for so long. Though she continues to work with collaborators, she makes no bones about the shift in pecking order as a result of going solo. After the deck-clearing art-pop of Ruby Blue (2005), Overpowered came of a resolution to make a modern disco album.

Any question of record company intervention was swiftly nipped in the bud when her A&R man arrived in the studio and announced his intention to stay a while. The episode inspired the pulsing paranoia of Checkin' On Me. Latterly, the nascent Scots popsmith Calvin Harris has gone public with his indignation that she omitted their collaboration Off and On from the track listing. “The problem with it,” she laughs, “was that it sounded like the theme to Grandstand.” The only thing that annoys her more than other people not meeting her standards is her failure to meet her own. Talking about the serious eye injury she suffered in October when playing a small club in Moscow, the main source of her annoyance is that she should have been more focused on the space around her. “I was sort of headbanging and I hit a chair. The skin was flapping from my eye.”

Arriving at Moscow A&E, she was told by staff there that the wound needed to be stitched within four hours if it could be repaired at all. “I said, ‘Look, I'm not madly vain, but I'm in the public eye - and it's my face.' So then they got scared and didn't want to do it.” Within a few hours she was on a plane to London, where an Italian cosmetic surgeon set to work on her. “He was completely in love with me at that point,” says Murphy. “I told him, 'I don't mind having a scar. I just don't want the expression in my eyes to change. So if it's a choice between having a scar and a possible change in the way that my eyes express themselves, then I'll take the scar.'”

Four months after that encounter,the doctor's handiwork means that Irish eyes are smiling. Murphy has just heard that her father - about whom she sings “I'll always be your little girl” on Scarlet Ribbons, the final song on Overpowered - is coming to see her St Patrick's Day show. Also there will be her current boyfriend, the artist Mark Henwood*, who painted her picture for the sleeve of Ruby Blue.

Looking ahead, she says that she wants to do a “proper” Irish folk album - “Not folky-wolky-doo, but really rough-sounding”. If so, this weekend should give her plenty of opportunities to put in some practice. “Last year, we found ourselves in an Irish pub in Cricklewood. I went up to the guy who was playing guitar and said I wanted to sing [the Irish famine ballad] The Fields of Athenry. And he wouldn't let me. So I said: 'Listen, I'm well-known, me! I'm a proper singer!'

“But he was having none of it, so I had to find the landlord. In the end, he went up to the guy and said: 'Listen, if she can sing anything like she can talk, you should let her.' There wasn't a dry eye in the house. I left the bar and they still hadn't a clue who I was.”

She downs the rest of her pint, then plonks the glass firmly on the table. “And they still haven't a clue who I am right now, I'm sure.”

*This should be Simon Henwood.

News update

I'm back from a short and sunny break in the Mediterranean and, as promised, here's an update of Roisin Murphy news from the past couple of days:

Yesterday afternoon, Roisin braved wind and rain to perform a set of songs on London's Trafalgar Square. The performance was part of the city's official St Patrick's Day celebrations, which attracted crowds estimated at up to 100,000.

The set list: Cry Baby / You Know Me Better / Dear Miami / Primitive / Movie Star / The Truth / Let Me Know / Overpowered

Photo courtesy of Picture Viv

On Thursday night, Roisin attended a party at Mulberry's flagship store on Old Bond Street in London. The party was held in celebration of an art collaboration by the label.

Roisin's busking challenge will be shown on the BBC's Culture Show this Saturday. The program starts at 19:10 on BBC TWO.


Blog notice

For reasons of leisure this blog won't be updated until Monday 17 March, when I will post a full update of Roisin Murphy news and bits.

To those who are going to see Roisin live on Trafalgar Square on Sunday, have fun & don't overindulge on the stout!


Roisin on Lily last night

Roisin Murphy promoted her new single You Know Me Better and showed a bit of leg on the BBC3 show Lily Allen & Friends last night.

You can watch the full show on the BBC iPlayer.


You Know Me Better - the video!

Finally, it has arrived!

YKMB live download

For a mere 50p, you can now pre-order an exclusive download of You Know Me Better performed live at Koko last year.

Once you've received the download you will also have access to live video footage of the performance.

You can order your download via EMI/7Digital or by texting 'Roisin' to 78789 (UK only).

Body Language Live

Roisin performing Body Language in Shania Twain style at the Roundhouse on Saturday.


YKMB flyer

A little flyer for You Know Me Better, handed out at the Roundhouse yesterday - and regardlessly folded by yours truly.

Brixton Academy

On Saturday 29 November, Roisin Murphy will perform at the Brixton Academy in London. She last performed at the famous concert venue in November 2003 as part of Moloko. The show was recorded for the DVD release 11.000 Clicks.

Tickets will go on sale tomorrow on Ticket Web.

One night at the Roundhouse

Miss Murphy gave a sell out concert at London's Roundhouse last night. As always, she was full of surprises.

The two semi-acoustic opening songs of the show, Modern Timing and the Moloko classic The Time Is Now, were beautifully understated. Roisin has clearly discovered the acoustic setting as a way to display her vocal skills.

Performing the next six songs, starting with You Know Me Better, Roisin entered more familiar territory. However, after Footprints came the evening's biggest musical surprise: a country version of Body Language, sung with a slight Southern slur. Brilliant! Just after the first verse Roisin joked about being the next Shania Twain. Based on last night's performance, I'm sure she could pull it off with ease.

Next on was The Truth, Roisin's collaboration with Handsome Boy Modelling School, featuring a rap by the lady herself. In a sequence of three songs the audience got to hear some soul, country and hip hop. Never before has Roisin displayed her versatility to such an extent.

The show ended with a few audience favourites, including Movie Star and Let Me Know. Tell Everybody and Ramalama (Bang Bang) were reserved for the encore. After that, Roisin and her entourage left the stage, leaving the audience craving for more.

A great night, a great show. An even greater lady!

The complete set list:

-- intro --
Modern Timing (semi acoustic)
The Time Is Now (semi acoustic)

You Know Me Better
Checkin' On Me
Dear Miami
Sow Into You
Body Language (the 'Shania Twain version')
The Truth
Movie Star
Forever More
Keep On/Let Me Know

-- encore --
Tell Everybody
Ramalama (Bang Bang)

Picture courtesy of Hidden Shine. Check out her other amazing photos from the show here.

De Laatste Show videos

Here they are, the videos of Roisin's interview and performance on Belgian TV earlier this week. Watch the interview to see some spectacular crowd surfing.

> You Know Me Better

> The lovely Frieda Van Wijck interviews Roisin Murphy

> Swedish singer Robyn joins the discussion


YKMB - the 12 inch tracklisting

The double 12 inch maxi-single of You Know Metter will be released in the UK on April 7. This is the tracklisting:

Disc 1/Side A
1. You Know Me Better (Album Version)
2. You Know Me Better (Trevor Loveys Vocal)

Disc 1/Side B
1. You Know Me Better (Guy Williams Vocal)
2. You Know Me Better (Samim Remix)

Disk 2/Side A
1. You Know Me Better (Instrumental)
2. You Know Me Better (Nightmoves Mix)

Disk 2/Side B
1. You Know Me Better (Trevor Loveys Dub)
2. You Know Me Better (Guy Williams Dub)


Are Roisin and Lily friends?

Next Tuesday, Roisin will a guest on the BBC3 show Lily Allen and Friends.

Is there something you've always wanted to ask Roisin? Then head over to the BBC3 website and submit your question or upload a YouTube video of yourself on Lily's group.


YKMB pre-order & airplay

A few bits of news about the release of You Know Me Better:

> You can now pre-order a bundle all three UK formats + store box for £4.00 exclusively at recordstore.co.uk.

> Do you want You Know Me Better to be added to the BBC 6 Music play list? Then head over to the 6 Music website now and cast your vote!

TV, rehearsal & Gold

Roisin appeared on the Belgian TV program De Laatste Show last night. The performance should soon be available on the show's website.

In the meantime you will have to content yourself with a video of Roisin rehearsing her performance of You Know Me Better, which has been posted on the show's official blog. You can check it out here.

There's more good news from Belgium. The Overpowered album has been certificated Gold, which equals 50.000 copies sold. I guess Roisin was right when she called the Belgians "very civilised people" during a concert in Brussels last year.

Has Roisin got Faith?

Last week Roisin performed a few songs for Channel 4's Album Chart Show at London's Koko club. Backstage she was asked what was the first album she ever bought. Is she really not sure or just slightly embarrassed?


Toddla T on remixing Roisin

With his remix for You Know Me Better, Sheffield DJ Toddla T has created an incredibly original and uplifting urban take on the track.

As Arjan Writes wrote on his music blog:

The Toddla T remix pushes the original track into a completely, unexpected direction. The Sheffield street-savvy soundboard wizard keeps Roisin's vocals intact but stripped them entirely from Andy Cato's production. He replaces the catchy disco arrangement with an electro-driven hip hop and dancehall vibe that is that is somewhat reminiscent of Diplo's signature Baltimore shuffle. It's a very cool remix that truly offers up something new and different.

How does Toddla T feel about being asked to remix You Know Me Better? Here's what he told me:

I was made up when I was asked to do this remix, I think Roisin is amazin'.

She lived in Sheffield (my home town) for a while, so even though we might be a musical generation apart, we've both been influenced by Sheffield's unique eclecticism. This connection makes working with her really special for me.

Visit Toddla T's MySpace here.

More YKMB remixes!

Head over to myspace.com/roisinremixed to listen to samples of five different remixes of You Know Me Better.


Oxegen 2008 confirmed

Roisin Murphy has been confirmed for this year's edition of the Oxegen Festival, which takes place in Ireland on July 11, 12 and 13. Other acts performing at Oxegen include Aphex Twin, REM and The Verve. Tickets go on sale this Friday.

For more information, visit the festival's official site at oxegen.ie.


Last night on iTunes Live

"Maybe I’m just meant to do people’s heads in!"

Last night was number ten of the eleven London iTunes Sessions and it was Roisin Murphy’s turn to climb the stage of the AIR Studios. The disused church in London’s posh Hampstead area offers a unique setting for small performances. Though it lacks the charisma of Paradiso in Amsterdam, also a former church, it is very small and intimate in comparison.

After a set of songs by Israeli-born artist Yoav, who shares with Roisin the honour of being iTunes artist of the year, Miss Murphy and her band entered the stage and performed a mellowed down version of Movie Star.

If Roisin were a country singer, I’m sure this would be her signature tune. Especially the verses, like I’m a headstrong girl, I’m afraid I won’t be told, have a strong narrative quality about them. At the same time, Roisin’s voice never gives away whether Movie Star is a tale of lost innocence or a clever slice of irony. A truly brilliant performance of a song that is slowly becoming a personal favourite of mine.

Though Roisin had to be corrected by one of the band members about the order of things, next on were Let Me Know and You Know Me Better. The latter was clearly an audience favourite, being welcomed by loud cheers. The amazing performance of the song was very much identical to the one at the Choice Music Prize awards in Dublin the other night.

At the end of You Know Me Better, Roisin received a loud applause. The upcoming single was followed by Primitive, which near the end displayed the full power of Roisin's voice.

After Primitive, Roisin was ready to Ramalama (Bang Bang). She joked that hearing this song too much does one’s head in. Reflecting on that, she openly wondered if maybe she is just “meant to do people’s heads in”. Whatever the case may be, can one ever get enough of this song? I certainly can’t, so keep doing our heads in Roisin!

Next on was Overpowered, which was given a soulful makeover that lent it a whole new dimension. Stripped of its icy beats and sung in a slightly slower tempo with mellow background vocals, it becomes a torch song about the power of love.

The finale of the evening was a duet with Tony Christie, famous for his song (Is the Way To) Amerillo. As Roisin prepared the stage for Christie’s entry (see picture above), she described him as “as a lovely man, who I’ve only just met”.

When Christie came on stage, jokingly asking Roisin if she had expected someone younger, they sang a medley of Roisin’s album track Scarlet Ribbons and the pop standard of the same title. When Roisin said her version was written as a tribute to her father, Christie responded he would be her surrogate father for the night.

After Scarlet Ribbons, the session had come to an end. Before Roisin left the stage she thanked her band, backing singers and blew a few kisses of gratitude to the audience.

How did she leave me, as a member of that audience?

Well, I was once again overwhelmed by Roisin’s stage-presence but even more so by the power of her voice. All the show and performance put aside, last night reminded me why I became fascinated by the depth and beauty of that voice about eight years ago. It’s the thing about Roisin Murphy that is truly most overpowering!

Roisin Murphy's iTunes Session will be available for download on iTunes in about ten days from now.


More from the Choice Music awards

Roisin performing lovely mellowed down versions of You Know Me Better & Overpowered at the Choice Music Prize awards.

Don't you dare classify her as a disco diva!

> You Know Me Better

> Overpowered