Blog notice

As I won't have access to a computer for a while, this blog will not be updated for about a week. However, I will give you a full Miss Murphy update upon my return in cyber space.

x, Hopeless Optimist


Roisin & Portico Quartet

Mercury Price nominees Portico Quartet may want to work with Roisin Murphy on the follow up of their instrumental debut album.

When thisislondon.co.uk asked them if they would consider a vocalist, double bass player Milo Fitzpatrick answered:

"We've always talked about it. We might aspire to a female vocalist who uses their voice a slightly different way, like Björk, Joanna Newsom or Roisin Murphy."

Tranny Chique

Blog readers TC and David from San Francisco took some inspiration from Roisin when they went to the local Tranny Shack night. Apparently the Roisin look was a great hit!

Live in Amsterdam

On November 21 all Dutch devotees can catch Roisin live in the Heineken Music Hall in Amsterdam. She will be supported by Hercules and Love Affair.

Click here to visit the official ticket site.

FaceCulture interview II

For the second time this year online multimedia magazine FaceCulture got to interview Miss Murphy, this time at the Lowlands Festival.

In the interview Roisin discusses Gucci, fighting and loosing shoes on stage and orgies.

Click here to watch the interview & note how pretty Roisin looks.


Jack's Birthday competition

Click here to enter a competition to win tickets for Jack Daniel's birthday party in Lynchburg, Tennessee.

There is also some interesting news about Roisin's performance at the event. She will be "backed by the New Silver Cornet Band - a group of session musicians from Tennessee which includes Steve Cropper who co-wrote "Sittin on the Dock of the Bay" and David Hood of 'Muscle Shoals Sound'. This hugely talented band was formed in memory of the original Silver Cornet Band formed by Mr. Jack back in 1892, thus starting JD's long standing love and support of music."


You Know Me Better - V2

EMI has released a new video for You Know Me Better! Well, hardly...

Check out this fan made tribute to the iconic original. It's truly brilliant and hilarious.


Manchester Pride pictures

Happy Princess sent me these pictures of Roisin performing at Manchester Pride on Sunday, courtesy of Andrea.

Roisin performance went down well with the crowds in Manchester. This is what the local Evening News had to say about it:

Former Moloko frontwoman Roisin Murphy was streets ahead in the fashion stakes - her performance included no fewer than six costume changes, complete with a range of wacky headwear.

Her flamboyant set was one of the highlights of the weekend, culminating in a spectacular performance with a series of masks.

Movie Star - Junior Sanchez remixes

The Junior Sanchez remixes of Movie Star are now online and they are great indeed!

The following two remixes are on the DJ's MySpace page:

Movie Star - Jnrsnchz Lax Mix
Movie Star - Jnrsnchz Cinespace Mix

Click here to check them out.

Thanks to Cedric! (& sorry for forgetting!)


Stella cover

Roisin striking a pose on the cover of Stella magazine, a supplement of today's Sunday Telegraph.

Roisin & Roksanda

Roisin and fashion designer Roksanda Ilincic spoke to The Times about their muse relationship:

Tall, beautiful and impossibly glamorous in her own designs, the Belgrade-born designer Roksanda Ilincic doesn’t look like she needs a muse. But her chosen one, the singer Roisin Murphy, is equally self-assured when it comes to fashion — an adept image-maker, she styles herself for shoots and videos.

“Being a female designer, you know what you want and what your friends like, so it’s not necessary to have a muse,” says Ilincic. “At the same time, it is lovely to have a Roisin, who understands what I am doing, but who takes my clothes and wears them in such an original way.”

The two have different styles. “Roksanda is more classic than I am,” says Murphy. “If I am going to be elegant, I like there to be a touch of humour as well.” For a recent appearance on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross, she surprised Ilincic by wearing two of her jackets at once. “It looked amazing,” says the designer.

Despite their differences, they each recognise something of themselves in the other’s work. “Roisin’s music reflects what I like,” says Ilincic. “It’s edgy but feminine, and has a strong woman behind it.” Murphy counters: “Roksanda’s designs have elegance, but there is also an avant-garde edge.”

They first met when Ilincic gave Murphy a dress, but the relationship quickly developed into a firm friendship. “I still have that first dress she gave me,” says Murphy. “I wore it in the first painting my boyfriend [the artist Simon Henwood] did of me. I also hung it on the wardrobe in the You Know Me Better video.” For Ilincic and Murphy — two strong, creative, independent women — the muse relationship is one of equals.


A muse and her music

A great interview from Telegraph.co.uk, where Roisin admits that she would love to be a massive cult:

Singer, show-woman, fashion icon and her own best stylist… is there no end to Róisín Murphy's talents? Stephanie Rafanelli meets a musical maverick of many, many guises.

It's not often that a girl can truly say she relishes such a comment as: 'I love your dress - it's got that real touch of the white trash about it.' But when the remark comes from the pop singer and all-round style icon Róisín Murphy it becomes the sort of compliment with which you can bore strangers at parties for years. And so I try not to blush, at the Stella photo-shoot, when the slender, honey-haired Murphy adds in a smoker's drawl, 'It's what the Texan wife would wear in that Coen brothers' film No Country for Old Men.'

Murphy then pads off in bare feet, hairgrips and a beige bra to ferret through a rail of Vivienne Westwood and Yves Saint Laurent, and Philip Treacy objet d'art hats, before throwing on a mismatched tweed jacket and feathered headdress as if she were late for a meeting and just running out the door. She looks fabulous. For a second we all stare in awe; then an Iggy Pop track bursts on the radio and she starts head-banging violently from the vertiginous heights of a pair of Jonathan Kelsey heels.

Such behaviour is typical Murphy, and has led to the press labelling her 'quirky' and even 'a nutter'. But for those who 'get' her, it's what makes her a star. Now others, it seems, are finally beginning to get it, too: at the age of 35 and after 13 years in the industry, first as the frontwoman of the arty boyfriend-girlfriend dance-music duo Moloko, Murphy is becoming more widely recognised as a musical maverick. Her second solo album, 'Overpowered', was critically acclaimed, and earned her comparisons to Kylie, Madonna and Gwen Stefani. Yet it's hard to think of Róisín (pronounced Roe-sheen) Murphy as mainstream. She writes and produces her own music, and likes to style her own shoots. There aren't many female singers who would appear in a video brushing their teeth on the loo in a giant inflatable black-and-white checked Gareth Pugh ensemble, or look as good in it (as she did for the song Overpowered).

There is, however, more to Murphy's theatrical antics than mere eccentricity; they have more in common with the performance art of the singer Grace Jones and the role-play of the feminist photographer Cindy Sherman (who depicts herself in self-portraits as the lead actress in a series of film stills). Today, now decked out in a Viktor & Rolf winter coat, thigh-high boots and swooping winged coronet, Murphy enacts Tippi Hedren in The Birds, radiating gooey sexual chemistry at the lens. She shifts from one reference to another, transforming each outfit as if with a flick of her transparent-blue eyes.

'I don't really know if I am thought of as a style icon,' she says, visibly shrinking into her chair in an old-fashioned boozer some time later. 'I don't feel like that at all. Music comes first, but I also just enjoy being creative in whatever I'm doing, be it wearing clothes, making images or performing. I just wouldn't enjoy standing there like a paper doll, having someone else stick paper dresses on me. That would be no fun.' (Even her accent defies definition, flitting between Irish R's, by 'eck northernisms and dropped Cockney T's.)

In a world in which women such as Victoria Beckham and Katie Holmes frequently appear in (the same) head-to-toe straight-off-the-catwalk looks, Murphy's ability to animate designer creations has won her friends in the highest echelons of fashion. One of those friends is Frida Giannini, the creative director of Gucci, who chose Murphy to represent Gucci at the Swarovski Fashion Rocks event last October and who approached her to record a cover of Bryan Ferry's Slave to Love for this autumn's Gucci by Gucci men's fragrance campaign. 'They asked me to play at the Gucci party in Milan [in June], and I was wearing this beautiful floor-length beaded gown and I had my hair up in this classic do,' says Murphy. 'I floated elegantly out on stage - and the next thing you know I'd hitched up my skirt and I was doing "the running man" [a comedy dance reminiscent of a Charlie Chaplin chase scene]. My performance is always about mixed messages.' She chuckles. 'It reflects the complexity of life… Humour is ahead of everything creatively. I think if things aren't humorous they are just crap.'

Humour, complexity and music are three things that featured heavily throughout Murphy's upbringing in small-town Arklow in County Wicklow, Ireland. Her grandmother, a progressive woman who wore mannish suits, ran her late grandpa's entertainment businesses, a restaurant and a snooker hall. Her Uncle Jim played in a jazz trio, and her father, an 'entrepreneur', was a born performer. 'He should have been Terry Wogan - he's got a singing voice like Guinness,' Murphy says, sighing. For the Murphys any excuse was a good excuse for a knees-up. The young Róisín always dreaded the inevitable special request: a solo rendition of Don't Cry For Me Argentina.

When Murphy was 12 the family moved to Manchester, and it was there, bullied by the girls at school, that she began fully to embrace being 'different', wearing head-to-toe 1960s clothing and exploring the Madchester nightlife. When her parents separated in 1988 and her mother, an antiques dealer, returned to Arklow, Murphy asked her if she could stay behind, lodging with a friend. In 1990 she moved to Sheffield with the intention of enrolling in art college.

Murphy only stumbled into the music industry - falling madly in love at the same time - in 1994, when she sidled up to an older man at a party in Sheffield with the chat-up line: 'Do you like my tight sweater?' The man turned out to be the music producer Mark Brydon and 'Do You Like My Tight Sweater?' became the first of four albums (and included the club anthems Sing It Back and Time Is Now) that they would produce together as Moloko, before splitting romantically in 2001 and professionally in 2003. 'Moloko was a relationship at first, not a career,' says Murphy. 'We were just falling more in love, and making music was a by-product of that. We had a ball. But after we broke up as a couple I got scared that this could be my last chance to make music. That was the moment I thought, "What I'm doing is right. I am a performer." Suddenly I got really focused.'

After the last Moloko gig Murphy began working with the producer Matthew Herbert, and in 2005 released the experimental jazz record 'Ruby Blue', which won her critical acclaim, and a deal with EMI for a second album.

Did she miss Mark after going solo? 'Of course. I still miss him.' But she doesn't still love him? 'Do I still love him in a sexy way? Oh no, I love him in a sexy way. He's a sexy man. He was a massive part of my life,' Murphy says, smiling. 'He's never said a word about my music… We just meet at weddings and funerals. We're not going to get together to talk about music, not any time soon.'

Murphy now lives in down-to-earth Cricklewood in north-west London with the artist Simon Henwood, who painted Murphy for the cover of 'Ruby Blue' and directed the video for her forthcoming single, Movie Star. 'Simon's brilliant. I think I'm a bit of a nightmare to go out with, to be honest. I'm so passionate and have big highs and big lows. Being Irish is a bit like being Italian: "Whadda ya trying to do with my mind?"' she says, throwing her hands wildly in the air in mimicry of herself.

But at the moment things are going extremely well for her, and the success of 'Overpowered' has signalled a serious bid for mainstream stardom. 'I would love to be a massive cult, I won't lie to you,' Murphy exclaims with a grin, peering over her pint. 'But I'm not looking for adoration in the way that nine-year-olds are. What's important to me is being creative - on a scale that's relevant to people.'

Kylie is, of late, the singer to whom she has most often been compared - how does she feel about that? '[The singer-songwriter] Kate Nash said something brilliant recently - she said: "You know, being a woman isn't a genre." I thought that was genius. If I was a man they wouldn't compare me to Will Young.' She pauses. 'I'm not there to shake my booty - I mean I do shake my booty - but I'm not there to be just a "woman" singer.'

Shake her booty she does. Murphy has played 22 festivals in the past two months alone. Her stage performances are electrifying: high-energy affairs packed with robotic dancing, head-banging and myriad cutting-edge outfits, from a Shadows & Dust leather jumpsuit to Martin Margiela's futuristic 'spacesuit'. 'Sometimes I wonder if my body is physically capable of doing what it's doing,' she says, looking momentarily weary. 'But I've actually got a lot more stamina now than when I was younger.'

In October last year Murphy sustained a serious eye injury while vigorously head-banging at a gig in Moscow, and had to undergo corrective surgery. Last month she turned 35 - would she ever be tempted to have a little help so that she continues to look as young as she behaves? 'I've got crap teeth, crap hair, I never have facials. I still have hairs in the middle of my eyebrows,' she says, giggling. 'I need to start shaving in a few places before I think about Botox.' She breaks into an ironic rendition of You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman.

There's more of the 'natural' Murphy to come, it seems. She has recently bought a house in the Irish countryside, which her mum has helped her furnish. Having always been thought of as a party girl, could Róisín Murphy be mellowing with age? 'I've upset my parents a few times in the past year because I've been swearing or done an interview pissed-up after a gig, and I really, really regret that. But my dad always says to my mum [she adopts a County Wicklow brogue]: "At least she's not that Amy Winehouse."' She adds: 'I've had times when I'm a party girl - and I even have the odd week now - but I'm a real homebody. I love me boyfriend, and I love me dog, and I love trimming the roses.'

She delves into her bag. 'Oh, I'm gaggin' for a fag, darling.' And with that she's off. Leaving me to picture her pruning roses in the rolling Irish landscape in a Viktor & Rolf number and YSL stilettos, like some beautiful, curious Edward Scissorhands.

> 'Movie Star'/'Slave to Love' double A-side is released on 29 September. Róisín Murphy's new tour begins in November

> Jacket and shirt by Alexander McQueen, from Selfridges. Trousers by Yves Saint Laurent. Shoes by Jonathan Kelsey. Stylist: Hew Hood. Hair and make-up: Emma Day, using Tommy Guns and Crème de la Mer. Location: the Ragged School

Movie Star/Slave to Love release date

The double A-side single Movie Star/Slave to Love will be released in the UK on Monday 29 September.


Roisin to perform in Bucharest

On November 5, Roisin will perform at the Sala Polivalenta in the Romanian capital Bucharest. The venue has a capacity of 6000.

Click here for more information (in Romanian).

Live at Sziget

Some pictures of Roisin at the Sziget festival in Hungary past Saturday, kindly sent to me by Happy Princess. The pictures are courtesy of her friend Mate Nagy.


Rois-Inspiration III

Is this cool or what? - From/by paperpear.blogspot.com.

Movie Star - Kris Di Angelis remix

The Movie Star remix by London DJ Kris Di Angelis is now online. Di Angelis previously remixed Overpowered.

Click here to check out his Movie Star remix.

Head 2 Head

At the moment Movie Star and Slave to Love are going head-to-head in Monday's single poll, with 49% and 51% of the votes respectively.

If you haven't cast your vote yet then do it now!

Pukkelpop backstage

Two pictures of Roisin being interviewed backstage at the Pukkelpop festival in Belgium last week.

Thanks to Michel!


Roisin on EMI and the next album

Roisin has spoken to BBC 6 Music about being singed to a label in crisis, Slave to Love and her next album:

About EMI: "It's difficult because I was on EMI, which no longer exists, so I was floating around being looked after by all sorts of different people. It's pretty difficult not to be frightened a little bit about it.

At the end of the day, I've been around long enough, I think I'll be around if I want to be."

About Slave to Love: "I've done this song Slave To Love which has been used for a Gucci advert - and I get lots of free shoes and stuff – that I did with Sage [Francis]* who I wrote and produced a lot of the record Overpowered with.

It has got that feeling that Overpowered, the track's got. It's really kind of sleepy, synthesised vibe and it's cool - so hopefully people will be able to make the connection between me and it when they're singing it in their living rooms and stuff."

About the next album: "The tracks that I did with Sage* are the spine of Overpowered, and I think if what I do is expand on what I did with Overpowered, or get deeper into it - then I think those are the kinds of sounds that I'll be making."

You can read the full article here.

*Note: this should read Seiji, the producer of Overpowered.

Manchester Pride

Roisin Murphy has been confirmed as the final headline act for this weekend's Manchester Gay Pride. She will perform on the main stage at Pride's 18th Birthday on Sunday night.

Jackie Crozier, festival manager of Manchester Pride, said:

"Roisin is such an amazing entertainer with a beautiful voice. Her funky performance will definitely be one to watch and I can't wait."

Go to www.manchesterpride.com for more information and tickets.

Tell Everybody live at Lowlands

Roisin performing Tell Everybody at the Lowlands festival in the Netherlands over the weekend.

Note the new and amazing mask-turns-hat headgear.


4 portraits

These four amazing photographs of Roisin were taken by the London based photographer Jane Mcleish Kelsey.

You can check out her website here.

Movie Star - remix news

EMI has released a promo for the upcoming release of Movie Star/Slave to Love, which sheds some light on the Movie Star remixes that we can expect.

One of the Movie Star remixers is none other than Junior Sanchez. Other remixes were done by Sam & Di Angelis and Kid Gloves.

This is the track listing of the promo release:

1. Movie Star (Radio Edit)
2. Movie Star
3. Movie Star (Instrumental)
4. Movie Star (Jnrsnchz Lax Mix)
5. Movie Star (Jnrsnchz Cinespace Mix)
6. Movie Star (Sam & Di Angelis She Is Beautiful Mix)
7. Movie Star (Sam & Di Angelis For Jodie Harsh Mix)
8. Movie Star (Kid Gloves Mix)
9. Movie Star (Kid Gloves Dub)
10. Slave To Love
11. Slave To Love (Instrumental)

I will keep you posted!

Single Poll

Roisin's next single will be a double a-side of Movie Star and Slave to Love. Which of these two songs is your favourite?

Slave to Love - Gucci ad

The ad campaign for Gucci by Gucci Pour Homme has now been launched. Roisin's version of Brian Ferry's Slave to Love provides the soundtrack for the 30 second TV commercial.

Better still, Gucci has also released a behind-the-scenes video using the full version of the song.

Check both videos out below!

> The Gucci by Gucci Pour Homme ad.

> Behind-the-scenes movie, featuring the full version of Slave to Love.


New York City!

The organisers of the CMJ Music Marathon in New York have announced that Roisin Murphy will be one of the artists performing at this year's edition of the annual festival.

The 2008 CMJ Music Marathon will be held from October 21 to 25. Other confirmed acts include Broken Social Scene, Lee "Scratch" Perry, Lykke Li, and Minus The Bear.

Click here for more information.


Roisin returns to Brussels

On Sunday the 23th of November Roisin Murphy will perform at the Vorst Nationaal in Brussels.

The last time she performed at the venue was in 2003, as part of Moloko. This time around Roisin will be supported by Hercules and Love Affair, the disco house project of New York based DJ Andy Butler.

Vorst Nationaal has a capacity of about 7000 people. Click here for more information (in Dutch) or buy tickets here.

Picture download

By public demand: click on the image above to download the picture used for the new site banner.


Summer Sundae

A picture of Roisin performing You Know Me Better at Summer Sundae last night, courtesy of Lee Jordan.

Herbert & Micachu

This news isn't directly Roisin related, but I would like to report that Matthew Herbert, producer of Roisin's first solo album Ruby Blue, has recorded an album with newcomer Micachu.

The sound of Micachu, aka the 21 year old London songwriter and producer Mica Levi, is somewhat reminiscent of Ruby Blue.

Boomkat describes debut single Golden Phone as follows:

A great piece of lo-fi pop, featuring big, pixellated drum programming, whimsical, ever so slightly cock-er-nee vocal phrasing and hook-laden digital noise emissions, sounding charmingly like a bedsit Santogold.

Go to myspace.com/micayomusic for more on Micachu.


Roisin to perform in Tenessee

On October 18 Roisin is performing at the Jack Daniel's birthday party, which will be held at the Jack Daniel Distillery in Lynchburg, Tennessee.

If you complete the crossword puzzle in the September issue of Q Magazine you have a chance of winning a trip for two to the event.

Click here for more information.

Big Issue interview

Blog reader Phil kindly sent me this scan of an interview with Roisin from The Big Issue in the North - No. 399 (December 2007).


C4 at Global Gathering

In this video Roisin is interviewed by Channel 4 at the Global Gathering festival a short while ago.


A few news bits

> Last night Roisin attended the opening of the Fashion Vs. Sport exhibition in London's Victoria & Albert Museum, which runs until 4 January 2009.

> On the website of Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad there's an interesting item on Roisin Murphy (in Dutch). Click here to watch it.

Thanks to Betty & Angela


Treat her like a lady

Over the weekend, Roisin performed at Live @ Loch Lomond in Scotland. She certainly got the treatment she deserves - that of lady...

From The Daily Record:

Roisin Murphy was carried from the main stage at the festival to her static home backstage so she wouldn't get muddy.

Ian Cruise, from Bothwell band The Gap-Year Riot, who carried her said: "She was worried about getting dirty, so we stepped in."

Roisin was in high spirits because Scots designer Mark Conlin had given her four of his designer dresses for free.

Her spokesman said: "Roisin was absolutely delighted."