Carnival Time – and my birthday

The slow approach of carnival season.

February lurks round the corner, carnival time!

I won’t be going to Venice or Rio but I can have a jolly good party of my own.

It’s also my birthday time and a bit of theatrical glitz after what was a truly grim Christmas is what I need.

So on Thursday 24th February the Rude Mechanicals will be holding a night of carnivalesque splendour, costumes and masks ahoy, at Candid Arts in Islington, very close to Angel tube. A prize for the best costume.

It will be a night of music, dance, animations and short films. The amazing Bird Radio will be playing, as will The Star Nose Moles. The miraculous Jo Wonder will be telling stories. There will be numbers performed by Miss Robert and Dr. Cos in duo mode, as well as the whole band in full splendour. DJ New Wave Steve will be bringing his mighty ghetto blasters.

Not long now…

It you cannot attend the gig in person, say you live miles and miles away, the air flights are all booked and your wings are just not quite strong enough yet to make it over the ocean, I still want you to send me pictures of your own carnivalesque celebrations this February, OK?

By the way, Miss R loves to receive valentines cards, online or by post. Just thought I’d mention it.

Beneath the bedclothes – a naughty film premiere by Miss Roberts and the launch of the Rude Mechanicals’ Society!

Time plods on slowly turning into another year. What awaits us ? What have we planned? What will sneak in unseen from the shadows? What will ignite our souls and make our hearts race?

On that note I’d like to announce the premiere of my New Years film Ice Man, all about how I made a man out of ice and caressed him under the bed sheets. The song, which we recorded last year, is very loosely based on an Icelandic myth and will be coming out on vinyl sometime in the new year. The world premiere of the video will be this Monday at 6pm.

With that the Rude Mechanicals society will be officially launched!

Join it here

For £3 you can get a regular monthly comic; discounts on gigs, products and merchandise; advance notice of new videos and songs; digital prints and stories from MissRoberts; exclusive mixes of unreleased material; early bird prerelease digital copies of new singles and albums.

For £6 you get all of the above plus real physical stuff in the post!

May the gods smile on us this year and may we appreciate what a truly wondrous planet we have been given to share. This year I’m going to make more animations, tell more stories, sing more songs and dance more dances.

Nobody loves me, everybody hates me, I’m going down the garden to eat worms!

Under London Map. 1/6. Print and collage £50

And they’ll be big slimy worms at that! And I’ll have a big belly full of them and they’ll munch on my insides until I’m actually all worm, but you won’t know it, I’ll still look like me, but inside I’ll be all worm and I’ll be carrying out tasks for the worm civilisation, and meeting once a month in the mud with all the worms and discussing what to do with those troublesome humans.

The End

There is an exhibition at the Hundred Years gallery in Hoxton, that started last Thursday night. It is called Notes From the Underground after Dostoyevsky’s book by the same name. I have a work in it, the Under London Map above, but so far I haven’t been able to attend any of it.

How ironic that I can not attend the party because of epilepsy- Dostoyevsky was epileptic, and the same type of epilepsy as me, a lot of his books have characters that have epilepsy. Maybe not Notes From the Underground, I haven’t finished reading that yet.

The map I’ve put in the exhibition is from my story about Under London. I started it many moons ago and there are still many moons to decorate the sky before I finish it. Still it feels good bringing it out for an airing. I was going to do a short performance/reading and a couple of songs about the Spletzer-Martin 5 story (as it was originally known) at the opening night, but alas this is when I was struck down with a particularly unpleasant seizure.

So all in all I’m in a very bad mood at present, and having nightmares about how everyone hates me. I hope to be going along to Hundred Years at around 5 tonight, if anyone fancies joining me, in spirit or in flesh. Maybe tell me you don’t actually hate me.

I know many of you won’t read this until after the event, but maybe send a good spirit or two back in time.

Below is a quote from Dostoyevsky to try and keep spirits up, I sometimes get the same ecstatic feeling as him, just before a seizure, though unfortunately the ones this week have lacked much of that. Still it’s worth having experienced this just once in a life time.

” For several instants I experience a happiness that is impossible in an ordinary state, and of which other people have no conception. I feel full harmony in myself and in the whole world, and the feeling is so strong and sweet that for a few seconds of such bliss one could give up ten years of life, perhaps all of life.”

Not so much a worm as a larvae. Detail from my handmade one off book called Small Beasts and Funny Chocolate £350
Small Beasts and Funny Chocolate Handmade one off book.£350

Ben’s Dreams from Hell, the Rude Mechanicals Duo, my Helmagohater and a reward for knowing the loft dweller.

Another blog from me, you wait months for one to come along then two come right next to each other. There is so much to be mentioned!

Firstly, this Saturday is the final night of the Supernatural exhibition at Hundred Years Gallery. Rude Mechanicals Duo (me & Cos) will be doing an acoustic set with friends, Seven Headed Raven will be playing and there will be low down dirty Tarot reading if you get there early.

During this evening, if you come up to me and whisper the word “Helmagohater” in my left ear, you can have 50% off any of my artworks.

Helmagohater was a secret world I invented as a child. Half was ice and half was fire, and there was a strip down the middle where all the people, plants and animals lived. It was very Lord of the Rings. I was an elfin princess (of course) who rode around on a large white horse doing heroic deeds to stop the invasion of the fire and the ice into the middle land.

Later this month, on the 19th November at The Others, is the Book Launch of Ben Hell’s Dreams from Hell.

For those of you that didn’t know Ben, he was a well known, popular, and some would say notorious, character on the London music scene. He ran Club Hell for many years, playing with bands and putting together strange and wonderful compilations of stories and songs. Dreams from Hell is a book compiling of his dreams, created by his friends. The dreams are laid out alongside beautiful illustrations from his friends; artists illustrators cartoonists and musicians.

The book – cover image (below) by Estelle Riviere – is available to order now from Steve Poulacheris,

Dreams from Hell book cover, by Estelle Riviere

For those of you that don’t live in London but still manage to read my blogs, I will send you a small present if you can tell me the name of the man that lives in my loft. Filling the space with his pink bulky body…

The winter is coming now, I can feel the cold in my bones. I’m considering hibernation. Bears get to do it, why can’t I?

A small monkey demon sits in my kitchen, plus gigs, new band members and an exhibition

I have been lazy at writing blogs of late. So much has been happening yet I haven’t mentioned any of it.

To start we have two new members to the Rude Mechanicals – Marina on bass and Jeff on drums – they are great! We’ve played two gigs together now, and they’ve gone swimmingly.

We have a big gig coming up this Friday, 29th, at the Night Owl, London (flyer below). It is a Halloween night so come in your most hideous grotesque outfits. I want the Adam’s family standing right there in front of me as I strut across the stage.

Secondly I’m in an exhibition called Supernatural at the Hundred Years Gallery. It starts this week. The private view is this Thursday 28th October, and I specially invite you to come along. If you can’t make the Thursday there is a special night of short films, improvised weird stuff with Dulwich Meat Raffle, and Jowe Head performing on this Saturday.

If you can’t make the Gig or any of the exhibition because, say, you live on the other side of the world, I give you this to consider:

The other day there was a demon sitting in my kitchen next to my cat, pretending to be another cat. Licking himself like cats do. He looked like a little grey monkey. When I realised it wasn’t a cat, or a monkey, but a demon, he laughed at me and ran off. I’m not sure what to make of that, maybe I’ll draw him one day. What do you think that was all about?

The small monkey demon will not appear in the exhibition, there wasn’t enough time, but similar beasts do, and I’m sure he’ll appear in another soon, or maybe in an animation…

Of course with all this business I have not yet finished Ice Man or Sin Eater. However I assure you they will be slithering into my offerings to you in the near future. Good things come to those that wait, hopefully.

The Morph Affair

As could be predicted our first gig since lockdown has been cancelled, as too has our second and third. To match this my mission to finish The Sin Eater video by our first post lockdown gig has also been…postponed. It’s 3/4 done, but now I have to finish another animation by September. You see CityLit have invited me back on their course to make up for what was missed last year, so it makes sense to spend the time learning something new. I’m shooting Ice Man, morph style.

Remember Morph in Tony Hart?

This involves me having a love affair with Morph. Or perhaps it’s Morph’s paler friend. It’s been very interesting so far. I sculpt him from ice (cream)…hopefully, I’m trying to film this scene tomorrow on the kitchen table. Sometimes I get a distinct feeling that I’m the Ed Wood producer of stop motion animation, but I won’t let this stop me.

The Ice Man, looking a bit worried about what’s to come…

I’m also threatening to hold a small animation festival in October time, more information to come.

The Sin Eater in the Style of Captain Pugwash

Shortly to undertake the eating of Sin

Back in February and March I was trying out all sorts of animation techniques and finishing nothing. Ok I suppose but a little unsatisfactory. So April came along and I decided to set myself a mission, and the mission was and is to finish the Sin Eater animation for the Rude Mechanicals song by the same name.

I started the Sin Eater animation about three years ago, before I did the CityLit animation course even, so I thought it be time to get it done.

Right, I said to myself, I should be strict and set myself a deadline, and the first gig after the lockdown seems like something to celebrate, why not finish it for then? That gives me just two months to complete it in.

Can I do it?

If the progression of the last week is anything to go by – or more accurately the lack of progression and a general stumbling backwards – then no. I was so proud of what I’d got done on Friday, but then discovered a huge mistake and will probably have to scrap the whole scene and film it again. Woe is me.

I like that paper cut out look. I’m doing it in a similar style to Another Glass of Wine. I find stop-motion animation is becoming a love/hate relationship. Perhaps a bit of editing digitally will make it work? But I find too much digital editing and the animation looses its magic.

I need to lock myself away for the next two months and get it done. Unfortunately that’s not looking possible.

Why am I using the slow, old form of animation? Why not use Animate or a similar digital programme?

Not me! I’m stubborn. I like the feel of stop-motion. It reminds me of things I watched as a child, Bagpuss and The Clangers, Ivor the Engine and Captain Pugwash . They were great!

It may seem a little odd doing a horror tale in the style of Captain Pugwash, but that’s not going to stop me!

So much to do, so little time to do it in, and everything seeming to move backwards. As some wise person somewhere once said – Take one step at a time and don’t look up at the whole mountain. Eventually you’ll get there.

Note and sketches

Ice Man

I’ve been experimenting with my ice man lately for the new Rude Mechanicals song Ice Man. Miss Roberts builds herself an ice man to snuggle up to in the cold winter nights. It is a passionate love affair but short lasting as the ice man melts away. Oh dear, poor Miss Roberts.

So, What do you think?

The song wont be coming out for a while yet so I’ve plenty of time to experiment. I think maybe he needs golden shorts.

Goodbye Mr Blackwood

It’s been a long time since my last post. Partly because I’m a lazy good for nothing monkey, and partly because a friend died and I didn’t really want to believe it.

I was rather hoping he had sneaked off to Epping Forest or somewhere like that, and was living a content survivalist life style amongst the trees. I even had a dream about it where he and his partner Emma had a big plan to start up a new eco community in the woods. But no, the body was found, the funeral held. I must admit now, I was probably wrong.

I liked Paul so much, he was someone who felt exciting to be around. Yet despite fancying him there was something slightly frightening about him that meant we could never be that close. I remember meeting him and Emma in a squat party somewhere in North London. They seemed so cool and beautiful, and exciting. They were part of their own scene and they booked Rude Mechanicals for many gigs before putting out our album.

It is puzzling for me, I’ve had a lot of friends die in recent years, and you see I was meant to die first. Twenty years ago the doctors told me the brain condition would kill me within ten years. Twenty years later I’m still here and friends of mine are dying. How can the doctors have been so wrong? I’m not complaining, l’m glad to be still here and relatively ok, it’s just very bemusing. I feel a bit guilty about it.

There are so many people with so many different beliefs, tastes, temperaments in the world. So many arguments, court cases, wars, yet in the end, whoever we are, king or pauper, we will each die (apart from those that want to turn themselves into computers I guess)

Paul and I were going to make an album together, full of odd poetry and found sounds, I let it drift away though, due to poets block and severe laziness. I deeply regret that, it would have been good.

Till we meet again Paul. X