Roi started Mechanical Cabaret in 1999 and played his first live show in October that year at Gossips in Soho, London for the club night ‘Electric Dreams’. In 2001 they toured the UK with Katscan and Squid. Of particular note amongst the gigs that Mechanical Cabaret played during these early years, they supported Fad Gadget at his ‘comeback’ concert after 15 years away, at the Astoria in London.
In June 2002 Roi released his first CD ‘We Have An Agenda’ . The song ‘Nothing Special’ from the CD was picked up on by some American film-makers and used as part of the Metropolis Records soundtrack for the film ‘Gypsy 83’ which saw a cinematic release stateside and gained much critical acclaim, winning the Gay and Lesbian Film Award that year.
In 2003, Mechanical Cabaret supported Sheep On Drugs, The Damned, and they also toured the UK again, this time supporting Sigue Sigue Sputnik along with Greenhaus. Later that year, Roi contributed lyrics and vocals to a dance track called ‘Try Harder’ included on the album ‘Another Life’ by Greenhaus. Steve Bellamy from Greenhaus later went on to work with Roi on the recording, engineering and production of the second Mechanical Cabaret album ‘Product For Your Insecurity’, and is now a member of Mechanical Cabaret too.
Mechanical Cabaret were one of the first bands to perform at the now infamous ‘Nag Nag Nag’ electroclash club-night in London, run by the equally infamous Jonny Slut (Specimen/ Batcave/ Atomizer) where they played to packed out audiences several times. At the end of 2003 Roi co-started a weekly club-night too, along with DJ’s Mark Moore (S’Express) and Frankie D, called Electrogogo, held at Madame JoJo’s in Soho, London. No longer a weekly occurence, Electrogogo is rumoured to be surfacing again some time soon, somewhere in London’s ‘sleazy’ Soho…
In 2004, whilst continuing to play live shows around London and the UK, Roi recorded the double A-sided single ‘Cheap And Nasty/See Her Smile’ which eventually came out towards the end of that year on Umami Records as a 12”, 7” and CD, along with a world exclusive, a Nag Nag Nag Remix of Cheap And Nasty, the first ever official Nag Nag Nag remix released, done by Atomizer - a band featuring Jonny Slut and fellow Nag DJ Phil OK.
The single raised Mechanical Cabaret’s profile around the club scene in London, where it got into the Top 10 of many Electro DJ playlists, including that of Marc Almond.
Mechanical Cabaret played some major support slots in 2005, playing with Karl Bartos of Kraftwerk, Suicide, Doug McCarthy (Nitzer Ebb), Mesh, and T. Raumschmiere.
During this time, Roi was working on material for the second Mechanical Cabaret album which was to come to light in spring 2006 when he finally released the ‘Product For Your Insecurity’ CD in April. Along with the new album came an offer from electro-pop legends Mesh to support them on their European Tour that spring, promoting their new album ‘We Collide’.
Together with Mesh, Mechanical Cabaret played shows all over Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Poland. Also in 2006 Roi remixed ‘See Her Smile’ for the 5th edition of Advanced Electronics. To bring the year to a close, Mechanical Cabaret went on to headline a huge annual Depeche Mode party in Milan, Italy as part of the promotion for ‘Bright Lights/Dark Room’, a compilation released on Cryonica Records of Depeche Mode B-side cover versions, which features the Mechanical Cabaret recording of a Depeche Mode song called ‘Set Me Free’.
In January 2007 Mechanical Cabaret played as part of a European tour for the Elektrisch!2 compilation album (released Feb that year) along with X-Perience, Mesh and Purwien, playing with Client on the UK dates. Roi remixed the Mesh track ‘Step By Step’ from their ‘We Collide’ album and also ‘Xerox Machine’ by Client, for ‘Elektrisch 2’.
Also during 2007 they went on to play in London with Apoptygma Berzerk, and Covenant, toured the UK with Canadian Electro-Industrial innovators Frontline Assembly, and Roi recorded a cover version of ‘When Do I Get To Sing My Way?’ by Sparks, for a compilation album of Sparks covers called ‘Rainbow Over The Freeway’ in aid of The Rainbow Trust children’s charity.
Roi got the chance to remix ‘Like A Bird’ from the album ‘Synthetik’ by long standing Mute Records’ artists Komputer (formerly known as I Start Counting, and Fortran 5), which was released in September that year by Mute as a 7” single and Download.
At the end of 2007 Roi signed to Hamburg based Major Records Medien GmbH, home also to Ladytron and IAMX. They released an EP/single of the Mechanical Cabaret song ‘Disbehave’ from Product For Your Insecurity’ on December 14th. This features 6 remixes of the title track, including the ASBO Remix by Mesh, plus a new recording of ‘When We Go, We Go Together’ one of the most popular songs from ‘We Have An Agenda’. It went in the DAC charts in Germany and stayed there for a month, reaching number 11.
After nearly 2 years spent recording, the new Mechanical Cabaret album called ‘Damaged Goods’ was released by Major Records on March 20th 2009, along with the new single ‘GBH’, released on the same date. They played live at Elektrofest 2009 in Dingwalls, Camden, and supported A Flock of Seagulls at the 02 Academy in Islington.
In 2010 they supported Nitzer Ebb in Hamburg and London, headlined Bedsitland in London, supported Karel Fialka in London, and played with The Glitter Band and Angie Bowie in Birmingham. Their most recent release, again on Major Records, is the single ‘Careful Careless’.
Edited by Roi101 on 17 May 2010, 15:36
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