Two ticks, Just loading the quick-fire question machine for solo artiste Rose Elinor Dougall…
It’s been seven years since your debut solo album. What kept you?
Well, a number of things… I didn’t finish touring with Mark Ronson until the end of 2012. There was a couple of years of writing and some experiments with finding the right producer, I had a few false starts…lots of things went on. It can be hard to get music out in the world.
How did your involvement with Mark Ronson come about?
He got in touch asking if I’d like to come to New York and bring some ideas with me and I ended up writing, recording and touring with him. I’ve played countless shitholes in my time, but there were some pretty glamorous moments playing in his live band. There were definitely no smelly splitter vans, let me put it that way.
The new album is “a haze of late nights, broken hearts and struggles in an increasingly unforgiving capital”… bright lights lost their shine, eh?
I’ll always love London and can’t imagine it ever losing its romance, but I sometimes feel it’s like being in an unrequited love affair. I was born here and this is my home, but the ruthless decimation of its cultural heritage is worrying. Saying that, me and my friends have managed to hang on this long and there is still a thriving and dynamic creative community that is sustaining itself.
In a post-truth world, you never know what to believe, is it true you jacked in art school to go on tour with your first band, The Pipettes?
I was doing a BA in Fine Art at Camberwell. I’d have loved to get my degree, but I was either going to be a fine art graduate or a musician so I wasn’t going to be straightforward either way!
And you once drew a portrait of former Top Gear presenter James May on an Etch-a-Sketch?
True. He was doing some nostalgia programme and wanted to show you couldn’t draw anything on an Etch A Sketch, so got some students to prove him wrong. I remember being quite pleased with my attempt.
In 1955, your grandfather, Robert Dougall, was one of the first BBC newsreaders to read the news on camera. He was presented with his MBE on 26 October 1965, the same day The Beatles got theirs…
True! My Dad was about 14 at the time, I can’t imagine how exciting that must have been for him as he got to go along too. He told me how there were loads of girls lined up outside the palace waiting for The Beatles, and when they saw the blacked-out car arrive they all started screaming and jumping on the car, until one girl peered through the tinted windows and shouted, ‘Oh, it’s only fucking Robert Dougall’!
You’re something of a best-kept secret aren’t you?
Ha! I don’t know about that, that’s not for me to say…
‘Stellular’ is out on Vermillion