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Róisín Murphy

The singer has brutalist dreams of living above a car park, savours the food at Sabor and wants to paint the whole town pastel

Home is…

North London. It’s very quiet and not much changes here, year to year. I’m kind of feeling ready to move. I live with my partner, Sebastiano, and two children, Clodagh and Tadhg.

What shops do you rely on?

L’Angolo delicatessen in Kensal Rise. It’s a traditional Italian deli that does wonderful sandwiches and dishes to take home. We do a lot of shopping at B&Q as we’ve been doing quite a lot of gardening.


Where would you recommend for a first date?

The bus stop at the end of the road, as that’s where Sebi and I first kissed.

What would you do if you were Mayor for the day?

I’d paint everything in pastel colours. I’d go Memphis on the whole of London, triangles and semi-circles flying everywhere.

What’s the best meal
you’ve had?

For my birthday a couple of years ago, my manager took me to Sabor on Heddon Street. Really wonderful food. Across the road there’s a cocktail bar, below Momo, that made me cry it was so good.


Where do you go to let your hair down?

The last place was my friend’s house in east London. She’s 50, and the thing about 50-year-old Londoners is they don’t go quietly. A middle-aged rave ensued, and let me tell you we were better at raving than the kids. They went to bed and we were still going at 7 in the morning. Pre-lockdown, of course.

What was the last thing you googled?

Five of the best documentaries as chosen by Werner Herzog.

What’s the best thing a cabbie has ever said to you?

My uncle is a London cabbie and he used to get out a book of Polaroids, all the famous people in his cab — all these politicians mixed in with Terry Wogan and Cilla Black and footballers. Just a total snapshot of 1970s and 1980s London celebrities.

Cilla Black

Where do you stay in London?

When I first came to London from Sheffield, I stayed at the shabby Hilton in Holland Park, which was a 1980s Trump-like hotel, with mirrors everywhere and a sense of transience. I ate a lot of club sandwiches.

What are you up to at the moment for work?

I just put out a livestream for Mixcloud, which I directed, concepted and poured my life into, and I’m heartbroken it’s all over! Also finishing up my next record with DJ Koze, and there will be a remix album of Róisín Machine.

If you could buy any building in London and live there, which would it be?

There’s a brutalist car park behind Debenhams, off Oxford Street, and it’s scheduled for demolition. I’d save it, put a living space in the top of it, and keep it as a car park, living out my JG Ballard dream there.

Welbeck Street car park

Who is your hero?

Mo Mowlam, who I met. She was totally compassionate and without her, the [Northern Ireland] peace talks just wouldn’t have happened.

Where would you most like to be buried in London?

I would most like to be buried in Ireland actually, not London. God bless it.

The thing you learnt during lockdown?

How resilient my children can be. Kids have been heroes in this — they keep their cool while everyone else loses their mind.

‘Róisín Machine’ is out now on BMG/Skint