Tuesday, July 17, 2007

How is it that Groove Armada have become cool? We ask the duo!

Things are a little strange in London this month. We’ve swapped Ambre Solaire for umbrellas, someone British won at Wimbledon and Groove Armada have somehow become cool.

Not only have they released the best pop song of the year so far – Song 4 Mutya with the hard-as-nails Sugababes defectee Mutya Buena – they are gracing us with the best London festival of the summer, Lovebox in Victoria Park.

Tom Findlay, one half of Groove Armada with Andy Cato, can hardly believe his luck – and that’s before we even get to working with Kylie Minogue.

“This is the first time people like NME, who really loathed us, have been positive. It’s [Song 4 Mutya] looking better than anything we’ve ever had. Top five would be great but number one would be ridiculous. I’d probably retire.”

Findlay enjoyed working with Real Girl Buena so much, he hopes it won’t be a one-off. “She’s splendid, she really makes me laugh. Mutya’s a real singer, and I’ve got a lot of respect for her. If they want me to produce something else I would definitely do it.” If she had any sense she, too, should jump at the chance, before they move out of her league.

But Findlay treats the belief that he is cool or hip again as a joke. “I’m just not, but I’m enjoying the fact that people think I might be.”

The duo, once known for post-Ibiza chill-out tunes and an annoying Renault advert (I See You Baby), plan to turn this newly discovered pop talent into a bona fide cottage industry. Next up: Kylie.

“We’ve had about four hours with her, which were lovely. We’ve got two things there that might be interesting. I’m into the pop thing, but it’s very draining because you’ve got so many people involved and they all want a hit. That’s all they’re interested in.

“Song 4 Mutya was good because it came out of messing about and having fun. Sometimes when you sit down in a studio with a pop star, two writers and seven A&R men, it’s not fun.”

Findlay was clearly as enamoured of the Aussie pop queen as he was the former Sugababe.

“Kylie is very good. It’s clear why she’s made it as big as she has because she’s confident and self-aware, she’s fun and she puts a lot of personality into what she does.”

But before we get to hear the ridiculously anticipated results of the Kylie collaboration, Groove Armada have got something else up their sleeves: Lovebox Weekender.

The boutique festival, which they have been running for five years, includes performances next weekend from old stagers such as Blondie, The B-52’s and Sly and The Family Stone and from newbies such as The Rapture, Hot Chip and Patrick Wolf, as well as Groove Armada themselves.

“We’re in Hackney, which is a buzzing spot right now, we’ve got a whole kids’ area, there’s a Brazilian thing, and we’ve got Vauxhall club Horse Meat Disco doing this recreation of a New York gay club in the 70s,” says Findlay proudly.

“Other events in London have their own agendas, but Lovebox is a real festival and the one that’s most truly representative of London.”

Song 4 Mutya by Groove Armada featuring Mutya Buena is available to download now (physical release 23 July).

Tickets are still available forLovebox Weekender, £35 for a single day, £60 for the weekend 0871 220 0260, 0870 151 4444, www.loveboxweekender.com.



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