Roubaix France is a pretty sad town. Sad as in depressed, as in, makes me depressed. It was clearly a place that had seen better days. But I could not have picked a better time to go to that petite ville, because while I was there, on the one night I had free there was a special event. The Dupléxe Cinema in the centre of town was hosting a one off viewing of the 1920’s silent dinosaur discovery film “The Lost World”, with all music being provided by DJ Ollie Teeba of London-based Ninja Tune act The Herbaliser.
After a whole day dressed up like a Mexican Wrestling Villain it was a pretty spectacular, if lo-key event. The Herbalisers music always seems to be inflected with jazzy horns, a sense of humour, and a healthy dose of nice beats. It was clear much crate-digging had been done to provide such a soulfully cinematic and groovy accompaniment to such a dated film.
I talked to Ollie afterwards and he told me it was just the second time he’d performed the set, to which I asked “Why the Hell are you doing it in this French shit-hole?”
Or words to that effect.
“France loves The Herbaliser,” was his response.
And indeed they should. It also set me back just a paltry 4 euros and 50 eurocents, which seemed more than fair. In fact it seemed too fair, but then again you can’t put a price tag on cross-boundary silent movie cinema soundscapes.