THE MUMBLE – Good morning Mr Roberts, welcome to Mumble Towers… You are rapidly gaining a reputation as being the best guitarist in Edinburgh – can you tell us when you first picked up the instrument and why?
AL ROBERTS : Good morning Mumble Music… well, I’ve not had any lessons & don’t know how to read music. Technically I probably don’t know much at all, but I just feel it.
I have many influences that have shaped my playing from all sorts of genres but my main influence is Jimi Hendrix and I’ve spent a lot of time jamming along to his music. If even the tiniest bit of his magic has rubbed off on me then I’m a happy man!
THE MUMBLE –– Tinky’s vocalist is ‘Superstylin’ Mike Daniels. Are you incorporating any of the Groove Armada repertoire into your set
AL ROBERTS : Now we have Mike on board who’s been at the very top level with Groove Armada I feel it’s given the band a real boost. For me personally it’s given me motivation to practice even harder and sound the best I can as he’s obviously used to working with top quality musicians. He’s such a fun, easy going dude & has a real presence on stage. He really knows how to work an audience! Tinky Disco has always been full of fun characters… & aye, a cover of Superstylin is a work in progress – we’ve played it once at Studio 24 so far – it always tickles me when he sings, ‘Sound of the Tinky Disco, we’re Superstylin.’
THE MUMBLE : So we hear you’re having a wee trip to see India – you’ve been there before :what’s the attraction and does India influence your music at all
AL ROBERTS : Well I love India for many reasons: the people, scenery, weather, beaches, history, wildlife, temples etc. But I think the main reason I love it is because there’s not many rules out there and also because it’s timeless. Last time I went I bought a bad ass Royal Enfield motorbike and travelled from the south of india right up to the north. I’d never ridden a motorbike before so this was maybe a little crazy but man did I have a good time! After a few days practice in Goa I was ready to go see the rest of India. I so met many lovely people on my travels & saw some amazing sights. I had to run from the police a few times because I had alcohol on me and was entering a place where alcohol was illegal. I even got hit by a truck in the deserts of Rajasthan which I was very lucky to survive. I somehow just bounced off it and managed to keep the bike under control. It’s true what they say- India’s roads are DANGEROUS!!!
THE MUMBLE : I read somewhere that Tinky Disco were formed in Goa – is this true:
AL ROBERTS : Not quite. I think Tinky Disco always had to come back to life at somepoint as the songs were just too good to go to waste. In effect the original band (Ben Davison on guitar, Paul Forrest on drums, Damo on vocals & myself on bass)split up when Damo left for India at the end of 2013 then I followed at the start of 2014. We played a couple of gigs in Goa using break beats and live guitar/vocals which went down a treat on the beaches. From there we decided to put the band back together when we all arrived back in the UK. Then Damo moved back to Lancashire for a year or so, but came back last Summer & we were all systems go. We didn’t have a full set list then so we’d play a couple of cover songs to fill up the set. Now that isn’t a problem as Damo has many great tunes. I contributed a couple myself but with the addition of MC Mike Daniels we now have great songs coming out our ears! It’s been difficult getting to get the band together for rehearsals due to jobs/family duties but slowly & surely we are getting there!
THE MUMBLE : Well hopefully, you’ll make it back safe & sound for the Summer. What are Tinky’s plans for 2016.
AL ROBERTS : Well I feel that the new Tinky Disco lineup is starting to find its feet now and the songs are progressing nicely. I still feel we have a way to go til we are playing the main stage at festivals but we’re certainly good enough to be playing smaller stages at big festivals and that’s exactly what we’ll do. So far we’ve already played at Audio Soup Equinox which went down a treat! Next we have a gig at Dioch an Doras on the Isle of Arran followed by the amazing Eden & Audio Soup festivals plus of course a few gigs at Edinburgh Fringe festival. I really can’t wait for this summer it’s going to be a belter!