My London: DJ Modest, Belleruche

One-third of London-based electronic soul band Belleruche, 32-year-old turntablist DJ Modest (pictured, far left) shares his thoughts on London canals, cars, bikes and tall buildings…

I like the canals out east – a bit of space and somewhere to cycle and think, avoiding the traffic and the noise.

When I was a student here, living in Seven Sisters, [I remember] for the first time aged 18, taking a broken bike for a ride around the derelict area behind Kings Cross as it was then and seeing the sun go down across the city as I wondered what I was going to do that evening. I realised that I lived in this place now, and there were quite a lot of options open that evening.

I’ve always wanted to get to the top of the BT tower.

A perfect London day would involve a walk to a pub on the canal in Clapton, then lunch at the Indian Dosa houses in Tooting, via the record stores of Soho. Bit of a long way, but get on your bike and it’s not so bad. Then drinking in a bar you’ve never been to before, then going somewhere new – there’s always somewhere new…

Summer’s too polluted, but it’s a city designed in the 1930s and ‘50s for autumn evenings and slate grey skies.

Our studio is on top of a old building near City Road. It’s where we’ve just finished our album Rollerchain.

My favourite Londoner? The narrator in the Absolute Beginners, by Colin MacInnes.

The Horse’s Mouth, with Alec Guinness, is a 1958 early colour film of London that is incredibly evocative.

We don’t realise how lucky we are to have so many cheap and amazing restaurants and cafes.

Ban all cars from zone one. It’s a flat city, we should all ride bikes. And the cost of rent – it’s the reason that there’s an exodus of creative stuff.

Try and sneak to the top of one of the tall buildings. You have to blag your way into the city, and pretend to be an architecture student, but the views are worth it.

Happiness is… a bicycle, a pint of decent beer and all deadlines met.’

Belleruche’s forthcoming single ‘Stormbird’ is out on March 26 and their album ‘Rollerchain’ is out May 7 on Tru Thoughts.

Belleruche kick off their tour at London’s Scala on May 27.


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