Me and my Seventies sex-tech

Marie Findley of Mediaeval Baebes, comedy writer and performer, talks about her electronic bed
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The Independent Online

I miss it quite a bit when we go away. It's basically a clapped-out Seventies sex bed. It's huge and covered in cream fur with gold trimming and it's got a mirror, a radio, alarm clock and lights in the headboard and secret drawers down the side. It's kind of like the equivalent of Jimmy Savile's chair. In one of the drawers I found a little manual and it had names for the bed, but I'm not sure which one it is, Stacey, Irene or Cherry.

The radio has got a beautiful button that fades the sound out, and it's really smooth. It's an old radio but you can get modern radio stations. All the extras are fixed into a gold panel on the black wood in the headboard. The speakers come up through the headboards, so if you're lying in the centre of the bed you get stereo sound.

The thing is, though, it looks quite stunning, but it's actually a heap of crap. It's basically propped up by two wine bottles because otherwise the sides would fall off. Though the style is nice, the wood it's made out of is not going to last. I regard it as an antique really, and I would love to get another bed like this, but updated and a little more modern.

Normally when people go to see it they just go, wow. It's a bit like the bed in the Jim Cartwright play Bed, when the whole stage is set on a bed, and any party will always take place on the bed because there's the stereo, little ledges and shelves where people can put their drinks.

It has featured in a number of films that I've contributed to, so it has got a little life of it's own. I've been filmed on my bed and in my bed. And I have a personal relationship with the bed because it has got personality. That's how I like my technology to be.

I used to have a boiler that had a little Aquarius sign on it, which is my star sign, so I thought I had this affinity with the boiler. And basically nobody else in the house could get it to work apart from me. I would give it a bit of love and encouragement and it would flare up every time I talked to it.

I've got a computer and stuff but I'm not a big fan of technology. I am probably like a lot of people who, if something goes wrong with my computer, I feel like it's got a personal vendetta against me. I guess the kind of technology I like is technology that's a bit quirky and a bit inefficient. You kind of build up a relationship with it when it's only going to work if you give it two thumps on the side and one tap on the top.

Being in Mediaeval Baebes has a bearing on technology. There is a certain novelty and humour about us, so I suppose that's pretty similar to my bed. And I think that one of the reasons why we're popular now is that we're entering the century that a lot of people think is going to be taken over by technology and the human aspect and nature is being lost.

People turn to a type of performance that is much more intimate, which we represent. We wanted to be able to perform anywhere, and at first we didn't have to lug amplifiers around because we sang acoustically and used easy instrumentation like a hurdy gurdy that doesn't need to be plugged in. But now we've got bigger we do rely more on technology for doing our stage shows.

Mediaeval Baebes release their third album, 'Undrentide', on 25 April (RCA).

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