Another week, another Pipettes post. Forgive me, but despite my radio-session-post last week, I do feel the need to do another on the girls in dots. There is the small matter of their new album – We Are the Pipettes – out in the UK this week. Needless to say I have it now, and yes, it's as good as I'd hoped. I always thought that they were more than a cleverly constructed novelty act. Now, they clearly are a cleverly constructed novelty act, but it's not one that's been constructed by some major record label/media conglomerate, and they have some great tunes too.
Everyone who trawls the music blogs will by now be well familiar with the concept – their do-wop pop harmonies, and big knowing nods back to Spector and classic girl-groups, the ubiquitous polka dot dresses and twee dance moves. But at least for one album it's all good.
At 14 tracks, I thought the album might run out of steam and get a bit samey. But somehow it contrives to stay perky and attention-grabbing, from the oddball self-declaration of the title track right through the gorgeous last track I Love You. With lyrics about school bullies, dancing, one night stands, and the joys and pains of love, there's nothing really profound here, but it's helped, bubbling along, by an enormous sense of fun. And sometimes fun is good. It is the summer after all. Maybe in the dead of winter they'll be redundant, but for now, the CD is tossed high onto the 'summer soundtrack' pile.
As expected, that sense of fun there in spades live. I caught them at an instore show at HMV on Oxford Street on Monday, to launch the new album. It really is a rubbish place for a gig. At least at Virgin they move the CD racks back to create some kind of normal standing space. At HMV people stand in long lines away from the stage, between CD racks, trying too see round pillars and store signs. But despite the surroundings, the Pipettes and their indie-boy backing band The Cassettes (all in matching initialed yellow tank tops) did their sparky pop thing for half an hour or so, and it was a fine taster for the Pipettes live experience. Now I'm really looking forward to seeing them at the Ben & Jerry's festival next weekend. Did I mention it was fun?
Download: The Pipettes - It Hurts To See You Dance So Well
Download: The Pipettes - I Love You
Buy We Are The Pipettes