By now, Londonist's unhealthy infatuation with The Pipettes should be no secret; there was talk of a restraining order at one point. If there's some polka-dotted action going down in town, it's a dead cert we'll be there. Go ahead, we dare you: next time you see The Pipettes, just yell 'Oi! Londonist!' and see what happens. For those of you who've yet to pop your Pips cherry, here's a handy intro. Having recently signed to Memphis Industries, Rose, Gwenno, (Riot)Becki and the Cassettes released their first 'proper' single on Monday of this week. Latest midweeks placed Dirty Mind just outside the top 40(!), so if you haven't already, do yourself a favour and go buy it.
Tonight, The Pipettes return to London's 100 Club, the venue that instilled the polka-dot passion in at least two Londonistas back in January, when the girls supported the migthy Go! Team (also on Memphis). Between then and now, they've substituted a Pipette - Gwenno (blonde) replaces Julia (redhead) - found some preppy outfits for The Cassettes, and have featured in publications of increasingly respectable stature, all the while building up a fond fanbase.
Once guitarist 'Monster' Bobby has welcomed the girls to the stage, they dipsense with vinyl favourites ABC and Simon Says in quickfire succession. From the off, it's obvious that the girls are on top form - buoyed, perhaps, by the prospect of being popstars. As ever, they certainly look the part. Where she seemed a tad tentative in her role as 'the new one' a few months ago, Gwenno looks totally at ease. Little wonder, considering the number of fans signing and doo-wopping along. During One Night Stand, Rose (sigh...) beams with glee as two guys mirror her dance moves right back at her. Fame, it would seem, is just a finger-wiggle away.
More familiar tracks are reeled off in the shape of Really That Bad, YR Kisses R Wasted On Me and Judy, all to rapturous applause, but it's the addition of several new songs that truly delights tonight. It's no good for bopping, but Underneath Winter's Sky compliments the slower, relfective tempo of Why Did You Stay nicely. The real highlight, however, arrives as the penultimate song in the set, Pull Shapes. It's an absolute gem, the perfect vehicle to showcase the Pipettes' sharp choreography. If it doesn't follow Dirty Mind into the record stores, Londonist will eat its hat.
Since Pipettes songs rarely stretch to more than 2 minutes, their sets are generally on the brief side, and when the girls swoosh off after We Are The Pipettes, we're left panting for more as per usual. But wait, there's more - an encore airing of School Uniform! Brilliant!
Tonight, madames you're really spoiling us...just promise that Pop won't spoil you.
Photograph is copyright 2005 Kenneth Yau.