review archive

The Pipettes / The Whore Dogs - Bloomsbury Bowling Lanes, 10th December 2005

Rock’n’Roll Soul are holding their ‘Festive Bowl’ in the nifty fifties stylee Bloomsbury Bowling Lanes. A good idea in theory, but thanks to the whole shebang receiving big-ups in the press, everyone and their bleedin' dawg has decided to come.There’s an insane queue to get in where we stand shivering for ages, even though we’re on the guestie and could just nip to the front, we stand for Democracy innit? Unsurprisingly it’s bleedin’ packed inside and they’re selling bottles of scary Russian beer at the bowling shoe desk to help alleviate the crush at the bar. We say hello to Alice and Kate before they’re whisked off for their bowling session (the lanes are free all night, but good luck getting one). Squeeging through the hordes to the far end of the room we find there’s an unlit, makeshift stage.

Eventually, The Pipettes appear on it and are as marvy as ever, if a touch shambolic. During a particularly enthusiastic piece of arm flinging ‘choreography’ Becki’s glasses fly off and there’s a pause in proceedings whilst everyone searches for them. Vision restored, we all get on with wiggling, shoogling and singing along with the likes of ‘ABC XTC’, ‘Judy’, ‘Tell Me What You Want’ and top pop single ‘Dirty Mind’ (and yes it still reminds me of Big Audio Dynamite’s E=MC2).

I really don’t want to be reminded of what happens next. A ‘super’ so-called group including Leila from The Duke Spirit, Ed Harcourt, er, Andy Hackett what used to be in The Rockingbirds and um, some blokes churn their way through some hoary ole rock ‘classics'.

The redeeming feature of this horror-show is a rambunctious attack on '‘Build Me Up Buttercup’ featuring The Pipettes on backing vocals. Other than that, it’s all quite distressing. Afterwards we cleanse ourselves by dancing about to the likes of ‘Out of Time’ and ‘Under My Thumb’. Great songs, foul lyrics. You sexist git, Jagger.
The Pipettes - St Aloysius Social Club, 23rd December 2006

The Tapestry Club is a splendid institution whereby folks like Michael-out-of-Circulus and Rob-once-out-of-14 Iced Bears gather amongst the olden men who regularly sup pints in the basement wonder-world that is the St Aloysius Social Club. Here they get to hear the sounds of Todd Rungren and and tonite they get a lovely festive hoe-down with The Pipettes. This is of course top fun, and there is plenty of dancing to be had to the swoontasticly pop sounds of everyone’s fave polka-dot girlies, not least by members of The Madeleines who’re down the front singing along and doing all the hand gestures. We get a similar set to the recent Rock ‘n’ Roll Soul gig – all the greats, plus a special ‘White Christmas’. Ooh it’s all so festive. Especially as the St Aloysius is done up in a delightful ‘Phoenix Nights’ stylee, complete with one of those stage backdrops made of strips of sparkly stuff and a hand-written sign, ‘Please keep children off the stage’ – too right mate. At the end I run into an olde gig acquaintance I’ve not seen for many a long year, who comments on how neither of us have changed (??) and how great and young we both still look. I think he’s probably absolutely right. Merry Christmas!

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