Sunday, December 24, 2006

The Pipettes @ The Roundhouse

Saw The Pipettes tonight, at the Roundhouse in Camden. It was billed as their Christmas Party, but frankly it was a bit of a damp squibb. I'd heard lots about this flippy, hippy, fifties threesome's party-style gigs, I love their album, and I know they have a loyal fanbase. But the gig was only half full (perhaps they overestimated the appeal of a 23 Dec London gig?) and the crowd that were there were mostly under 16. The poor ticket sales were probably the reason they couldn't afford any Christmas decorations for their 'winter wonderland', and the room made me feel the least christmassy I've felt all week - seriously, not a scrap of tinsel to be seen.

For whatever reason, the crowd didn't really dance that much, and frankly The Pipettes themselves didn't really seem that bothered - their dance routines not really feeling like snappy 50s-inspired hand jiving, more like melancholy primary school play hand wafting. The kind of look they are going for (think modern indie-chic meets the Supremes/Ronettes) only works with tight sychronised dance moves that make you assume the girls are connected by some sort of telepathic link. I guess they were just tired tonight, or the batteries had run out in the telepathy machine.

They played their whole album and a few B-sides, and yet the whole gig only last 45 minutes. Perhaps this is because all of their songs are irritatingly short, something that doesn't grate when you listen to the album, but at a gig feels really odd - the crowd never had a chance to warm up, the uninitiated never had the chance to become familiar with any of the riffs. The highlight of the show was a very suiting version of All I Want For Christmas Is You, not least because it coincided with the fake heavens opening to flutter fake snow upon the crowd. Many a fake snowball fight ensued, and we all left feeling smiley. It's only when I got home that I realised how disappointing the gig actually was. But still, they're lovely, and pretty, and cute, and twee... it just wasn't quite the christmassy treat I stuck around in London until xmas eve to enjoy.

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