The Pipettes - Fibbers, York - Gigs - Reviews - Soundblab

The Pipettes - Fibbers, York

by Rich Morris Rating: Release Date:

The Pipettes have been away so long you'd be forgiven for forgetting what they look like. Actually, it wouldn't matter if you really had forgotten, since the line up of girls who provide both vocals and the group's focal point has changed completely since The Pipettes began, in the process slimming from a threesome to a duo. The band's sound is also very different from the 60s girl group, 50s rock'n'roll and doo wop that formed the back-bone of debut album We Are the Pipettes. Forthcoming and long-delayed second album Earth Vs the Pipettes instead looks to Abba, early Jackson 5 and kitsch Euro disco. On paper, this doesn't sound great: it's the exact pop seam already mined for all its worth by Alphabeat and Scissor Sisters.

Too much kitsch is definitely not a good thing, then, but just enough can make for a divine evening and, thankfully, that's what we get tonight. Sisters Gwenno and Ali Saunders have a winningly easy charm. They manage to get an initially reluctant crowd dancing and clapping along to new songs like 'Stop the Music' and the fantastic 'Thank You', which has the cheek not only to rip off Leona Lewis' 'Bleeding Love' but be approximately a squillion times better. They have stage presence and great moves but allow us to get a peep of the DIY ethics beneath the glamour, making us feel part of the show rather than mere spectators.

Inevitably, though, it's the old songs which score the biggest hits. Early gem 'Your Kisses Are Wasted on Me' is a crowd favourite but it's the evergreen brilliance of 'Pull Shapes' which has the crowd swooning and mimicking Gwenno and Ali's hand jiving. Against all odds, The Pipettes look to have survived the line up changes and wilderness years to be as bright and loveable as they ever were.

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