05 November, 2007

Pipettes @ John Henry's, OR 11/02/2007

John Henry’s bar, Eugene, OR celebrated pop music of the past as The Pipettes brought their retro styled pop to the stage on Friday night.

In an eclectic night of music, the Pipettes’ guitarist and experimental singer song writer Monster Bobby opened with a solo set of conceptual electronica. With his mix of offbeat songwriting and unusual electro samples, the Brighton based artist proved he was more than just part of the backing band of The Pipettes.

Five piece New Yorkers, The Ladybug Transistor then brought the venue back to normality thanks to their classic indie sound. With their female lead singer and pop sensibilities they owe much to indie starlets, Rilo Kiley.

But it was The Pipettes with their lovable, bubble gum pop that really made an impact. Armed with their four piece backing band, the Pipettes swept through songs from their debut LP and their US only EP “Your Kisses are wasted on Me”.

The band’s aim is to get people moving, through energetic power pop tunes and dance acts to accompany each song. This couldn’t be any clearer, with middle aged admirers, punk rockers and die hard fans alike all coming together to party with the UK based indie trio.

Dressed in matching pokadot outfits and distancing themselves from their support band The Pipettes have the visual characteristics of a manufactured pop act. But though some credit goes to “Monster Bobby” and the rest of the band, most of the creative input is channeled through the girls. Rosay, Julia and Gwenno responsible creating most of the songs, the dance moves and even the dresses. All of which came together perfectly on Friday to create an immersive pop experience.

Now familiar with the bigger crowds back home in the UK, The Pipettes showed great showmanship to put on an exuberant show for the modest crowd that descended upon John Henry’s bar.

With their three female lead singers, heavy bass and sparkly guitar melodies the band sounded like a Phil Spector pop act of the 60s with a modern indie twang. The simple piano scores, hip shaking melodies and finger clicking are all there but so is all the polish and gleam of a contemporary pop act as well as modern tales of youth. Whether its the the girl who’s boring but great in bed (“Sex”) or the girl bully who amounts to nothing after school (“Judy.”)

The lyrics of “Pull Shapes” are the perfect reflection of The Pipettes’ spirit. A song designed with only one thing in mind, it’s a fantastic dance floor draw “I just want to dance I don’t care what the song is about”. With its sweeping orchestral score, hand claps and start-stop melody its destined to keep you there too.

The Pipettes are talented producers of a fun pop package. Refusing to take themselves too seriously, the band’s songs and style are all about getting people to dance and enjoy themselves. Modern performers of an old fashioned sound reworked for the naughties, they’re not to be seen as innovators but they put on a brilliantly entertaining show.

[mp3] The Pipettes - Dance and Boogie
[mp3] The Pipettes - Pull Shapes
[mp3] The Pipettes - Your Kisses are Wasted on Me


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