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THE TING TINGS (Birmingham Irish Centre, Tuesday)

23-05-2008

The Ting Tings

Is it just me, or does "That's Not My Name" sound a bit like "Hey Miki" by Toni Basil? Anyway, here's Steve Beauchampe's review of Britain's Number 1 band.
 
Good week for Manchester. Number 1 in Europe, number 1 in the charts. So here come the Ting Tings, Justin De Martino and Katie White (whom absolutely no one remembers under their former moniker of Dear Eskimo).
 
Traversing the line between throwaway bubble gum pop and indie rock, there's a bit of the six-piece Brazilian party animals CSS about them, but without the staffing levels.
 
Arriving in Birmingham two days after That's Not My Name knocked Madonna off the No 1 spot ("we're totally shocked by this" Katie tells the audience) and with debut album We Started Nothing set to follow suit this weekend, the band, who couldn't have got arrested a few weeks back, are greeted by a sell out crowd at Birmingham's Irish Centre, most of whom are still getting to know the band's repertoire.
 
Fortunately, it's classic infectious pop, packed to the gunnells with foot stomping hooks and singalong melodies. Justin plays drums and occasionally guitar, adding backing vocals as and when required, a kind of Svengali figure, while Katie is the proverbial ball of energy, yelping, jumping, dancing, banging a drum, shaking her long blonde mane.
 
She plays a little guitar, some keyboards, but foremostly she's personality, the ideal front person for the frantic pop on offer tonight.
 
It's a short set (the album lasts under forty minutes and that's about all they've got at present), but Great
DJ and Fruit Machine set the early tempo, after which Katie tells us "this is a great venue, when we arrived to soundcheck there were all these people playing bingo and we had to wait until they'd finished."
 
"Now the Ting Ting's try a slow song" heralds Traffic Light. To be honest it doesn't really work, but no worries, Shut Up, We Walk, (with Katie on keyboards) and the very wonderful Keep Your Head, are more successful.
 
The band clearly have a genre hopping appeal, so the audience seems a mixture of Academy stalwarts and less regular gig goers, but everyone seems happy enough, and there's no shortage of camera phones and pocket digitals (somewhat irritatingly) recording the proceedings. And never more so than on the inevitable show closer (obviously, it was THAT song).
 
From the opening drum section, to the manic, multi-tracked crescendo of an ending, it is, let's face it, the one we all came to hear, but the Ting Tings are no one trick pony, and there are several equal candidates for instant pop classic status and the crowd's adoration, as encore song We Started Nothing proves.
 
Outside, there's just one guy hawking £5 t-shirts, by the summer's end, and with bigger venues beckoning, the traders will be fighting for pavement space.
 
(Here's that Number One single http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=6UX0p7uAW2s&feature=related)

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