My brother-in-law Joe is in town visiting, his musical tastes lean towards the Fall, Can, and Uncle Tupelo end of the spectrum. So, when I was the describing the Pipettes to him as this British girl group reviving Phil Spector’s wall of sound and 60’s Motown, he kind of smiled and shook his head. I tried to assure him that it would be a blast with all the choreographed dance moves from three gorgeous girls dressed in polka-dot skirts.
When the ladies came out on stage clad in polka dots singing Don’t Forget Me with all their finger waging and hip shakes, I looked over at Joe and I felt like Jack Black in High Fidelity when he comes in to the record store, turns off whatever is being played (Belle & Sebastian), pops in his tape of Katrina and Waves’ Walking on Sunshine and, cranks up the volume, while Rob and Dick just stare at him wondering how he can like such silly music.
The Pipettes with their ace backing band the Cassettes ran through all the hits of We Are the Pipettes, like Dirty Mind and Your Kisses Are Wasted on Me. The all ages Chop Suey crowd ate it up like candy. Although this was an all ages show, it seemed like there were very few kids in the house. It was mostly older guys for some reason…just kidding, there were lots of girls there too digging the, oh so slightly updated kitschy girl group sounds. The ladies even played a couple new numbers like Diuretics and True Love Waits Patiently and all three b-sides from the new US single. Opening band Smoosh came back out and joined the Pipettes to make a super huge girl only dance party on the stage for the close of the main set. It was really hard not to be won over by the Pipettes, you could tell by their enthusiasm and sincerity that they really are fans of the genre and they are doing it because they love the music. They encored with ABC and their theme song, putting us over the edge and making me and my brother-in-law full fledged members of the Pipettes fan club. Well, me at least, I think Joe is still on the fence.