“Crazy In Love” By The Puppini Sisters
Marcella Puppini, Kate Mullins and Stephanie O’Brien are The Puppini Sisters, but unlike the Scissor Sisters 😉 they are, quite unbelievably, actually not real sisters! But let us not file a complaint under the trade descriptions act just yet, let us first delve further into this murky Film Noir-esque web of intrigue…
The Puppinis have been wowing crowds on both sides of the Atlantic with their 1940s style Pop and jazz arrangements. Their debut album “Betcha Bottom Dollar” was a huge hit in The UK and in the U.S reached number two on the amazon.com bestsellers list, number two on the U.S. Jazz Charts and number nine on the U.S. new artist chart.
Their combination of close harmony singing and 1940s take on modern classics such as The Smiths “Panic” and Kate Bush’s “Wuthering Heights “ has seen them gather a cult following from fans of all musical persuasions. They have a new album due for release later this year, which despite rumours, is sadly not going to be called “The Pencil Thin Moustached Stranger With The Twinkling Eyes Of Blue “
Secure in our own masculinity and therefore not adverse to the occasional bit of camping the “V.P.M.E”, needed no encouragement to chat with sophisticated young ladies with a love for unnaturally red lipstick, and we therefore felt compelled to ask the charming Marcella Puppini “What’s it all about “
VP : How did the idea of “the Puppini Sisters” come to fruition ?
MP :It was my idea. I really missed singing in harmony having left Trinity College of Music and the Jazz choir. I was toying with the idea of starting a harmony group when I saw a movie called Belleville Rendez-vous, and immediately thought 1940s close harmony was the way to go. I’ve always loved old-style jazz (in the old days when it was wild and cool) and I am obsessed with old movies – from Fred and Ginger to Bette Davis, so it all just seemed to fit in. It all started for a bit of fun, back in November 2004, and then it snowballed really quickly.
VP: The first album had an eclectic range of covers, ranging from Kate Bush to The Smiths? How did you decide which songs to Pup-ify, are they personal favourites?
MP: The first cover we ever did was definitely a personal favourite of mine, but the reason we covered it was because the lovely Mr Marcella Puppini (David to his friends) lied to a club we desperately wanted to play at and told them we did this amazing version of Wuthering Heights, which is their anthem (the club is the legendary gay alternative cabaret night called Duckie).
Having got the gig on the strength of that we then had to do the song! I thought it was going to go horribly wrong, but they absolutely loved it, and it seems to be a favourite with audiences everywhere.
VP: The new album is to introduce songs written by your good selves. How do you go about songwriting, what’s the process?
MP: So far all three of us have written separately, and in very different ways. We haven’t yet collaborated on a song, but that’s going to be the next step.
I guess the process is the same as for any songwriter, the only big difference being that the song has to be either written in three-part harmony or arranged afterwards.
Each of us does it differently, and no two songs are approached quite in the same way
VP. If you could all duet with one artist (past or present) who would that be?
Marcella= Nick Cave
Kate= Marilyn Manson
VP: You’ve done the festival scene and America this year, how did the U.S react to you and whats been the highlight of the year?
MP :So far the audiences we’ve had in the US have been incredible: up for having a good time, enthusiastic and appreciative. And so knowledgeable about our style of music, which is part of their heritage that it’s a real pleasure to speak to them after each gig.
It’s really hard to pinpoint a highlight of the year, because we’ve had a pretty good run. Montreal was fantastic, but our stay in New York was pretty unforgettable too. And we LOVED going back to our old haunts earlier in the year to test our new material before going into the studio. We played really small, unannounced gigs which were really good fun.
VP: What would be suitable attire for attending a Puppini concert? (Male and Female)
MP: A pencil thin moustache and spats for the gent, and red lipstick and a dress for the lady. Our audiences really go for it, and we love that.
VP: . What do you think of the current music scene? Is Johnny Borrell really a genius? (Ha!)
MP: Who???? We’re not really into that Indie thing, so we can’t say. There are some amazing bands around who may not get as much airplay as the identikindie lot, but who are absolutely wonderful. My favourite ones are The Dresden Dolls, Joanna Newsome, Anthony and the Johnsons, The Tiger Lilies and a whole host of unsigned talent, which thankfully get heard on MySpace and are helping reshape the future of music.
VP: Sum yourselves up in five words?
MP: Oh no, you do that!!!
PS.(The VPME notes with amusement that the correct response when answering questions relating to Mr Borrell is indeed, “Who???” It’s something he really is going to have to get used to in the very near future I`ll wager ! (if there’s a god)
“Bugle Boy From Company C”-The Puppini Sisters