“Scarlet Fantastic”- The Scarlet Street Resistance Interview

“Nasty Thoughts” By The Scarlet Street Resistance

“There’s no such thing as courage. There’s only fear, the fear of getting hurt and the fear of dying. That’s why human beings live so long…..”

In a pawnshop doorway of a dimly lit street the faint form of a shadowy figure could be discerned. He wore an overcoat with the collar turned up and the rim of his fedora was pulled down over his eyes. Under his pencil thin moustache lurked a sardonic smirk. He was evidently waiting for somebody, but who and more to the point why? In a city like this there were plenty of old scores to be settled and debts to be paid. Was he waiting for the dame who’d torn out his heart and sliced it up into tiny pieces, the dame who’d then pummelled it into a fine pâté, which she had then served up as canapés to her high society friends accompanied by her famous “screw you” salad…. Was it the matter of the 50 gees she’d made off with which was owed to Fingers O’Rourke? Nobody stayed breathing too long if they owed Fingers cash, his henchmen shot first and asked questions later… The stranger slipped his hand in his pocket and felt the cold hard steel of the object concealed within his overcoat. He smiled…everything was in place. …. 100 yards from where this shadowy figure was concealed, the doors of the jazz club opened spilling out revellers as the sound of Duke Ellington broke the stillness of the night. Moments later a couple emerged from the club into the cold night air, a female, tall, elegant, entrancing, followed by a male, a guy who looked like he’d been through the mill and had lived to tell the tale. Out of habit he scanned the street, his eyes looking for something, anything, that might spell danger, something didn’t seem right “Scarlet, wait!!” he shouted. She threw back her head and laughed and walked on “Come on Mr Jones” she whispered “let’s get the hell outta here” …The sound of stilettos on the hard concrete of the sidewalk alerted the stranger in the doorway to the fact that finally the moment he’d been waiting for was imminent ..Their paths were about to cross. It was something he had been planning for a long time, something that had filled his every waking hour, some may have called it obsession, he called it dedication…and now…at last…….. In one swift movement he stepped out of the shadows blocking the path of the female, “So” he drawled, “we meet at last”. “Indeed we do” she replied coolly, hands on hips. “And what exactly is it that you want?” she said as a playful smile danced across her lips. “I think you know exactly what I want” he replied meeting her gaze. Her eyes widened as the stranger quickly reached inside his overcoat and produced a….huge.. microphone !… “I want an interview Miss Scarlet, an interview for The VPME , and I want it now! ” …”I think we can work something out” she replied smiling as she lit a cigarette and slowly exhaled, blowing smoke into his face….“Now just wait a second Scarlet” said the guy she’d referred to as Mr Jones “You know when you start talkin’ it opens the doors to a whole world of trouble” . Mr Jones took a step forward towards the stranger “You got something to say mister, you talk to me….”

Well that’s how a Film Noir type interview should start is it not? You couldn’t really meet up with The Scarlet Street Resistance in a local kebab shop could you? But who are they? What’s the deal ? …The Scarlet Street Resistance is a moody musical partnership, which features Scarlet and Mr Jones, it’s described as “part electronica and part folk piano”. With Portishead style beats, fat synths, Tori Amos influenced pianos, plus Bond movie orchestration all set against a backdrop of the shady world of 1940’s Hollywood Film Noir complete with all the moral ambiguity, sexual motivation, glamour, mystery and theatrics you’d expect from that genre. It really is an exciting concept packed with drama, atmosphere, menace and vocals to (maybe literally ;)) die for…

VP: Who are the Scarlet Street resistance?

MR JONES: The Scarlet Street Resistance is an intimate partnership lead as always by our Scarlet. In life it is important to keep your friends close but your enemies closer …Never take your eye off the ball… and always expect the quiet ones to be the most extreme. This is how it all started for us… and it remains that way to this day. I’m sorry for being a little obscure, but I think that explains it quite well.

VP: What’s the Scarlet and Mr Jones story ?

MR JONES: She’s a dark horse in many ways, and does a good job of keeping herself to herself, but I think Scarlet is a real sweetheart deep down. I haven’t seen a great deal of evidence first hand of her kind heart but I know it’s there. In the past I have got myself into trouble with her for speaking with the media on the subject of our potential past affairs… so I try not to. I have a lot of time for her indeed. She’s been through the wringer that I know. I’m there for her… what can I say…she’s a dangerous lady… take a look at her!

VP: I’ve heard the live shows are amazing what can people expect?

MR JONES:It’s light and dark, up and down, rough and smooth… Scarlet’s presence on stage is really something to behold as you will see. All the gigs this year have been rammed with a wall to wall TSSR type of magma that seems to have a life of its own! The crowd is generally as well behaved as frenzy can be… but there will be a lot less bruising if you just expect amazing.

VP: When will the album “The Big Steal” be released?

MR JONES: Whaaaat…? They’re gonna just release it…? I wanted to hold it to ransom! We’ll see about that…..keep your eyes peeled for this later in the year.

VP: What do you have planned for 2008, album release then tour? Europe? Can Miss Scarlet access a passport these days?

MR JONES: Scarlet has many passports so that’s no concern at all, but all the rest is exactly what is in store for us. I’d like to be doing as much touring as possible because it keeps us on the straight and narrow. We really need to be kept busy as falling into trouble comes a little too easily for us. Scarlet doesn’t twiddle her thumbs for very long! We kick things off in Germany, Scandinavia, Italy, Switzerland and the wonderful Paris all before the summer, then its festival season for a few months. We start what we are calling at the moment ‘our special show’ titled ‘The Sonic Film Noir Show’ which is a full on 1 hour almost cabaret performance including the visuals you see on the internet along with guns and action. The first of these specials is at the Hanbury Club, Brighton, UK on the 24th April 2008. Not the normal gig, more of an experience shall we say, a first for us.

VP: What sort of music has influenced your style?

MR JONES: The Guns of Navarone, I Shot the Sheriff, Pachelbel’s Canon, and Bullet in a Bible, Street Fighting Man.

VP: Which would you both say are your favourite examples of “Film Noir?”

MR JONES: “Man Bites Dog“.. Have you seen it? Ah, the opening scene is almost romantic! Pure femme fatale.

VP: Who would you say are the ultimate femme fatales?

MR JONES: Cat woman… Bodacca… Flipper … and Princess Lea, except she doesn’t die, but she looks like a go-er.

VP: What have been your highlights of your time together so far? The Secret Garden Party festival? Huw Stephens? Finishing the album ?

MR JONES: The Secret Garden Party gig was wicked. I wasn’t sure if we’d be ready for it but in the end we all rose to the occasion and everyone had a top time… lots of smiling faces in the audience, with no-one really knowing what to expect… as far as I could see the crowd was bowled over. finishing the album was great as its been a long time in the making but I’m looking forward to playing more live shows in Europe.

VP: The Video for “Nasty Thoughts” is fantastic and has some really “Wow” moments . Will the story via video continue in the future

MR JONES: If it doesn’t, then the full extent of our whole endeavour together will never be known. It’s a very colourful tale in full, and like all good stories it’s quite natural to want to know what happens in the end. I hope we get chance to tell all in the future via film / video.

VP: What five items are essential to the Scarlet Street Resistance

MR JONES: Sex, guns, fast cars/women, rock ‘n roll, and a life on the run.

Links

On Myspace

Click The T-Shirt To Buy!

Videos

Album Intro/Taster- The Scarlet Street Resistance

“Nasty Thoughts” By The Scarlet Street Resistance

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“Music For Pleasure” – Client Inteview

“6 In The Morning” By Client

Sexier than Goldfrapp, darker than Depeche Mode, more fun than The Human League? Yes, if you like throbbing electro pop perfection then you certainly need look no further than the splendour that is “Client” Members of group are known only as Client A and Client B and are often joined by occasional members who conveniently share similar names such as Client D,E,F,G etc .(is there hope for “J” from Five?) However the mainstays of the band are in reality Kate Holmes, formerly of Frazier Chorus and Technique and Dubstar vocalist Sarah Blackwood. Their take on electro glam synth pop has been a huge hit in Europe, whilst they have been quietly bubbling just under the radar in the UK for a while now. This years album “Heartland” is typically, hypnotically, brilliant, it flirts with the listener ,whilst drawing them into Client’s darkly erotic world, they promise to seduce and then state in no uncertain terms “you can look, but you can’t touch.” (bah!) and then of course there are “the uniforms!” For anyone with thing for airhostess, or maybe leather or quite possibly both, Client’s image will doubtless be a draw, indeed it would be no stretch of the imagination to suggest that they make Alison Goldfrapp seem about as sexy as Thora Hird wearing incontinence pants. But this regimented look fights in perfectly with the music and whilst their image is undoubtedly something which is visually provocative, and, without sounding like Benny Hill hiding in the bushes in a mac, rather naughtily pleasing, it is undoubtedly their music that really grabs the attention. Client are a relentless, hypnotic tour de force combing sweeping synths, guitars and glam rock beats fused with a fabulous pop sensibility. They have collaborated with a number of high profile musicians and directors, their video for “Pornography” was directed by French director Jamie Deliessche . It featured Carl Barât (formerly of The Libertines and now singer with The Dirty Pretty Things on vocals. “Down to the Underground” features Pete Doherty, also formerly of The Libertines, and when not being detained at Her Majesties pleasure, sometime front man of Babyshambles. “Overdrive” features Martin L. Gore of Depeche Mode and “Where’s the Rock and Roll Gone” features Tim Burgess of The Charlatans.
Lager fetishist Mr VP donned  his studded leather lederhosen and thigh length boots and had a chat with Sarah Client B to discover more about the band…

VP : How,where and when did you meet ? What prompted you to form Client?

Client B: We were introduced by a friend. Kate had just been offered 3 gigs supporting Depeche mode and her singer had run away!!! I stepped in.the 3 gigs turned into 15 and we formed Client and wrote the first album on the road with Depeche. At first we were just experimenting but our epiphany came at the leipzig gig where we decided to really go for Client!!

VP: If you were to verbally illustrate your music using media friendly sound bites what would they be ?

Client B: I think the song ‘Client’ sets out our manifesto…satisfaction guaranteed…innovate never imitate…we aim to please….at your service!!!!

VP: Your image is very impressive and rather striking, the uniforms? Was that something decided on at the outset ?

Client B : Absolutely yes! We wore them on the Depeche tour as we wanted to look like working girls not ‘popstars’…we didn’t want anyone to throw anything at us! It was also following the tradition set by electronic pioneers such as Kraftwerk and Throbbing Gristle.
We loved the Orwellian theme of letters not names became clients A and B and the image and music are now 50/50.it wouldn’t be Client without the uniforms!!

VP: Your latest album the marvelous “Heartland” was released this year, described as perfect electro new wave disco pop ! Who would you say your major musical influences are?

Client B : Our influences are: Kraftwerk,Throbbing Gristle,D.A.F. Joy Division, Caberet Voltaire, New Order and Bowie.

VP: You’re now on your own label in The Uk , has this made major difference to you as a band , is it harder or does it give you more freedom ?

Client B: Defiantly more freedom! It’s great to be completely in control!

VP: Will you look back on 2007 with affection? , what have been your highlights ?

Client B: Absolutely! It has been our busiest year for touring so far.I think the highlights were playing the festivals in the summer.we played to big really appreciative crowds and it was such a buzz!!!! Especially when we turned round wiggled our bums as the lights go out
and they all screamed. It made me feel very emotional!!!!

VP : Ok, so the band members are Client A And Client B , is there a Client C or D in place yet ?

Client B: Oh yes! It’s always going to be 3 girls on stage now and Robert Gorl sometimes too! He is client R !We also have another Client R and Client M and Client C too!! Client C is Charlotte Hatherley who played with Ash! (and former VPME interviewee)

VP: What’s your view on the music scene in the UK at the moment ? Any bands that grab your attention ?

Client B: We don’t spend enough time in the U.K. to hang around the various scenes but there seems to be a lot of post punk influenced bands around as well as the nu rave thing which is the progression from electroclash…all style no substance…and I wore day glo the first time round and it looked terrible then…..

VP: What’s the weirdest fan request/Message you’ve ever had ?

Client B : It’s unprintable!!!!

VP: Use five words to sum up Client’s time together

Client B: Exciting…frustrating…airports….adventures…..wonderful…..I love it!!!!

(Additional thanks to Dave Cromwell)

Links

On Myspace

Client Website:
client-online.net

German Client Website:
client-online.de
Loser Friendly Records

CLIENT Shop their latest CDs, T-Shirts, posters etc

BUY CLIENT RECORDS

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Client - City

The CLIENT VIDEO PODCAST on iTunes

Join the free Client Podcast on iTunes
Subscribe to it to get the latest episode direct on iTunes!

Video

“Pornography” by Client

“It’s Not Over” By Client

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“Deep Blue Something” The Charlotte Hatherley Interview

“Again” By Chalotte Hatherley

It’s a obviously a big decision for anybody to leave a successful group at the height of their fame, but it is said that music is the purest form of self expression and many artists feel the need to branch out away from their band mates and tread a different path. In the case of Charlotte Hatherley its certainly a decision that’s paid off. With two critically acclaimed albums behind her, an army of loyal fans, and her own record label she doesn’t appear to have broken stride since quitting as Ash’s guitarist in January 2006. She oozes pure rock n roll coolness, think Chrisse Hynde with supermodel looks, and your in the right ballpark, but with Charlotte it’s all about the music and the performance and she’s down to earth enough to write in her own myspace tour blogs about the dangers of eating curries before performing on stage ! Whilst Songs like “Kim Wilde” and “Bastardo” have earned her a cult following her latest album “The Deep Blue” will only enhance her reputation and new single “Again”, could well be her finest song to date, a tale of love regret and maybe the heart ruling the head? It’s a song which clearly demonstrates that Chazza has developed into a truly great songwriter, and “The Deep Blue” contains of collection of songs which any artist would be proud of.

We said “Guten Tag!” to Charlotte as her UK acoustic tour ended and her live dates in Germany where about to commence.

VP: Since leaving Ash you’ ve released two solo albums, received critical acclaim, gigged tirelessly and gathered a loyal army of fans. You must be delighted, how different does life as a solo artist differ from that of being a member of a band?

CH:I suppose it’s the difference between being a front-person and being a guitarist….i see myself mainly as a guitarist and playing in a band is just great fun, I never really have to worry about image or being sober. With Ash I would wear whatever felt comfortable and merrily get drunk on stage. Being a solo artist is a bit more serious and more thought goes into it. You have to present yourself in a much more assertive and convincing way, and I feel I have to always be on form. But I try to make the band I have with me as a solo artist feel like a band of friends, rather than just hired hands, so it’s still a lot of fun on the road.

VP ….And you’ve recently done an acoustic tour , what was the thinking behind this ? I’ve noticed quite a few bands recently whom seem keen to play more intimate gigs …

CH:Anyone can be a musician with a laptop and garage band, so the actual theatricality of a intimate stage show is becoming quite rare and I’ve been amazed by how much people prefer to see the acoustic shows, and really love to see up close the three of us playing quite intricate and delicate songs. Initially I was quite reluctant because I didn’t want it to be a boring ‘girls with acoustic guitars’ show, if I saw that advertised I would certainly be put off. I’ve made sure that it still remains interesting and exciting, despite being very stripped down.

VP: Songwriting ? would you consider your style observational, personal, poetically abstract ?? what’s the process , is it spontaneous or do you sit down and think “Ok I’m going to write two great songs today”

CH:I don’t think about my songwriting in any way, it happens and I record at home. Mostly it starts with a guitar riff, and usually the lyrics are the last thing that I write. Anything in between is a guess, it changes often. Some days there is a very definite drought, other days I can be very prolific. I am a dreadful procrastinater, I wish I could be more disciplined.

VP: Since of birth of what is referred to as ” rock n roll” what do you personally consider to be the most inspirational period/decade?

CH: I think music now is incredibly exciting and inspirational. Of course I am a huge fan of Bowie, Roxy Music, Kate Bush and Eno…so I guess the 70s really do it for me, but to experience this dramatic change in the music industry first hand, right now is very inspiring. So much is happening it’s hard to keep up. As everyone around loses their heads certain bands are seizing the moment and adapting to the climate and some seriously exciting times and music are ahead of us. It’s hard for me remain a completely independent artist as it’s virtually impossible to make any money from record sales, but I’m finding ways of surviving, and all these great and innovative new bands will too, so I am sure this era will be looked upon as very important in the future.

VP: What music are you listening to at the moment , and who are your all time musical heroes?

CH:I love the Battles album ‘Atlas’, it is incredible. I also love The Klaxons, and have been listening to a lot of classical music, Bernstein, Koechlin, Debussy and Morton Feldman. All time heroes would have to be Bowie and Kate Bush.

VP: Do you think there is a dearth of decent music shows on TV nowadays .In the past there were old established shows such as Ready Steady Go, Top Of The Pops., then more innovative shows such as The Old Grey Whistle Test , Revolver, The Tube and of course Cheggars Plays Pop ? Do you feel there’s still a niche in the market for a really great music show ( we Still have Jools Of Course)

CH: Jools Holland is hideous , although you occasionally get the odd interesting band and they really stand out as different and exciting. I guess YouTube has become a breeding ground for music videos and live performances. Touring is becoming so important for bands as people aren’t buying records anymore, so perhaps TV live performances are more important than ever as bands need people to go and see them…and lord knows there are so many fucking bands touring that you never know who to see. I bought the Battles album after seeing them on Jools Holland, and that stuff will never be played on the radio, so a whole programme full of bands like that would be really ace.

VP: When you look back at 2007 what do you think your highlights will be ?

CH: Releasing ‘The Deep Blue’ on my own label and getting through the year

VP: There seems to be quite a number of bands reforming recently. influential legends like The JAMC but also a clutch of what I can only term as “the less than leading lights of Brit pop brigade” . Even the Pistols are playing 50 quid a ticket shows. Are there any bands that you wish would reform and any you really wish hadn’t bothered?

CH: No, I don’t like any of the Britpop bands, except for The Bluetones. I don’t quite see the point in Britpop reformations, it wasn’t even that bloody long ago.

VP: There’s no denying you give off an aura of proper rock n roll cool, often people who are cool deny it, what do you think ? are you cool? .

CH:I’m from Chiswick, and that ain’t ever gonna be cool. (Denial = she’s cool! )

VP: That Bono fellows a funny wee man , clearly desperate for a Nobel peace prize or canonisation. But who do you consider to be real heroes of this confusing modern age in which we live …

CH: Alan McGee and all who follow his example in this VERY confusing modern age of the music business. He has a total belief in bands and music and is ready to change and adapt and dares to try new ways to make music available, whilst still protecting the bands that make it.

VP: Five words to describe your last five days

CH: Germanic bitterly cold electro salami

Links

On Myspace

Official Site

Again

 

OUT NOW

‘Siberia’

 

 

‘I Want You To Know’ (Single – Album Version)

 

 

‘I Want You To Know’ (Single – Acoustic Version)

 

 

‘The Deep Blue’ (Album)

 

This month’s Uncut magazine has reviewed ’The Deep Blue’….4 out of 5 stars y’all. Check it: Hatherley always looked like having more about her than being someone else’s rhythm guitarist. She fullfills that promise on her second solo set, flowering into a serious talent. Having just taken off the stabilisers by leaving Ash, it’s even braver, largely abandoning the bubblegum punk of her debut in favour of a magic-realist fantasy forest reminiscent of classic 4AD indie girls. The elegant “Roll Over” and the spectral “Dawn Treader” prove Hatherley is a far deeper beast than her rock chick stylings have so far suggested.

 

 

Video

“Bastardo” By Chalotte Hatherley

“Siberia” By Charlotte Hatherley

Wallpaper

 

Album Review “The Rise And Fall Of Ruby Woo” -The Puppini Sisters

 

“Old Cape Cod ” By The Puppini Sisters

To start an irregular series of occasional album reviews we kick off with the Puppini Sisters second album “The Rise and Fall of Ruby Woo”. We decided to rope in a guest reviewer, on this occasion we were lucky enough to get forces sweetheart 1992-1995, Ms Anna Peska to do the honours …..

The Puppini Sisters – The Rise and Fall of Ruby Woo
UK Release Date: 01.10.2007
Universal Jazz

Following on from their ultra successful debut album ‘Betcha Bottom Dollar’, like all charming musical surprises, Marcella, Kate and Stephanie otherwise known as the fabulous The Puppini Sisters deliver a stunning second album amusingly entitled ‘The Rise and Fall of Ruby Woo’ (Ruby Woo being a vivid shade of red lipstick which the lovely ladies have a penchant for: – come on MAC cosmetics, sponsor them immediately!).

The Tracks‘Spooky’ a Dusty Springfield/Andy Williams cover opens the album at a full on up-tempo jazzy pace quickly followed the virally infectious Bangles, ‘Walk Like an Egyptian’, like you’ve never heard it before. Some beautiful whistling going on there too!

Everyone admittedly (or perhaps not) owns a ‘chill out’ compilation which is guaranteed to have Groove Armada’s ‘At The River’ cunningly disguised as ‘Old Cape Cod’ contained within. The Sisters, with their trademark harmonies manage to relax and lull you into a state of tranquility only to swiftly and painlessly bring you back to life with the wonderfully buoyant ‘Soho Nights’ an original penned by the girls. It tells the tale of many a night spent in London’s more nocturnal and seedy but ‘fun’ districts and features the apt lyric “drinks were dirty like the streets”. Westminster council should take note of this well made observation if I may say so myself!

‘I Can’t Believe (I’m Not a Millionaire’) another original, is a bluesy number with a fantastic guitar solo courtesy of Martin Kolarides. ‘It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing’) is a happy, clappy, foot stomping piece of music (with a few Puppini-esque surprises cleverly segwayed into it) which will lighten the dankest autumnal day. Take That asked us, “Could It Be Magic”, my answer to their question is yes, yes it is magic, The Puppini Sisters conjure up (do you see what I did there)……a brilliant cover, sounding sultry, seductive and sexy(I seem to like using words that start with the letter “s”)yes they achieve all the things that “chubby” Barlow and the boys singularly failed to do!

‘Jilted’ another original, is a song which spookily sounds like the soundtrack to my life. The opening lyric being “I bought another dinner for one” says it all; but that’s enough about me,a song initially about self pity which then turns into a ‘Sisters’ anthem. Next up is ‘Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree (With Anyone Else But Me)’ a bitter-sweet song (depending on the variety of the said apple tree ) originally recorded by the great Glenn Miller and The Andrews Sisters. This, in my opinion is a 1940’s song about the art of stalking.

Personally ‘Crazy In Love’ is one of the stand out tracks on the album. A huge hit for Beyonce (and her gravity defying posterior,) the Puppini’s give this song a truly amazing makeover featuring a fantastic violin solo by the lovely Stephanie, transforming this R&B classic into a foot stomping one might say almost Romany influenced melodic work of art, which you can shake your ‘booty’ to in the privacy of your own home, if you so wish.

‘It’s Not Over (Death of The Toy Piano) tells us the tragic tale of the ‘suicide’ of Kate’s beloved baby piano. I sadly witnessed it stage dive during a gig in London only to shatter into tiny,little, deceased piano pieces. I strongly believe that writing the lyrics to this song acted as ‘therapy’ for its loving owner. The penultimate track on the album; ‘And She Sang’ demonstrates how effortlessly the Puppini’s voices blend to produce quite a haunting number.

‘We Have All The Time In The World’ originally sung by gravel voiced Louis Armstrong (who it appears was sadly misled with regards to how time and mortality work, god rest his soul-VP) ends the album in a creamy smooth sultry, loved up fashion with Marcella ‘doing her thang’ on the accordion.

To cut a very long story short, this second album is beautifully produced and sung with choruses that stay long in the memory. A great mixture of cover versions and original tracks demonstrates the versatility and creativity of The Puppini Sisters They do jazz, they do swing (???… oh…. yes sorry – I understand now.VP) they do pop, they do blues; a truly amazing and varied repertoire from three astoundingly talented ladies!

Expect this album to be filling many a Christmas stocking this year instead of the usual nuts and tangerines!

Anna Peska

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They Were The Pipettes – The Pipettes Interview


Because It’s Not Love (But It’s Still A Feeling ) By The Pipettes

As mainstream “Indie” continues to drown in the self made quagmire that reflects the music industries apparent “Sorcerer’s Apprentice” mindset, (whereby they seek to tirelessly reproduce band after band that conforms to the skinny lads with guitars genre) people like Pipette Puppetmaster Monster Bobby  would say the more discerning music fan is finally beginning to wake up the fact that pop is actually the new Indie. Mind ,some may say thats bollocks however  The Pipettes appear to be band not afraid to reach back and reclaim all that was great about pop music, but also a band who claim they  put their own unique stamp on that sound, they suggest that they  write classic Motown Record-era Girl Group songs with a modern twist and suggest that people are missing that sense of fun that seems to be amiss in today’s monochrome world of pop. A world that is currently in the stranglehold of nihilistic young men whining about the futility of “being” and the eternal agony of having greasy hair and “combination skin”. Or not???

The Pipettes wish to put the  fun firmly back into pop and provide a well-needed slice of escapism. Oscar Wilde once said “Suffering is one very long moment”, if we were to update that maxim and apply it to the modern world we could say “Suffering is listening to Razorlight” so, is this the new pop or just a rehash of well worn soundbites and clever PR ??… We dispatched Mr. VP to have a little chat with Rosay Pipette prior to the release of their album in America to find out how things are in Team Pip…and seek answers to questions that other publications wouldn’t have the audacity to ask…

VP: This year has seen you concentrate on The U.S. ahead of the release of “WATP’s” (2/10/2007) You’re due to go back out there I believe (once the visa delays are sorted). What was the overall response from the U.S. crowds and indeed the media over there?

Rosay: We’ve been to the states twice now, and both times we have been really very pleased with the reactions we have had. I don’t think any of us really expected to get as much attention as we did, and I think having support from sites like pitchfork from early on really helped. I think that because we had already been going for a couple of years before our first trip to the states meant that the band was a much more fully formed concept through experience etc which hopefully came across in our performances. I think we are a better band for the last tour we did out there as I suppose we felt we had so much to prove. It will be interesting to see how it goes this time around! We certainly witnessed some very good dancing!!

VP: I did hear a rumour that the whole album was to be re-recorded for the American release? True or False?

Rosay: False. We did remix it though.

VP: What’s been the best thing and the worst thing about long haul touring?

Rosay: The best thing is getting to travel to all of these amazing places and have people listen to your music and (hopefully) get a positive response. Its quite incredible when you get the feeling that you’ve communicated in some way despite cultural and often language barriers and differences and to see people dancing to songs we wrote in a little studio in Brighton… The worst thing is missing family and friends and some of the smells that develop on the bus…

VP: What are the plans for the rest of the year, will fans in the U.K. be able to get their grubby mitts on any new material before the year is over? Any more live shows in Blighty planned this year?

Rosay: Well there isn’t really any resting going on for the remainder of the year, we’re in the states for five weeks, then promoting the record in Japan and Australia, so it is unlikely we’ll get to do any shows in the UK before new year unfortunately, same goes for new material I’m afraid. Hopefully we’ll get the chance for some more writing; there are just not enough hours in the day!!! Next year we’ll be cracking down on that side of things so a little patience is required unfortunately!!

VP: Joe’s left to concentrate on his own band, and has been replaced by Jason. Although I’m sure you’re all very supportive of Joe Lean &TJJJ aren’t five skinny Indie lads much loved by theNME the sort of band you’ve spoken out against in the past? (Ooooooh controversy! I’ve gone all Paxman! )

Rosay: It is true that we have always felt fed up with the NME culture, and a lot of that had to do with the fact that none of these bands that they champion, really seem to care about song craft in any way… Joe is a very talented songwriter and I think that really comes through in Joe Lean and the Jing Jangs…. I think they feel just as bemused about the attention they have received from the NME, but It would be great if they could use that forum in a creative way, which is they’re intention. It goes without saying that they all need a good feed up though…

VP: You’ve complained in the past of sexism in the music industry. Does it annoy you that in some quarters you’re dismissed as a retro novelty band? Conversely a group of blokes who wear retro clothes, have a sense of fun, have their own dance moves and call themselves “Madness” are treated with respect?

Rosay: It is annoying but it is something that we try not to concentrate on too much. We just want to be the best band we can be, and in fact I find the novelty thing rather funny. We’ve always said we would love to have a one hit wonder, but I think people chose to take us on face value a lot of the time, and we couldn’t care less. We’ve been doing this for four years now, so we certainly don’t see ourselves as a novelty, and it does get boring to be constantly reminded of gender, and the fact that people forget there are four boys in the band….

VP: What have been your own individual highlights this year (apart from this interview obviously)

Rosay:
Going to Japan for the first time was incredible, driving through the Arizona desert, playing the main stage at Glasto, going to Austria and being serenaded by a chef and the promoter who sang us all these amazing Corinthian folk songs with lots of Corinthian brandy, meeting Bryan ferry was funny…

Becki:
Being able to travel to so many different places. Serbia especially, meeting Beastie Boys and CSS was incredible. Going to Japan and America were also highlights.

Gwenno :
Getting to tour a bit more, playing all the major festivals and getting to record those new songs, it was a very interesting experience and I’m very proud of the outcome.

VP: Your website http://thepipettes.co.uk/ has some interesting “characters” within its forum, they draw pictures of you, they Photoshop you, they write poems, musicals and stories about you. What the devil do you all make of it? Is it the sort of thing you excepted when you joined a band?

Rosay: Its certainly not the sort of thing I expected, I think we do have a pretty creative bunch of fans!!! I do find it all a little strange, and it’s quite hard to relate to, but its great that people care enough to do things like that… I do like the caption competition ….

VP: Do you all still reside in Brighton, or have you had to flee, pursued by lovestruck males who regularly serenade your balconies until late in the evening and whom constantly festoon your porches with red roses, fine wines, Belgium chocolates and love poems ……….Or Not ?

Rosay: Well we are split half and half between London and Brighton. I have just moved back to London but it was certainly not in response to any of the above!!!!

VP: Glastonbury? A lot of people have been whingeing about it being too corporate, middle class and Middle aged. Should we adopt a “Logan’s Run” type policy and ban anybody over from 30 from gigs, record stores etc. Should they simply be given a packet of mint imperials an ill-fitting cardigan and be left in the corner to mumble about the “good old days”. What did you think of Glasto this year?

Rosay: I think its great that there is such a broad mixture of people at Glastonbury and it would be terrible to make festivals exclusively for young people (reading is a case in point!!) perhaps the headliners recently have been pretty uninspiring on the whole… I enjoyed Glastonbury much more than last time (!!!!). The fact we got to play on a real stage was good enough for starters! It isn’t really a music festival; it’s more of a cultural event, which I think people forget. I think it’s a bit too big for me personally though….

VP: How far along are the new album/new songs? Will it be a completely different sound to what we’re used to, will we lose the do-wops, if so can you give anything away yet or will we have to learn the virtue of patience?

Rosay: As I said its not really been the priority this year. We have started writing again, whether those songs make it to the second record is yet to be seen, we really don’t know how its going to turn out yet, it will definitely not be another version if WATP, but we can’t really give anything away. We know that it will involve a broadening of the concept….

VP: How do you (Rosay) manage to ladder your tights all the time?

Rosay: I don’t know tights just don’t seem to like me very much, although I have to say that I have been preserving them much better of late, and have endeavoured to wear tights in one piece. I’m just a bit scruffy I’m afraid…

VP: You all seem to like a wide range of different musical styles, do you ever argue about music. Who would each of you recommend to look out for in the coming months?

Rosay:
We do argue about music all of the time, which I think is really healthy. I would hate it if we all had exactly the same taste and agreed about everything. One of the best things about being in this band is learning from each other. I’m really excited about the new PJ Harvey record…

Becki:
We do but my music taste has broadened so much since being in the band that it’s definitely a good thing. I’d recommend the new M.I.A. album.

Gwenno:
We argue about music all the time! That’s only healthy in a band like ours though I think. I’d recommend The Gentle Good and The Real Heat.

VP: What’s the weirdest request/Myspace message /piece of fan mail you’ve received since being Pipettes?

Rosay: Someone once asked where we got out tights from on our gmail. I naively replied only to discover the impetus for the question was because the bloke had a tights fetish, which made me feel quite sick….

VP: Finally sum up your year in five words beginning with the letter ” P “

Rosay: Playing Parties Proves Pleasingly Popular…HUZZAH!!! (I’m quite Proud of that, it’s a sentence!!)

Links

On Myspace

Official Site

We Are The Pipettes Fan Site

“We Are The Pipettes” U.S. Version 2/10/2007

“Your Kisses Are Wasted On Me” U.S. EP

The Pipettes North American EP – ‘Your Kisses Are Wasted On Me’ is available in stores or alternatively you can download the EP from iTunes.

“We Are The Pipettes” U.K./Europe

iTunes UK
The album is also available in the rest of Europe. Click below for order from the following territory.
Germany

Norway
Sweden

VIDEOS

“Because It’s Not Love (But It’s Still A Feeling)” By The Pipettes

“Judy” By The Pipettes

“Dirty Mind” By The Pipettes

Wallpapers

“Apostrophe NOW !” – The Hussy’s Interview

“We Expected” – The Hussy’s

The Hussy’s are a 6-piece band from Glasgow.

Their songs recall the quirkiness and the pop hooks of amongst others, the vastly underrated Supernaturals. It will therefore come as no surprise to learn that head Hussy James McColl indeed used to be The Supers singer and songwriter. The Hussy’s however are not a rehash of McColl’s former band with a female singer, they have a sound, which is all their own, but one that is not afraid to draw on many influences. You could hear a dash of Madness in one track, a touch of Kirsty MaColl, or even a nod to Polly Styrene in others! Trying to pin down a style is difficult as the Hussy’s’ don’t seem to sit still for too long, compare “Tiger” to “We Expected” or listen to the quirky “Rock Concert”, and in terms of style, they could be by different bands, were it not for Filli’s distinctive vocals giving it that “Hussy” factor.

The Hussy’s released their debut EP ‘Tiger’, in September 2005, and their second EP in March 2006; both on their own label Fat Cheerleader records. These EPs picked up airplay on various radio stations, including Janice Long at Radio 2, Steve Lamacq at Radio 6 Music and Jim Gellatly & Dominik Diamond at XFM. Long commented “Any A & R man worth his salt should sign this band now”

In May 2007 the band released the fabulous “We Expected” as a single in the UK. It reached number 22 in the Radio 1 Indie chart.The band have also released an album in Japan and have had their song “Rock Concert” used on a nationwide advert for very comfortable, stylish yet affordable, shoes in the USA. They will release their excellent new EP “Sunday Morning” later this year.

If you’re looking for dark brooding angst ridden music, then you’ll be disappointed, however, if summery, sing-a-long Indie pop, guaranteed to put a smile on your face, is your thing, then you may want to check out The Hussy’s. We decided to find out what the scamps had been up to and for the sake of all the grammar Nazi’s out there (Mark!) we dared to broach the subject of … that troublesome apostrophe!

VP: James is well known from his work in The Supernaturals and the Hussy’s are oft referred to as “James’ project”…How did it all come about?

The Hussy’s: Steph and James started the band. James had written some songs like “We Expected” and wanted to do a female fronted band like the Cardigans/Eurhythmics. Had auditioned loads of singers but none were any good? Caught Fili playing her acoustic guitar in a folk club and that was that really.

VP: What’s with the apostrophe in The Hussy’s? Or is this a deliberate attempt to piss off the grammar police for whom “Eats Shoots and Leaves” is their Bible

The Hussy’s: No, it is to distinguish ourselves from the clothing label. It was intentional. Every two weeks we get e-mail from someone saying “Do you realise this means belonging to and why have you done this and so on”. We send back e-mails with terrible spelling and punctuation to annoy them.

VP: Is Pop the new Indie?

The Hussy’s: The whole Indie music thing in the UK with 4 little guys with mod haircuts who like Oasis, The Jam, Libertines, Arctics and the Beatles is extremely tired but record companies/NME just keep it going on and on and on and on. We don’t like being called Indie because we do try and make our records as pop as possible.

VP: Where do the ideas for the songs come from?

The Hussy’s: Television, books, people we know, Myspace. Life in all its shades and colours.

VP: Female fronted bands often get the Blondie comparisons but whom would you say are and were your musical influences

The Hussy’s: Each band member has their own thing and you can hear that in the way they take the songs and change them to get their little thing in. Gordy the drummer is a Rush fanatic and likes the Police and you can hear that in the drums. Steph likes punk and the Beatles, Greg- Ben Folds, Ronnie- Phil Collins, James -The Move and Fili likes Avril Lavigne and Distillers and so on. When each member plays their part in the rehearsal room or studio it just sounds like the Hussy’s but you can hear everybody’s influences. Of course we like Blondie- who doesn’t?

VP: What’s the best gig and the worst gig you’ve played and why?

The Hussy’s: Best gig – probably to a half empty Fopp records (at closing time) in May. We were amazing and played out our skins for some weird reason.Worst gig- a gig in Baby Blue in Glasgow where the police stopped the gig just as we were about to go onstage. We sold 10 CDs though so it wasn’t that bad.

VP: What do you make of the current music scene? We seem to have genres every week, nu-rave, nu-gaze. Is it complete bollocks or will the influence of the Internet herald a new musical age and wrest the power away from the big labels, whom, it would appear haven’t really anticipated the change in the musical landscape?

The Hussy’s: For example it costs us £450 to do a gig in London (diesel/van/hire/hotels). We have to fund that from CD sales or our jobs. A signed band would get that paid for by a record company. It will cost us £7000 to make our next album- we have to get that together ourselves somehow. A record company would laugh at such a cheap record. They have e -teamers whose day job it is to go on forums and hype up say “Air Traffic”. You can’t compete with that and that’s why everyone wants to be signed to a big label- life is so much easier and you can quit your job and tell all your friends how cool you are. People don’t realise that bands like Camera Obscura and Pipettes, on very small labels, have achieved huge amounts.

VP: What’s going on in Scotland musically right now? Are you drowning in A& R men trying to discover the new “View”?

The Hussy’s: We have no contact with A & R men so wouldn’t know. Glasvegas, Johnny and the Debutantes are some of the good bands kicking around.

VP: Ever felt the urge to maybe cover “The Day Before Yesterday’s Man” or “Smile”

The Hussy’s: We did “Smile” once when Fili was being sick backstage and James had to sing all the songs. No one in the audience realised he used to be a singer and so well the crowd congratulated him afterwards for doing. Apart from that one time- no.

VP: You’ve released what I would say is your strongest single yet ” We Expected “ in May 2007 what’s next on the agenda?

The Hussy’s: We release our next EP through Weekender on September 24th called “Sunday Morning”. It has three other tracks “Jesus”, “Rock Steady” and “Sister Mary Jo”. It is classic Hussy’s and well worth buying.

Links

Myspace

Official Site

Click below to buy!

Japanese mini-album
Japanese mini-album
Release 01/08/07

Tiger Napoleon Necklace Ep
Tiger Ep Napoleon Ep *NEW* Necklace Ep
Sept ’05 April ’06 Sept ’07
Click here! SOLD OUT! Click here!

 

VIDEO

“Sunday Morning -Live On Channel M” By The Hussy’s

Hussy’s Wallpaper

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

True Faith – The Paloma Faith Interview

“My Legs Are Weak” By Paloma Faith

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Paloma Faith? Who is she? Where did she spring up from ? What can I tell you about Ms Faith? There’s certainly an air of mystique surrounding this enigmatic young lady that’s for sure. What I can tell you in no uncertain terms is that whatever “IT” is, she most certainly possesses it.

She’s got the songs, the voice and the style and that “off the wall” uniqueness that all great artists have. She has been called the originator of the burlesque revival, people have described her as “Amy Winehouse but with extra odd-factor ”, or “Bjork meets Róisín Murphy whilst possessed by the ghost of Billie Holiday”and even “Portishead go to the theatre.” She has left people who have seen her live, open mouthed , “Amazing”, they cry “What the…. was that…?” they gasp… “Very very cool !”……….“Best live show EVER!!!!!” “A true aesthetic experience for the ears, eyes and the senses “

She says herself “I think I represent a sort of ‘child of our age’ in that I don’t commit to any one genre or style; the culmination of all of my influences pays homage to the past by bringing it right in to the present. The music industry is terrified of any powerful woman it hasn’t built from the ground up”

Her shows apparently also include illusionists, singing blindfold, fan dancing and “the unexpected”, so we at The “VPME” skipped merrily along the yellow brick road and tremulously peeped behind the curtain of mystery to find out more about the amazing Paloma Faith .

VP: What is your musical background, Are you self taught or classically trained?

Paloma: I don’t have a musical background as such… I actually have a theatre background. I trained in Contemporary Dance and then I went to do an MA in Time Based Arts, which included installation, performance art, theatre, and site specific performance and direction. I was just walking along life’s path looking for a medium that can communicate a universal language. A language accessible to all, and there she was-the goddess of music!

VP: What’s been the main inspiration for you “grabbing the bull by the horns” and going for it musically?

Paloma: The fact that every one listens to music. Not everyone comes to exhibitions or goes to the theatre, but music is EVERYWHERE and people can’t ignore it even if it is not to their taste. Now I love it so much, I cant think of doing anything else. I really thrive on it from the song writing right through to the performance. It’s really exhilarating.

VP: It must be said you have an amazing voice, wonderful songs and an extremely stylish, vampish image. Are you yet in a position to launch yourself upon an unsuspecting world, or are negotiations ongoing?

Paloma: Well, it’s a bit weird in the industry at the moment. People are scared to take risks because they are loosing so much money on record sales, so there are negotiations going on but I want full creative control and that is a whole other story. I have thought about doing it myself but I couldn’t possibly fund the standard I want to achieve myself. I don’t believe in doing things for the sake of it, I want to do the best I possibly can all the time so I guess I am just waiting to see if Time gives me a little helping hand soon!!!! I don’t want to miss my train!

VP: Live performances? Are they’re any on the horizon, and what could a newcomer to the Paloma Faith experience expect from your shows?

Paloma: Expect the unexpected!!! I never ever do the same show twice and I never really look the same either. I believe in reinvention on a daily basis. I loved that film ORLANDO… That’s what I am like!!! I find myself giving a lot to the audience too. If people aren’t in to the style of music I do, I can guarantee they will be pleasantly surprised by the live experience. I didn’t train all those years in performance for nothing! I always try to make it both sonic and visual. It’s always surprising to see what I might pull out the bag. Next gigs: 16th Aug Madame JoJo’s, 30th Aug Hoxton Bar, and 12th Sep Macbeth pub – but they are all listed on Myspace so keep checking!

VP: Is the current music scene providing a healthy well balanced and varied diet, or is it just offering no diversity at all, is it in fact the musical equivalent of the choice between the corporate stodge of Big Mac or Burger king?

Paloma: I think all the music that is coming out of Indie labels and Myspace warfare is fantastic, people are really pulling some stuff out the bag right now. The labels haven’t caught up yet, they are signing safe bets all the time, and spend too much time just trying to cover their backs. The biggest successes in history have always been born out of dedication and risks! You have to SET trends not follow them!

VP: Social networking, good bad or ugly? Have sites like Myspace given the artist more control?

Paloma: Yes they have!!! It’s quite a brave thing to do though because you leave yourself completely open to criticism as well as success. You can’t predict the outcome. I think it’s amazing though, people like me become known without having to rely on the music industry. I haven’t joined face book though.. I’m a bit scared of it!

VP: Fame Academy, X Factor, Pop Idol, Harmless fun or the fruit of Lucifer’s satanic gonads?

Paloma : SATAN SATAN SATAN!!! What the hell are they doing??? It’s so weird. Especially the first few rounds where they really make a mockery of the people who really believe they can sing. Some of those people have special needs or mental problems and they use them for ridicule, it’s almost like medieval times where they’d throw fruit at the fool. I dislike that immensely.

VP: Does anything you see on TV these days appeal?

Paloma: I watch TV once a month and its usually The Friday Night Project or Jools Holland. I’d like to be on one of those programmes… I am an actress too so I have appeared on TV a lot. I never see myself though!!

VP: If there was one performer past or present you could record with whom would it be?

Paloma: ANDRE 3000!!! Most definitely. I’d like to meet all the people he’s associated with too. He’s so innovative and never genre specific and that’s what I’d like to be..

VP: What was the last book you read, film you watched, CD you played

Paloma: I am a cinema fanatic! OBSESSED!
I saw La Vie En Rose about Edith Piaff, I loved the actress who played her but I wasn’t that keen on the direction, I thought it jumped about too much. The best film ever made was 2046 by Wong Kar Wai.
I am reading My Mother by George Bataille. It’s really fantastic. Very dark.
I listen to a lot of 40’s r n b when I listen to music…. and soul/blues.

VP: What been the best advice you’ve been given and the worst?

Paloma: My mum said:
“Nothing is ever the end of the world”. That’s the best. However hard life can seem, time washes over things, time never stands still, it just keeps moving and you have to go with it.
Do what you want whenever you want to“. Some drunken idiot said that. I don’t agree at all. Sometimes you have to think beyond the walls of your own mind and realise that your actions can affect others. You can’t always do what you want because it may upset people. It’s a really selfish way of living. You put in what you get out in life and if you disregard others, they will disregard you….

VP: There seems to be a jazz/burlesque/nostalgia type revival going on in recent years, why do you think this may be?

Paloma: Nostalgia makes people feel good. There are elements of hope in old things because they were born out of periods of struggle where hope was all people had. We can be so complacent now; everything is so disposable and impermanent. People are big hits one minute and hated the next… The thing about old music is that it transcends time. Timelessness is the essence of good art.

VP: Five words to sum you up?
Paloma : Transient, spontaneous, unpredictable, Loud, Silent.

She’s gonna be big, The “VPME” will keep the faith !

Links

On Myspace

Madame JoJo’s

Facebook

VIDEO

“Stone Cold Sober” By Paloma Faith

Footage Shot By Jenny Bettenson (Thanks! )

Edited By VP

Faith, Trust, and Pixie Dust

Paloma Wallpaper

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