Ting Tings, Cashier no9
Friday night, and glam is out for the Ting Tings. The Spring and Airbrake looks fairly full already and Cashier No. 9 get a strong reception from the early crowd.
The band are in a huddle near the pillar, the Ting Tings drum kit draped and ready stage right. Cashier No. 9 play a tight set, with little in the way of chat. The songs have melody, harmony and enough riffs to keep the music interesting. Quality country rock with something of the Byrds and early Eagles. The chatter dies down. A band you want to hear more from.
Ting Tings arrive, Jules De Martino in shades and Katie White in the hat. Cool has hit the stage. They open with Great DJ, taking the full house with them and getting even the diehard chatterers to stop and listen. Fruit Machine follows, Katie White wandering with mic to work the crowd before going back to guitar duties, ripping out a short riff and the rhythmic strum. They might share Salford roots with the mighty Smiths, but the Tings are as bright and zesty as Morrissey is miserable. Electro-pop energises the room.
Admitting a prejudice, I prefer my live music to be 100% fresh. Ting Tings come with more stage crew than band and fill the sound out with backing tracks. But they have the Oppenheimer factor to get me past the canned music. De Martino on drums drives the beat. White sings well, yelps with venom, beats out the basic chords, and acts up to the crowd. The Tings have discovered a power pop formula and have wit and passion enough to stand out.
Last seen here on the NME tour they were, bar the headlining Cribs, the only act to justify the next-big-thing hype and own the hall. They do it again heading their own bill in the Spring and Airbrake.
Tracks from the album due out in May go down well- it will be worth a listen. Be The One rocks along with both Tings contributing vocals before That's Not My Name rips out with swagger. I wouldn't dare call her J-Lo.
There are limitations. It's a short set which doesn't cover all of the pending album. They offer one quieter number which has promising echoes of Catatonia but gets lost as the chatterers reach critical mass again. For an encore we are offered another new song or Great DJ again. We get Great DJ, but it sends everyone away buzzing.
Ting Tings have headlined their own show well. If they can keep finding big songs like Great DJ and That's Not My Name they'll be around for a while.
Words and Pictures Bert Scott