While we’re on the topic of alternative timelines. It’s time I re-introduced you to The Pipettes? An entertaining and intelligent post modern take on the 60’s girl group model that operated for a decade or so in their own version of pop history. They once described themselves as ‘An experiment in manufactured pop’.
You can look at them several different ways. You could say they were a tongue in cheek tribute to a bygone era. You could also say they were an indie band with delusions of pop grandeur. You could argue it was a conceptual piece of performance art or that The Pipettes way of doing things was grown ups playing dress up and making fetishistic references to a sanitized past. I personally see it as pop music. In its purest form.
In 2006 the girl band with a website that spoke of an alternative world where ‘The Beatles never happened’ released their biggest hit single and triumphant debut album We Are The Pipettes.
The album was crammed full of fun adult themed pop for sassy girls and indie boys to dance to. Their live show featured matching polka dot outfits and Shangri-La dance moves. A room full of Pipettes fans going all school disco to Pull Shapes might be a bit arch and a long way from rock and/or roll but it’s undeniably good-natured fun.
The glee found in their string laden Wall Of Sound pastiche has a slightly modern edge in places. Each of The Pipettes gets a signature shout out, they do a Weezer with their video and the whole thing reeks of Brighton in the mid-00’s.
Gwenno from the band has gone on to much bigger and more grown up things with her unique Welsh language chamber pop and as I understand it many of the backing band The Cassettes were jobbing indie players before and after this stint in another reality.
Pull Shapes was a bona fide hit single in the UK for about 35 minutes. A little over a decade later it feels like maybe The Pipettes never happened at all. Maybe it was just a vivid dream brought on by too much cheese.