The Saturdays, ‘Notorious’

The Saturdays

In the leading pack of life’s crushing disappointments is the discovery that the default hottest girl group in the land’s new single is not a cover of Duran Duran’s brilliantly lumpenly funky quasi-career-killer. Mollie could’ve done a “No-“, then Rochelle could’ve done a “No-“, then Frankie, Una and the other one could’ve joined reedy forces on “NOTORIOUS”, and it could’ve all descended into Chic meets the Sex Pistols meets Red Hot Chili Peppers chaos. Just look at what you could’ve won.

Instead, “My résumé says I’m a bad girl”. It’s no “Who really gives a damn for a flaky bandit?”, is it? Where it pulls it out of the fire though is with the fruity electro pulse and vocals put through the ringer – it’s mechanised. The Saturdays are only bad girls, notorious, because they’ve been programmed to be so. It’s svengali’d by computer, a Space Odyssey Malcolm McLaren. Not a terribly wholesome, erm, whole but a functional thrill.

It’s brought here by mistake, the lucky conjunction of the girls appearing on So You Think You Can Dance? and Junior and I happening to be watching it. While I continued my ongoing study of career trajectories of girl groups, Junior copied every single dance move they made. One beat behind, but accurately. Recent clips from Rihanna and Lady Gaga have got me in a panic about just how knowing young girls can get. They sponge it up. Normally – to the odd sulky “awww” – I’d switch over, but there’s little overtly sexualised about The Saturdays’ robotic choreography. Thin end of the wedge though.

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[33] Camera Obscura, ‘Lloyd, I’m Ready To Be Heartbroken’

Lloyd, I'm Ready To Be Heartbroken

While we’re celebrating UK chart success stories, Camera Obscura have had five 45s tear up the hit parade to peak between 100 and 200 – truly the shape of Pixie Lott’s career to come. ‘Lloyd…’ is the second, er, biggest of the lot, a Number 124 smash in 2006. Back then, Junior reviewed it twice: once as a random choice from the 7″ pile, then as our Number 4 pick of the year. Neither piece features on this version of the blog, so I’m free to plagiarise myself.

The first time, I admitted I could never remember this warm rush of indie-country-pop so instead blathered on about “answer” records – you know, this to Lloyd Cole & The Commotions’ fluttering meanie, Frankie to Eamon, Lydia Murdoch to Michael Jackson. But clearly these Scots also-rans worm their way into your head with galloping guitar and madly slurred vocals, and perhaps the fact it was so difficult to get a tight grip on in the first place is what keeps it so fresh.

Junior says: “It’s good and bad,” raising one thumb aloft with the other pointed down. “What’s good?” She mimes playing the organ. “And what’s bad?” “I don’t know.” “Ha!”

Best bit: The chord change from middle eight to final verse, of course.

While we’re celebrating UK chart success stories, Camera Obscura have had five 45s tear up the hit parade to peak

between 100 and 200 – truly the shape of Pixie Lott’s career to come. ‘Lloyd…’ is the second, er, biggest of the

lot, a Number 124 smash in 2006. Back then, Junior reviewed it twice: once as a random choice from the 7″ pile, then

as our Number 4 pick of the year. Neither piece features on this version of the blog, so I’m free to plagiarise

myself.

The first time, I admitted I could never remember this warm rush of indie-country-pop so instead blathered on about

“answer” records – you know, this to Lloyd Cole & The Commotions’ yelping beauty, Frankie to Eamon, Lydia Murdoch to

Michael Jackson. But clearly these Scots also-rans worm their way into your head with galloping guitar and madly

slurred vocals, and perhaps the fact it was so difficult to get a tight grip on in the first place is what keeps it

so fresh.

Junior says: “It’s good and bad,” raising one thumb aloft with the other pointed down. “What’s good?” She mimes

playing the organ. “And what’s bad?” “I don’t know.” “Ha!”

Best bit: The chord change from middle eight to final verse, of course.