[2] The Ting Tings, ‘Great DJ’

The Ting Tings

“Ah-ah-ah-ah ah-ah-ah-ah”, “Ee-ee-ee-ee ee-ee-ee-ee”. It’s what purest pop is all about, isn’t it?

Mind you, this is all about dance music, but performed by an ostensibly rock act. Hands across the divide, people. The Ting Tings can pull this off because they’re tight enough to run a groove, and they capture what it feels like. Strings (ee-ee-ee-ee) and drums (drums, drums, drums). House music in a vague nutshell, right?

Above all this is a brilliant pop song, monstrously catchy and annoying in the wrong ears. Katie White and Jules De Martino (IF that’s your real name, Jules) could only take it No.33, even on the back of a No.1 hit (which I’m calling a 2007 release), but when have the record-buying public ever known a thing? When I was buying lots of singles, that’s when.

Junior knows when a chorus is a sop to a young child, but she happily sings along and – crucially – gets hooked by “the drums, the drums, the drums [etc]”. Suddenly everything in the room is fair game. She looks at her table: “The book, the book, the book…” She’s going out with Grandad for the day: “The Grandad, the Grandad, the Grandad…” No way this’ll get wearing.

Advertisements

The Ting Tings, ‘That’s Not My Name’

As the 1969 Top 20 hobbles to a thrilling conclusion, we’re hop-skip-jumping all the way to the present and a record that Junior went loopy for when it appeared on one of those new-fangled MTV channels last week. We’re even a bit slow off the mark here, as it’s been toppled from an unlikely chart summit by hit machine Rihanna, but it’s still the breakthrough smash of the year – a grand departure from its achingly hip, limited 2007 run.

You’ve heard the comparisons – Blondie (yes, the cool-eyed Katie White is indeed blonde and, in a slightly darkened room, stunning), ‘Mickey’ (the star-jumping rhythm and lairy rap-song straight off Toni Basil’s much mis-(or not)-construed 1982 chartbuster), The Knack’s ‘My Sharona’ (that rhythm again, really, also massaged for Girls Aloud’s ‘No Good Advice’) – but, like the best pop puffery, ‘That’s Not My Name’ blends influences to form a monster that stomps, jerks, twitters and rocks in its own nation-enslaving way.

We’re mad for it right now, pure victims of hype if you see things through those spectacles. Sometimes there’s no hype without fire. As the record builds to its multi-layered, full-rocking coda, Junior’s reaction is a spinning, leaping, head-shaking frug from dining room to living room – pop star in infancy.

And while we’re sojourning in 2008, here are some of her other recent pop moments:

– “She’s got hair like me” to Diana Ross gamely keeping it all together in the ‘Chain Reaction’ video
– “Black and gold, black and gold, black and gold – that’s your favourite, Daddy” (not sure who’s feeding her these lies)
– Sticking her hand in the washing machine for the nth time one day, she’s told to leave it alone before defiantly reaching in again and pulling out the new Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan album

For Junior, music is everywhere.