Hailing from outside of Manchester, England, Ting Tings has become the latest UK electropop group trying to infiltrate the States to spread their Blondie and Talking Heads-inspired musings. Consisting of duo Katie White and Jules de Martino, White sings and plays guitar as de Martino beats those drums. Buzz has been escalating since the debut of their first demo single, the insanely catchy "Great DJ." Before signing to Columbia, they toured with only three songs in their arsenal. Luckily, they have more songs now that'll be released on their Columbia debut album sometime this year. In the vein of international jet setters New Young Pony Club and the Sounds, Ting Tings set out to become the next big thing.
Download: Ting Tings - "Great DJ"
The Tings played in support of Exposure, a fashion event to raise money for the arts. Openers DJ White Shadow and Empires played first with the Tings headlining. A "suggested donation" bar was on site with Kilo Kai rum and an awful mojito tea drink. By the time Tings went on, the place had emptied quite a bit which was unfortunate because the Tings gave it their all. During their set, the hipsters looked pissed off or something. It's true hipsters don't dance, but despite the audience backlash, White and de Martino exuded palpable energy. First song was "Great DJ" of course. It slowly builds to explode with White singing the repetitive "the drum, the drum, the drum." At times her voice contains a lot of attitude and jaggedness, other times her soulful range bleeds through. De Martino slams the drums while White pelts her guitar and struts around stage. She's dressed in a beret, lacy leggings and wears cool velco/vinyl Chucks. This is afterall a fashion event. You could literally hear every male audience member swoon. For the next song, "Fruit Machine," she sets the guitar down. It's not quite as catchy as the first song, but the momentum is still there as White sings, "You keep playing me like a fruit machine" and yelping "go, go, go" along with de Martino. On "Keep Your Head," de Martino does double duty playing guitar and drums. The ballad-like "Traffic Lights" allows White's breathy voice to soar. Things hit a fever pitch on the penultimate "Shut Up and Let Me Go." Clash and Blondie reggae beats trickle through accompanied with a 1/2 drum beat. White pounds the bass drum, throws the drum stick to the ground, hits on a cowbell and rocks out. The set ends on "That's Not My Name" where White rattles off, "They call me Jane, that's not my name" and other non-sequitors. A frenetic party vibe occurs near the end as White continues dancing and singing her heart out. The Tings walk off stage but don't come back to do an encore. Maybe no more songs? Or maybe they sensed the crowd had too much rum and weren't into it? Either way, fuck those fashion zombies. Ting Tings rocked the loft. We can't wait to hear the album in its entirety.