Monday, February 26, 2007

The Gossip

Beth Ditto might have been voted NME's Icon of 2006, but right now she and the rest of her band are SERIOUSLY PISSING ME OFF. It is a full 52 minutes since the last band left the stage. In that time The Gossip's roadies have successfully managed to set up one drum kit and a couple of guitars, tape down three set lists, to the point where even they haven't been able to find anything else to fanny about with for the last 30 minutes - and we all know how much roadies love to fanny about before a band gets onstage.

Then, now that 52 minutes have passed, the two members of the band who are not Beth appear and spend five minutes fartarsing with their gear before La Ditto deigns to appear, wearing a black bin liner over an electric blue catsuit. And the annoying thing about all this is that, despite yourself, you find yourself liking the damn woman. Yes, she might take heinous liberties with her audience (there's another 5 minute hiatus later when she decides to change out of said catsuit) and yes, her band are somewhat repetitive, having only two types of song, but she herself is rather sweet in a somewhat spiky sort of way. Which means that every time she pisses you off, she goes and does something endearing, like slagging off NME for making her Icon of 2006 yet not daring to put her on the cover, or simply wandering on stage with her top on inside out. It's like she knows she's annoying, but she defies you to do anything about it.

On the other hand, any band is only as good as the music they produce - ask any Libertines fan if they are fed up with the shambolic gigs and shite records and guess what answer you'll get? - and the fact is that The Gossip are far from impressive. The outstanding "Standing In The Way Of Control" apart, there really is nothing of note in this gig. Every other song sounds like SITWOC and the ones that don't sound like album plodder "Yr Wasted Heart". Ditto's voice is very one dimensional, all power with no depth or emotion, whilst the other band members - Blane and Hannah to their friends - are ordinary at best. Which is a shame, because if they could match their lead singer's talent for manipulating an audience, there would be much more to Gossip about.


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