Plastiscines, Camden Barfly, London

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For a gig by an all-girl punk-pop band which sings about kissing, lipstick and being bitches, there sure are a lot of men packed into the grotty Camden Barfly. In fact, they make up most of the audience and it doesn't take long to realise why: the band in question, Plastiscines, are four super-hot French girls, like young Françoise Hardys, only with more eyeliner and carefully ripped T-shirts. Of course, the men could be here for the music. Much more likely, they're here to stare.

Plastiscines were formed in Paris five years ago when schoolgirls Marine Neuilly and Katty Besnard got inspired after attending a Libertines gig. Roping in two other friends, the girls taught themselves to play their instruments by doing gigs. Perhaps not the normal order of things, and sure enough their debut, LP1, failed to make a huge impression. Now all aged 21 and 22, the band are preparing to release their second album, About Love, early next year.

Citing the Strokes and Blondie as their biggest influences, their songs are two-minute bursts of sultry punk-pop, like the Runaways with French accents. On stage, the girls are great to watch. Lead singer Besnard encourages the crowd to go wild with repeated cries of "Are you ready?" Neuilly thrashes around with her guitar, her long hair swooshing all over the place. They whoop, jump and harmonise, and the crowd really get into it, especially during their catchiest songs, "Barcelona" and "Bitch". It's a shame the set is interrupted by faulty guitar sound throughout, although they do their best not to let it ruin the show.

But while they give it their best shot, the music isn't interesting enough to hold people's attention. It's too imitative and samey. There's no force, no urgency, no threat. It's no coincidence that the best song of the night is Nancy Sinatra's "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'", one that they didn't write themselves.

Plastiscines are much more fun to discuss for their contribution to pop culture: their thrift-store style, their appearance on shows like Gossip Girl, their flirty French onstage banter. There's a place for Plastiscines on the scene; people will always need a good looking and fun band to play fashion parties and fill the style magazines. Could they transcend this and be a credible band making a serious impact? Mais non.

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