The Plastiscines, Shepherds Bush Empire, London

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The Independent Culture

The Plastiscines had created that sense of anticipation that use to follow me in my youth; the excitement before a gig. So there I was, surrounded by youngsters, with glow sticks, hot pants with bare legs unafraid of the cold, and drinking cider and giggling.

There’s me with my thick framed glasses, bad hair, and practical footwear, on my own, and standing at the back with a bottle of Evian and a massive spot on my face. God I feel great.

Signed by the trendy magazine, and record label, Nylon, these girls look like exceedingly cool cats. So cool that I start to feel slightly uneasy and jealous about how god damn cool they are. These girls don’t have big spots! Everything seems perfectly placed. Even the ruffles in the bassist’s fringe looks flawless and rock chic, and the way they bop up and down seems even more stylised. They haven’t even played a song yet and I’m verging on an obsession with this band.

When the music does eventually start it, sadly, isn’t as pretty as the band. And here commences mediocre songs, vocals that barely stand out, and a tedious cover of Nancy Sinatra’s, These Boots Are Made For Walking, that seems to go on forever.

An order from singer, Katty, pleas, “I am Frensch, and I no ma Engleeesh iz bad but u ave to clap you ands”, err, no we don’t, and being the gig bore that I am, my hands will stay firmly placed in my pockets whether you ask me in cute French accent or not, plus I’m busy holding my Evian.

Needless to say the joke was as me, as I looked like the grumpy trainspotter at the back refusing to join in with the hand clap frenzy that the crowd adore oh so much.

What also catches my attention is that this lovely looking front girl is wearing a Debbie Harry t-shirt. Call me a cynic, but isn’t this a bit naff? It’s like a guitarist wearing a Slash t-shirt, or a token dancer wearing a Bez one. It’s a known fact that Harry is a female icon; every cultured girl is influenced by her in some ways, but please leave these t-shirts for the slouchy days, not the stage.

Expecting to have witnessed a more va va voom performance from this four piece I was slightly disappointed to say the least. Even the feel good hit 'Barcelona' didn’t sound as happy as the record. What lacked was the fine balance of femininity and balls; there was far too much prettiness on stage, too many pinks, and not enough mess or mistakes.

There’s all the hype, good looks and snazzy clothes, but they perform like a band out of an American teen movie from the school prom scene.

Add a dash of eyeliner, splash of vodka and we’re on our way, otherwise it’s a bit too clean for what it’s trying to be.