The Ting Tings, Scala, King's Cross, London
The Ting Tings have been away from the limelight for a while, but that doesn't explain why their fans now resemble the middle-aged crowd at a Bon Jovi gig.
After nearly four years since their first album We Started Nothing was released in 2008, Jules de Martino and Katie White have finally released a new album, Sounds from Nowheresville, which came out this week. It appears to attract a more mature audience than their early, energetic pop hits.
"We're obviously not the most prolific writers, but we got there in the end," says White, acknowledging the long wait. The new sound is more diverse than before. 'Bang it Up' evokes the playground chant of their earlier music, but 'Hands', their 2010 single, mixed by Calvin Harris, has been re-worked as a thumping trance track tonight. It sounds like a number of different Ibiza club hits, but there's nothing original. The same can be said for the new pop number, 'Hit me down, Sonny' where White shouts, "Did you ever think you'd see me like this" at least 100 times. White's vocals are most comfortable expressing a whiny sort of anger, like a child throwing a tantrum, which often works well, but in 'We Walk' – another 2008 single – her voice becomes sweet and soothing in the initial harmonies. With its elegant piano intro and catchy, danceable chorus it's a reminder of why we used to love them. When they sing, "We've got the choice, if it all goes wrong we walk" one wonders how long it will be until they take that option.
White and de Martino have good chemistry. As she frolics and head bangs her way across the stage, he looks on, bemused and sharing smiles with her. White is particularly energetic tonight, she drags her bass with her and enters the crowd, grinning, and when she's not encumbered by an instrument she touches her toes and almost bunny-hops along the stage. Even she seems mildly infuriated by the audience, though. Introducing 'Hands' she says, "All we ask is that you f***ing dance". We muster a soft-shoe shuffle.
'That's Not My Name', the Ting Tings' number one single from 2008, is played at the end of the set and judging by the sea of shifting polo-neck jumpers and bobbing bald patches, this seems to be what the crowd have been waiting for. But its punchy, catchy, pop-rock sound only serves to underline what their new work is lacking.
The best TV shows and films coming to the servicetv
Watch the new House of Cards series three trailerTV
Oscars 2015It was the first time Barney has compered the Academy Awards
Oscars 2015 From Meryl Streep whooping Patricia Arquette's equality speech to Chris Pine in tears
Oscars 2015 Mexican filmmaker uses speech to urge 'respect' for immigrants
TV ReviewThe intrigue deepens as we delve further but don't expect any answers just yet
Razzies 2015 Golden Raspberry Awards 'honours' Cameron Diaz and Kirk Cameron
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
- 2 Raif Badawi, the Saudi Arabian blogger sentenced to 1,000 lashes, may now face death penalty
- 3 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 4 Dakota Johnson's 'It's only Isis' Saturday Night Live sketch sparks controversy
- 5 The remarkable archaeological underwater discovery that could open up a new chapter in the study of European and British prehistory
Downton Abbey Christmas special 2014, review: Love is everywhere, actually
Broadchurch series 3: David Tennant and Olivia Colman to return for third season, ITV confirms
EastEnders may bring transgender character to Albert Square to challenge 'traditional' viewers
Game of Thrones season 5 spoilers: What we can expect according to George RR Martin's books
Indian Summers recommissioned: Channel 4 confirm a second series of British Empire drama
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Russia's roadmap for annexing eastern Ukraine 'leaked from Vladimir Putin's office'