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Ting Tings/Ida Maria – Hard Work Reaps Rewards

So, Ida Maria is back, and similar to The Ting Tings last week, not a conventional review as we have reviewed her live a few weeks ago. What did strike me is that, with both bands, the changing circumstances of when we first saw them. Ida Maria was a discovery by contributors and loyal friends of ELM, supporting Patrick Watson at King Tut’s. A few weeks later, she was supporting indie also-rans Good Shoes (and below main support Lightspeed Champion, who made up a good value bill) at a crazily early time. Then she had moved up to her first headline tour (see Reviews Section) before last night, the biggest date she has played in Glasgow. All this activity was in 6 months. Good enough if she was a local act, but she is Norwegian!
Similarly, The Ting Tings. First floated into our consciousness in February when they were fourth on the bill of the NME Shockwaves Tour (behind Does It Offend You, Yeah? And Joe Lean and the Jing Jang Jong, for crying out loud.) Since then they have made it back to Glasgow twice, to a bigger venue each time, I have to say, I admire their work ethic. There is something romantic about simply getting in a van and playing somewhere, anywhere that will let you. But it’s also demanding. You are not exactly wallowing in your own crapulence. It is a deeply unglamorous cycle of crap hotels (if you get a hotel at all), Pot Noodles, boring cramped travel and warm tins of Tennents riders. Yes, you get that one potentially glorious hour, but even then its a slog – you could be playing to one man and a dog or someone else’s audience….and come on, we’ve all been at a gig and given the support band precisely 46 seconds to impress, before deciding they were bobbins and talking to our mates. Loudly. For those who fight through that, I salute you.

So on to the aforementioned rockers. Both played very similar sets as to when they did a few weeks ago, more through necessity one would have thought. What was noticeable was that both had honed their sets – clearer sounds, added, extended sections and both had an air of confidence that hadn’t been quite so apparent as before. For The Ting Tings, the reason why was obvious – they were playing to a packed-out Saturday night crowd while sitting at Number 1 in the Charts (and about to debut at Number 1 in the Album charts.) There was a bounce to them, and a feeling that you were seeing them at just the right time, while it was still novel to them. in the end, they will be stars and this will be their routine. It wasn’t like that, and it really felt like sharing a very significant moment in the band’s career with them.


Ida Maria had brought out a very respectable Sunday night crowd, especially given the atrocious weather and the venue’s puzzling insistence on starting their gigs so late (acceptable Monday to Friday; wrong on a Sunday when public transport dies on it’s arse early doors. Some people in the crowd saw 15 minutes before having to head off. That’s unnecessary and easily rectified. Get it sorted, King Tuts!) She too has come on leaps and bounds in the last few months. There is no fat on these songs now – edgy, tuneful and slick, she rattles through a 40 minute set with aplomb, before agreeing she needs to write some new songs soon. It’s a set full of high octane pop songs, like Chrissie Hynde fronting the Libertines covering Duran Duran songs. She’s spiky and she’s great, and what is interesting is the wide cross-section she has attracted – everything from student indie kids to fortysomething dad rock fans to tattooed rock chicks.

So, Viva Evolution!


16 Responses

  1. I found Ida Marie live a depressing prospect: very good frontwoman, good voice etc but limp songs that left me cold. Some were like Babyshambles! She also wouldn’t play an encore as she was too tired!

    I believe she has quieter, more soulful demos and stuff around in cyberworld…..

  2. Well, you are entitled to your opinion, BDC, although you are, of course, completely wrong.


  3. Ting Tings are bloody awful. Making a career out of doing ‘Hey Mickey’ but ten times worse. Thankfully they’ll have disappeared by this time next year.

  4. I like them – they are cheery.

    Oh god, I’m middle aged.


  5. Ida Maria is great.

    The Ting Tings DO indeed sound like they are doing Hey mickey….but there’s nothing wrong with that round these parts, frankly.

  6. Ida Maria is soooo not great, ELM is very wrong on this one. The Wombats with a kooky Norwegian singer.

    Lykke Li is one to watch.

    Also google Hanne Hukkelberg…she’s great. And Norwegian.


  7. Hossanah! Praise Be! I agree with Swineshead! There is in fact something that we meet in the middle on. I cannae be doing with TTT either ( I can’t even say their name, its so pish) and the Hey Mickey ref is right on the mark. Young people’s music? Its PISH.

  8. BDC – She sounds fuck all like the Wombats. Lykke Li is indeed a wee treasure.

    HW – Again, you say ‘Hey Mickey’ like it’s a bad thing. The Ting Tings (I’ll agree on the name) are magic. Pure true fact.

  9. The Ting Tings are amazing! They’re pretty impressive to debut at #1 on the UK single and album charts. I beg to disagree that the ting tings are awful. they’re absobloodylutely fabulous!

  10. Agree entirely tingtingsrocks. These old cats on this thread, they just don’t get pop. 😉

  11. The Ting Tings are catchy. Plain and simple. You can’t dispute that. They may not be musical geniuses and they may not be around in 10 years, but the album is catchy as hell, so just listen, have fun and stop complaining.

  12. Hallelujah Greg! I agree.

  13. AGREED! They can be a bit mind-numbing at times, but they are all good fun.

  14. glad to help! 🙂

  15. Montreal is a cool place – music scene is pretty decent too Greg!

  16. Hey, i just noticed anothere new comer who has posted, welcome to ELM ‘theskyhaseyes’

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