Concert review and photos – The Ting Tings at the Commodore Ballroom March 27 2012
– review by Ria Nevada/photos by Tamara Lee
You may not know them by name, but if you have a television, radio, internet connection or a pulse, you would most likely recognize any one of the dance-punk anthems from The Ting Tings. The Manchester duo broke out in 2008 with their debut LP We Started Nothing, a collection of contagious songs that flooded iPod ads and teen shows like Gossip Girl, and even landed on the soundtrack of the little Oscar-winning film Slumdog Millionaire.
The gorgeous pair, comprised of bad-ass beauty Katie Smith and the mysterious and alluring Jules de Martino, were completely exhausted after two years of non-stop touring and retreated to Berlin for some down time and artistic inspiration. Rejuvenated by the city’s oddball scene, they started writing songs that veered further away from the DIY, garage sound, gravitating towards a more experimental direction for their latest release Sounds From Nowheresville.
The impact of their self-imposed exile was extremely evident at last night’s show at the Commodore Ballroom; Berlin has certainly helped The Ting Tings dig heavy into their art-rock roots. Appearing on stage in an oversized striped shirt, thigh high socks and a Bulls cap, Smith eerily gave the audience a blank stare, shushed the chatterboxes then leapt into a stripped down intro of “Silence”, eventually shifting gears and ending the song in a synth-pop tempest. With tracks like the techno-ish “Hands”, fans got to see a more freewheeling and progressive side of The Ting Tings.
With the hardcore hip hop tracks “Hang it Up” and “Hit Me Down Sonny”, the pair inspired the half-packed room to dance their little hearts out. Smith was especially energetic, and the way the singer spun around and got dirty on her guitar, it was hard to believe she had gotten her appendix removed just ten days prior.
The sick beat to “Guggenheim” had fans floored, and before we knew it, the show was wrapping up with the Ting Tings’ breakout track “That’s Not My Name”.
Some bands that are catapulted into the mainstream too quickly don’t often live up to the hype. This is certainly not the case with The Ting Tings. Last night’s performance proved them to be one of the best live bands in the business, armed with smarts and balls.