Brian Micklethwait's Blog

In which I continue to seek part time employment as the ruler of the world.

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Monday May 12 2008

I fear that Jonathan Ross is becoming a national embarrassment, not because of what he is paid, but because he says things like “I’d fuck you” to people like Gwyneth Paltrow.  GP took it like a lady when Ross said this to her last Friday or Saturday or whenever it was, but since when did Brits need lessons in the social graces from Americans?  (Well, since about the last three decades, I suppose.)

But there was a saving grace to last Friday’s show, in the form of a pop duo at the end called the Ting Tings, and I have it all on my hard disc.

Two of the great pillars of pop are pretty girls with attitude who really put on a show, and great percussion.  Put these two pillars next to each other, and it can get very good.

I still have a tape of Republica doing Drop Dead Gorgeous.  I still remember a great version of Would I Lie To You? by the Eurythmics, performed at some otherwise totally forgettable awards ceremony.  And then there’s Blondie, in particular: Hangin’ On The Telephone.

So anyway, how about those Ting Tings?  I checked out other YouTubery of them doing the tune they did on Ross, which is called That’s Not My Name, but the Ross version was by far the best, I thought.  Maybe the reason was that in all the other versions, the two Tings were in front of audiences they liked.  And they tried to get across to them, perform to them, include them in the show.  But on Ross, I suspect, they felt in seriously foreign territory.  I bet there was a big discussion beforehand about how much of a terrible compromise it would be to go on such a despised couch potato show like that, and strut their stuff in front of old geezers like me and Ross.  But, they did it anyway, and submitted to Ross’s twatting about (I’m thinking particularly of the embarrassing idiocy at the end).  The result of that contrast was that they, the lady Ting in particular, gave a much more introspective and musically intense performance.  Instead of smiling at the audience, Miss Ting let her hair down, literally, over the front of her face, for the duration, and took refuge from all the surrounding Rossery in the pure pureness of the thing itself.  With truly excellent results.

There’s a sort of Ravel’s Bolero shape to it, a gradual crescendo, with some sweetly major key orchestral type legato music in the middle that ups the intensity level, and in the end it’s frenzy.  A lot of that shape is missing in the other versions.  On Ross, it was terrific.

image

By the way, it’s true what they say about allowing stuff out for free on the internet and on the telly helping sales.  For a tenner, I will be getting whatever CD materialises.

Ting ting.  Imagine Leslie Phillips saying that.