Friday, 6 December 2013

The Ting Tings 'Shut Up And Let Me Go'

Chart Peak: 6
Katie and Jules, AKA The Ting Tings, followed up their No. 1 smash 'That's Not My Name' with 'Shut Up And Let Me Go' - another highly infectious poptastic tune from the Salford duo., it reached the Top Ten in July 2008.. the recently won Best UK Music Video for 'That's Not My Name' at this year's MTV Video Music Awards.
Other sources suggest that it was in fact this very song whose video got that award, although as it's not available on YouTube (not even on their official Vevo account) I can't vouch for how good a choice that is. What the sleevenote neglects to mention is that this was their third Top 40 entry in consecutive weeks, an extraordinary start to a career. The aforementioned 'That's Not My Name' entered at the top first; when the album was released the following week an earlier, previously ineligible, single 'Great DJ' was belatedly allowed to chart. This track made the Top 75 that same week, and climbed to 29 the following week as it was featured prominently in a TV commercial at the time. So the duo were certainly not a one-hit wonder - within a month they'd had as many hits as Noah and Iglu combined - but it's fair to say that their time in the spotlight was brief, a plethora of hit singles from the first album followed by two years' silence, a one-off minor hit, another 18 months and a flop album in early 2012. There were boasts of an entire album's material being junked in between, although some eagle-eyed observers noticed a lot of the same song titles on the eventual second album.

Anyway, back in 2008 you can perhaps see the seeds of some of this as the Ting Tings always seemed so determined to be quirky and defiant. Perhaps it was a way to rebuff the suspicion that their career had been bought by Katie White's grandfather's lottery win, but they have a very self-conscious quality about them that distracts from the actual music, although of course it's a matter of opinion whether that's a good or bad thing. As somebody with a limited interest in "attitude" as a music attribute, I find that the best parts of this song are the ones that remind me a bit of other songs - that guitar line that's a bit like 'Last Night A DJ Saved My Life' and the "hey" at the end which is seemingly straight from 'Top Of The Pops' by the Rezillos. At the time the Ting Tings were ubiquitous and insufferable, five years on they seem to have receded into history enough that I can see the skill involved and even recognise the catchiness. But it still feels a bit like a chore to actually hear this.

However, as this is December I suppose they deserve some credit for recording the festive version 'Shut Up And Let It Snow'.

Also appearing on: Now 70
Available on: We Started Nothing

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