Meet the perky Pipettes

Joe Shearer

The Pipettes with The Afternoon Naps and Monster Bobby

The Beachland Ballroom Tavern

Tuesday, Nov. 20, $15

Aren’t you tired of those pretentious emo bands that try to saturate all of their songs with huge, unseen revelations you never thought of?

And, guess what, they were right there in front of you all along! Ingenious. Well, maybe those guys should take a day off, clot their bleeding hearts and hang out with The Pipettes, the all-girl British trio that sings about bad girls and boys, one-night stands and dancing the night away.

There’s no deep meaning or truths behind The Pipettes’ lyrics, but in that, you may discover something else: It’s better to live life than to sit around analyzing it. From their cool, retro album cover, to their polka dot dresses, RiotBecki, Gwenno, and Rosay want the world to know they just want to have fun.

Taking elements from ’60s girl groups, punk and disco, The Pipettes, with its all-male backing band, The Cassette, deliberately try to make light of situations other songwriters might call the end of the world. If there was ever an answer to those whiney scenesters, these girls may be it.

“It’s the same as life,” said RiotBecki, whose real name is Rebecca Stephens. “You need to be able to find amusement in things that maybe aren’t necessarily amusing. You need to not take yourself too seriously, but at the same time, you need to know when to be serious.”

Certainly, Stephens, who, with her black-rimmed glasses, adds a punky attitude to the group, and the other two women embody something lacking in modern music: The ability to make quality, lighthearted 2-3 minute songs.

“If there were any serious elements to what we did, then we probably wouldn’t be able to do it,” Stephens said. “You can make something serious into something fun, and that’s what we’re interested in creating. That’s what pop music’s all about.”

Upon hearing the group, a lot of critics may immediately point to obvious influences such as 60s staples the Angels or the Shangri-Las. Of course, the matching outfits don’t help. But the three harmonizing singers don’t simply want to live in the shadows of the past.

“I think lyrically, we’re completely different,” Stephens said. “I think the setup’s totally different. You can’t argue that we are or are not being exploited. We all write the music. We never want to be a contemporary version of an all-girl band. We want to capture the spirit of why they existed and why they were so popular.”

Unlike those of other retro acts, The Pipettes debut album, We Are The Pipettes, is something that prides itself on slick production and vocal composition. Tracks such as “Your Kisses Are Wasted on Me” and “Pull Shapes” definitely have a familiar, upbeat feel to them, while at the same time offering something unique audiences can dance to.

Bands like the Danish duo The Raveonettes or the Japanese singing combo Puffy AmiYumi have dabbled in the girl-group thing, but The Pipettes are in a league all its own.

“We always want to exist on our own terms. where nobody could get to us, where we can control everything,” Stephens says. “That’s the nice thing when you’re doing something for yourself. But in a way, it’s actually not where we’d like to be forever. We’d like to see lots of people trying to do the same thing as us.”

The Pipettes will perform in Cleveland Tuesday with the Afternoon Naps and Monster Bobby at the Beachland Ballroom. All tickets are general admission and retail for $15.

Contact all correspondent Joe Shearer at [email protected].