Posted tagged ‘Ting Tings’

The Ting Tings at Flex

May 3, 2009

Of all the acts playing in Vienna while I am here, the Ting Tings would not have been at the top of my “must see” list.

However, a friend needed to sell her ticket, several other friends were going and I had heard rave reviews about Flex, the bar where they were playing, so it seemed inevitable I would spend my saturday evening €20 poorer, dancing with a bunch of neon clad Austrians.

The dancefloor and stage at Flex

The dancefloor and stage at Flex

Flex is a bar down by the Danube Canal.  It was not exactly a high class riverside venue; the interior was mostly black walls with the occasional poster, but that was all covered by a constant lightshow, which gave the place a constant paty feel.  The only major problem was the unfortunate placement of several pillars, which could mean that whilst watching a band perform, all certain members of the audience were able to see was a black roof support.

The gig was packed out, making it difficult for my group to move more than a few feet from where we were.  Not that we wanted to as we’d set up camp by the bar, but, because of the aforementioned pillars, we had to choose between getting drinks or being able to see the band… or at least the taller members faced that difficult decision.  I discovered last night that Austrians are generally quite a tall people; my short arse wouldn’t have been able to see the band even if I had stood in the middle of the dancefloor!

The warm up act was a DJ who was playing generic dance tunes as we got into the venue and The Ting Tings came on stage soon after we arrived, though not before their manager came out and requested – in English – no flash photography.

Katie White of the Ting Tings

Katie White of the Ting Tings

As far as I can tell, the Ting Tings are an experiment in minimalism, most of their music is produced through a synthesiser or guitar playing over a drum while Katie White sings.  I would be interested to hear how the Ting Tings would sound unplugged, because so much of what you hear comes from post production – reverb, dubbing, harmonising lyrics – that the live show sounds no different from the CD version of the songs.  And very few of the songs are outstanding hits. 

In short, the Ting Tings hit upon a good singalong gimmick with That’s Not My Name, but failed to do anything original to follow it up.

Apart from one funny, self-depricating speech in German, read off a sheet of paper by White, sounding like a school girl reading her homework out to the class, you got the overall feeling that you would have got the same result had you put the Ting Tings album on shuffle and let it play.  There was little to no audience interaction between songs – I don’t think Jules de Martino spoke once – and the music really didn’t make the most of Flex’s sound system (allegedly the best in Vienna).  Not to mention the gig was finished by 9:45 and everyone was herded out so the club could charge another €20 for the DJ set afterwards, which left me with the feeling of having been left with just the warm up act and kicked out before the headliner came on.

The only reason the gig was passable to me was because after the first few songs, I largely let the music slip into the background and chatted with my friends, which was only interrupted so we could dance to That’s Not My Name. I went to the gig with high hopes, maybe for an experience similar to the one I had at Ingrid Michaelson’s gig, but left vaguely disappointed and was in bed before midnight.  Not one I’d recommend to my friends.

The Ting Tings can be found online at