Should your thing be innocuous electro-pop – and it’s difficult to argue against a role for boys and girls armed with synths, melody and a cheeky grin – then it helps to stand out from the swash. Take to the stage intent only upon pressing buttons, and if your sound isn’t avant-garde or hip by default, your act runs the risk of becoming drowned out by the flotsam of all this other innocuous electro-pop. Channel the charismatic. Get yourself a gimmick.
(As an aside, one of the most amusing electro-pop gigs I’ve witnessed – I won’t name the band concerned as their musical prowess was on a par with their professionalism – featured a synth / vocal / rhythm guitar / backing tape line-up. Unfortunately, the guitarist (and his rather extraneous sound) had made merry prior to the performance, and for the entire duration of the gig he smiled beatifically into the mid-distance, only occasionally remembering to wrap a paw around the fretwork. This wasn’t amusing the increasingly riled singer – the between-song banter grew steadily more caustic – and it was obviously only a matter of time before composure grew buckled.
It was as the set approached its conclusion that the singer booted the guitarist squarely in the rear end (a rather comedic kick, if I recall correctly). At which point the crowd was treated to a guitarist involuntarily performing his impression of a ancient oak succumbing to a force 12 gale, smile still prominent as he toppled rigidly from the side of the stage and into the mixing desk. The resultant applause was probably the loudest the band ever garnered).
Unreliable musicians aside, and below the words, innocuous electro-pop outfit Client, whose shtick has gravitated towards an attraction to uniform. More latterly it’s been the Eastern European Soldier Girl look, whilst for their first couple of albums it was the air stewardess routine.
There are two types of femme who dress as air hostesses – those who work in the airline industry, and those who do not – and whilst I wouldn’t claim to be an expert in this field, I’m guessing that dressing for effect (rather than via vocational requirement) suggest these contrasting allegiances have very different characteristics. Or putting it another way: sex – apparently – sells, and whilst there’s nothing overtly naughty to the mechanics of Client’s allure, their image and stage presence is elevated courtesy of a demure and sultry suggestion, cascading through the awareness of more than one male listener.
If you’re vaguely familiar with innocuous mid-90’s electro-pop and find the female vox somewhat familiar, Sarah Blackwood was the voice of the somewhat under-rated Dubstar, who’ll no-doubt appear on this blog sometime in the future (Kate Holmes, the other founder member, was formerly a part of the even more under-rated Frazier Chorus, who’ll definitely be appearing on this blog). This particular track, meanwhile – featuring a guest vocal from ex-Libertine Carl Barât – makes an appearance due to a some tenuous link to forthcoming posts (and a particular album from 1982). Stay tuned and buckle your god-damn seat belt, or I’ll calling the captain.
Client / Pornography