ZANG TUMMM TUMB ARTICLES “the first draft of history”

Anne Pigalle London, Madame JoJos

MADAME JOJOS has a nice airbrushed and blow-dried sense of sleaze to it. A clutch of waiters in impeccable and impenetrable drag, purring blankly at the customers. It sounds like a brothel in an entertaining but not very good film, and it stands on the site of a Soho peep-show live-sex dive. Its past gives if most of its, um, character.

Same with Anne Pigalle. One of the would-bes on ZTT whogot swamped in Frankies unexpected success, she was all promise that never got delivered, a rough French night-club act to set against the smooth Hornery. Shes reacted against that, up to a point.

Her band look like the bands you see in clubs in adverts, so its a surprise that they can play, and they play with a grating post-punk rock in a very precise, coolly mannered kind of way. Funnily enough, apart from Pigalle herself, whos nonchalant to the point of immobility, they remind me of the very early Roxy Music. Same poise, same deadpan, same sax, same grainy, resinous sound. No tunes, though. They have identity, they have a certain strength; they couldnt be British, and they couldnt be American… they seem to weigh in with the usual French over-fascination with the trappings of rock culture as style, but at this point in history that seems a more cunning move than it could have done. They havent paid any dues and it works, for them — it cuts them away from grebos scumminess.

Hard but ugly. And shes smart, and if youre not completely allergic to French singing, she has presence. But not enough at the moment. I dont mind her. But I was a bit bored.

Mark Sinker