Shut your eyes and picture beehive hairdoes and preppie cardigans being beaten up by leather clad New York punks...
As The Road to V kicks off it's short series of finalist showcases just down the road at the Islington Academy I find myself hunting down The Motorettes at The Buffalo Bar just falling distance out of Highbury and Islington Tube. Whilst The Academy sports the slick corporate branding and stage management of Virgin Mobile and Channel 4, The Buffalo Bar presents me with the seedier underbelly of London's live music scene – invaded tonight by Geordie upstarts The Motorettes – although let's get this clear – The Motorettes actually hark from the beach town of Tynemouth, a little down the river from Newcastle itself. This may or may not be important. Probably not. Just thought I'd mention it. Sorry.
But on reflection maybe it does count for something, because The Motorettes may look like your average gnarly rockers, but their music has a sunny edge. There is a kind of spikey bubblegum-ness about their tunes, and although the Californian beach fronts that spawned the beehive hairdos and preppie cardigans of sixties pop classics may have little in common with the North Sea facing dourness of the mouth of the Tyne, the tunes they purvey call forth memories of Beach Boy harmonies and Shangri-Las melodies.
But don't let this fool you into thinking I am describing some sort of throw-away pastiche like The Pippettes – The Motorettes also cling tightly to the punk ethic that kicked out the jamms when the sixties gave way to the mid/late seventies and bands like The Ramones came to the forefront.
You've just got to love these three guys, and luckily they are tour crazy, so chances are they'll be rolling up in their surf-wagon to a town near you sometime soon.