The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - REVIEWS CDs - Tony Clay­ton-Lea Jim Car­roll

PUSSY­CAT DOLLS Live from Lon­don Uni­ver­sal

Spicy girls and, in­deed, girl groups are back, back, back. The dif­fer­ence, how­ever, be­tween class pop acts like Su­gababes and smart pop acts like Girls Aloud and the rather more brazen Pussy­cat Dolls is im­mense. It’s all in the de­tails: where Su­gababes and Girls Aloud pout and preen as they sing songs of oc­ca­sional pop ex­cel­lence, Pussy­cat Dolls come on like their trailer-trash cousins, all push-up bras, stilet­toes and var­i­ous other ac­cou­trements of male fan­tasy wish ful­fill­ment. Here’s the thing, though: the songs are very good com­mer­cial pop/r’n’b: I Don’t Need a Man, Don’t Cha, But­tons and Stick­witu – the lat­ter ef­fort­lessly one of the best pop bal­lads of re­cent years. Sadly, the stage show is tatty, ama­teur and, ques­tion­ably, overtly sex­u­ally provoca­tive - like Hooker Idol as per­formed by Hi-Di-Hi sum­mer staff. Ex­tras in­clude Meet the Dolls (well, hello Jes­sica!), be­hind the scenes footage (in­tensely bor­ing) and a spe­cial sec­tion ti­tled How to Dress Like a Pussy­cat Doll. I’ll get me coat . . .


From the Big Ap­ple to the Big Easy – The Con­cert for New Or­leans Rhino

Dur­ing the weeks and months af­terHur­ri­cane Kat- rina blew New Or­leans apart, many mu­si­cians an­swered the call to rat­tle tins and raise cash for a city which had been left to fend for it­self. Of course, mu­si­cians from the city were to the fore at th­ese shows, their anger, shock and de­ter­mi­na­tion telling the real story of what was hap­pen­ing in New Or­leans. A whole bunch of them fetched up for this all-star beano at New York’s Madi­son Square Gar­dens, a night when emo­tions re­ally ran high. There were many, many highly charged per­for­mances, such as Aaron Neville’s steal­ing in along­side Si­mon & Gar­funkel for Bridge Over Trou­bled Wa­ters (not to men­tion Neville’s won­der­ful Amaz­ing Grace); Elvis Costello with Allen Tous­saint rock­ing their way through Yes We Can Can; and as­sorted Me­ters and Nevilles lash­ing into a spir­ited Hey Pocky Way. The only shame is that it took a dis­as­ter like Ka­t­rina for peo­ple to re­alise and cel­e­brate the mu­si­cal trea­sures of the Big Easy.

Val­ley of the Dolls

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