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Music / The Pipettes

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We are The Pipettes, and we've got no regrets...
— "We Are The Pipettes"
The Pipettes were a London-based indie Pop Revival Girl Group who had a rather chaotic history in which they produced one well-regarded album and a follow-up which ... wasn't so well received.

The band's most successful lineup of Rebecca "RiotBecki" Stephens, Rose Elinor Dougall, and Gwenno Saunders was the second. Saunders replaced Julia Laird-Clowes, who left to become the singer and keyboardist for the indie band The Indelicates. After the release of their 2006 debut We Are the Pipettes, Stephens and Dougall left the band, with Dougall going onto a critically acclaimed solo career. Saunders and Monster Bobby (the group's co-creator and leader of their backing band) continued the group, recruiting replacements who also departed soon afterwards. The group's second album, 2011's Earth vs. the Pipettes, featured only Saunders and her sister Ani in the lineup, and tanked in both sales and critical reception. The band dissolved in 2011. Saunders, like Dougall before her, has since embarked on an acclaimed solo career, recording idiosyncratic electropop music in the Welsh and Cornish languages.


Pull Tropes!

  • All Women Are Prudes: Despite most of their music being very definitely closer to the All Women Are Lustful camp, "Sex" is about a girl who'd rather chat than sleep with her boyfriend, and who is so bored by their sex life that she lies there having "conversations in her head" to pass the time.
  • Autotune: Used heavily for effect in "Our Love was Saved by Spacemen".
  • Badass Boast: Self-introduction Theme Tune "We Are The Pipettes" cops an attitude:
    We are The Pipettes, and we've got no regrets
    If you haven't noticed yet, we're the prettiest girls you've ever met
    We are The Pipettes, we will drop you in our nets
    When you're crying in your bed, you'll hope we haven't finished with you yet
  • The Band Minus the Face: Most of the history of the Pipettes, really.
  • Be Yourself: "Baby, Just Be Yourself".
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  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: The first album lineup of RiotBecki, Rosay, and Gwenno, respectively.
  • Break-Up Song: "It Hurts to See You Dance So Well", "Your Kisses are Wasted On Me", and "History".
  • Country Matters: Used liberally on the early song "Feminist Complaints".
  • Department of Redundancy Department: "I know you're unhappy, and it's getting you down" from "Baby, Just Be Yourself".
  • Good-Looking Privates: The appeal of uniforms turns out to be very much the point of "I Like A Boy In Uniform (School Uniform)". In fact, the appeal turns out to transcend gender.
  • Intercourse with You: The band's songs tend to be quite upfront about female desire. They had tracks called "Dirty Mind", "One Night Stand", and "Sex", after all.
    Then he said, Let's stop with all the talking
    Why not try something new?
    Because there's no need for any talking
    In what we're about to do...
    — "Sex"
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: To a large extent the band's image, especially on the first album. The track "ABC" is the song of a girl who clearly wishes to be the manic pixie dream for a book-smart but introverted nerd.
  • Modeling Poses: "Pull Shapes" is a song about... pulling poses. See the video.
  • Naked People Are Funny: There's a naked woman among the dancers in the "Pull Shapes" video. She's heavily pixillated out, so it's goofy rather than sexy.
  • Non-Appearing Title: "Feminist Complaints", "The Burning Ambition of the Early Diuretics", "Guess Who Ran Off with the Milkman", and "Sex". All but "Sex" are on their pre-We Are The Pipettes EPs.
  • Obligatory Bondage Song: "Simon Says".
    "Simon says we'll have to tie you up,
    Simon says those bonds aren't tight enough."
  • Overly Long Title: The early song "The Burning Ambition of the Early Diuretics." Also a Non-Appearing Title, obviously.
  • Retraux: The band aimed to recreate the style of girl groups from The '60s, especially on the first album. The video for "Pull Shapes", which is a Beyond the Valley of the Dolls parody/homage, definitely reflects that style.
  • Seduction Lyric: Songs such as "Tell Me What You Want" and "Because It's Not Love (But It's Still A Feeling)" reflect a... pretty upfront approach to relationships, though they tend to be more descriptive and cynical than actively seductive.
  • Spoken Word in Music: "Magician Man" starts with a long spoken sketch of a woman the narrator knew when she was younger... then transitions very suddenly into the narrator being asked out by a guy at the dance and barely mentions the woman again. The following verse is also spoken, but it's much shorter.


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