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The Ting Tings

British dance-pop duo snag iPod ad, find US success

Rolling Stone IN Jul 10, 2008

Chris Owens/Columbia Records

WHO THEY ARE: “We’re complete pop freaks,” says singer-guitarist Katie White, 25, who with drummer Jules De Martino, 34, makes up the Manchester duo, whose cardboard-stiff beats, staccato guitar plinks and cheerleader-style chants recall the sunnier moments of New Wave (think Blondie and the B-52s). The pair ”“ whose first band together was trip-hop act Dear Eskiimo ”“ originally got noticed for impromptu gigs they hosted in their loft in a converted cotton mill. “We’d get our friends over, get drunk, and get up on this little stage we built,” says De Martino. Soon, record execs were clamouring to get into their flat (they’re roommates but not a couple). Even Sony Music chairman Rob Stringer showed up, but he had to sit on the floor because the loft was so packed. (Stringer later signed them to Columbia Records.)

WHY YOU SHOULD CARE: The pair scored a highly coveted gig: an iPod commercial. Ever since ”˜Shut Up and Let Me Go’ debuted in the Apple ad in April, the track’s sales have shot up 2,181 per cent. Plus, Johnny Marr ”“ formerly of The Smiths and now with Modest Mouse ”“ is a fan: The guitarist, who rents a studio space in the Tings’ apartment building, recently popped in to say “he loved what we were doing,” says De Martino. “Then we had coffee. Our lives are on this surreal planet.”

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WHAT’S NEXT:The Ting Tings’ debut, We Started Nothing, is out now. They have also been on a 12-date North American tour.

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