Friday, April 30, 2004


After the months of hype and speculation, the moment of truth is upon us. Natasha Beddingcentre (for those of you who don't live in Ealing and have never seen the shop on the Uxbridge Road called Daniel Bedding Centre, trust me, that joke is fucking funny), sister of Daniel, is here and she's taking no prisoners. The thought of more than one Beddingcentre in the charts is frankly enough to have us waking up in the night in a cold sweat, because no matter how promising or "urban" the debut single might seem, you just know you've got another 'If You're Not The One' in the pipeline.

The problem is, we're not entirely convinced by Natasha's debut single either. We can certainly see why she's a hot commodity right now: sister of Daniel, thereby generating automatic interest? Check. A number of rumours that she might be his ex-wife rather than his sister, generating twice as much interest? Check. A single that's rocky and reasonably catchy, and credible enough not to be snubbed by the press? Check? An attractive blonde girl? Check. Granted I don't have much experience of A&R Men, but I'd be willing to bet this is the sort of package they'd mortgage their souls for.

So why is Panda Pops so cynical? Well, there are two things, really. One: the image. We've seen the video, and she can throw herself around an underpass in a shiny bomber jacket all she wants - she's not Avril Lavigne, and she's not Pink. It might be slightly easier for her to pull off this "from the streets" image if we didn't all know who her brother was - perhaps the first sign of all the positive publicity from being Daniel's sister backfiring. Two: the song itself. Call us hardened, but to us it just sounds like a cynical attempt to ensnare the female record purchaser with a by-numbers girl power song. It just sounds to us like it was written with the sole intention of making five thousand Bridget Joneses sit up and cry, "Yes! I am single! This song was written for me! Word, sister! Word!" Such cheap shots don't impress us much, to paraphrase Shania Twain.

On a final, much more superficial note, we wouldn't buy her record because we can't condone the dishonesty that led to her stealing Sarah Whatmore's face. Give it back, Natasha. Sarah needs it more than you.


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