My first ever date with the Ping Pong Bitches nearly got me killed.
The London-based electro punk disco queens Mandy Wong, Emily Hell and Louise Prey had been booked, rather ill-advisedly, to sing and dance at a university disco 80s night in Portsmouth, organized by the biggest cunts in the world. The DJ looked like a rugby player and played Billy Joel, Bon Jovi and Bonnie Tyler back-to-back. The students were square as fuck, drunk beyond belief and looking for trouble. Things got worse when the Bitches strode on stage to student scum screaming “Slags!” and “Cunts!”
Wearing a Nazi storm trooper helmet, Emily Hell flicked lit cigarettes at them while Mandy Wong and Louise aimed vicious kicks and punches. After only one song (the Giorgio Moroder-meets-punk rock Banarama of “Beat You Up”), the DJ pulled the plug on the gig and the exclusively male audience tried to invade the stage and attack the girls.
Enraged and high-as-a-kite stupid, I clambered over the front row to the DJ booth, ripped the 12” off the turntable, screamed at the DJ and then spat right in his face. This enraged everyone who worked there and a deadly me-hunt began. After narrowly escaping three huge bouncers, I met the girls backstage where we swapped drugs and they poured a champagne bucket of ice water over my head.
Since this first eventful meeting, we’ve hung out a few times and they’ve played more gigs in London. They’ve also made a video for “Beat You Up” in Charles Manson Valley, California, played with satanic white trash rapper DJ Swamp in Los Angeles, and invaded the stage at a Princess Superstar show in Germany.
“We did it for a bit of entertainment. We improved her show,” coos Emily who formed the band with long-time partner-in-mischief Louise in 1999. Chinese-born kung-fu expert Mandy Wong completed the trio a while later. Apparently she’s related to Bruce Lee.
Coupled with an impeccable dominatrix/punk fashion sense, their do or die, rape-young-boys attitude attracted the attention of Malcolm McLaren, who managed them for a while. For one reason or another, they decided that the Sex Pistols svengali wasn’t good enough for them and got a deal from Alan McGee (the Oasis guy), who’d just formed his Poptones label. They spent their advance on visiting Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs in Rio.
“Alan said that some of our ideas border on the grandiose,” explained Louise to me one day, as she detailed her plans to become managed by Mohammed Al Fayed, the owner of Harrods and father of Dodi, who died with Di that day.
They’re now working on their debut album with DJ Swamp, Kool Keith and Marco from Adam and the Ants and, as you read this, should be touring the US with their fucked-up electro punk disco floor show. For once, a UK group that isn’t made up of drippy, lank-haired boys who sing about their souls being on fire. The Ping Pong Bitches are going to rape you.