The Puppini Sisters

Truth will out, said Shakespeare, so we know what we’re made of: boys are snips and snails, and girls are sugar and spice. Except for the Puppini Sisters, of course: they are pure pleasure. Nobody resists bewitching females singing close harmony arrangements, like the Andrews Sisters, who took the genre to the top (one hundred and thirteen songs in the American charts between ’38 and ’51…)

But back in 2004, when Marcella Puppini, Stephanie O’Brien and Kate Mullins created their own Sisters, it never crossed their minds to try and copy the enchantments of a historic songbook. The three met in the same jazz school, and their resumes were very different: Kate (the blonde) had sung in the heavy metal band Killed In Action; Marcella (the brunette) had recorded the dance hit Revolution after serving time in a punk group; as for Stephanie (the redhead), she came from a classical choir and played a lot of violin and she was already making a name for herself in the jazz world, singing with different bands in London and also working as a violinist and harpist.’

Marcella had a career in fashion (she worked with Vivienne Westwood), so the trio’s first appearances were (almost naturally) à la mode. But their gigs quickly became a unique rendezvous for a mix of impassioned fans: jazz-goers, retro-aesthetes, people into nostalgia (for over sixty years…), others with a style-obsession, and also kids, spellbound by the vivacity and colour which sparkled in the Sisters’ voices…

Every style was filtered through their rigorous, sunny, vocal discipline: no improvisation, just the extraordinary power of a wall of voices whose architecture seemed designed by a virtuoso. In their first two albums, Betcha Bottom Dollar and The Rise and Fall of Ruby Woo, they combined new versions of classics from the Thirties to the Fifties, jazzy reinventions of rock hits, and original songs. And then they sang for Santa Claus in Christmas with the Puppini Sisters, before they finally tackled the Garden of Eden in the world of vocal standards, i.e. Hollywood.