Femme Fatale with Helen McCookerybook (Christmas 2016)

by The Charlie Tipper Conspiracy (aka the Charlie Tipper Experiment)

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One of the first records that Tim Rippington, lead singer with the Charlie Tipper Conspiracy, bought back in 1982 was by a band called Skat. It was a cover version of Femme Fatale by the Velvet Underground and Tim fell in love with it immediately. In fact he’d never heard of the VU, and thought for several years after that the song was an original.

Fast forward to 2016 and Helen McCookerybook, former singer with said band Skat, and now a lecturer on all things relating to Women in Punk, set up her merchandise stall at the Indietracks festival in Derbyshire next to the Tippers. Tim and Helen got to meet for the first time and Tim explained how he had been a big fan ever since that Skat single.

Six month later and Tim was pondering a Christmas single with the Tippers when he hit upon the idea of re-recording Femme Fatale with Helen doing the lead vocal. Helen jumped at the chance and the recording was quickly arranged, along with a video shoot where the two artists re-created Andy Warhol’s Factory in the basement of a Vegetarian Café in Bristol.

Two mixes of Femme Fatale were put together, a “straight” version for radio and a more controversial version featuring voice-overs from some of 2016’s political big-hitters, spouting anti-immigration rhetoric, along with news broadcasts describing the ongoing refugee crisis facing the world.

It is a subject that both artists feel strongly about and they agreed that any funds raised from the sale of the single will go to Refugee Action, the charity which works to re-settle refugees from war-torn areas in the UK.

Along with Femme Fatale, a B-side “Maybe Next Year” was also recorded a commentary on the grim state of the world in 2016 but with a hint of hope for the future. Who knows, perhaps this will be the first of many collaborations?


released December 16, 2016



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The Charlie Tipper Conspiracy (aka the Charlie Tipper Experiment) Bristol, UK

The band began life as The Charlie Tipper Experiment in 2013, releasing an album and a clutch of singles for Breaking Down Recordings.

In 2015 the band became The Charlie Tipper Conspiracy for no real reason other than they thought it would be a good idea to keep people guessing as to what they were up to.
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