The obvious flaw in the whole big [B]Youngers'[/B] plan is the fact that you can't see them sustaining this charade beyond one grievously pop-mungously huge hit album...

It has long been a favourite pastime of low-rent media yahoos to sit around stroking their chins and musing over the curiously symbiotic relationship betwixt comedy and rock’n’roll. To wit, is comedy the new rock’n’roll? Or is rock’n’roll merely the old comedy in a new pair of leather strides? And while we’re thinking about that, would anyone like another cup of camomile tea?

To get to the point, [a]Younger Younger 28’s[/a] are four cheery characters from various parts of the British mainland, none of which (somewhat unbelievably, considering the evening’s events) is actually Sheffield. They consist of all-singing, all-shimmying ladies Andie and Liz, Jimi Tenor-a-like keyboardist GI Jimmy D and singing guitarist Joe Northern. You heard.

Joe Northern, it transpires, is to all intents and purposes Mark Radcliffe playing at being Bernard Cribbins, ie, inclined to behave a tad ‘wackily’ in a deadpan ‘northern’ way. And [a]Younger Younger 28’s[/a], it transpires, are pearly-teethed exponents of the art of pretending to be The Human League. It’s something they do incredibly well, too: joint victors at 1998’s In The City convention they may have been, but the Youngers are positioned polite years away from purist Indie Schmindiedom. Throw in the fact that Andie and Liz actually manage to do their all-singing, all-shimmying shtick in tune and in time and that Jimmy D‘s sequencers aren’t averse to nibbling on New Order‘s proverbial Pot Noodle and you realise that beneath Joe Northern‘s frilly shirt lurks a heart of quite serious heaviosity.

Fetishists may care to observe that there is a Younger Younger 28’s single doing the rounds, a picture disc version of ‘Lipstick, Cigarettes, Packet Of Three’. An immaculate encapsulation of the foursome’s snappy ideals (see, uh, make-up, smoking, sex), it manages to be both hopelessly cheesy and beamingly genuine at the same time. Crucially, it is also terrific fun – in their mind’s eye Younger Younger 28’s may well represent some horrifically down-to-earth approximation of The Human League Of Gentlemen, yet the live experience is all about cheeky love action and opening up their happy little hearts.

The obvious flaw in the whole big Youngers’ plan is the fact that you can’t see them sustaining this charade beyond one grievously pop-mungously huge hit album. Still, as someone almost once said many, many moons ago: he who ‘Dare’s wins.

Yes they did.