Been a while since a "proper" posting here. Anyway, what better way to get back into the blog thing than with a bit of a review of the John Foxx and the Maths gig at the XOYO Club in London on Tuesday 25th October 2011.
It was a day of adventure for me as I love London and I love travelling to London by train. My last excursion to the Old Smoke when I visited Ben Edwards' studio was done by car, which whilst giving more flexibility on time proved to be a rather expensive option, not just with outrageously priced petrol (don't get me started!!! ), but also because of my lack of familiarity with the congestion charge thing and the subsequent £60 fine I received a few days later. A note to the London authorities, you might like to make it more apparent to "out of towners" that it needs to be paid in advance - I don't live in London!!!
So. The concert.
I really liked the XOYO. Small, intimate and well run. The main room was a good size and the sound was great. It would great to play here one day myself. As soon as the doors were opened from the bar to the downstairs gig area, I made my way down and got a very position right at the front near the stage. And there I stayed for the duration.
First up was American songwriter/composer/performer, Tara Busch. I've become a big fan of her music over the last couple of months. Her album "Pilfershire Lane" is simply brilliant and her recent E.P. "Rocket Wife" is one of my favourite pieces of listening at the moment. And her performance exceeded my expectations, which were quite high anyway. Tara was surrounded by "stuff" and for an aging synth-nerd such as I, it was all "good stuff" :-) I noted Moog Voyager and the ever present Moogerfooger which is, for synonymous with Tara Busch. I also was quite enthralled by her use of the Suzuki Omnichord - a real vintage piece of equipment that you really don't see very of nowadays. And Tara plays the flute!!! That was used to great effect on "Rocket Wife". Her cover of the Carpenters track "Superstar" was awesome and for me the highlight was the track "Rocket Wife". A great song and brilliantly performed, as was the whole set. It's always good to see female electronic music artists as there are too few on the circuit these days.
The next set was Gazelle Twin. I got hold of their album a few days before the gig and had a good listen to it on the train to London. The debut album, "The Entire City" is really very good and has enjoyed some rave reviews. In my view, it is most definitely required listening, but I find it difficult to be as positive about the rather disappointing live set. The stage was in virtual darkness, the sound was a little too bassy, I really couldn't make out the vocals, such as they were and to be honest, I simply didn't get it. Perhaps I need to exercise my art muscles a bit more, I don't know. Also weird was the paper hats that the musicians were wearing. Or perhaps I'm being a bit grumpy, but either way for this particular follically challenged punter, it was a case of "sorry, bit of an own goal".
During the wait for Mr. Foxx and company to start, I had the opportunity to chat with a most interesting personality, namely Tapio Normall. I have seen this man on countless photographs displayed on Facebook et al with various electronica icons, so for me it was quite a cool moment to meet this veritable living legend. At the end of the evening when the gig had finished, it was fascinating to see how John Foxx and co. recognised him immediately, and I was told that many artists actually look out for him at their gigs. A very interesting character and a pleasure to chat with. I view black shoes quite differently now.