Concert in Aarschot on 25th October 2012Concert
Dark Pop • Electronics • New wave • Synth Pop / Electro Pop
07/03/2012, Philippe BLACKMARQUIS
25th February 2012
John Foxx, pioneer of electronic music (synth-pop/new-wave) first with Ultravox (1977-1979) and then solo, had to cancel his performance at the Sinner's Day festival in Hasselt in October. But every cloud has a silver lining: he has come to Aarschot for a full gig on his own, free for anyone at Sinner's Day (a great initiative!). So there are more than 1,000 people tonight in the "Stadsfeestzaal", a sign of the workings of a powerful new-wave revival.
The support is assured by De Brassers, a band from Limburg who had some success in the early '80s with a music very much inspired by Joy Division. Playing "at home", the band managed to captivate the audience with their slow, dark postpunk songs. But everybody was clearly waiting for the headliners: John Foxx And The Maths.
Throughout this concert, we were rocked by warm, analog music, shaped by "vintage" ARP, Moog and Korg synthesizers. John is accompanied by his new sidekick, Ben "Benge" Edwards, the "wizard of synths", but also by two young female singers/multi-instrumentalists and artists in their own right: Serafina Steer, and Hannah Peel whom we know from Les Nuits Botaniques - she opend for Lisa Germano in May - who makes a stunning impression with her long auburn hair and haunting violin sounds.
Standing behind the keyboard that allows him to control his polyphonic vocoder, John Foxx is focussed and full of a strong energy. His voice is clear and powerful and he has no difficulty in reproducing even the highest notes. Behind him, "Benge" Edwards plays very little synth, which is a shame, but strikes with conviction on a Simmons drum-kit from the 80s. A video backdrop adds to the scene.
The set list is mainly drawn from "Metamatic", John's 1980 masterpiece, but also from "Systems Of Romance", Ultravox's third album, which contains the first synth-pop/new-wave song of rock history: "Hiroshima Mon Amour". The live interpretation of this song is perfect and touching. But when the band plays the songs from the "Interplay", released last year, we measure how modern and rooted in the present John's music is. "Shatterproof" has clear EBM, even techno overtones and "Catwalk" is pure dance track..
John Foxx closes his set with the romantic "Just A Moment", a song to which Ultravox's famous "Vienna" owes much, to put it mildly. The band retires and returns for "The Good Shadow," a ballad from the latest CD and, finally, the piece that most of us were expecting: the sublime "Underpass" (check the live videos below). The famous synth riff resonates powerfully in the venue and the public, captured, is ecstatic. A clear highlight for a gig that held true to all its promises.
Click here to read or listen to the full interview with John Foxx and Ben "Benge" Edwards before the concert.
Set list: 1 - Shatterproof, 2 - He's A Liquid; 3 - No One Driving, 4 - Running Man, 5 - The Shadow Of My Former Self; 6 - Hiroshima Mon Amour; 7 - A New Kind Of Man; 8 - Dislocation; 9 - Interplay; 10 - Catwalk; 11 - Summerland, 12 - Just A Moment, Encore: 13 - The Good Shadow, 14 - Underpass.
DER NOIR • A Dead Summer
CHAOS ALL STARS • I Need It All
THE BEAUTY OF GEMINA • Iscariot Blues
:OF THE WAND & THE MOON: • The Lone Descent
NEON ELECTRONICS • Keylogger
SOPHYA • Words & Sounds
THE EDEN HOUSE • Timeflows
WINTERKÄLTE • Disturbance
APRIL • Sunderlands
FLUE • Vista
Same genre: DARK POP
CELESTIAL NORTH • When The Gods Dance
DD SANCHEZ • StRaNgE
THIS ETERNAL DECAY • Silence
THIRD REALM • The Art of Despair
AMY STUDT • Happiest Girl in The Universe
VARIOUS ARTISTS • DARKSIDE OF THE CON III
DEZ MONA • Book Of Many
BLUTENGEL • Black
GLAARE • To Deaf and Day
PSYCHE • Youth Of Tomorrow (12'')
Same genre: ELECTRONICS
CONFORMIST FEAT. H O R S E S • Heddiw
STAATSEINDE • Fehlerlinie
PARADOX OBSCUR • Intercourse
PORTION CONTROL • SEED EP3
WULF7 • Dark Hate
DEAR DEER / EMBERS • Split
FIRST • Restless
VARIOUS ARTISTS • PERIHELION 2134
GHOSTING • The Flanders EP
THE BLACKHEART ORCHESTRA • Mesmeranto
Same genre: NEW WAVE
A SLICE OF LIFE • Tabula Rasa
THIS VALE OF TEARS • This Vale Of Tears
BALVANERA • Courses of Action
DIRK DA DAVO • The Unreal
ADULT. • Becoming Undone
MICHAEL ZODOROZNY • Other Side
DIRK DA DAVO • King Of Fools
DE DELVERS • Hart in neonlicht
CAWATANA • In The Silver Light (7')
SHE HATES EMOTIONS • See The Light (Single)
Same genre: SYNTH POP / ELECTRO POP
TRAGIC IMPULSE • Distant Worlds
SHE HATES EMOTIONS • Space and time
FRAGRANCE • Salt Water
ARMAGEDDON DILDOS • Desctruction
SJOBLOM • Tape
NUOVO TESTAMENTO • New Earth
STURM CAFE • Fernes Land
ERASURE • THE NEON
HER OWN WORLD • A Different Kind Of Reality
AUGER • Insurgence