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John Foxx & Louis Gordon rock the little hall in the Dutch rock temple


ImageMaybe it's greed. But I literally bought the T-shirt and the CD before the gig began. Not a smart thing. I was already wearing a sweater when I came in, so couldn't put on the T-shirt. And I had no bag with me to put the CD* in.


The DJ was playing some electronic stuff before show; I smiled when I realized I was listening to Cybotron's Alleys Of Your Mind - wonderful track!


Anyway: the show! Foxx and Gordon took to the stage, Foxx looking a bit studious with grey(ing) hair and a folder under his shoulder. Foxx wasted little time from the start to make clear where his heart and sound lies. He started the set with four (!) Metamatic-era compositions. The opener was 20th Century (which, if I heard correctly, was transformed to "twenty-first century" - hey, we're on the other side of the millennium, aren't we?), on to Plaza, via the ever wonderful Underpass and Metamatic's closer, Touch And Go.


This was the first time that I ever saw Louis Gordon, and man, he is every bit as energetic as Foxx claims! During 20th Century he was jumping on the stage a bit and I couldn't tell if it was the bass or his thud that I felt on the floor. He's also a pretty good backing vocalist.


But Foxx & Gordon crossed the North Sea to promote their latest album, so that could not be denied. Although its title track was not in the set (!) they also played 4 tracks from this: Friendly Fire, The One Who Walks Through You (my personal From Trash fave), Impossible and A Million Cars. These tracks all work very good live!


Next up were some tracks from some of their previous albums, Crash And Burn (2003) and The Pleasures of Electricity (2001). As Crash And Burn itself (electro rocks!) was included, it made me miss From Trash a little less.


That Nightlife and Ultraviolet/Infra-Red were included in the set list was not such a surprise, they were also on this year's Live From A Room (As Big As A City). I don't have anything against these songs, but I just feel that there are stronger tracks from these albums that they could have played. My guess is that these two songs are easy to play live... so I went to the bar for drinks during these songs.


ImageAlthough Foxx had already reworked some old Ultravox! tracks with Gordon on The Omnidelic Exotour, he did not re-record The Man Who Dies Every Day (from 1977's Ha! Ha! Ha!). He did perform it here, along with Dislocation, Slow Motion and the encore, My Sex. The way if was performed here closely resembled the version of Live From A Room (As Big As A City). At the end of the gig, Foxx took the folder under his shoulder and walked off, smiling immensely and waving to the audience.


All in all: a good gig, with a pretty good sound. I was suddenly reminded about a remark Tim Holmes made in The New York Rocker about John Cale's Sabotage/Live! album (1980), which was reprinted in Cale's biography What's Welsh for Zen: "[Cale's] roughest work to date. The spontaneous sound violates the high production ethic we expect from John Cale [...]". And that's basically how I felt about this gig: rough, but joyous nonetheless. But less (or no) smokers in the room the next time around, please!


Review by: Robert van Gameren


* The CD was actually a 2CD called Sideways, which is available on this tour and I believe it will be commercially available later. Disc 1 is a collection of songs & instrumentals that Foxx & Gordon wrote but did not made it on From Trash, the duo's recent album. Disc 2 contains an interview with Foxx on the making of From Trash. (Review on that will most likely follow.)