May has been a strange month. I've not had time to do much writing or blogging. I attended the Damned show at the Fillmore in New York a couple of weeks ago, and I haven't even blogged that yet--usually I'm pretty prompt about such things.
I returned home from the UK (4th visit in the last 6 months) on Sunday. If you're guessing that I went to see John Foxx again, you would be right. This was not a formal gig; Foxx did a VJ/DJ set with Karborn and Dennis Da Silva as a promotion for the film "Awaydays" as part of Liverpool's Sound City festival.
Before I get into that, I want to mention Foxx's official web sites. A review of Google Analytics tells me that no less than 100 people over the last couple of months have come to this blog looking for information on John Foxx. While I'm pleased to have people reading this blog, it's mostly my opinion and not an official source of information on what John is doing. I worry that Google may be sending people here first rather than to the official sites. With a tip of the hat to Rob Harris, the official sources are:
The Quiet Man blog:
The John Foxx MySpace page (run by Steve Malins):
(There are actually 3 MySpace pages now--one for Foxx currently, listed above, one as a retrospective of Foxx's earlier work, and one for John Foxx's Ultravox).
If you're a Facebook user, there's also the "Metamatic : the Music of John Foxx" group page. I don't think any other Facebook pages for Foxx are official. As of right now, I don't believe there is any official Twitter feed, either.
(Update: thanks, Gem, for pointing out that the Facebook page isn't official--though I still consider it as such because news posted there comes directly from Rob).
Lastly--and I almost forgot--you can get e-mail updates on John Foxx by sending an e-mail to email@example.com.
OK, now that I've taken care of business--the Liverpool set. Karborn was besieged by technical problems from the moment he walked in and set up. Steve Malins and John Foxx told me that the set had worked perfectly right up until that moment--even on the train to Liverpool. Apparently there was a major software failure, and Karborn had to try to re-install the program while he was there at the set. Fortunately, he did get things going, but it took him almost an hour of tinkering to get things straightened out.
The set itself was pretty good--there was only one technical glitch once they got going, and the set consisted of clips from the Awaydays movie, backed by music from the film. The only Ultravox song I remembered hearing in the set was a remix of "Young Savage".
Afterwards, I talked to John Foxx and Karborn, and they both said that the set didn't go as well as they would have liked--that you got the "general idea" of how it was supposed to go, but it wasn't what they were hoping for. Karborn said that he thought 3 songs went well, and that the second half was better than the first. Foxx kept stressing that this was only an experiment, that they'd never done anything like this before--and they only had 3 days to put the whole set together. I imagine the fact that this wasn't their material was also challenging.
I don't know anything about the technicalities of these sets, so I just take their word for it--the DJ/VJ thing is more Karborn's business, so he would certainly know. To my untrained eye, the set was just fine--a bit repetitive at certain points, but I think it went fairly well considering all of the technical difficulties and time constraints. I have a brief clip of the set on YouTube (VERY brief, and taken with a digital camera, so it's not the best quality):
YouTube has a couple of other clips taken by others as well, so look at the "related videos" if you check it out--their clips may be better.
Steve very kindly invited me to the aftershow at Heebie Jeebie's, and I had a lovely time chatting with everyone who came along. I never seemed to be without beer, and at one point I realized that my food to alcohol ratio was tipped heavily on the side of the latter. Fortunately, I didn't end up with any headaches or hangovers. We called it quits around 2am, and I headed back to my room to take a bath in the most magnificent tub I've ever seen.
I should also comment on the city of Liverpool itself. Liverpool has a reputation for being seedy, and perhaps it was at one time. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Liverpool isn't seedy at all--it's quite gentrified, and the people there are very friendly. Like any major city, I'm sure it has its troublesome elements, but I wouldn't say that it's the prevalent vibe of the city. I returned to London the next day, and was fortunate to have a gorgeous weekend to do things in the city.
Now I'm back at home and left to contend with the mysteries my cats have laid out for me in my absence (i.e., why there was blood all over my washing machine, where their food dishes disappeared to, etc.)--and looking forward to this weekend in New York City at BEA and the Rumpus party...