Monday, October 24, 2011

John Foxx at Glasgow Arches

I arrived in Glasgow on Sunday afternoon. It's a rather busy city, but mostly with your standard business rather than anything of particular interest. To be fair, I didn't really have any time to look around the city, though others tell me pretty much the same thing. I went to the soundcheck at about 3:45, and ran into Tara Busch and her husband, who were just arriving, and helped them bring in their things. I finally purchased a copy of Tara's album--her style has grown on me, and I very much like what she's doing.

I met some very nice people who were there for the VIP meet and greet, particularly Jess and Fraser (hope I'm spelling his name correctly). I also met "Numan Chris" from the Metamatic forum after the gig was over, and I was glad he introduced himself. (Turns out that he knows Fraser). Tara's gig went very well, and sounded good. One thing I should mention about the Glasgow Arches is that it's literally just that--a cavernous type place with huge brick arches. This ought to do wonders for the sound, but it's tricky with electronics, I think. Everyone sitting at the sound desk thought the sound was incredible, as did the band--they said it was the best it had been on tour thus far, and they were able to hear themselves. Standing in the front row, there were several times when many of us were holding our ears, from the loud reverb. "Running Man" sounded very distorted to me, as did the initial sound effects in "Dislocation". But other parts of the gig were perfectly fine. There were some interesting misses in "Evergreen", but they weren't fatal.

I think I have done enough of these gigs now to know what is different when I hear it. The setlist has remained unchanged, which is not really surprising, as John's own material had to be learned by the Maths, and they're going to stick to what they're comfortable with. Benge told me this was the first time he's ever toured--he's done one gig here and there, but mostly he's in his studio. By contrast, Chris Curran, who is the tour manager, has said, "Eh, it's a short tour", so it's no big deal to him. I'm not with the band, but I can say that following them at this pace is quite disorienting at times. From the second I arrive in a particular city, I have to see what time I'm going to the next one. London will be a relief, as I can park my luggage for a few days. On the other hand--I'm going to miss the dynamic of the tour up North. I've been able to spend a lot of time after gigs with the band and/or just John, and while that may be the case in London as well, it will be different.

I asked John where he would be post-gig, and he told me where the dressing room was, which security let me do with no trouble. I had a couple of beers with John, Benge, and Sefa, and we mostly talked about York and it's history, Rennie Mackintosh, and a bit about Umberto Eco (who I'm going to see in a couple of weeks in New York). We didn't spend too much time, as there were fans who wanted autographs, so John came upstairs to sign things for them, and then they were packing up and leaving for their next destination.

Today I head off to York at about 10:00. I have heard so much about the city, I am looking forward to it, and also to seeing some other Foxx fans that I know there (either through social media or who I have met personally). So, til tomorrow. Again.

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