Wednesday, October 26, 2011

John Foxx and the Maths at XOYO (First London Gig)

So, back to London. I came in at King's Cross around 2:00, and decided to walk it to my hotel. I don't recommend walking a mile and a half with heavy luggage. Just saying.

Once I settled into my room, I got ready and headed out to what has been traditionally known as "Foxxgate"--a meetup of John Foxx fans prior to the show. This meetup was at the Griffin Pub a block over from the venue. There I met up with Garry, 2 Peters, Andreas, and Michaela. The first Peter was showing us some of his old Ultravox memorabilia, before heading off to soundcheck to take photos. After a few drinks, Garry took us to a chip shop, and then on a walking tour of John Foxx sites nearby (where John used to live, where the Garden studio was, et cetera). This is not a walk to make in high heeled boots, especially since there are cobblestones, and naturally I managed to trip and bang up my left knee, tearing my stockings in the process. Nothing serious, and I decided it looked very punk. After one more drink stop, we headed into the gig.

I saw Rob and went to the front row to say hello, as he was in the photo area. I ended up staying at that point for the entire show. This gig had two opening acts--Tara Busch and the Gazelle Twins. This was Tara's last set for the tour, and I'm sorry I didn't get to say goodbye to her, though I did have a brief chat with Maf when he was in the front. I'd never heard or seen the Gazelle Twins before, and I think I feel about them the way I did about Tara the very first time I saw her--interesting, but not sure what I think. Being tired, a lot of the dreamy, spacey sort of electronica was making me more sleepy than anything else. Not that this is anyone's fault but mine.

John came on with the Maths a bit after 10:00, and the set sounded excellent. I'm happy to say I haven't tired of the setlist, even after hearing it for the seventh time. Like the other shows, there were a few "misses" here and there, and there seemed to be some technical issues going on. Benge had a couple of misses, and I think it was because he was distracted by technical difficulties--either his own, or the ones Chris was trying to sort out on Serafina's side of the stage. I didn't get to really chat with the crew afterward, so I'm not sure what sort of challenges were brought on that night. Standing near me was our friend Tapio from Finland, and also Cian had come from Japan, and I was delighted to see both of them.

I found Steve after the show, and he went and got John to come out of the dressing room. (Benge had mentioned at the previous gig that the XOYO dressing room is really very small, and it was being shared by three acts, so it didn't really feel right to ask to go back there, though Steve initially said it might be all right). I think John was a bit overwhelmed by the people waiting to see him (judging from his facial expressions), but as usual, he takes everything in stride. One guy who came up to talk to him actually bent down and touched his feet, like John was a deity or something, which just made me laugh and shake my head. (The only time something like that doesn't look silly is when a younger Hindu touches the feet of one of their elders, which is customary). Other than a quick hello/goodbye I didn't get to have a very long chat with him. I don't know if they went out afterward, but I presume that everyone is quite tired and looking forward to a day off. I figured that the London gigs would be more chaotic, so I really didn't expect too much else. Hopefully I will get at least a little more time to chat on Thursday, which is my last gig of the tour.

As for me, today is my day off, and I'm looking to catch up with Garry and Tapio. Cab fare in London is ridiculously expensive (it cost me almost £12 last night to get back from the gig), and I'm sure I'll need to do that again Thursday, so I'm going to be very cheap the next few days, and will not turn down drink offers.

1 comment:

Peter said...

Hi Brigid, yep I got hit by extortionate cab fare too! Sorry I didn't get back to the pub after soundcheck but hope to have more time to chat on Thurs. Same time same place?