Astoria 2 was rammed with devoted fans at the weekend, all with high expectations for this, the only UK date on IAMX’s Unheard tour.
The atmosphere was electric as the light show started and the visual spectacle that is Chris Corner emerged. Dressed in a customised black suit with a white winged collar, dramatic black makeup and white feathers in his hair, there was no mistaking who owned the stage.
Tired of the London music scene, ex-Sneaker Pimp Corner decamped to Berlin to form IAMX and it was to the detriment of the UK music industry. Despite remaining fiercely independent, they have built up a large and very loyal European fan base and have received critical acclaim for both their albums, Kiss and Swallow and The Alternative.
The look – the persona of IAMX – undoubtedly enhanced the performance, but it’s the music, and Corner’s unmistakeable, powerful, yet dulcet vocals, that really mesmerised the crowd. With lyrics exploring sexuality, love, death, despair and hope, this music is by no means mainstream. Their eclectic mix of heartrending ballads, dark synth-rock and electro punk make their music addictive.
Kicking off with Negative Sex, they played songs from both their albums, interspersed with new tracks. Highlights of the night included The Alternative, Nightlife and the thumping indie-electro anthem Spit it Out.
Skipping between keyboards and guitar Corner heightened the excitement as he interacted with the audience, who hung on his every word. And despite his slender frame he wasn’t afraid to dive into the throngs, much to the appreciation of his fans. ‘Echo, echo’ the crowd screamed as they jumped up and down to the chorus of Kiss and Swallow, with guitarist Dean Rosenzweig leading the frenzy. The set finished with the screaming synths of their new single, Think of England.
Chanting and deafening applause bought them out again for a short encore. Dropping the tempo, Corner came back with the tortured piano-based ballad This Will Make You Love Again. They then closed the show with the emotive electro waltz of President, Corner saluting the crowd as he sang ‘For all you lonely boys, I will be President’. His musical brilliance, stage presence and emotional delivery of soaring yet tender vocals ensure that, to his army of fans, he is just that.
Think of England is available to download now at:
157 Charing Cross Road
Soho WC2 8EN
Tel: 020 7437 9592
Image courtesy of Ann Tomlinson