Chris Corner, formerly of nineties legends Sneaker Pimps, abandoned London several years ago for a more arty, not to mention frugal existence in Berlin. Whilst over there he has had lots of fun, presumably at warehouse parties and trendy gallery openings, but also found the time to embark on a musical project known asIAMX, famed for electro-goth anthems. Think Muse, but more out there, and sounding both stadium sized rock and seedy Berlin underground at the same time.
The highly anticipated London gig was a sold-out show at Cargo, where a devoted fanbase, including Suede's Brett Anderson, who lurked bashfully in the corner, were gladly reunited after the Corner drought of late.
With Corner's entrance, in a top hat and outlandish leopard print get-up, looking Marilyn Manson dapper on a more modest budget, he immediately commandeered the space, receiving a rapturous welcome from his salivating crowd. Opening with the title track of IAMx's latest album, ’The Alternative’, pounding drums and Corner's distinctive tortured vocals were unleashed like a mission statement for the evening.
Corner's backing band has changed frequently since IAMX’s conception: tonight an uber-hip quartet provide a slick rock sound as opposed to other more electronic line-ups. Sue Denim, one half of the madcap British electro troupe, Robots In Disguise, and a long term friend, lover and contributor of Corner, provided lusty backing vocals and sassy keyboards. Projected on a screen at the back of the stage were films of innocent shadow puppets blended with more warped and sexual content matter.
"It's been too long," Corner drawled, before launching into a mesmerizing version of ‘President’, particularly apt following Bush's bad day in the midterms. Other highlights of the evening included the sinister poppy 'Spit It Out', a big sing-a-long version of 'Kiss and Swallow' and 'You Stick It In me', a duet with Denim about voodoo.
Proceedings concluded with a haphazard stage invasion by the band's friends, including the Mighty Boosh boys dressed as German policeman, which was a suitable family reunion kind of finale for a night of long lost friends and warm fuzzy feelings, amidst the darkness of the music.
Words by Sarah Phillips. Photo taken from The Wire's flickr stream.