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One night in Adelaide (with a six pack of Coopers Original...)

In the early 1980's I drove to Brisbane in Queensland, Australia to see Ultravox play in front of thousands of people as part of a leg of their Rage in Eden tour. As a huge fan of the then "new" synth-pop culture I was blown away by synth drums, violins and synthesisers that made the whole of that concert so special. Surreal was what I thought at the time.

As fans of musicians, we tend to put them on pedestals if no where else but in our minds, so as recently as 6 May, 2008, I had another very entertaining, fulfilling and I must say again, surreal experience when I had a face to face meeting with none other than someone I'd put on such a pedestal. I never thought I'd see live, let alone meet in person, John Foxx and his friend and fellow performer, Louis Gordon.

I have been a fan of John's since the days of Systems of Romance and favourite songs of mine "Quiet Men and Dislocation" which I still have on vinyl.  A friend of mine named Ted Woods first introduced me to John's solo work and I was hooked. After many moves around Australia and many (many) years later, I received a call from Ted letting me know John Foxx was coming to Australia. This was quite funny at the time, as Ted had found out via the internet during work and had no one to tell his exciting news who would actually care or even know who John Foxx was.

Three nights ago I turned up at a place named Fowlers Live in Adelaide City, South Australia. This is a very small venue and I was surprised at how such a big crowd(I presumed) was going to fit in. I was having a chat with a lady selling merchandise and she was pushing Louis Gordon's brand new CD. I explained that I had little knowledge of Louis' music or his background. The lady signalled to somebody behind me and all of a sudden there he was. After quite a lengthy chat with Louis Gordon at the front bar about how he met John, the great qualities of Coopers Pale Ale and how he and John  had come to be in Australia I was already pinching myself just to check I was awake.

My biggest disappointment was that the Adelaide venue was not set up for Tiny Colour Movies so we had to endure a warm up act named DJ Trip.  I knew we were close when I saw Louis headed "backstage" with a six pack of the aforementioned Coopers Pale Ale.
The opening track was “Crash and Burn”. “Touch and Go” followed, and I was just lost on a wave of John's new music. The only "classic" track was during the encore which was “Endlessly”. The onstage equipment and lighting was minimalistic but perfect for just two performers and such a small venue. They played "Underpass" as per the original and not the revamped "Invisible Women". The whole set was upbeat and constantly accentuated by the onstage "antics" of Louis. Glances by John across to Louis constantly during the performance, followed by a glimmer of a smirk gave the impression of someone looking at a younger sibling who was acting up but doing no harm.  John’s vocals and the range have not lost anything which was very pleasing especially during the quirky "Camera".

Just to see John Foxx after so many years as a fan filled a huge hole in my "things to do before I die" list and I can now relate to what all the English and European fans have been raving about over the recent years, where John has started to tour again. My only regret was that I did not take a camera. I did however stay around, chatted with John and Louis and had my A New Kind of Man CD signed (pictured).

Set List (not in order)

Crash and Burn / No-one driving / Touch and Go / Shadow Man / Underpass / Camera / Uptown/Downtown / Burning Car / Travel / Hiroshima Mon Amour / From Trash / Endlessly

Review by Matt Cutler