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John Foxx and the Maths

The Interplay Tour live at The Duchess, York, 24.10.11

John Foxx and the Maths live

Although John Foxx live shows are perhaps not the rarity they once were, having Foxx tour with a full band is something of a special occasion, as The Maths hit the road in promotion of the highly acclaimed Interplay album. Foxx's first tour with a band since 1983 certainly did not disappoint as they performed in the heart of the historic town of York.

Support act Tara Busch reminded me of early Goldfrapp, from their more creative days. Though left unsure of my own opinion of her music, it was nice to at least have a support act who compliments the main act.

John Foxx and The Maths took to the stage around 9pm. The Maths are made up of two fiesty electro-females, Hannah Peel on lead synths and electric violin, and Serafina Steer, on keyboard and bass duties with Benge taking position on the electronic drum kit and spending most of the gig shrouded in dry ice.

John Foxx live in YorkBengeSerafina SteerHannah Peel

Foxx barked his way through "Shatterproof" to open the show, followed by "He's A Liquid", duly enhanced by Hannah Peel's violin. The setlist drew heavily from the Interplay album (only "A Falling Star" and "Destination" were absent), mixed with a smattering of early Ultravox tracks and favourites from Metamatic.

Some of the Interplay songs that I hadn't been so keen on, such as "The Good Shadow" and "Watching A Building On Fire" worked much better live, with a different vibe. The bass guitar was a welcome addition and Hannah Peel's electric violin added a whole new dynamic to the Metamatic tracks – just when you thought they couldn't be improved! "Evergreen" and "Catwalk" played out like huge, anthemic, crowd-pleasing hits while "Dislocation", "Hiroshima Mon Amour" and "Just for a Moment" added a touch of nostalgia.

John Foxx liveJohn Foxx and the Maths liveinterplay tour

The crowd waited right until the very end to hear the opening drone of Foxx's most famous track, "Underpass", which despite technical glitches, did not disappoint and closed the show as a timeless synthetic anthem.

Talking to John Foxx after the show, he said it was a nightmare for them with various synths and his vocals cutting out – but the technical problems didn't stop the show from sounding excellent out front. In fact out of all the times I've seen John live, I have to say vocally, he's never sounded better.

Review and photographs by Alex Storer

Metro newspaper article, 19.10.11

John Foxx Metro newspaper article