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Crash and Burn Tour

John Foxx and Louis Gordon live at Fibbers, York, 15th September 2003

In life you don’t often get a second chance….an opportunity to put right a mistake or do something you regret missing the first time round. I got such an opportunity when a close friend informed me that John Foxx was touring the UK and playing at York – a one hour drive from my hometown.

I was on a school trip to London in autumn 1983 at the time Mr Foxx was playing the Dominion Theatre on the Golden Section tour-despite several attempts to persuade my tutor to let me stay one more night in the capital to see my hero, I was forced to return home and missed the show.

There are times when a particular event can set your nerves jangling-your wedding day, the birth of your first child, attending a big football match. We were stood about three yards from the front of the stage and I’m not ashamed to say that my hands and legs started to shake with anticipation. As there was no support act for this concert it seemed like forever as we waited for the first electronic notes of introduction to echo through the small venue.
As John and Louis bounded from the side door onto the stage it was as though twenty years of regret and frustration had loosened itself from my throat in a roar of sheer joy. Hitting the ground running John and Louis burst into a quartet of new songs – at the time I had only heard the Crash and Burn album a couple of times-finishing with the tour exclusive “Making Movies” track. Louis was bouncing about like a crazed space-hopper, John merely nodding appreciatively to the applause at the culmination of each number. The simple lighting effects didn’t need any backdrop of fancy visuals; this was synth-electro music at its best – raw, uncompromising, energetic.

To screams of requests for “Underpass”, the familiar thud of “Metal Beat” began a quartet of classic Metamatic tracks including personal favourites “Plaza” and “He’s A Liquid”. And then a surprise… we had wondered before the show whether any Ultravox numbers would surface when “Just For A Moment” began its slow, unassuming intro. Three more numbers and we were into another Ultravox-Foxx classic in “My Sex”. To adoring screams John said “Thank You, Goodnight” and the duo exited the stage to the left.

Appearing for the encore, we were straight into a modern re-working of “My Sex”, breathing new life into this old master. “Shifting City” followed with the finale – an extended version of “Endlessly”. Breathless, we left the venue and on the way to the car discussed the set and remarking on a fantastic gig. “We could have stayed and met him, you know?” my friend stated. NO WAY! I had just put right one regret and had created another. Would I get another chance at redemption?

Set List

Intro / Invisible Women / Ultraviolet/Infrared / Broken Furniture / Making Movies / Metal Beat / He’s A Liquid / Plaza / Touch and Go / Just For A Moment / Dust and Light / Crash and Burn / Drive / My Sex/My Sex (2) / Shifting City / Endlessly

Review by Phil Barstow