27th October 2009
IAMX & James Nemo
IAMX the second! After already attending the great show a few days back in Bochum and with the mindset you can never get too much IAMX, it was no question we would be in Cologne too. The admission proceeded fluently and soon we were entering the venue and here I can only speak for myself, I was astonished how small the stage was and feared it would hinder the band’s urge to move to a great extend. Well, now a day later and while I’m writing this, I can say that my fears were unjustified. But at the time I couldn’t know how much…
JAMES NEMO aka James Cook has become known as being the charismatic singer and front man of the British outfit NEMO. Besides that, he’s involved in a variety of other projects; the latest one is the band THE DOLLHOUSE he brought to live in 2008 and who will soon release their debut album. http://www.myspace.com/jamesnemoandthedollhouse
Music & Performance
I was completely blown away by the vocal power of James on the last show in Bochum, because I had never seen and heard this man live before that date. Now, I was already looking forward to seeing him once more. The audiences’ reaction in the early minutes was much of a reserved one but honestly, once you heard the first sung words leaving his throat you can’t hold that up much longer. ‘The Wrong Empire’ started the set filling the building with its classical string arrangements and electronic rhythm accentuation.
The audience kind of grew into the stuff more and more with every further song of the set, which of course also included NEMO songs like the pushing ‘Rescue the Revolution’ or the calmed, string-committed ‘Silent Roads’. The two songs ‘Face2Face’ and ‘Taking on the World’ gave a glimpse on James’ newest project, which is the band THE DOLLHOUSE. The entirely acoustic and dramatic nature of these songs contrasts strongly with what he usually does with NEMO! Once the eponymously titled album’s out, I’ll be sure to getting a copy. As mentioned before, the audience grew into the stuff and between every further song, James received warm applause. He must have won many new fans that evening as the long queue at the merchandize booth he also later appeared at suggested.
Total: 8.1 / 10
After a series of albums with SNEAKER PIMPS, Chris Corner started IAMX as his solo project in 2003. Corner produced the IAMX debut ‘Kiss + Swallow’ (Recall records, 2004) in his home studio and the follow-up ‘The Alternative’ (Major Records, 2006) in his new domicile in Berlin, Germany and now after a seemingly endless time span IAMX returned with the third album ‘Kingdom of Welcome Addiction’ in May 2009 off which the band was already presenting several songs live on various festival dates to be followed now by an extensive club tour. IAMX live is Chris Corner (vocals), Janine Gezang (keyboard, guitar, backing vocals), Tom Marsh (drums) and Dean Rosenzweig (guitar). http://iamx.eu/ / http://www.myspace.com/iamx
Music & Performance
Normally, I wouldn’t do this at the beginning of a review, but these are extraordinary circumstances so on a scale from one to 10, this show was a 15! This wasn’t that obvious right from the start which was made by ‘Kingdom of Welcome Addiction’ again. I mean, people went with the flow but nothing extreme. But with the beginning of ‘Nature of Inviting’ and towards ‘The Alternative’, tension started building up like a brooding volcano that was ultimately bound to erupt. People jumped, screamed and danced, and when Chris would come as close as he could to the audience, they tried to grab him and honestly, if they really had got hold of him, they wouldn’t have let him go again. Really striking was that all this happened in Cologne, where the audience has quite a reputation of not freaking out, really. This time, everyone in the building freaked out together with the band and Dean was pushed so much he’d do some stage diving during that song.
‘Sailor’ raised deafening cheers and when the beat kicked in also the necks were literally in full swing again. Just for a few songs in the set, there should be some preliminary rest for us. Well, to ‘I am Terrified’ you still might be able to nod your head which many did, but to ‘Running’ that is not possible and it would become quiet, for this is the kind of song you close your eyes to and let yourself drift on the warm sound waves while taking in the intensity of the vocal delivery. The chords had hardly faded as the powerful drumming of ‘Tear Garden’ tore us out of the dreamy, subconscious state we were in and at the same time was a moving order for the limbs. Also the “stage crew” resumed the action writhing to the infectious rhythms and indulging in sad melodies. Like the last time, ‘Think of England’ closed the main set and it simply kicked ass, even more than it did in Bochum. The entire room moved and loudly sang along when Chris turned the microphone towards the audience.
We were all soaked with sweat but we wanted some more and we got some more. ‘Kiss + Swallow’ equalled what happens when pouring water on a too hot fire: It burns even higher and the crowd really burned more than ever before and kept burning during ‘Nightlife’ and the very last song ‘President’ which left the crowd exhausted, even more sweaty but extremely excited about the incredible spectacle that just went down here.
01. Kingdom of Welcome Addiction
02. Nature of Inviting
03. The Alternative
05. My Secret Friend
06. I am Terrified
08. Tear Garden
09. An I for an I
10. Spit it Out
11. You can be Happy
12. Think of England
13. Kiss + Swallow
Total: 9.2 / 10
All pictures by Daniela Vorndran (http://www.vorndranphotography.com/ / http://www.black-cat-net.de/ / www.myspace.com/vorndranphotography)