Live Review: SNEAKER PIMPS AT THE SOUNDHAUS NORTHAMPTON. TUESDAY 13th MARCH 2001

FIMBRIA

THE FADE

The excruciatingly painful wait for the headlining band became worthwhile when they finally stepped on stage after getting stuck in traffic, one really awful band (the Fade), one rather good one (Fimbria), and the usual technical problems which seem to be a Soundhaus trademark. Do the Soundhaus actually audition their support bands because if they do then they need to seek urgent medical attention and get their ears syringed. The Fade weren't just mediocre, they were bloody awful and they need to sack their drummer now (although I think he already thought he was playing in another band, cos he certainly wasn't playing with them).

Fimbria certainly benefitted from the ugly sisters doing the warm up as they couldn't fail to impress by comparison. They actually had tracks that sounded different from the one before, and a memorable looking frontman, which in today's image obsessed society is a neccesity (whether you like it or not).

When at last the tediousness was over and the Sneaker Pimps finally came on to deliver us from sleep, they made everything OK again. I forgot the bad stuff and was sucked into their world for the rest of the night. From the opening track "KiroTV" from their new album "Bloodsport" through old and new; including mainstays"6 Underground" and finishing with the wall of bass and reverb that was "Spin Spin Sugar", they transfixed the audience. Frontman Chris Corner twice beckoned the Tuesday night crowd to come closer but they couldn't move.

Corner has replaced ex vocalist Kelli Dayton, and quite frankly you wonder why she was ever in the band. He has brought a darker, sleazier edge to the band's sound, there is no comparison with her breathless, fluffy, faux Minnie Mouse/Marilyn Monroe warbling. Corner reminded me of Marc Almond at his dirty, sleazy best. As good a frontman as you'll find, with his snake hipped, whippet thin, ridiculous bleached/shaved bed head. The image vs. content battle was a tie.

The band's transition from trip hop wannabe's, to a deeper, richer, harder sound has definitely worked. They've grown up and dragged their music and lyrics with them. It was worth the horrendous pergatorial wait to finally ascend to head shaker heaven.

Frances Conoley


back