Noblesse Oblige are performers rather than musicians. That is not to say that they make bad music, but it just doesn’t seem to be their focus. Valerie Renay changed costumes three times within six songs or so (and her costumes were an interesting mix of gothic disco hippie chic. There were feathers. There was glitter) which is just a little much if you’re actually there to make music.
But their performance wasn’t bad – and I have to say when Sebastian Lee Philipp plugged in an ukulele, they kinda won me over. I don’t think that I will start listening to their songs at home, but it was nice to see them live and I have definitely seen worse support acts.
I saw IAMX at that one Frequency Festival two and a half years ago. I hadn’t heard of this solo project before that, even though I loved the Sneaker Pimps, but that show converted me to fandom practically immediately – it was that good. So, I expected a whole lot from this show as well, especially since I had time to really listen to his music in the meantime (and I completely fell in love with Kiss + Swallow and Kingdom of Welcome Addiction. The Alternative, not so much, though it isn’t bad, either).
Unfortunately, while the show was good, it just couldn’t live up to my expectations.
He played a lot of songs from the new album, Volatile Times, which is not surprising. But the new album seems to be rather calm and not as danceable as the previous ones and so the whole concert and the audience just felt a little static. People didn’t really get going and there was surprisingly little dancing. That is just a waste during an IAMX concert.
Generally speaking, his setlist went a little past my tastes. I mean, he did play good songs but I was just missing a few favorites like You Stick It In Me or Kingdom of Welcome Addiction. F., who was with me, mourned that he didn’t get to hear Heatwave – and I can only agree. [Though I kind of am glad that he didn’t play Your Joy Is My Low. That song is a bit of a downer. Well. Even more than the other stuff.]
But I guess you can’t please everyone and his live version of Spit It Out made me fall in love with that song (again).
It was interesting to see the people who went to the show. Most of them were really stylish and seemed to be as much of a fan of Chris Corner for his fashion sense as for his music. There was also a whole lot of black. I think I saw one person with a yellow shirt and she stood out like a sore thumb. ;)
Corner himself has a strong presence on stage. He didn’t interact much with the audience but that was quite okay. It would probably have been weird otherwise – it’s just not that kind of concert.
Despite the things that bothered me, it was a good show with good songs and nice light work and time just flew by. In the end, I was disappointed that the show wasn’t longer. It just didn’t blow me away as much as that first show I saw.