Nov. 14th, 2015

XX Sex

Nov. 14th, 2015 11:03 am
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To London last night to see Fuzzbox at the 100 Club. Tim Muddiman & The Strange opened the show - not bad, if not really my kind of music - then came Saffron, lead singer of Republica. She was brilliant, doing great patter between songs, singing three Republica hits including, to my delight, Drop Dead Gorgeous, and many punk covers including excellent versions of the Stranglers' Duchess and the Buzzcocks' Ever Fallen In Love.

After an interval the lights dimmed, a Thunderbirds-style intro track played, and the ladies crept onto stage under cover of darkness to be there for the climax of "5...4...3...2...1...Fuzzbox are Go!" and launch straight into International Rescue. They looked absolutely stunning, Vix with her dark-red dyed hair and PVC floozie dress, Maggie with her shortish blonde waves, and Sarit and Megan resplendent in black sparkly leotards.

Vix and Maggie kept up great chat with the crowd all through the show. After the first song one guy called something out to Vix, who said "Are we going to have a private conversation?" Then she said "This is a golden oldie" and they struck up the opening chords of Rules And Regulations.

The whole set was just amazing. All the group's well loved songs were included, plus a couple of surprises. A running theme was Maggie's coil (from her hair clip) going missing - "Where's my coil?", "Who stole Maggie's coil?" (the latter prompting Maggie into a hilarious twitch and "ooh!" clearly in imitation of having an internal device suddenly plucked out). Maggie announced that Vix had acquired a new (second-hand) violin and said "What song do you think this is for?" Someone shouted "Irish Bride", and Vix, incredulous, exclaimed "Irish Bride??" Vix struck up the violin and Maggie talked her way through Spirit In The Sky in characteristic Fuzzbox style. XX Sex was extended to include a prolonged chant of "We've got a fuzzbox and we're gonna use it" during the runout.

Midway through the set Maggie said "I'd like to remember my sister Jo." Massive cheer and round of applause. Maggie said how she hoped Jo was looking down - "or up," Vix quipped - on them and smiling.

Vix announced the last song; by then we'd had all the band's well known numbers except Pink Sunshine. "Anything missing so far?" she asked the crowd; she got a few shouts of "Pink Sunshine" and finally acknowledged one, leading the group into it. Towards the end they did a break with continuing drumbeat for Vix to introduce all the band members. As I've not given her a mention yet I have to namecheck the superb drummer, "rhythm mistress" Hannah. Next were Sarit and Megan. Each of them did a solo after her introduction, followed by Vix saying "What do you think? Not bad...for a girl!" Then Vix said "Have I forgotten anyone?" and we all chanted "Maggie! Maggie!" Vix said a bit about how she and Maggie have known each other ages and finished by introducing her as "the synth queen Maggie Fuzzbox!" Maggie did a bit of jokey plink-plonking. When she'd got her round of applause Vix said simply "And I'm Vix." A few more choruses of Pink Sunshine closed the main set.

Of course we got an encore. Vix opened it by saying they'd floated the idea of doing an a cappella song and been advised against, "but we're going to do it anyway". She and Maggie did a great a cappella rendition of Da Doo Ron Ron, though sadly it was the Crystals' original lyrics not the Fuzzbox's own "Martin Degville/I told him I'd rather go alone" version that we fans of theirs remember and love. The full band then finished with Pop Muzik, culminating in a long crowd singalong.

As they left the stage Sarit did a big smile and a flirty wave. I fell.

The band had said on Facebook they'd be doing a meet and greet after; it was a little while before I spotted they were over in the corner at the merchandise table. There was a bit of a scrum there but I eventually made it to the front, said to Vix "Fantastic show, I've wanted to meet you for 29 years" and shook her hand, and got them all to sign my ticket, giving Sarit my best smile. Maggie was absent; the roadie said she was meeting fans upstairs, so several of us beatled up the stairs to see her. Just as we got there she said she had to get down to join the others. One chap who'd got to her before me got a pic taken with her on the stairs; fortunately I managed to keep close enough to her to congratulate her, tell her I'd wanted to meet her for 29 years, and get her autograph soon after she arrived at the table with the others.
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Thanks to the wonders of eBay, I finally have a Pogues 30th Anniversary beanie hat once again, two years after my brand new one mysteriously vanished in the Manchester Travelodge.

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Malmö 58

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