XOYO Live Review

Tonight, XOYO is undergoing a blood transfusion, and a steady influx of people whom it might not regard as its usual clientele: synth heads, smart-goths and thin men that look strangely related to William Burroughs are strolling through the shadows and into the club, eager to see what the overlord of synth-pop has to say to them in 2011.
But first there’s the matter of some excellent support acts: Tara Busch sings like Judy Garland in some twisted Disney movie; she appears on stage alone, and she manipulates her Moog, so too does she manipulate the crowd, until they’re eating out of her psychedelic space-hands.
Next up two ogre-sized creatures is Islamic robes hobble onto the stage, followed by an even weirder frontperson who resembles both a Hindu Goddess and a Doctor Who monster from 1975. This is Gazelle Twin, and their songs sound like Portishead having been kidnapped, time-travelled to 3029, then beamed back via hologram. It’s an incredibly sacred-feeling performance, which borders on having a meditational effect, and while our mystical singer howls faceless from behind her widow’s mask, the two robed minions head bang in slow motion, intoxicated and doomed.
Where were we? Ah yes. After much screaming and hysteria, a certain Ultravox founder takes to the stage looking like a handsome but braced-for-duty space captain from a 1950s sci-fi movie. He is surrounded by his space crew – who are armed with computers of course – and all of a sudden, John Foxx & The Maths are GO!
The climactic ‘Shatterproof’ (from the band’s 2011 album, Interplay) kicks things off on an appropriately alien-disco note, with Foxx staring straight-ahead, unshakeable from his mission. Later on, ‘Hiroshima Mon Amour’ and ‘Underpass’ deliver the kind of dystopian visions most of us grew to love him for, all set to 3D laser-noises and glow in the dark beats.
You can’t help but notice, but whenever Foxx finishes off an absolutely storming song (such as ‘Burning Car’), he pulls a very subtle cat-that-got-the-cream face. It’s almost a Roger Moore-style eyebrow, but not quite. This is not only endearing, but entirely justified: the man is still an incredibly dramatic performer, chilling and struck with terror one moment, warm and reassuringly
glowing the next.