Thursday night’s IAMX gig hit like some elicit substance; building from a slow start, it hit heights of sexy, filthy euphoria, before hundreds of slightly dazed revellers finally spewed out in to a Camden evening.
What before the gig was a comical queue of fans – comically garbed in leather, lace and make-up while they bathed in the first rays of a north London spring – will have left several hours later feeling slightly tarnished and soiled, happy and empty, craving more.
Leader Chris Corner, bedecked with top hat and feathers, emerged wine in hand from a shroud like curtain, coming on strong in a short but intense set. His animal presence onstage led this cavorting carnival in a frenzy of industrial indie-electronic rock.
Surging through many transmutations, the group opened with tour totem Animal Impulses, before a primal, scorching mid section featuring Kiss + Swallow and the compelling Tear Garden. Percussion was king, with corner bashing away at an old beer keg as water bounded off taut drum skins.
The energy from this fivesome of bright-young-things – including newcomer Sammi Doll as the sexiest approximation of a badger ever to grace a stage – was reflected back by an adoring crowd of tarted, painted, bewigged freaks. Corner seemed in desperate need of love and attention, reflecting the lyrics of many of his songs, and everyone packed into the Electric Ballroom was eager to carry on giving.
Reappearing for a three set encore, the crowd were asked if they wanted it “clean or dirty” (as if the answer wasn’t a foregone conclusion), before Corner daubed his face with makeup and blasting through new single I Come With Knives. That was followed by President and Nightlife, as the grand finale, before everyone spewed, tawdry, tattered and spent, into the embrace of a spring evening.