MUSIC | IAMX AT KOKO

This year marks eight years since I first discovered IAMX (on a site called Myspace if I remember correctly haha, those were the days). More importantly, eight years since my life started having a soundtrack, each moment coloured so vividly and beautifully by this man's music. His songs have seen me through my darkest days, kept me company in hospital, pulled me out of depression and quite frankly, stopped me countless times from ending my own life. I've realised that there can be no worse place to be than a world void of his music. If I am to live for one thing alone, it would be for his music. On the flipside, it's also played a remarkable part in making my happiest memories and accompanied me through all the landmark moments in my life so far. There's no doubt IAMX has shaped me into the person I am today.

With all that soppiness aside, if you weren't aware, IAMX is the solo project of British musician Chris Corner (formerly of Sneaker Pimps), who writes, sings, plays the instruments, produces and releases all his music by himself. This year he released his sixth studio album titled Metanoia, after a year's hiatus and in my opinion, it's his best yet. I was really excited that the Metanoia tour would come to London as it had been two years since I saw him live for the first time. This time my best friend from Australia (who has just moved to London) was coming along and it couldn't have felt more apt as we'd both grown up with his music and it was pretty much always playing in the background of our friendship. So as you can imagine, the prospect of seeing IAMX perform live together was somewhat of a dream come true. 

I was so nervous beforehand as I had a Meet + Greet ticket. I'm not the type who usually gets star struck but the prospect of interacting with someone you pretty much owe your whole life to is just a completely different level. Chris is such a lovely guy though, I knew this since I met him two years ago but this time around he was different. He seemed so genuinely happy just to be in the room with a select number of fans and I could feel it radiating from him, which definitely relaxed me and put me at ease. He came over to hug each one of us and introduce himself, to which I told him that we'd already met before. When I said my name was Andini, he and Janine Gezang (live keyboardist and backing vocalist) replied with my last name and stated that they remembered me! I gave Chris an illustration of him that I'd done in my spare time which took us to the topic of what I was doing at the moment and how I felt that the beauty of free hand drawings and paintings were getting lost in this digital age. Chris agreed, "Nowadays there's really no need as we have Photoshop..." but commended my sketch and urged me to keep at it. A little later on I heard Janine exclaim to Sammi Doll (the other live keyboardist), "Wow, she even captured every facial hair!"
We took a few photos then and I sheepishly asked if I could give him a kiss on the cheek and he immediately swept his long hair aside and said "Make sure you touch the skin though!"
I mentioned that my friends and I spent most our adolescence waiting for him to tour Australia when I was still living there and he said that they had vague plans to make it over next year (keep your fingers crossed Aussie fans)! "And next step is world domination!" Janine added.
After our chat I stepped aside to let the other fans talk to Chris and hung with Sammi and Janine for a while.
"I love your hair." Sammi told me, "I've been eyeing it ever since you walked in." Which was so sweet of her because I'd fallen in love with hers ever since she dyed it black and got a short fringe cut in, it suits her so well! The topic then moved on to tattoos as we were admiring Sammi's sleeve and 'X' tattoo. I told her that I'd been wanting an 'X' for ages and she urged me to just get it done and be a part of the X family. Consider me convinced. There was one lovely Japanese fan that was going to ALL the shows on his Metanoia tour and had been travelling around just like the band which I thought was so amazing and dedicated of her. If you're reading this, thank you for taking my photo and I'd love to get in touch!  My silver marker was then passed around as Chris signed everyone's things and not long after the manager dropped in to tell us that it was time to leave as the show was about to start. I thanked and hugged everyone farewell, leaving Chris for last and the moment we let go of each other he managed to trip on a half step incline in the room, which resulted in him falling in to my arms again and quite a bit of laughter from everyone else in the room. I can now proudly add that I literally 'caught Chris Corner' to my lifetime accomplishments.

After the Meet + Greet I went back out to meet my friends in the line and when doors opened we couldn't have run inside the venue any faster. I'd never been to KOKO before but upon entering I immediately decided that I liked it better than their previous London gig at Electric Ballroom. KOKO is a former theatre so it has that beautiful old fashioned architecture that I love so much, baroque patterns around the circle and balconies in rich red and gold that seemed to perfectly match IAMX's aesthetic. My friends and I managed to get a spot right at the very front along the barrier and as we settled there buzzing, we were told that there would be no support band so we just had to occupy ourselves for the next hour and 45 minutes before they came on. I knew it would definitely be worth the wait though and I spent the time catching my friends up on what happened at the Meet + Greet. It was to raucous applause and screams when Chris and crew took to the stage in their signature all-black garms, faces painted in glitter. My best friend squealed when they opened the show with her favourite IAMX song, I Come With Knives and her ecstatic dancing and jumping set the atmosphere for the rest of the night. I was pleasantly surprised that they played a lot of older IAMX songs, which just made my friend and I super nostalgic, eight years ago we were listening to that song in our bedroom and now Chris himself was singing it in front of us. When the beat slowed down as they launched into the intro to Mercy, I almost burst into tears. I made sure to record it for my mum as it's one of her favourite IAMX songs too. 


The Setlist

I Come With Knives
The Alternative
Happiness
Mercy
No Make Made Me
Volatile Times
Tear Garden
Oh Cruel Darkness Embrace Me
Spit It Out
Bernadette
Surrender
After Every Party I Die
Aphrodisiac
Your Joy Is My Low

Bring Me Back A Dog
Kiss & Swallow

I Am Terrified

It was an absolutely unforgettable night and hands down the highlight of the year for me. Attending an IAMX concert is always like an out of body experience that I can't quite put into words, it's just completely and utterly magical. If you're completely new to his music, I'd recommend checking out Spit It Out, it's the first song of his I discovered and is still my favourite song ever to this very day. Has an artist/band/particular music ever changed your life? Let me know who your favourite musician is because I'd love to give them a listen! x