Sunday 13 July 2008

Mindless Self Indulgence, IAMX at Roundhouse

MSI by Jason Cipriano

It is raining quite hard. I’m glad I’m not out in it. And yet, as I look out of the window of the pub, I can see a black and garishly fluorescent clad queue snaking up the hill opposite. Up and out of sight. The queue is not moving. It seems that everyone wants to be down the front when the Roundhouse opens its doors. In over an hour's time. I cradle my beer bottle, look at the weather and decide to let them get on with it.

When I eventually stroll into the venue, there is indeed a large throng down the front. But it is a big space and I‘m well placed.

When IAMX and his troop hit the stage there is a massed high pitched scream from hundreds of young female throats. It’s going to be a wild night.

Chris Corner is dressed in a costume that is as teutonically fetishistic as legal and taste restrictions will allow. He commands the stage a though declaiming at a rally, which I suppose he is. The young crowd lap it up.

The sound is a deafening, bass-heavy metallic crunch. It’s loud enough to make your teeth rattle, but there is a pop sensibility beneath the bombast. It all goes very well, and I’ll pretend that I didn’t see the straight armed salute that Corner throws mid-set. It’s only naughty fun.

Tension mounts as we wait for the next act. Suddenly, instantly, there is a whoosh of noise and movement and Mindless Self Indulgence are on stage and already letting rip at full throttle.

Although the rest of the band play their part in whipping up proceedings, particularly astonishingly powerful bassist Lynn- Z, this show is all about the stage presence and crowd baiting of front man Jimmy Urine. The former James Euringer is as subtle as his stage name.

This guy never stops for a single second. From first appearing running full tilt mid-air and mid-scream at a point ten feet above the stage, his spiked hair circling his head in a parody of the Statue of Liberty, he never rests.

Urine treats the squealing fans like dirt, and they love it. He calls them ‘stupid’ (they agree), he invites them to worship the very sight of him (they do) and at one point he refuses to continue until someone gives him £20. I suspect several stump up.

When he’s actually singing, it’s a hundred mile an hour misogynistic rap rock speed rant. He barely pauses to draw breath as he clambers on monitors, speakers and an elevated drum riser. The power of songs such as ‘Prescription’ and ‘Bomb This Track’ is overwhelming. There are no prisoners here, no light and shade just bam bam, crash bang wallop.

The crowd scream and dance and slam into each other. A girl is carried out past me. She is completely unconscious. And still this inferno whirls on.

Urine demands skirts and other items of clothing from the audience. He is then avalanched in underwear. Some of which he puts on. Tonight is a full-on extravaganza of teenage nihilism. It’s all mini-Marilyn Manson and as blackly entertaining as Max Mosley’s sex life.

The show ends with a virtually naked Jimmy Urine camply miming to a recording of Ethel Merman singing “No Business Like Show Business” and twirling a cane in approved Cabaret manner.

As we leave, our senses scrambled, a mate shudders “I just want to go somewhere normal!” I agree and we head to the no way normal crowds at Camden tube station.

Mindless Self Indulgence. They do exactly what it says on the tin.

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