Add N to (X) with PONY DA LOOK at the El Mocambo, July 17. Tickets: $13. Attendance: 300. Rating: NN Rating: NN
judging by the huge turnout for Add N to (X), all the advance hype about their chaotic performances had piqued massive interest. But a British electronic band's notion of what constitutes an exciting show is apparently very different from what's expected in terms of energy output on this side of the Atlantic.
Slouching around with sullen expressions might be enough to wow 'em in Birmingham and Brighton, but it doesn't really cut it over here. Add N to (X) picked up on that when a couple of boring blip-offs from their new Add Insult To Injury disc failed to touch off the anticipated moshing.
They wasted no time in switching to the choreographed numbers. Where once Ann Shenton stood stiffly at her keyboard, she was now jerking her shoulders up and down to the beat. Moments later she began swivelling her head side to side to a squelch she was tapping out.
Keyboardist/bassist Barry "7" Smith, trying to feign interest while fighting back a yawn, turned briefly in the direction of Shenton. Then, satisfied with her shoulder and head swinging, he resumed staring blankly into space.
Suddenly, a shout of delight rang out as someone recognized a familiar bleep pattern and felt compelled to let everyone know it. A third of the crowd up front simultaneously turned around and shot him the same squinty-eyed, "What kinda nerd are you?" glare.
Oblivious to the stationary bodies before them, Add N to (X) stuck with their stock sequences, building up to the evening's climax where hands are dramatically waved around the antennae of a theremin labelled "cum" to produce the unearthly howling sound we all know and love.
Then it was off the stage, wait 20 seconds, and get back on to close with Shenton squealing through Iggy and the Stooges' I Wanna Be Your Dog.
That she'd reserved her singing for the encore was met with one great sigh of relief. People quickly scrambled out before she had a chance to consider trying it again.