Just a week apart from their Kortrijk gig in Belgium, I really wanted to see ChameleonsVox again, this time in UK and with no camera, so I can enjoy the experience to the fullest.
I arrived pretty early and took a stroll on the streets of Oxford, but hey, who did I find there at 5 pm? Mark was already at the venue doors and not to disturb that kind man, I just passed him by without saying hello; it really didn’t matter I had shot their gig only a week before or that I was going to write about this one, I am still just another fan!
It was freezing at some point, spring somehow has trouble finding the way to warm up my bones this year, but my heart was not chilled at all. Even though I was extremely tired by the time the opening act went on stage, the local boys BAWS Inc. really warmed up the crowd with a mix of their Brit pop and rock sound for some half an hour, and although I didn’t know the songs, I gave those local guys a chance and I am giving them my thumb up!
I was wondering if Chameleons would change their set list and if the performance would be what I came there for. The venue was packed, some 300 souls came there for the very same experience! Melancholic souls, I thought.
As soon as they started with Don’t Fall I was immediately overwhelmed, as that song is really at the very top of my personal Chameleons list. Another one to blow my mind was Monkeyland, like a sledge hammer really, a bullet to the brain, right there in front of the world, wanna bleed on the floor when no one’s watching. And I asked myself: “Is there anyone there who understands me?Anyone at all?”
Looking Inwardly and Perfume Garden were played as I have expected but as I really came there to emotionally finish myself, how can I avoid my inner reaction to Thursday’s Child and as Mark was pointing to all of us singing “Where are we each and all?” I really asked myself, where the hell are we? I suppose, just like Mark…. lost somewhere “years ago”, as we “slowly grow older”.
They played my favourite one indeed, the one I did not get to hear in Kortrijk and it was Tears of course. People were so naively dancing for themselves, I though, oh lucky them! I really do mind who reads this by now and why I dragged my husband to both of the gigs just so I can hear: “How will it be?” Yes, I got my answer in Oxford. It will be however you make it in this “real” and “cold world”.
Dangerous Land was the next one, a bit like a bandage to the wound Tears made, but insufficient, I’m afraid. The happy tune of One Flesh did make me a bit better, at least it did so for the audience, as more people were obviously jumping and responding to this number more than to those heavier ones. But then another blow to the conscience that was very much awake even though the body was tired, Soul in Isolation and once more the life’s truth reveals itself; sure, most of them are really “beyond a surgeon’s skill”. They really needed to play Mad Jack now, not to make us all completely insane from the reality, to give us something to dance to, just to forget for a moment what awaits us outside or inside. But the crowd really went manic to Second Skin and they indeed reached the point! I was “floating on air”. And I can really stop with this review right here as since that moment I really did not care as it was almost like “My whole life flashed before my eyes”. I was ready to just sit quietly and wait for the last songs to be played as I really heard what I came there for, and they really needed not to send heartbroken people home so they played Singing Rule Britannia next. For the encore they really knew what to leave so we don’t go home sour. So they played: Up The Down Escalator, Dalis’s Picture and Denims and Curls.