New York Bowery Ballroom

It's still everything but the girl...

To save the Sneaker Pimps some unnecessary aggravation tonight, someone

should have announced that the role of vocalist Kelli Dayton was going to be

played by Chris Corner. Though she has been absent from the line-up for two years, it takes the Bowery Ballroom totally by surprise that

Dayton is no longer with the group, and the resulting response is an

uncomfortable mixture of apathy and New York lip.

"You shouldn't call yourself the Sneaker Pimps!" someone actually yells out

mid-set, to which an annoyed Corner mutters, "Where you've been?".

It doesn't help that the Pimps' latest album, 1999's 'Splinter', hasn't been

released in the States and that the band's hour-long gig relies heavily on

material the majority of the crowd has never heard. There's nothing wrong

with songs like 'Low Five', 'Ten to Twenty', 'Blue Movie' and 'Superbug', but

they prove that there's a new Pimp in town and he's got a plank-size chip on

his shoulder. This is a severe bummer to those who came to see "the girl".

As expected, the crowd warms when the band dips into material from 1996's

acclaimed 'Becoming X'. They play 'No Place Like Home' early on, and after a

perfectly fine '6 Underground', Corner sneers: "Well, that wasn't fuckin'

sacrilege, was it?" Enthusiasm is so scarce tonight that clapping makes him

comment: "What a pleasant sound that is. Thank you."

'Spin Spin Sugar' naturally pleases onlookers the most, although by now

Corner is visibly peeved, lunging forward, spitting out lyrics and finally

dropping the mike with a "That's it. Goodbye."

Amazingly, the band comes out for a one-song encore. It's still everything

but the girl, and for New York that's just not enough.

Mia Quagliarello

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