CLAN OF XYMOX w/ THE BELLWETHER SYNDICATE & VOSH
@ VELVET UNDERGROUND, TORONTO
MARCH 4, 2023
Since their formation in The Netherlands back in 1982, Clan of Xymox has been a pinnacle within the gothic rock and dark wave genres with many bands since citing them as a heavy influence. In 2022, Clan of Xymox released a special song entitled “Save Our Souls” highlighting the atrocities of Putin’s war on Ukraine with proceeds going to support humanitarian and animal rescue efforts in the area. Kicking off the concert season in Toronto, the band took to the stage at the Velvet Underground for a sold-out show along with The Bellwether Syndicate and Vosh.
The show kicked off with Vosh from Washington, DC featuring vocalist Josephine Olivia. They recently released their latest album Vessel earlier this month and Olivia’s brooding vocals were the best way to kick off the night. Standout tracks in their performance include “Pray”, and “Perfection”.
The Bellwether Syndicate were originally scheduled to tour with Clan of Xymox when the tour had to unfortunately be cut short. Now, the band led by William Faith (a name familiar to many as he also was a member of goth rock band Christian Death and a co-founder of Faith & The Muse) and his Sarah “Scary Lady Sarah” Faith, DJ and club promoter in Chicago, were happy to resume the tour where they left off. Their set got the seal of approval from the Toronto crowd who loved swaying along on the packed dance floor, in particular to the tracks “We All Rise” released last month, the Faith & The Muse track “Sovereign”, and their cover of David Bowie’s “Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps)”.
Clan of Xymox’s lead vocalist Ronny Moorings comes off as a soft spoken man whose stage presence commands a crowd and stage. The band of the hour kicked off their set with “Your Kiss” and “Jasmine & Rose” before he gently asked the audience which language we preferred to converse in as he was comfortable speaking in both English and French. He also reminded the crowd to live in the moment and enjoy the music rather than experiencing the show from behind their phones.
If the audience wasn’t already excited, playing their hit “Emily” got the packed crowd moving as best they can. Moorings even commented that he wanted everyone to dance and clap along even if space was lacking and we were all more than happy to oblige. Keyboardist Sean Goebel and bassist Mario Usai took centre stage during the song to play their iconic solos.
Clan of Xymox entranced the crowd for over an hour and even played not one but two three-song encores which included “Muscoviet Mosquito”, “Hail Mary”, and “Lockdown”. Their moody and emotionally-driven synth-forward melodies weaved in and around the crowd casting a spell over everyone. It’s clear why Clan of Xymox are masters within the goth rock and dark wave genres and how they have been able to captivate and mesmerize audiences for nearly 40 years. Their spell is still holding.
(Photography by Samantha Wu)