Ok, so this is another one of the Ticket Stub entries where I have little to no recollection of the show and can only do some Wikipedia based research and recollect on my history with the band in question. To be completely honest, I have absolutely no recollection of this show. I continue to be embarrassed by that, but I think I’m still in the range of these shows being long enough ago to blame it on father time vs. my slightly irresponsible 20s.
This show was in 1997 while I was in Boston. The mid to late 90s was just after the grunge thing had passed and there was a European fueled electronica thing happening. The stuff was a bit darker, a bit less fun than the drum n’ bass rave, Coachella tent-bound stuff that is out there today. The Wikipedia entry categorizes the Sneaker Pimps in that trip-hop genre that was so big at the time, and that sound was doing it for me back then. I was a huge fan of Massive Attack, Tricky, Portishead, I bought into the whole thing. The Sneaker Pimps was a natural fit into that sound, but they had a slightly different take on the electronica cocktail that was Trip Hop.
Their sound had a bit more metal mixed into it, the tingey drums driving along tracks like “No Place Like Home.” On the other side of the coin, there were very catchy tracks that owned the alternative charts at the time with an almost pop crossover feel to them like “6 Underground”, the biggest single from their debut album “Becoming X”.
There was this edit of “6 Underground” by Nellee Hooper that was big at the time but utterly useless. The guy is hugely talented and behind some of the biggest bands from the time and in the trip hop genre, but you gotta feel like he rushed that one or wasn’t into it. There’s this additional vocal flowed into the chorus “..a one two…a one two…” and other than that, the song is completely indistinguishable from the original.
These days, the trip hop sounds seems a little dated, a sound relegated to the lobby of W Hotels. The sound still holds up for me though, but some of these artists have more staying power than others. As for the Sneaker Pimps, they could still be making records today like the best of ’em still are, but the band let the lead singer go – Kelli Dayton – who was such a key part of their sound and the real hook of the band. Her vocals had this beauty but with a snarly quality that kept you on notice. She’s still making records under the name Kelli Ali that warrant further investigation. Maybe some day I’ll report back on what she’s doing.
For now, you can keep up your Sneaker Pimps research by listening to the two other records made after “Becoming X” that were led by one of the leaders of the band – Chris Corner, the rest of the stuff featuring his vocals with the occasional female guest. On quick listen of those albums, it doesn’t have the same draw as the original lineup drive n by Kelli, but worth a trip back in time if you’re into it.