Edinburgh Festival `99: Fringe Pop - Sneakerpimps

The Venue
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The Independent Culture
Three years ago, the Sneakerpimps' single, "Six Underground", propelled them into the limelight, making them the toast of trip-hop and earning them credibility in gloomy indie circles. It was the ethereal vocals of Kelli Dayton that were felt to be the band's winning card, so it was a shock when, prior to the band recording their second album, Dayton was sacked. Guitarist/songwriter Chris Corner has now taken over vocal duties. Dayton was always blamed for the band's more morose moments, but it is clear from tonight's show that Corner is solely to blame. His voice has an appealing, New Romantic decadence, though his haircut, a streaky, floppy- fringed creation that flirts frighteningly with the mullet, is catastrophic.

The atmosphere is one of genial introspection. At times, the heavy bass threatens to drown out their subtle musings, creating a sound that is somewhere between Nirvana and The Cure. Corner launches into "Six Underground", a tauter, grittier version than the one we're accustomed to, which renders Dayton a distant memory. The Sneakerpimps have proved that they are salvageable, though that haircut has got to go.

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