The XX certainly have taken the music industry by the horns and wrenched them off as we storm into 2010. This time 9 months ago the trio were playing modest pubs in suburbia, then they got their break supporting Florence & The Machine. Since then its all been going off for the South Londoners. In amongst it all they donned their remixing hats and set fire to Florence’s (well Candi Staton’s) “You’ve Got The Love” set the group in good stead, with DJ sets alongside big dogs like Annie Mac and a more extravagant tour around Europe. Last night Shepherds Bush Academy saw The XX grace the stage for the last night of their London shows.
Mandatory pre-gig drinks were held at The Walkabout next door for classy people like myself, after a few it was time to make over to the Academy. Saw the set list, “These New Puritans” were the pre – TBH I didn’t have a clue who they were, after their performance I knew why. The band looked cool as they wondered on stage with clarinets, horns and two electric drum kits (the drums didn’t walk on obviously!) – that was fine, it was the 12 year old chav vocalist that ruined it, check them out for yourself but they don’t come recommended from here.
So, the night wasn’t great so far, my drink was empty – no thanks to those puritans – and we had some greasy Italian couple complaining about people taking pictures, seriously just get over it! Anyway, rant over. A white curtain dropped and up shone a simple X which painted the bands logo as a back drop, then the chilled chords and synths leaked through the O2’s speakers to a hyped crowd. Silhouettes shone through the curtain as they lead with Intro. On the tracks final note it dropped, cue crazy screams! (Weird considering most people were draped in black as if we were at a bikers convention). The trio stood before us and went on to deliver every track with perfection. Vocals were incredible live, simple and raw – like the band. With only 11 tracks to play with, some interesting covers were tackled with wicked results. UK Funky sensation Kyla’s “Do You Mind” was particularly unpredicted but interesting choice.
The contrast between pre and headliner was huge, but I don’t mind it when goes the way last night did. The XX were incredible – so if there playing at the same festival or gig your going to – get your ass over there!