The Xcerts have been toiling away for over a decade now, producing some great yet underappreciated albums. Things appear to have picked up for the band however since they released their fourth record ‘Hold On To Your Heart’ last year. With momentum finally pushing them onwards, and following a slot supporting Busted in arenas across the country, tonight the band headline The Garage in London.
We begin the evening with Novacub. Featuring Bloc Party members Louise Battle and Russell Lissack, they have of course already garnered media attention. On tonight’s showing I’d say that any attention they get is fully deserved, as they produce one of the best opening performances I’ve ever witnessed. The next act, Paris Youth Foundation are also decent but are unable to match up with Novacub.
With the Highbury venue already full and in good spirits from our two opening acts, the atmosphere is one of anticipation as we await our headliners. ‘Hold On To Your Heart’ has been the bands most commercially successful album, and it’s clear that both the band and the fans adore the album. Tonight twelve of the sixteen songs played come from either the album or their recently released EP ‘Wildheart Dreaming’.
The likes of ‘Daydream’, ‘Drive Me Wild’ and ‘Show Me Beautiful’ feature early and demonstrate the added maturity of the bands songwriting. ‘Ready To Call’, ‘You Mean Everything’ and ‘Real Love’ from ‘Wildheart Dreaming’ all receive airings tonight and help back up everything the band has achieved with ‘Hold On To Your Heart’.
I wouldn’t be surprised if a hefty percentage of the audience have come onboard over the past two years given the reception the newer material receives. There are however some older tracks played tonight that delight those that have followed the band since the early days such as ‘Slackerpop’ and ‘Aberdeen 1987’ which encourage two of the evenings loudest sing-a-long moments.
With the crowd baying for more, they are of course given an obligatory encore which sees ‘There Is Only You’ and ‘Shaking In The Water’ get the crowd moving before ‘Feels Like Falling In Love’ brings the evening to a close. Performances like tonight show just how much this band has grown in the past two years, and I for one hope that this momentum continues to push them to the heights they deserve.