The xx live in Brighton
- By Adam Holden -
- Dec 31, 2013
After selling out the Brighton Dome in less than 20 minutes, The xx finally succumbed to their fans demand and switched venues across town to the much larger and less intimate Brighton Centre.
Whether this would affect the evening as a whole, only time would tell. However as you would expect, the new venue was full, brimming to capacity for one of England’s most unique and sought after acts.
After winning the Mercury Prize in 2010 for their 2009 self-titled album; an award dished out for UK and Ireland’s most up and coming artists, the group had decided to sit on their success and step back from the industry.
Since their achievements and ascendency, there has been a surprising lack of live performances and activity from the group, as Jamie Smith (producer of the band) went touring alone under the name Jamie XX, blasting a much faster bpm (beats per minute) and targeting a much dirtier and grimier scene in the world of bass music and dub step.
Over the next few years, the intensity and tension to hear more from the band grew to such an extent, internet forums began to try and predict the next time the group would appear together, let alone produce a follow-up album. Nonetheless, as 2012 progressed, The xx finally revealed ‘Coexist’ would be out in autumn 2012, followed by a UK and European tour.
With a certain level of mystique behind the band, the group now looked far more settled and accustomed to headlining much larger rooms, as their cult following has demanded much more from them personally. With stunning vocals and mesmerising lighting, the set began as one would expect, drawing you in with the soft voices of Romy Madley-Croft and Oliver Sim.
As the crowd started to sway under the euphoria of the Romy and Oliver, surely and slowly the evening was dominated by the sound of Jamie XX.
Ending very prematurely, there was no doubt the group had something special in mind. With what would prove to be a double, maybe even triple encore, The xx were sure to put on a show that so many fans had waited years to see.
To end the second encore, the group performed a rare cover track, and in keeping with the spirit of the festivities and holidays, a rendition of George Michael’s ‘Last Christmas’ seemed to go down well, especially with the soothing voice of Oliver, but given the circumstances of the evening, this reporter thought it was laced in cheddar.
Leaving the stage after that had many fans looking bemused, knowing, or more importantly hoping that they could not end the set like that. Then surely and expectantly, they arrived on stage again for their third encore and dropped arguably their biggest and greatest hit – ‘Intro’.
With everyone’s bodies beginning to horripilate, it was the sign of a more than successful evening; even if it arguably turned into a house set influenced by Jamie. As the set progressed, the bpm became faster, with so many drops and breaks, which would be drawn out to such an extent, you started to wonder if they would ever leave the stage.
But sadly they did. Many questioned if the new venue would highlight and connote the consoling and relaxing music of The xx, but judging by this performance, they are more than ready for the big venues.
By Adam Holden.
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