Wednesday, 3 March 2010

The XX - Shepherd's Bush Empire

Tonight I saw The XX. Well, when I say saw I mean I stared at the back of someone's head while The XX played on stage somewhere fairly nearby. Yes it seemed tonight I inadvertantly stepped into the land of the giants. When I go to a gig with someone who is 6'2" and a large percentage of the crowd are bigger than they are I know I'm in trouble.

Maybe my vertical disability was the reason that for most of the gig The XX just didn't do it for me. Their entrance was brilliantly theatrical, and the light show a technicolour delight, but it didn't help. The band felt flat and lifeless.

There was little audience interaction, and when it did occur it was one or two mumbled words. You could feel their awkwardness, which manifested itself further in duff notes and plodding basslines. At one point they actually said: "We haven't practiced this one much so we may stuff it up." Jeez, talking about setting yourself up for a fall.

Then half way through it suddenly changed. From somewhere the band found their mojo. There were more dynamics, the basslines had more drive and the vocals more confidence. Finally the crowd were dancing.

For a group who have toured so extensively it seems strange that they should act so inexperienced. Maybe it was the size of the venue and the fact that for the first time they were headlining rather than just supporting. Whatever the reason I hope the next time they don't take 30 minutes to warm up. Otherwise they may find the giants get angry and that's definately a sight I don't want to see.


  1. wow, must not have been at the same show.
    i thought it was excellent.
    I LOVED the build in the whole set, it was a magnificent show
    had considered it to be unanimously fantastic

  2. I didn't think it was terrible - just it took a long time for them to warm up. There were a number of mistakes in their first few songs. I think they ended really well though.