Waterfront Studio, Norwich
Saturday 7th October 2023
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THE XCERTS – NORWICH – LIVE REVIEW
📸 (c) Denis Gorbatov / Full Pelt Music
As singer Murray Macleod jokes onstage tonight, it is easy to forget just how long The Xcerts have been around. The origins of the band date back over two decades already, although their debut album arrived back in 2009. It’s in recent years though that the band have truly threatened to breakthrough.
The trio do have a cult following in place as is evidenced by the fact that their queue for the venue tonight is much larger than that of The Sherlocks who are playing in the larger room at the same time.
Fans filing in early to the Waterfront Studio in Norwich tonight are first treated to a fantastic opening set from Brighton’s snake eyes. Another trio, the band echo the grittier side of The Xcerts sound and are able to win over the audience with relative ease.
The band put out latest EP, ‘health’, earlier this year and the likes of ‘crybaby’ and ‘medicine’ from the release sound great tonight as does latest single, ‘lean’. The group have certainly shown growth on record and this evening they are able to showcase themselves well live also. They most definitely are on that proverbial ‘ones to watch’ list!
The Xcerts have probably been on that list for all of their career at this point and the untapped potential is still clear for all to see. 2018’s ‘Hold On to Your Heart’ was a magnificent album which demonstrated the sheer brilliance of the bands songwriting. If there was any justice in the world, then that album would have jettisoned The Xcerts into the mainstream.
Five years on and the band have followed that album up with a sonically expansive collection entitled ‘Learning How to Live and Let Go’. The graceful ferocity of the album is put at the forefront tonight as the band open their set with ‘GIMME’.
Naturally new music is front and centre in the setlist tonight, but with five albums out in the world, there is a nice selection on offer from across the bands releases. It’s a good sign though that the audience seem to sing new tracks like ‘Ache’, ‘Jealousy’ and ‘Lovesick’ with equal levels of passion as favourites such as ‘Aberdeen 1987’ and ‘Slackerpop’.
The back catalogue of the band is mightily impressive at this point, but you also sense that there is plenty to come. The Xcerts uniquely find themselves with considerable experience whilst still being young enough to have their best years ahead of them.
On the evidence of tonight they certainly have the live side of things perfected and they have a divine talent for creating a real connection with their audience. You therefore leave the venue into the unseasonal October warmth acknowledging how phenomenal a band The Xcerts are whilst pondering just how great they can still be!
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Watch Episode 33 of The Full Pelt Music Podcast with guests The Xcerts