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!
Welcome everyone to another edition of our weekly music News Report!
Where else could we start this week other than with Glastonbury Festival and their initial 2023 line-up! We now know that Elton John will be joined in headlining the Pyramid Stage by Arctic Monkeys and Guns N Roses!
Also playing over the weekend will be Alt-J, Blondie, Manic Street Preachers, Nova Twins, Royal Blood, slowthai, Texas and Legends Slot filling Yusuf (Cat Stevens).
It was a good week for festival fans this week as our News Report continues with this stunning line-up from 2000trees Festival!
The absolutely stacked line-up now features added American Football, Eagles of Death Metal, Electric Six, Employed To Serve, Joy Formidable, Tigercub and Black Honey.
The full line-up also hosts the likes of Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes, Hundred Reasons, Skindred, Deaf Havana, Rival Schools, Bob Vylan, Empire State Bastard, Holding Absence, Kid Kapichi, Cancer Bats, Dream State, LostAlone, Witch Fever, Blackgold, Guise, Mimi Barks, Pet Needs, Press To Meco and many more!
“For us, seeing fans just as excited about the bands lower down the line up as they are about the bigger artists is what 2000trees is all about, and this announcement is no different. Heriot and Kneecap were big personal highlights from 2000trees 2022, so to be able to have Heriot return to smash the Main Stage and Kneecap bringing the carnage to the Forest Stage is going to be something special! And there’s still two headliners to come sooner than you might think…” – Festival booker James
Leicester’s The Long Road festival returns in 2023 with a line-up including Jon Pardi, Blackberry Smoke and many more.
Commenting on today’s announcement, TLR’s Tennessee-born Creative Director Baylen Leonard said: “We’re delighted to announce the first wave of artists for The Long Road 2023. Our festival is about offering a unique, inclusive experience for our visitors, with amazing music, great food, and a welcoming atmosphere. Our line-up reflects the very best in Country and Americana music today, and we can’t wait to welcome visitors to Stanford Hall for what is going to be a truly unforgettable bank holiday weekend.”
Also this week, pop disruptor Ashnikko announced her hotly anticipated world tour and debut album ‘WEEDKILLER’, which is out June 2nd.
Speaking on the announcement Ashnikko states “My bioluminescent heart is glowing. My post-apocalyptic fae world is here for you to journey into. My wings have been ripped out, but I’ve built them anew using WEEDKILLER machine parts. I am the one sent here to eliminate you, WEEDKILLER.”
This week saw Underoath return with their brand new single, ‘Let Go’, which you can check out above.
In discussing the song, the band said, “This is actually the first song we completed after recording (last year’s) Voyeurist. It took a few different forms but we got it to a place where we knew this is what it should be. It’s about letting go of whatever trauma or demons that might be holding you back. As hard as it is to make those decisions sometimes, I feel like we can never grow without stepping out of those toxic environments.”
DMA’S have this week shared their latest single, ‘Something We Are Overcoming’, which you can listen to above.
The track comes ahead of new album, ‘How Many Dreams?’, which is out March 31st.
“‘Something We Are Overcoming’ started as a moving ballad about perseverance but quickly morphed into a trancey anthem of a side quest that is slightly but steadily DMA’S. We hope you like it.” – DMA’S
Brighton’s snake eyes have shared new single, ‘no one is truly cool’, and you can check out the video above.
Commenting on the new single, vocalist Jim Heffy says: “I met a bloke in a band I like at a festival after separately having a really lovely chat with one of their bandmates. he was stand-offish and, to be honest, a bit of a prick, giving proper ‘too cool for school’ vibes. the whole exchange left a bad taste in my mouth.”
“the fake cool guy thing can only go so far. no need for a fake personality. just be real, be yaself. even Keith Richards puts down the whiskey and cigs sometimes and watches ‘the last of us’ in his pants with a bowl of nik naks like everyone else.”
The official video for the track was created by the band’s drummer and visual director Thomas Coe-Brooker, who explains of the concept: “in keeping with the song, we thought it’d be fun to make a really cool looking video in the least cool of spaces – a family garage. kinda like when you’re having band practice as a teenager and you’re all really sending it like total bad asses…but ultimately, your mum’s seconds from bursting in to tell you it’s too loud and that your dinner’s ready. that, but with satisfying, nicely framed angles and dreamy in-camera long exposure, 90s style.”
Hell’s Ditch have shared new single, ‘Ghosts’, ahead of their debut EP, ‘Take Cover’, out March 23rd.
Vocalist Nick Davis explains: “Ghosts is about the hanging weight of the past, the present and the future. Capitalism puts a premium on individual success, which leads people to feel like their failing if they don’t achieve certain goals or milestones. It’s all too easy to plant trees, grow them, and then cut them down inside the confines of your own head. I wrote most of the lyrics while watching my cats seemingly stare at nothing on the ceiling”.
paradise fell. – ‘VICES.’
Alternative artist paradise fell has shared their debut offering ‘VICES.’.
“VICES. is a frantic confrontation of the irony; that something which kills us slowly, sets us free in the moment. It makes us feel alive. The bad habits we have are the only things that can save us from the drudgery of daily life. The very things that are killing us, become a cornerstone of our identity. They become familiar. They become part of who we are. A comfort in a chaotic world.” – paradise fell.
Hunch Power – ‘Eye for an Eye’
Hunch Power hits back with their new pacifist anthem, ‘Eye for an Eye’.
“I’d been wanting to write a pacifist song about revenge for ages. I was sure about borrowing Ghandi’s famous words for the title and chorus but I couldn’t find the right music to go with it. One day I remembered an old idea I never demoed and realised the music matched perfectly so I wrote new lyrics and the band loved it” – Singer Harvey Springfield