The XX @ Civic Hall, Wolverhampton – Wednesday 12th December 2012

The XX @ Civic Hall, Wolverhampton – Wednesday 12th December 2012The XX @ Civic Hall, Wolverhampton – Wednesday 12th December 2012The XX @ Civic Hall, Wolverhampton – Wednesday 12th December 2012The XX @ Civic Hall, Wolverhampton – Wednesday 12th December 2012

The xx_BSC1386 copyI have to admit, I’d not heard of The XX or their music at the time of offering to review them, and seeing the audience consisting of mainly under twenties, I was concerned I’d made a slight error of judgment.

The mixing desk must get a mention, as towering above it are two large projectors and, to each side, strobes and blue police style flashing lights. As it’s nearly the festive season there are also various Santas around the desk, fairy lights and the ‘front room’ feel is completed by a Christmas tree and standard lamp.

The xx_CDS1518 copy

A large drape hangs in front of the stage, but this is see-through, and as the band take to the stage, the two projectors cast their images, whilst behind the band are lit and appear; a simple but very effective piece of staging. Opening with ‘Angels’ from the recent ‘Co-exist’ album it’d be all too easy to use Massive Attack and Everything But The Girl comparisons, but there’s something different about The XX. What they do they do very well, and their songs and sound are sublime. Before a magnificent ‘Crystalised’ we are told that this is “a special gig for us as it’s the first time we’ve played in Wolverhampton, sorry for taking so long”, and I have to admit I can’t see them playing here again, because it’s clear their next shows will be in the cavernous arenas in Birmingham.

The set is full of songs from both albums, and the aforementioned blue police lights are used during ‘Night time’. There’s also two dry ice machines on the mixing desk, and this really does give a feel that the band are trying to move the show out into the audience, rather than having racks of lights and effects on the stage, in a way it puts more focus on the music. There’s also virtually no communication or vocal interaction with the audience, the whole evening is about the music.

The xx_CDS1599 copy

I loved this gig, the only negative was those individuals who insist on chatting, usually shouting, throughout, which really is noticeable during softer quiet parts of the songs. I have never understood why people part with hard-earned cash to see a band and then shout at their mates throughout the set.

The xx_CDS1572 copy 2

So The XX were stunning, simple, understated and magnificent. I’d certainly see them again but I reckon their obvious popularity explosion will see them playing bigger venues next time. I’ve since got their back-catalogue and it’s a remarkable body of work.

Setlist:
Angels
Heart skipped a beat
Fiction
Crystalised
Fantasy
Missing
Reunion
Sunset
Night time
Swept away
Shelter
VCR
Islands
Chained
Infinity

Intro
Tides
Stars

Review by Glenn Raybone

Photographs by John Bentley

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Links:spiderman costume

Ash To Play The Wulfrun Hall on 9th December

Ash are due to play The Wulfrun Hall on 9th  December in support of their Kablammo album, with tickets on […]

V Festival 22nd and 23rd August 2015

Celebrating 20 years since they first opened their doors V Festival have finalised line-ups and attractions  for Western Park and […]

Terry De Castro – You Can’t Separate Light

Sometime terms that are bandied around like indie, low-fi and the rest of the classifications thrown around by the pundits, […]

MADE Birmingham @ The Digbeth Triangle, 25th and 26th July 2015

Made Festival was a blast, from start to finish the crowds trickled through the gates of the Rainbow courtyard. Made […]

Badly Drawn Boy @ Birmingham Town Hall, 25th July 2015

When an artist decides to get back on the treadmill and to reconnect with the audience, and maybe restate why […]

Blood Youth + Trash Boat @ The Slade Rooms, Wolverhampton, 25th July 2015

Tonight it’s to The Slade Rooms in Wolverhampton for the final date of Blood Youth’s Inside My Head tour in […]

buying an apa research papers purchase literature review personal narrative essay to buy paid to write essay best sites for homework help