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.

Heart skipped a beat
Night time
Swept away


Review by Glenn Raybone

Photographs by John Bentley

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

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Links:spiderman costume

Peace For Wolverhampton Civic Hall

After a sell-out UK tour in January, the Birmingham favourites Peace hit the road this autumn, calling at Wolverhampton Civic […]

Ride To Play ‘Nowhere’ Album At The Institute

Ride have announced that in further celebration of the 25th anniversary of their début album Nowhere, they will be performing the entire album […]

Michael Monroe & Hardcore Superstar + Chase The Ace To Appear At The Institute This Week!

Michael Monroe is bringing his Nordic Rockers to The Institute this Friday as part of his co-headlining tour with Swedish Street […]

The Lemonheads @ The Library, 1st October 2015

Nearly thirty years after forming, The Lemonheads from Boston, Massachusetts are gracing the shores once again to play a selection […]

Diana Krall @ Symphony Hall, 28th September 2015

Tonight sees the much acclaimed and Grammy award winning Diana Krall bring her Wallflower Tour to Birmingham. I must admit […]

10 gigs you must see in Birmingham this October

The days are getting shorter, temperatures are dropping and there’s Halloween stuff in all the shops – you know what […]

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