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Review: The Xcerts prove they are on to something big

The band play a tiny show at London's The Social to launch their new album.

When I met with The Xcerts vocast Murray Macleod around the release of their brilliant third album, There Is Only You, he informed me of his idol Tom Petty. It was the songwriter’s characteristic melodies that had elevated him to legendary status in Murray’s eyes.

It’s fitting that almost three years later The Xcerts take to a stage to launch their fourth (yet to be titled) full-length release only a day after Tom Petty serenaded a huge audience at London’s British Summer Time Hyde Park.

“Who was at Tom Petty yesterday,” Murray asks the compact crowd in the tiny central London bar, The Social. He’s met by a handful of cheers. One of them is from his mum, presumably one of his own gig companions the previous day. “Love the enthusiasm mum,” he jokes.

This love of melody clearly hasn’t diminished. If anything, new single Feels Like Falling In Love fully embraces it more than anything that has come before. It’s an accolade shared by other new material on display. If There Is Only You was the precursor for their song-writing talent, (and what a precursor it is), it’s abundantly clear we’ve barely seen anything yet.

 

Live, the band take unavoidable technical difficulties in their stride, utilising the opportunity to build the genuine intimate atmosphere. As has increasingly become the case, The Xcerts feel like a huge stadium band, transported into a small room. Even as they jump back to their stellar 2009 debut with an ever-emotional rendition of Aberdeen, 1987, the sound is big. Really big.

And now they’ve truly hit the nail on the head. With three criminally underrated albums under their belt, and a collection of absolute bangers waiting in the wings, the fourth time is certainly looking like the charm for this genuinely exciting Scottish trio.

The Xcerts have just announced headline UK shows in celebration of their new material. Check out the dates below, and grab tickets from 10:00 on Thursday 13 July 2017 through Ticketmaster.co.uk.

29 September – The Haunt, Brighton
30 September – Bodega, Nottingham
1 October – Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
3 October – St Lukes, Glasgow
4 October – Tunnels, Aberdeen
5 October – Think Tank, Newcastle
8 October – Exchange, Bristol
9 October – Flapper, Birmingham
10 October – Scala, London

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