Jack Antonoff leads a Springsteen-esque party at London's KOKO.
Rounding off their headline UK tour, The Xcerts arrive at a packed out Scala in the English capital on fighting form. New tracks Feels Like Falling In Love and Daydream have in recent months reinvigorated their career, propelling them onto mainstream airways in a way they haven’t achieved before. The tracks build on the melodic brilliance of their excellent back-catalogue, but it now seems like the time is right.
Frontman Murray MacLeod tells a tale of their journey from the nearby Water Rats some years back to the milestone stage tonight. The significance isn’t lost on the crowd, who by in large have followed them since the release of their debut In The Cold Wind We Smile. A surprise outing for Crisis In The Slow Lane from said album is met with an unparalleled response. It’s a sign of a band rapidly pushing forward, but not afraid to look back. Similarly, a haunting rendition of Distant Memory from 2010’s Scatterbrain further indicates the wide ranging love of their former work.
The new songs on display tonight, First Kiss Feeling and Show Me Beautiful joining the aforementioned singles, take a slightly different path. Learning from the recently departed Tom Petty, a self-admitted hero of Murrays, the pop sensibilities shine bright. And it works. The catchy melody of Feels Like Falling In Love, a clear anthem in the making, underpin all of the new songs. As they play them live it’s clear that The Xcerts have pop in their blood. It’s bubbled under the surface for some time, but come their new album Hold On To Your Heart early next year, it’s set to break through in style.
The Xcerts have just completed their UK tour, but check out Ticketmaster.co.uk for more live dates.