One of the finest bands in the country, The Xcerts kicked off their Wintour in Aldershot’s West End Centre on Saturday 1 December. No strangers to the venue, and always full of compliments for it, the three-piece have taken a few months off touring to settle down and write their third album. The new song aired on previous shows this year hinted that this record could be their breakthrough into the mainstream with its memorable chorus and hard-to-forget melodies, and it’s a great joy that the new songs played in Aldershot continue this trend – they sound like future singalong smash hits that would happily sit alongside the likes of Biffy Clyro and Twin Atlantic on radio playlists.
But The Xcerts also have a tremendous back catalogue to draw from, and they were happy to delve into this for the Aldershot crowd with the likes of ‘Scatterbrain’, ‘Crisis in the Slow Lane’ and the phenomenally brutal ‘Hurt With Me’ all being lapped up. One new song, ‘Kick It’, may be one of their best songs yet. Wonderfully reminiscent of 100 Broken Windows-era Idlewild, it draws on all the elements which make The Xcerts such a great band – a loud pop aesthetic, memorable lyrics and a clear passion in what they’re doing, but also adds an extra bite to it. It’s the perfect parallel between their considered debut album ‘In the Cold Wind We Smile’ and the edgier ‘Scattebrain’. Frontman Murray MacLeod is ever so thankful to the crowd for being there and giving the new songs the attention they deserve. And they’re rewarded for their patience with a super slowed-down version of ‘Home Versus Home’ and a brilliant closing acoustic solo rendition of fans’ favourite ‘Aberdeen 1987’. Murray said he didn’t realise that the song was such a big pop hit in Aldershot, although it could be argued the majority of songs they played deserve this prestigious accolade.
The Xcerts really are a band to treasure and deserve every accolade they get. They’ve worked so hard over the years, with phenomenal festival appearances at both The Great Escape and T in the Park last year really helping their cause and their support slots to the likes of Brand New also adding to their fans. Thanks to this, they now have a rabidly loyal fanbase and the new tracks are already sounding like they’ll be the ones to move them up to much bigger venues. Catch them while you can.
Watch The Xcerts perform ‘Aberdeen 1987’ at The Summer Westival in 2011 (sorry about the sound quality):