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Monday 08 November 2010

Listen Up

2nd February 2010

The xx - drug free ecstasy

Posted by: Kitten Power


The xx were one of my favourite musical discoveries of last year.  Their performance at Auckland’s inaugural Laneway Festival only cemented them as a band I will incessantly adore.

You see this was going to be a Laneway Festival review, which it still will be to some extent … but really … it’s chiefly about why I think that if you haven’t heard The xx yet, or have only heard their brilliant cover of Florence and The Machine’s version of You’ve Got The Love or their cover of Womack & Womack’s Teardrops, you should really go ahead and treat yourself to their entire record.

There is one thing you should know right off about this young band from southwest London … they make sexy music.  Incredibly sexy music.  Their album, xx, is the kinda music you wanna light some candles and open a bottle of wine to and enjoy with that man or lady in your life (I’m telling you, I’ve done it and it worked out quite nicely!).

Originally a four piece, The xx are now a threesome - led by the gorgeous boy-girl vocals of Romy Madley-Croft and Oliver Sim.

It’s hard to categorise their sound beyond the word “sexy”.  It’s rock - but rock that’s dripping with sweaty R&B bass and drumlines, weeping post-punk guitars and spine-tingling vocals.  It’s drug-free ecstasy.

One of my favourite tracks is the intimate Basic Space … with lyrics like: “I think I’m losing where you end and I begin”.

Seeing The xx play live was one of those seminal concert experiences you can lose yourself in and never want to end.  But, as they were playing at a festival their slot was of course all too short.  Come back and play again!!!

Luckily for me there were plenty of aural treats on offer at the Laneway Festival - an event which first began in Melbourne and has crossed the ditch for the first time this year and made its Kiwi home right smack in the middle of Britomart.  Unlike the Big Day Out there were only a few thousand tickets put up for sale, which made the two stages easily accessible and allowed short-ass me to actually see the bands who played.

It was incredibly exciting to see legendary post-punk band Echo & The Bunnymen. Hearing The Killing Moon, Lips Like Sugar and The Cutter live was an amazing experience for a kid who was born when they were in their heyday.  It was a good show - although they didn’t really pull out the stops.  I mean the show was basically stand and deliver material.  Yet it was still special for a me, a girl with a pure post-punk heart, to see them live.


There was a plethora of great Kiwi talent - including two of my favourites The Naked and Famous and Cut Off Your Hands.  I also enjoyed the chance to briefly check out the legend Daniel Johnston.  Aussies Dirty 3 gave a raucous show, led by Warren Ellis … seen here in his element:


All in all, The xx made my day.  Laneway Festival was a success … the only common gripes from the punters were that there was not enough food and drink on offer - lining up for half an hour for a beer or a burger is not ideal when there is so much incredible music to take in.  However the organisers seem well aware of this and it appears to be council restrictions that made it so.

I’ll be back again next year - In the meantime, I’ll turn up The xx, light some candles, crack open a bottle of Merlot and … yeah … maybe invite someone over … 8)

Tags: General · Music

4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 tommy // Feb 3, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    I agree about the sexxy xx, they are so sexxy they make you stutter like you shouldnt talk whilst their sounds are working on your mind… all through their set i was thinking i cant wait for the second album…

  • 2 355 // Feb 3, 2010 at 9:42 pm

    i love xx - eat it 8bit
    i saw them [illegally from a high vantage, rather crappy sound unfortunately, but still xx-cellent]
    also, Mr Knox you just keep getting better

  • 3 anamazing // Feb 7, 2010 at 11:37 pm

    its a very rare thing to give an audience chills for the entirety of a performance, and i was on the verge of tears and/or wetting my pants from start to finish… sigh

  • 4 Motorcycle guy // Jul 17, 2010 at 4:19 pm

    How does donating money to a foster house help out?

    Sent from my Android phone

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