Photo by Josh Wilson, words by Darryl Marsden. The XX played Bodega, Nottingham on 7/10/09.
London indie darlings The XX have had quite a year. After garnering glowing reviews of their self-titled debut released earlier this year the 4-piece decided to embark on their first ever UK headlining tour, culminating at a packed out Bodega Social. Once the crowd had gathered around the small stage there is one thing strikingly noticeable, the age of audience members. For every hipster in a plaid-shirt there is a middle aged man and wife with premium lagers and screwdrivers. Certainly not the type of crowd I had expected.
After technical difficulties with the drum machine The XX appeared all dressed in black, looking like some kind of odd gang. With only one album to date it was obvious where the material was going to come from, a glance at the setlist confirmed this. From the opening notes of first track and album opener Intro you could tell from the atmosphere in the room that people felt they were watching a band who are really going places. The guitar lines are beautifully crafted and sound magical against the beats produced by the drum machine. The vocals in Islands resonate chillingly and the hooks send tingles. Singles Crystalised and Basic Space get the best reception of the night. It is rare in a gig with such quiet music and few people that you get total silence between songs. There is normally some kind of chatter, but tonight there is nothing. This silence speaks more than any noise could do, it’s exciting to see where The XX are going to go next. One thing is for sure, it’s not likely they are going to play venues this small for much longer.