The Xcerts – Camden Dublin Castle, London

By paul

With This City & Blitz Kids
Camden Barfly (not the Dublin Castle as above)
October 6th 2009

Despite the fact that they?re advertised as The Swing Kids (apparently in the two days they tossed the name around, this show was booked), Blitz Kids kick proceedings off in spectacular fashion with a fair sized crowd here to join in their fun. The odd technical hitch doesn?t stop them playing a cracking set, and it?s one that?s likely to earn them the title of ?one of those bands that you just have to see live to fully appreciate?. There?s energy, enthusiasm and with ?An Ink Blot In A Blood Clot? they?ve got one hell of a party anthem that?s just begging for more ears to hear it.

This City can only really be described with one word ? fucking flawless. OK, that?s two, but we?re better with words than numbers here at Punktastic. I must admit I honestly didn?t expect them to be able to pull of their dance-tastic brand of indie pop properly in a live setting, but they surpassed all my expectations. For those who aren?t a fan of frontman Sam Purr?s somewhat distinctive vocal delivery (and he?ll be the first to admit there?s a few), the harmonies that weave in and out of ?Colours? and ?We Move? sound euphoric booming out of the Barfly?s PA. Brilliant stuff from a band that finally seems to be getting the recognition they deserve.

So that leaves us with The Xcerts. Tonight is the first show on this tour that they’ve played a proper set as intended (bassist Jordan Smith?s wrist is still recovering from a Tony Hawk moment), but there?s no real sign that he?s suffering. It?s always interesting to hear new arrangements of old songs (?Crisis In The Slow Lane? is a very down-tempo affair tonight) and the handful of new numbers they air for the first time in the capital are genuinely thrilling. Ending on their trademark ?I See Things Differently? gimmick may be getting a bit tired for some in the audience, but Murray clambering atop the bar to beat the shit out of his trusty snare drum is a truly brilliant sight. Long may the kings of distorted pop reign.

Andy R