Live Review: The Xcerts and Man Without Country at ILMC show at Camden Barfly – 9th March 2012

By on Friday, 23rd March 2012 at 5:00 pm
 

The ILMC is a conference that comes to London once a year and in between a lot of industry meetings and themed events, there’s a fair few showcases of some of the best up and coming music. Tonight, TGTF is at Camden Barfly for one such show and aside from the incredible mismatching of the trio of acts on display, is rather optimistic about the evening’s proceedings.

The night begins with powerful electronic artists Man Without Country. The Welsh band’s music on its own is a storm of enthralling music, but when translated live creates an atmosphere that’s hard to break out of. With a series of smoke and lights the band create pulsating silhouettes of themselves whilst playing true to record in a synth-heavy setup. Tracks from their ‘King Complex’ EP and new single ‘Puppets’ feature in their relatively short, yet powerful set as those present stand silent and still.

After the endearing Northern charm of Karima Francis brings acoustic guitars and a small increase in crowd enthusiasm to the dark upstairs of the Barfly, it’s time for rock music to echo through the small venue. Tonight’s headline act are the Xcerts, and even though it’s an industry show they don’t seem to have any issues with playing to the full. Whilst the volume may be a bit low and the “professionals” are standing comatose at the back, there are maybe ten people at the front who’re here for the band and they have no qualms making that clear.

“I like your hair!” shouts one. “Oh, the last time someone said that, there was, erm, trouble…” frontman Murray Macleod replies before getting back into the swing of things with new track ‘Shaking in the Water’. The Scottish rock band’s heavy touring schedule may have left them sounding flat from time to time over the last few months, but seemingly revitalised by their national support slots for Brand New, they’re back on electric form for tonight. Playing from both of their records’ singles collection the set is little of a surprise, but for industry members, it’s probably the best choice. They’ll be on the festival circuit this summer, but it’ll be the next album’s material that could turn all these half hour slots into hours in major venues for the Xcerts. Tonight, they’ve proved why.

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF is edited by Mary Chang, who is based in Washington, DC. She is joined by writers in England, America and Ireland. It began as a UK music blog by Phil Singer in 2005.

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