Brighton Magazine

The Brighton Magazine

Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Sunday 02 December 2012

The xx: A Slice Of The Modern World Where Perfect Pop & Intelligent Progression Can Coexist

To me The xx crept silently under the radar and appeared fully formed bearing the perfect gifts of two almost faultless albums. A youthful trio locked in their own bubble of intensity and self-belief, delivering songs of atmospheric lovelorn lyrics and melodic beauty.

Fronted by the elf-eyed and mysterious Romy Madley Croft, and foreboding presence of the menacingly lanky Oliver Sim, the band is perfectly complimented by the musical genius of Jamie Smith.

The xx recorded their self-produced debut in the unusual surroundings of indie label XL's office, West London.

"In the actual offices where people work," whispered Romy.

"It was like a garage when we first went there, like a mattress on the wall - it was really derelict and then they refurbished it and we were the first band in there."

"We worked with a lot of producers before but it ended up sounding more like them than us," adds Jamie. "Eventually I just decided to do it myself."

The album went on to win many ‘album of the year’ awards as well as securing The xx the 2010 Barclaycard Mercury Prize.

Just prior to the win their was an early blip in the bands meteoric rise when second guitarist and keyboardist Baria Qureshi left the group.

Sim later said that the rest of the band made this decision:

"To be fair to her, people have an idea about that she left the band. She didn't. It was a decision that me, Romy, and Jamie made. And it had to happen."

The band ended the promotional and touring campaign for the debut album in a state of almost total exhaustion.

They admit to a quiet disillusionment at seeing their near future mapped out, day by day, show by show.

"It's another unsettling form of time travel, and "an awful thing", says Sim, "to see on a screen in front of you."

The band’s latest album release Coexist has added to the demands on their time.

From its sublime opener, Angels, via stand-out track Fiction, and all the points in-between, it’s a colossal chunk of creativity and one that will no doubt weigh heavily on such young shoulders.

Coexist has already seen the threesome unite with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, to produce a forty-six minute loop of perfection that was witnessed by many millions via the TV red button.

Also they made a show stopping appearance on the opening night of the latest series of Later with Jools Holland.

From now until 2014 the band will be touring the world, and no doubt many a-festival stage.

Luckily for Brightonian’s, The xx drop by Brighton Centre of 20th December. See for more details.

by: Mike Cobley

Related links

The xx


Roger Daltrey is set to release new solo album, As Long As I Have You, which features Pete Townshend's inimitable guitar on seven tracks as well as guest performances from Mick Talbot on keyboards (Dexys, The Style Council).

RadioReverb, Brighton's not for profit radio station, will be Broadcast Media Partner for Brighton Festival 2018, following last year's partnership.

As part of World Poetry Day, the world's first and only mobile poetic first aid service will be open to everyone at Jubilee Square, Brighton, on Wednesday 21st March 2018, 11am – 4pm. 

Snow Patrol will return later this spring with Wildness, their first album in seven years, which finds the band searching for clarity, connection, and meaning, while staying true to the melodic songwriting prowess that brought them to prominence. 

The sexual health and contraception (SHAC) team in Brighton will be using new visual aids to help overcome female patients' embarrassment and stigma about their bodies after receiving a donation from Brighton artist, Jamie McCartney.

“Sometimes you have to go to the edge of the world in order to come back again,” says Chris Difford on the rollercoaster ride his eventful life in the music business has provided.

Reef, the revitalised west-country quartet, have returned with Revelation, their first studio album since 2000's, Getaway.  

Carleen Anderson has been hailed by the Godfather of Soul, James Brown, as 'phenomenal and one of a kind' and now, for Brighton Fesival 20018, she's joining ranks with virtuoso pianist Nikki Yeoh, and Mercury Music Prize-winning rapper Speech Debelle.

The Damned by Steve Gullick 2018

It's 2018 and the results of The Damned's collaboration with another legend from pop's golden age – Tony Visconti, is about to be unleashed on an unsuspecting public

Described as “the missing link between David Bowie and The Sex Pistols” Doctors of Madness exploded onto the music scene in 1975 with their theatrical, William Burroughs-inspired Sci-fi nightmare, they were misunderstood by many, but those who knew understood the importance of the band's dangerous, uncompromising approach to lyrics, to music and to performance.

In 2015 The Handsome Family became famous for providing the theme tune to Season 1 of HBO's hit TV drama series True Detective, introducing them to a whole new audience and a whole load of new fans. 
Charlie Craggs: Founder of Nail Transphobia

Brighton Dome joins forces with Brighton Women's Centre and Brighton Museum to celebrate International Women's Day 2018. Enjoy stalls, talks, tasters and specially commissioned work reflecting on the issues raised throughout the day.
Pic By Jasmine L Dunne

In the summer of 1969, Clarice looks back on her turbulent life. Having experienced a sheltered upbringing, the events that followed have left her with a feeling that the world around her was moving too fast. 

Brighton author Elly Griffiths is offering crime fans the chance to become immortalised in the pages of her next novel, in support of the Get in Character campaign for CLIC Sargent, the UK's leading cancer charity for children.

Archive search

Search our archives for what's on and gone for the best of this city's theatre music comedy news and much more...

Organising a conference or event in Brighton?
See our Brighton Conference section.
Brighton web design by ...ntd