Live Review – The XCERTS @ The Castle & Falcon

The XCERTS

The Castle & Falcon

Review by Mae Simkin

The XCERTS

It was a lovely chilled Thursday evening at The Castle & Falcon with a small gathering already by the stage when I arrived. It’s not a venue which I have frequented much and never have I been one of the first to arrive so it gave me an opportunity to soak it all in. After grabbing a pint I was ready to enjoy a night of music which I had been very much looking forward to.

The first act was NOVACUB who I saw back in February and was totally blown away by their tunes. Ever since, I’ve been listening to their single “I Still Need It” on repeat. I was very excited to be seeing them again and I was not disappointed. I love the guitar riffs in their tracks as well as their upbeat drums. Since the gig, they’ve released a second single called “Wait Up” and it’s another tune that’s been added to my playlist. However I have to say my favourite song of theirs is definitely both heavier and angrier called “We Don’t Care” which I hope is the next to be released. Really is a banger.

Liverpudlian band, Paris Youth Foundation were next up. The alt-rock quintet played a content heavy set as they rolled quite smoothly from one tune to another. People listened eagerly throughout. They are a band who are very difficult to label, they call themselves “alt-rock” which I get but also some of their songs are definitely leaning towards more indie-pop but I dig that. It makes for a very rounded set of something for everyone. Since the gig, the band have released their latest EP “The Nights Are For Thinking About You” which you should check out.

Finally was the headliner of the night – The XCERTS. I caught this trio last summer in Leeds and remember being quite impressed then so I knew I was in for a good set. They opened with popular song “Daydream” which the crowd seemed to know the words to as they rocked along. They played a plethora of tracks from their catalogue of material which includes four albums and six EP’s – their latest being “Wildheart Dreaming”.

What I love about this Scottish band is their energy and determination. They put on a fantastic show yet again and I hope they build on their success. Last year their album “Hold On To Your Heart” made it into the Top 40 in the Official Charts and I am sure the next one – whenever that is – will go even higher.

With sheer vocal talent and charisma, frontman Murray Macleod guided us through their set from singing to comments between songs. I don’t know about anyone else in the room but I certainly felt incredibly engaged with what was going on. The XCERTS work hard and they play hard. If any band deserves more success and attention it is this one.

I thoroughly enjoyed the pleasant atmosphere all night and definitely recommend all three artists that were on show.

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