Mellow, minimalist, shy, ghosty…are The XX. The UK trio have got a few types of songs – pretty much – that span across two albums, but the lack of stretch is fine, really, when you’re playing lush creepers. Somehow, the songs connect. And last night at Vancouver’s Vogue Theatre, the band, swathed mostly in white or blue lights and dressed in black for maximum baby goth effect, played to a swooning audience, who sang even louder than they did. (Really. Arsingly. Annoyingly.)
Oliver and Romy traded dulcet vocals, producer whizz kid Jamie traded between decks, drums and knobs. Oliver was the only one to talk, softly, saying that it’d been a long while since they were here, and thanking us for bringing them back. When Romy and Oliver played up against each other, or Oliver Frankenstein-lurched with his bass towards his childhood friend, there was a rather nice chemistry sparking between them.
“Reunion” off of Coexist sounded best from the new album – steel drum! – whilst “Touch” grew like a souffle then burst big at the end of the set…at precisely the same time a backsheet dropped to reveal a giant light-bursting Perspex “X”. (Note to XX: MORE PERSPEX X! Apply more frequently!)
You’ve heard one XX song, you see one XX show, you’ve sort of done them all, really. But still I keep coming back, because ultimately, the XX are…just kinda lovely. \m/