Sunday, 13 January 2013

"Even an end has a start"

Xfm Winter Wonderland
O2 Academy, Brixton

Indie radio station Xfm hosts this Christmas concert annually, along with its sister gig in Manchester, both boasting different line ups.  The London acts this time around were  a varied, but interesting group: Theme Park, Lucy Rose, Temper Trap, The Courteeners and Editors. 

We arrived in time for our favourite song by the first act, Theme Park’s  ‘Jamaica’.  It sounded good live, and their upbeat, summery sound made a change to the cold, rainy weather outside of the confines of the O2.  Their set was short but sweet, and the audience seemed to enjoy them, even if they were perhaps the least known of the five acts.

Theme Park

Solo artist Lucy Rose closely followed, a singer/songwriter who we were familiar with, but didn’t know much of her music.  However, she put on an impressive performance, with her guitar-led, indie folk songs being sweet but catchy.  Her band should also get a mention, for giving her acoustic guitar and vocals an effective backing.

Lucy Rose

Temper Trap were the only band in the line up who we had seen live before.  However, when we saw them last summer we were a little disappointed, not feeling that they performed to their full potential.  This time around they were very different, and it wasn't a case of everyone simply waiting to hear their famous ‘Sweet Disposition’, rather, every song was just as enjoyable and exciting. The band seemed to be feeling every note, and it definitely paid off in their set.

Temper Trap

The Courteeners were the penultimate act on the line-up, and the excited, mosh  pitted reaction from the audience was only slightly less enthusiastic than that for Editors.  Our favourite live song from the Indie guitar band was ‘Not Nineteen Forever’, due to its catchy, riff-infused essence.   ‘You Overdid It Doll’, and a selection of new songs were also very happily received by the crowd at the Brixton Academy.

The Courteeners

The headliners, Editors, led the night of impressive performances.  They began with their anthemic 2007 single ‘Smokers Outside The Hospital Doors’, with its opening drum solo getting the audience jumping straight away.  The 11 song set featured 3 new songs, and we both agreed that ‘Nothing’ stood out amongst them- lead singer Tom Smith took to the stage armed with a mandolin and impressed us with the song, even though it was our first time hearing it.  Partly what made the audience so immersed in the set was the energy and passion with which the band performed, which gave the already upbeat mix of synth and guitar even more appeal.


Overall, the combination of five Xfm-played acts worked effortlessly. Not only was it a fantastic gig for the music, but it also allowed the radio station to show the broad range of music that fits into the genre they mainly play- Indie.  Lucy Rose and Editors may both be part of this loose term, and yet they both have very different sounds; this diversity made the night.

Isabella and Felicity, OTJ x