As much as bands love playing Glasgow, they also respect it – and with respect comes an element of fear. The crowd are not easily swayed, and if they don’t like you, you’ll know it, if not feel it first – in Glasgow pints are not just bought for the intention of drinking. However, this was not the reason headline act, Japanese Voyeurs pulled out of Rock Sound Exposure Tour’s Glasgow date. Frontwoman, Romily Alice, is under doctor’s order to take vocal rest for a few days after losing her voice.
Replacing Japanese Voyeurs, is local band, Xavia, who won best newcomer at the Scottish Alternative Music Awards. Also providing the night’s support is Farewell Singapore, who have played support to The Xcerts when they released their album Scatterbrain in October last year.
Fortunately, as much as Glasgow loves pint tossing, they also love a homegrown outfit, and alt rock locals The Xcerts are the perfect headliner for event.
The occasion is marred, however, by an unenthusiastic crowd: perhaps the repercussions of Saturday night are too much to handle for a Sunday evening filled with blasting rock music, in a venue laced with the smell of half-spilt pints. Monday-morning-blues are also ominous, which never adds an electric atmosphere to any occasion. Maybe still, the void created by the non-appearance of Japanese Voyeurs, has dampened the evening for even Rock Sound’s biggest enthusiasts.
The night itself belonged to Dinosaur Pile-Up and The Xcerts – that was never in question.
Dinosaur Pile-Up deliver a post-grunge set Dave Grohl would be proud of, and it’s definitely no coincidence that a Gibson Explorer is used to blast these tunes to an era where Foo Fighters and Weezer were taking over the airwaves.
‘Mona Lisa’, the band’s second single release from debut album Growing Pains, provides the standout track, and although the crowd provide an anti-climax for what should be one of the night’s highpoints, there is still a sense of recognition that this tune holds more than what the crowd offer up. The Yorkshire boys also use the night to showcase new material, finishing their set on the storming new song, ‘Should’.
Headlining the night is The Xcerts. Watching a band progress from underdog beginnings, battling the likes of Glasgow goliath Twin Atlantic for pole position, it is most satisfying to see The Xcerts truly come into their own standing. The Rock Sound Exposure Tour provides the band with a platform not only to establish but also embellish their brand of alt-rock.
Fully loaded with epic sing-along choruses and riffs to carry the crowd off in one giant wave of sound, The Xcerts were making the statement that they are a worthy headliner of the RS tour and have more than just potential to break into the mainstream, with the songs and the swagger to back it up.
The set mainly consisted of material from the band’s latest album offering Scatterbrain, which exhibits a far more developed and mature sound, drawing musical and vocal parallels with Brand New’s ‘Daisy’. Then again, that should not comes as too much of a surprise as Mike Sapone (Brand New, Crime In Stereo and Taking Back Sunday) produced the album.
Set highlights come from the rapturous ‘Slackerpop’, the anthemic ‘Distant Memory’. However, the biggest crowd reaction comes from, ‘Do You Feel Safe’ taken from the band’s debut album offering ‘In The Cold Wind We Smile’, and even if they boys are fatigued from repeatedly playing the set-cemented song, they certainly don’t show it – lapping it up equally as much as the crowd.
It is impossible to pinpoint why 2010 wasn’t a bigger year for The Xcerts, however, with the Rock Sound Exposure Tour to add to their already impressive résumé here’s hoping to a, deserved, bigger 2011.