The Xcerts @ SWG3, Glasgow, 3 May
As the band look to wrap up the Hold On To Your Heart era in style, The Xcerts bring the album on tour to Glasgow for one final time
It seems like The Xcerts are constantly doing something. The group have been relentlessly touring for what feels like an age since 2018’s Hold On To Your Heart came out, as well as dropping a couple of EPs following that release. With a rescheduled date at Glasgow’s SWG3 Warehouse on a sunny Friday in May, many have flocked down to see one of Scotland’s finest rock acts do the business.
As bright red lights illuminate the hazy stage, the band step out to a huge roar from the crowd before blasting into Daydream, an energy-packed track that instantly separates the livelier members of the audience from the simple head-bobbers. Murray Macleod wastes no time in asserting his dominance, strutting around the stage donning a leather jacket, bouncing his floppy hair happily while diving into his first solo of the night on Drive Me Wild.
It was probably to be expected that much of the set would be made up of tracks taken from Hold On To Your Heart given the amount of praise it’s received. Much of this era’s tracks are jumpy and fun-filled, yet it’s the more stripped, piano-glossed tracks of Show Me Beautiful and The Dark which really raise the volume of the voices in this room.
Macleod, with his sassy, commanding stage presence, brings the mood back up with Crazy before rolling back the years to perform a rendition of Slackerpop that sends old school fans into a frenzy. There’s not too much old material in this set, but what is included seems to go down incredibly well – particularly the pre-encore finale, Aberdeen 1987, with Macleod standing as a solo figure with acoustic guitar in hand.
Reflecting on the song being ten years old, he reveals to the crowd that, while they're aware not much from 2009's In the Cold Wind We Smile is on show tonight, the group are preparing a ten year anniversary tour for the record later this year, which is met with rapturous applause. The track itself brings in some of the loudest crowd participation of the night, lungs at full capacity to pelt out the chorus of ‘I’m your new best friend’ at Macleod, and a group of lads even unexpectedly chime in with the 'sing it with me boys!', drawing in a few laughs.
After a short, compulsory break off stage, the band return with back to back oldies – There Is Only You and that track’s album counterpart, Shaking In the Water, the latter showing the musical differences between The Xcerts old and new. Ending on arguably their biggest song to date in the triumphant Feels Like Falling In Love, Macleod appeals to the crowd to sing one more round of the song’s chorus a capella, concluding a vibrant, fun night of entertainment. The best bit? Macleod reveals the band are away to record two new records, so nights like these may long continue.