Despite only having one album, London’s The xx utterly captivated a sold-out Bowery (moved from Mercury Lounge) with their dark and fragile sound that reverbed throughout the dimly lit venue (so dim that frontwoman Romy Madley Croft had trouble locating her chords and asked to turn the mood lighting up a notch!) Jamie Smith’s beats were given more freedom, and when combined with Oliver Sim’s pulsing bass they brought their widely lauded eponymous debut album to life. The gig was missing keyboardist Baria Qureshi who announced her departure from The xx last month, but the group’s perfectly pitched chemistry wasn’t affected whatsoever. This startingly talented quartet have been compared to well-established acts such as Portishead, and the most exhilarating moments when these comparisons rang true were when the room was drenched in reverb and bass weight. Starting with the hauntingly beautiful “Intro,” The xx threw their signature gem “Basic Space” at us relatively early and soldiered on through the night dazzling with the album’s tracks. A cover was in store, and while it wasn’t their noted Aaliyah remake of “Hot Like Fire,” they took a dumbed-down-dance route sucking the disco out of Womack and Womack’s “Teardrops,” reducing it to a stripped down coo. Like a breath of fresh air, the night ended without an encore; it just wouldn’t have sat with The xx’s aesthetic of following their own path and staying in the shadows.  –Andrea D’Alessandro and Tim Samain, Photo by Tear-n Tan

  1. the girl singer is Romy, Jamie is the beats guy and producer