Ever heard of the Mercury Prize? Each year, a group of U.K. musicians, journalists and other industry types get together and determine the best British album released in the past year. And the cool thing is, it’s based on artistic merit rather than album sales.
The 2010 Mercury Prize was handed out this past week and the winner was the self-titled debut by London trio The xx. I gushed about that album in a previous post, so I won’t start blabbing about it again.
But it *did* remind me that I saw the band in concert this past spring and really enjoyed them. They don’t have much use for banter. (I don’t recall them uttering anything beyond a demure, “thank you” after the odd song.) And they don’t rock out. But what they do excel at is creating a mood – something that was clear from the opening chords of “Intro”, in which the band members’ silhouettes were projected onto a curtain in front of the stage.
Once the song ended, the curtain fell… and the band members stood there looking all mysterious and Goth-y, with singer/guitarist Romy Madley Croft peering out at the crowd from behind her asymmetrical haircut and everyone clad in black outfits.
I found their spare, intimate sounding songs to be pretty absorbing live… and it didn’t really matter to me that they didn’t move around much on stage.
Anyway, I hear they’re heading out on tour again this fall for a few select dates so I definitely recommend checking them out!