THE XCERTS ‘IN THE COLD WIND WE SMILE’ 10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY TOUR
Originally formed in 2001 in the headmaster’s office of their Aberdeen, Scotland school, the Xcerts comprise Murray MacLeod (lead vocals/guitar), Jordan Smith (bass), and Tom Heron (drums). It wasn’t until 2006, with the departure of original drummer Ross McTaggart, that they really began to progress and subsequently relocated to Brighton to concentrate on their music. Here Heron, originally from Exeter, was installed as the band’s drummer.
Playing a combination of loud, distorted riffs and soaring pop-edged choruses, they drew immediate comparisons to countrymen Biffy Clyro and the ’90s post-grunge of Weezer. The band released two singles on Glasgow independent label One Records before Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly frontman Sam Duckworth released a further two singles on his Mannequin Republic label. The first single, “Do You Feel Safe,” received considerable radio airplay on BBC Radio 1 and XFM. The Xcerts then relentlessly toured the U.K. with Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly and Fightstar throughout 2008, and their energetic live performances began to gain attention from the media. Their hard work paid dividends as they were subsequently signed to the Xtra Mile label (Reuben, Frank Turner) in 2009. Their 2009 debut album, In the Cold Wind We Smile, featured songs that had been written during years of touring which had allowed them to perfect their body of work. Early singles “Just Go Home” and “Do You Feel Safe” both appeared on their debut full-length record, which was well-received by the British press, Kerrang!, and Rocksound. The album was recorded in Wales and produced by Dave Eringa (Idlewild, Manic Street Preachers), whose straightforward approach brought urgency to the angst and melancholy delivered perfectly by MacLeod’s vocals.
The second record arrived in 2010 and marked a significant progression from the band’s self-described “distorted pop” sound. Titled Scatterbrain, it was recorded in New York with American producer Mike Sapone (Brand New, Taking Back Sunday), who encouraged an aggressive, ferocious side of the Scottish outfit to be unleashed alongside their slower, melancholic tendencies. This renewed exuberance was underlined by the Xcerts canceling shows upon their return, due to MacLeod screaming his throat hoarse during the final takes of recording. The album was influenced by Brand New’s The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me and from ’90s-era rock such as Nirvana’s In Utero and Weezer’s Pinkerton, whose raw emotion and grunge feel is evident throughout. Their third album, There Is Only You, came out in late 2014 — four years after their sophomore release — after they spent three-and-a-half years on the road with the likes of Brand New, Taking Back Sunday, and Manchester Orchestra. After a relatively quiet period, the Xcerts delivered the single “Feels Like Falling in Love” in the summer of 2017. The track was featured on their fourth album, Hold on to Your Heart, which arrived later that fall. The record included the single “Daydream.”
“An upbeat, melodic, guitar driven group with an element of pop, swim school are Scotland’s freshest indie-starters”
Based in Edinburgh, swim school are a 4 piece, indie-pop band made up of Alice Johnson (Vocals/Guitar), Lewis Bunting (Guitar), Nairn Milne (Drums) and Matt Mitchell (Bass).
Announced in 2019, but having originally formed at the end of 2018, swim school already host an eclectic collection of songs featuring the inspired tones of The Cure, Pale Waves and Wolf Alice.
swim school dived into Scotland’s burgeoning indie scene with their debut single ‘sway’ which was released on the 22nd February. The release of ‘sway’ turned heads, attracting the attention of Tenement TV, The Modern Record, The Sun newspaper and radio DJ, Jim Gellatly.
It’s been an exciting start for the foursome as they have already played some of Scotland’s biggest music festivals such as TRNSMT, Belladrum, XPO North and King Tuts Summer Nights to name a few.
Alongside a trio of sold out shows with Indigo Velvet, Dancing on Tables and Scottish pop-rock giants The XCERTS. It’s exciting times for swim school who have been hailed as ones to watch in 2020.
“Edinburgh has another great indie guitar band in the making – so much potential” Up and Coming Edinburgh
The Edinburgh indie-pop rockers’ released their second highly anticipated single ‘take you there’ on the 21st of June which has since been accredited by both Vic Galloway and Janice Forsyth with multiple plays on BBC Radio Scotland. swim school continue to write and record music in their studio as they set their sights on a potential headline show in Edinburgh at the beginning of next year.
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