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Gig Review: The XX @ Polyester Records, 4th February

Guest Writer: Denham

Last Thursday evening, no more than 50 people gathered in Polyester Records on Flinders Lane for an intimate and, as bassist Oliver Sim described it, “very cosy” performance from The XX, who could probably fill virtually any venue in Australia they wished to.

A large line formed in front of Polyester Records as hipsters descended on Flinders Lane. The XX, coming off a sold out show at the Corner Hotel the night before, were seen inside the store browsing the CDs. As The XX weaved their way through the crowd towards the stage the excitement grew, and as soon as they began “Intro”, everyone realized how lucky we were to be seeing this band at such an intimate show.

The band breezed through a relatively short set, playing for about half an hour, but played nearly every song you could hope for, including the singles Crystalised, Islands and new single, the beautiful VCR. A setlist was in sight, and to my disappointment, my favourite song Shelter was not included.

As they came to the end of their set, Sim announced they would be finishing with Night Time. As electronics man and producer Jamie Smith began the song, the sound system at the back cut out and to everyone’s surprise, including singer and guitarist Romy Madley Croft, Oliver Sim announced they would be playing Shelter instead.

As the sublime song ended, the band retreated to the back of the record store, and to everyone’s surprise and disappointment, the show was over. It had definitely gone too quick.

Many fans waited afterwards in the hope of meeting The XX, but after ten minutes and no appearance, the store was nearly empty. The band emerged later, after being told there were people waiting and looked very surprised and happy that there were people still in the store. They were more than happy to sign CDs and vinyls, take photos and just about anything else.

I had a conversation with Oliver Sim about Melbourne’s lack of all-ages venues, and upon finding out that Laneway Festival was an over-age event, his exact words were “that’s shit” (This does not represent the view of all writers at Pluck). The XX were exceptionally nice and eager to talk to their fans. Polyester Record’s organization was exceptional, and a big thanks to them for this special show and hopefully many more like it to come.

Setlist – Intro, Crystalised, Islands, VCR, Basic Space, Shelter.

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