Exlovers @ The Lexington, London 22/09/09

September 30, 2009 by  

ex-lovers

Sept 22nd sees bright new stars exlovers launch new single “You Forget So Easily” at The Lexington, Islington. Interest in the band has grown swiftly since the release of “Photobooth/Weightless” and the huge faux-American bar is fairly heaving with a mixed crowd of trendies, notebook-wielding journos and people just wanting to drink crap bourbon.

exlovers have carved out a niche for themselves as everyone’s favourite new angst-popsters and tonight is a perfect opportunity to judge how far this relatively new band has progressed.

The venue upstairs is pretty much perfect. With a capacity of maybe 300, there’s a sense of intimacy, but also room to swing an elbow if the mood takes you. The two level dance floor also helps to make sure everyone gets the best view possible.

When “Photobooth” kicks in, it’s clear to see that exlovers are a band that are not low on confidence. Clear, emotional and harmonic, their best single to date is nailed absolutely note-perfectly. The most distinctive selling point exlovers have is the delicate interplay of the boy/girl vocals. When the bass and drums ease off in the breakdown before the chorus, the vocals are even more impressive. Some credit for this should also go to the Lexington’s impressively competent sound engineer.

Up next was what we had all been waiting for (except maybe the whisky addled fools who may have stumbled up the stairs), new single “You Forget So Easily”. It’s more simple and rhythmic than previous efforts, a slight departure from previous emotional meandering. But it is good, very good. The toned back sound allows more of the bass and drum to come through, adding some balls to another tale of rejection and pain. The song is received enthusiastically, but the band seem anxious to rattle on through the set, barely stopping long enough for the drummer to strip off his shirt.

The short set finishes with “Weightless”, the other single from the previous EP. Although not usually one of my favourite tunes, tonight the band opt to give it a much more aggressive feel, hammering away at every note and drumbeat. The combined effect is breathtaking, and any doubts you may have had about the band are literally torn out of you by the sheer energy of the performance. Interestingly, even before the final crash has faded away, the female half of the boy/girl combo, Laurel, has vanished from the stage and away through a side door, leaving the rest of the boys to mutter a few words of thanks before taking their leave also.

So, what to make of tonight’s events? Well, if you are looking for a new(ish), young band with whom to while away long hours in a state of sweet melancholy, there may now be an alternate to Belle and Sebastian. On the other hand, being quite so brutally honest in your songwriting does not always make for happy relationships in and out of the band. Ask Elliot Smith.

Enjoy exlovers while you can. They are a very good band with the potential to be a fantastic one. Let’s all hope that they get a chance to prove me right!

By Liam Clune


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