8th October | Exchange

Previously found supporting every British rock band to ever take a stab at the mainstream, here come power-pop trio The Xcerts, barrelling into a sold-out headline show at the Exchange with a bag of Capital-A Anthems and Capital-B Ballads. Frontman Murray Macloed tears and coos through favourites ‘Shaking in the Water’ and a surprisingly touching solo rendition of ‘Pop Song’ with amenable confidence, whilst also taking time to tell tales of sponge finger theft on the band’s maiden jaunt to Bristol.

Tracks previewed from forthcoming album Hold On To Your Heart edge the threesome closer to 80s movie soundtrack territory than ever before. Whilst conjuring memories of your first ever viewing of The Breakfast Club is no bad thing, tracks like ‘First Kiss Feeling’ and ‘Show Me Beautiful’ are occasionally as saccharine as those titles suggest, flipping the lantern-strewn room from rock show to date night.

That said, bookending the set with the jubilant air-punch of new tracks ‘Daydream’ and ‘Feels Like Falling in Love’, knowing that the capacity crowd are likely here in search of the throat-scoring singalongs that have become The Xcerts’ trademark, marks them as a band confident that it has found the most immediate route to hearts and minds. Fans of those communal vocal moments don’t leave disappointed either, with ‘Aberdeen 1987’ and the ever-rousing ‘There Is Only You’ melting the line between band and crowd into nothing.

Macloed, Smith and Heron have a slew of sold out shows under their belt, singalongs for days, and a new record due in January that’s precision engineered to tread a similar path to mainstream success previously walked by The 1975 (and even – whisper it – Snow Patrol). All the ingredients for pop triumph are there – now it’s time to see if The Xcerts will rise.

Watch the video for ‘Feels Like Falling in Love’ below.