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XFM Winter Wonderland – O2 Academy, Brixton

Brixton Academy
4.0 10 OK

With the festive season upon us, with it comes XFMs annual event Winter Wonderland at Brixton’s O2 Academy. While a mish-mash of newcomers and established bands is to be expected at such gatherings , if the line up was intended to reflect the best and most played of 2012, some of the acts may have seemed like a strange choice, not least headliner Editors who’s last album was as far back as 2009.

Presented by XFM DJ Danny Wallace, the night kicked off with up and coming acts, pleasant and jaunty indie kids Theme Park, followed by singer-songwriter Lucy Rose, who showed off her mellow Laura Marling alike vocals and provided a nice break from the male orientated line up.

Australian five piece Temper Trap then took to the stage with an enthusiastic performance. The acoustics of the academy complimented front man Dougi Mandangy’s powerful, choir boy vocals perfectly, however their set, a mixture of tracks from their two albums, felt overly long and a little drawn out. They managed to bring it back home though, rounding off their set with their sing along anthem Sweet Disposition.

Next up were an XFM favourite, Manchunian based Indie lads The Courteeners. Outspoken Liam Fray and his mates seemed to have much of the pulling power of the event, they definitely had the support of most of the audience. Because of this, they didn’t need to try very hard, and that they didn’t; breezing through their set of new tracks and crowd pleasing hits, showing that slightly mediocre jangly guitar-based indie rock still has a very firm place on the airwaves.

Putting their questionable ‘current-ness’ aside, headliners Editors proved their relevance on the music scene and certainly didn’t disappoint. Their brand of dark, synthy indie rock and Tom Smith’s dramatic vocals lent themselves perfectly to the stage and they delivered an energetic and polished performance to end the evening, without a doubt the highlight of the night.


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