Live Review
XIU XIU AT THE FREEBUTT, BRIGHTON
Xiu Xiu
No Address1
Brighton
27/02/10

Rule one of ‘The Indie Band Survival Guide’ states that band names should be something that people can both easily pronounce and remember. After watching Xiu Xiu for a handful of minutes it becomes instantly clear that vocalist Jamie Stewart is not your archetypal frontman and Xiu Xiu are far removed from being a conventional plug in and play band – naming practices of the norm not the only customs they are willing to flounce. Untraditional in being, they have an experimental bent that sees them flinch from one genre to the next in quick succession, making it hard to narrowly tent peg them down into one easy-to-label genre. Where on record their recent material has been multi-layered and fleshed out with orchestral flourishes, tonight on stage they morph into an uncompromising minimalist duo. For the most part Stewart wields a guitar, knocking out a mixture of delicately played folk tinged notes and forceful distortion dressed chords as he theatrically sing a succession of haunting words whilst, barely a metre away, Angela Seo stands texturing further by playing with electronic devices and various percussive instruments, occasionally helping it descend into brief, abrasive noise freak outs before melody is once again discovered. Wrapped in idiosyncrasies Xiu Xiu are a band unlike any other.