Alex Winston @ XOYO 4th April 2012

I have been to a variety of different gigs/ venues in the past but this was the first time I had attended an event at XOYO. This occasion was to see the talent that is Alex Winston. The debut album King Con had just been released which saw Winston perform at a variety of different venues in the UK before going to Europe. After having performed in Amsterdam the night before, Alex Winston then ended her successful tour in London. When the doors opened at 8pm people started making their way into the basement venue. To start off with it looked like this event had undersold. I would say that when the support band took to the stage no more than 40 people were there. The evening kicked off with Exlovers whom are a 5 piece group that offer bundles of promise. The 8 track set consisted of songs such as Emily, Starlight, Starlight and This Love Will Lead You On. This was a showcase of material from the forthcoming album Moth. Exlovers aren’t a new band on the block as they have already been in the music business since 2008. Currently signed to Young And Lost Club this group has also released 2 records on the Chess Club imprint. I was lucky enough to witness this band very early in their career (Peggy Sue @ The Social August 2008) and from just seeing them again makes me anticipate future material. I definitely look forward to the next Exlovers headline gig.

Dead on 9.45pm Alex Winston, her Sister Wives and band took to the stage. They came on to “The Ants Go Marching Two By Two”. This then led into Fire Ant. Now this song was incredible as it is very upbeat and there is a frantic pace towards the end. Fire Ant which appeared as a B Side to the recent Velvet Elvis EP oozed plenty of energy. “Thankyou so much, you guys doing alright? I’m very happy to be here tonight. We kind of look like the Partridge family. This is sort of a special occasion because it’s our last night on the tour and my CD just came out” Alex said to the audience before getting stuck into Run Rumspringa. I really liked this song. The lyrics were brilliant and they were also delivered smoothly. “I know this is London and sometimes I got to force you to get into it but I think you’re going to warm up and I think you’re going to have a good time” Alex mentioned to the audience before singing another album track and this being Host. This was a laid back song which had an soothing chorus and upbeat verses. Velvet Elvis was the next on the night and this was one energetic crowd pleasing song. This strong number was also very pacey. “This next song is called Locomotive” Winston said to the audience before delving into Locomotive which originally featured on the Sister Wife EP. This was one phenomenal song which showcases Alex’s stunning vocal range plus the harmonising from the Sister Wives was incredible at the same time. Locomotive was packed with a punch. “I’m going to slow down” Alex said before telling the audience to applaud Matt who had learnt how to play the songs that very day. Guts was a song I had never heard before and Alex took to an electric guitar. This song was sung at a steady pace and the vocals were slightly haunting. Alex Winston has an extremely powerful vocal range which made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. I would make a comparison to the amazing Kate Bush. Towards the end the pace began to pick up. “This next song is for these 2 girls it’s called Sister Wife” Alex then mentioned to the audience before singing Sister Wife. This song is a favourite of mine not only because it oozed plenty of energy but it is infectious at the same time. You are inclined to sing along to this feel good song. It was then straight onto The Fold which had a steady pace and luscious lyrics which I adored. “I’m going to play you guys a song I don’t generally play because I tend to f**k it up everytime I play it” Winston then mentioned before deciding against playing Don’t Care About Anything. “I think you might want to hear Choice Notes next. I should probably mention that I have my CD’s for sale over there”. Choice Notes is probably the most main stream song as it was used as the background music of the Hyundi adverts in Europe and the UK and more recently the TK Maxx adverts. At the start of this number Alex stood on the barrier and fell backwards only to carry on singing this lovely song. “Shall we try this one again” Alex said before having a second attempt of playing Don’t Care About Anything. This was stripped back and it was only Alex on her acoustic guitar. She may of said that she tends to mess it up but she sailed through it at ease. Once over Winston then took to the barrier again. “I kind of feel like f**king P!nk or something” she then said before walking across the barrier bar. Alex then jumped into the crowd and stayed there till the very end. Medicine had a party feel to it and it most definitely capped off an extraordinary evening.

SET LIST

Fire Ant
Run Rumspringa
Host
Velvet Elvis
Locomotive
Guts
Sister Wife
The Fold
Choice Notes
Don’t Care About Anything
Medicine

OVERALL: Alex Winston had plenty of stage presence, charisma and bundles of energy. I enjoyed this evening and the performances both by Exlovers and Alex Winston had that feel good vibe. After having caught Exlovers very early in their career it was therefore a pleasure to see them play again. I was captivated by the set they played from beginning to end.

Finally Alex Winston there are not enough words to say other than the fact she is AMAZING. Everyone had a good time during the 11 songs that were performed. The set played was basically a showcase of material from debut album King Con (minus Shock Me and Benny). Also she performed the lovely stripped back Don’t Care About Anything which is a song that needs complete silence.

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