Monday, 4 July 2011
New Artist Alert: Xander & The Peace Pirates
I've been looking forward to sharing with you all the breath of fresh air that is Xander & The Peace Pirates after they opened for Bon Jovi in Manchester a couple of weeks ago. As I said at the time, it doesn't really matter who's supporting when you go and see your favourite band, at the end of the day they're the only thing standing between you and Bon Jovi. It's even harder for the first act, because they're normally a lucky College band who won a radio contest and no one is really that interested. However, when Xander & The Peace Pirates strolled confidently onto Bon Jovi's daunting stage and fired up their set, it was instantly apparent that these guys definitely had something. Whether the experience opened doors for the band or was simply an incredible once-in-a-lifetime experience I don't know, but I am sure that these guys are definitely worth checking out and were certainly worthy winners of the opening act competition. Their passion for their music matched with their stage presence and song-writing abilities certainly won over a very large and impatient Manchester crowd on a rather wet Friday 24th June, and I'm delighted to be able to share the guys with you now.
Xander & The Peace Pirates are definitely pioneering the campaign to bring rock music back to the masses and are very ready and willing to derail any R&B or dance acts that get in their way. Their music bio isn't full of pretentious self-evaluative comments or 'John met Gary in 2006 and they looked for a drummer' but instead rhetorically yearns with the reader to ask where the great and real energetic rock bands of the past few decades have gone. Who stole all the good music, the real music?! This Liverpudlian quintet have certainly got what it takes to lead good rock music back into the charts but they certainly can't do it alone. So have a listen for yourself, and help to support what is real and sorely missed in music today.
I had a listen to a couple of the band's tracks, the first being 'Fire' with throwbacks to classic Hendrix-esque style vocals and guitar lines sharing the lead melody and the driving rhythms of Cream brought up to date with funky drums. The lead vocals really carry the track with a wonderful whirring keyboard backdrop and if the solo sections don't have you tapping your feet then maybe music just isn't for you.
'This Life' showcases a slightly different side to the band; we know they can rock but can they pull of a ballad? When the vocals come in, I find myself questioning the originality of the song; I've only heard it once yet it is instantly recognisable. As the song develops and the soaring vocal harmonies carry us through I'm reminded of how perfect the band pulled these off live in a huge stadium setting. The low-key nature of the track allows much-needed space for the vocals to lead, allowing us to really listen to the lyrics and the extended solo-section sounds fantastic as it dribbles out into cascading piano runs and almost-tribal drums before the track builds for its final curtain call. All in all, a great sounding song.
Debut album '11' is available on iTunes, Amazon and Spotify now; be sure to check them out and keep up to date on their Facebook page.