The xx: Night & Day

This is the third mini-festival curated by the xx under the banner Night + Day, following events in Lisbon and Berlin. If there is a tone, it is set by the hosts: artfully moody electronica is in generous supply. But there are exceptions, both on the main stage and on the bandstand where the DJs – including Jamie xx – confirm that late-70s/early-80s dance music is back.
Night + Day, as befits its title, alternates between the two moods. London Grammar's downtempo electronc pop, sung soulfully by Hannah Reid, is well received, even if it is a little too patly post-xx. Jon Hopkins unleashes sublime waves of glitchy, haunting sound from his laptop. Mt Kimbie specialise in quiet storm electronica, although their music can, at times, sound like anything from post-rock and krautrock to prog rock. Poliça maintain the middling tempo and sepulchral ambience almost too well, and after a while Channy Leanagh's tremulous vocals start to grate.
Kindness, a UK funk troupe fronted by Adam Bainbridge, a skinny long-haired dude who looks like a refugee from a grunge band, are a superb deviation from the chilled grooves. Theirs is a knowing but not ironic take on exuberant disco and funk, and it is greeted suitably enthusiastically. It could be their time to get lucky. Solange, sister of Beyoncé and the R&B darling of the leftfield, offers another respite, jerking and lunging where the other acts have been mostly inert. Benji B's DJ set is arguably the night's highlight, a stunning mix of hip-hop, grime and garage that gets a frenzied response. The area is bathed in white light for the xx. While once they were tentative, now they have emerged from the shadows: if anything, Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim's vocals are too confident. And theirs is an efficient, politely emotional form of dinner-party dubstep. Time, perhaps, for them to blow their cool apart with some of that disco and funk.


Jon Hopkins

Mount Kombie


The xx

Jamie xx

Romy Madley Croft

Oliver Sim

We love them <3

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