It’s impossible to beat live music. Music happening right there in front of you, in the same air. But it’s also a risky business. A thrill that’s part anticipation, part nerves. When you’ve felt every chord, every beat, every word of an album in your head, there’s always a fear it will fall short in the real world. Roland Barthes wrote about death of the author – one very loose interpretation of which being that the reader of a text also becomes author, infusing it with layers of their own meaning. The same can be applied to music. Our experiences shape the way we listen. We all hear things differently. 

Last week I saw The xx at Hoxton Hall. I spent it, hands clasped, on the brink of tears – partly because their music is just so damned beautiful but also because I was relieved it lived up to my own personal experience of it. Man, they’re good.

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