The Xcerts

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Xcerts
OriginAberdeen, Scotland, UK
GenresAlternative rock, power pop, indie rock, post-hardcore (early)
LabelsRaygun Music
  • Murray Macleod
  • Jordan Smith
  • Tom Heron
Past membersRoss McTaggart

The Xcerts are a British alternative rock band, originally formed in Aberdeen, Scotland, United Kingdom in 2001. They have released four studio albums, with their latest being Hold On To Your Heart (2018).


The Xcerts were originally formed by 13-year-olds Murray Macleod and Jordan Smith after meeting in the headmasters room at Robert Gordon's College in Aberdeen. When school friend Ross McTaggart joined on drums, The Xcerts went on to record two EPs at the local recording studio Captain Tom's.

In order to progress, the band moved to Brighton, England in 2006, where Macleod went to college with future Architects vocalist, Sam Carter, and would later become roommates with Architects bassist Alex Dean.[1]

Shortly afterwards, The Xcerts parted ways with their old drummer McTaggart. A replacement was found in Tom Heron, originally from Exeter, who was living in Brighton with a mutual friend and had also become close friends with Murray and Jordan. With the newly formed trio created, the band began writing the songs that would start to spread the word of The Xcerts nationally.

The Xcerts then went on to release two singles through One Records in Glasgow. Breathtaking Fight, which was recorded at Ridge Farm with Ben Watkins, was then followed shortly after by My Book Laughs. After the success of these two singles, the band were headhunted by Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly frontman, Sam Duckworth, via MySpace who subsequently released two further singles – Just Go Home and Do You Feel Safe? – through his label, Mannequin Republic.

Recorded at The Dog House by Adam Whittaker, Just Go Home received regular airplay on MTV2, and the band recorded three acoustic tracks for MTV's Spanking New Sessions series. The band have also recorded sessions for Tiscali, BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio Scotland, XFM Scotland and XFM London. Cover versions of Radiohead's "All I Need" and The Pixies' "Gigantic" featured in the XFM Scotland and XFM London sessions respectively.

'Do You Feel Safe?' was recorded with Dave Eringa (Idlewild, Manic Street Preachers) and released in early 2008.

The Xcerts have toured with Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly, Make Model, Fighting With Wire, Fightstar and Twin Atlantic, and performed at numerous festivals in 2008 including T in the Park, RockNess, Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival, Zoo8, Offset and Connect Music Festival.

On 22 January 2009, The Xcerts confirmed that their album, In The Cold Wind We Smile would be released on 23 March 2009 through Xtra Mile (Reuben, Million Dead, Frank Turner) and King Tuts Recordings (The Dykeenies, Twin Atlantic). This date was however pushed back to the 30th. They also confirmed that they would release the single "Crisis In The Slow Lane" on 9 March at the end of their tour with Copy Haho.

The Xcerts debut album, In The Cold Wind We Smile, was released on 30 March 2009 through Xtra Mile. It was produced by Dave Eringa.[2] On 1 August 2009 they played at the inaugural Hevy Music Festival held in Folkestone, UK.

In 2010 they completed another headline tour, supported The Get Up Kids and played many festivals notably playing the main stage at Rockness. They will also be embarking on a tour With Get Cape Wear Cape Fly, as well as a September tour supporting Futures.

The Xcerts announced on their Facebook and Myspace in July 2010 that their new album would be named "Scatterbrain" and released in October. This album was recorded by Mike Sapone in his home studio in America, The Xcerts are the first Scottish Band to work with Sapone.

The second single from Scatterbrain was "Young (Belane)" starring actor Jamie Campbell Bower as an obsessed fan who kidnaps the band. Jamie has acted in such films as Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007 film), Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 and The Twilight Saga: New Moon.

In 2012, The Xcerts toured extensively supporting Brand New, Manchester Orchestra and Taking Back Sunday on their UK tours. They were also due to open for Guns N' Roses at the Glasgow, Birmingham and London dates of The Up Close and Personal Tour.[3] However, due to "logistical reasons" all the opening support bands, including The Xcerts, were forced to drop off of the tour.[4] The Xcerts would go on to open for Cursive and Kevin Devine instead.[5]

In 2014, vocalist Macleod appeared on the track "Youth Is Wasted On The Young", from the album Lost Forever // Lost Together by Brighton metalcore band Architects. He has also appeared live on stage with the band to sing his segment of the song during UK shows.

The Xcerts' third album There Is Only You was released on 3 November 2014, through Raygun Music. It was produced by Dave Eringa, with additional orchestration by long-term friend and producer Paul Steel. Within its first week of release, it reached number 96 in the UK Album Chart and number 8 in the Rock Album Chart.

In 2017, The Xcerts appeared at a number of festivals, 2000 Trees (Cheltenham), Reading, 2Q (Lincoln) and Neighbourhood (Manchester) included.

The band released the songs "Feels Like Falling in Love", "Hold On To Your Heart" and "Daydream" in 2017 and "Drive Me Wild" in January 2018, all taken from their fourth studio album 'Hold On To Your Heart', which was released on 19 January 2018.[6]

To support the release of 'Hold On To Your Heart', a short run of intimate instore shows were announced across Scotland and in Kington, London for January 2018. These shows were in a break in the Nothing But Thieves European tour, for which The Xcerts were the main support (with Airways as the opener). Shortly after this, they embarked on their 12 date UK and Ireland tour, also with Airways as support) across February and March of 2018. The Cardiff show was later postponed to April due to severe weather.

In late April and May, the band set out on their first European headline tour. They also appeared at Live at Leeds, 2000 Trees and Reading festivals in the summer.

The band have been announced to support Biffy Clyro and You Me At Six later in 2018.

Cover art[edit]

One of the recurring theme within The Xcerts is each band member featuring on the front of the artwork for each album they have released. Drummer, Tom Heron is on the cover of 2009's In The Cold Wind We Smile, Scatterbrain features bassist Jordan Smith on the cover and Murray Macleod appears on the cover of their third album There Is Only You. All three members feature on the cover of their fourth album, Hold On To Your Heart. "Kick It" taken from the album "There Is Only You" is played at halftime during home matches for the band's hometown football team, Aberdeen FC.

Band members[edit]




  • One Time Too Many (2001)
  • The X-certs EP (2003)
  • Stairs to Noise (2011)
  • Live Like This (2014)
  • I Don't Care (2015)


Name Label B-side(s) Release date
"Breathtaking Fight" One Records Stay The Same 18 December 2006
"My Book Laughs" One Records Weather Warning 30 April 2007
"Just Go Home" Mannequin Republic Aberdeen 1987 19 November 2007
"Do You Feel Safe?" Mannequin Republic Listen, Don't Panic 14 April 2008
"Crisis in the Slow Lane" Xtra Mile/King Tuts Recordings Weather Warning 9 March 2009
"Slackerpop" Xtra Mile Recordings N/A 7 June 2010
"Young (Belane)" Xtra Mile Recordings I Am Home 27 September 2010
"Shaking in the Water" Raygun Music N/A 21 July 2014
"Feels Like Falling in Love" Raygun Music N/A 2 July 2017
"Daydream" Raygun Music N/A 28 September 2017
"Hold On To Your Heart" Raygun Music N/A 1 December 2017
"Drive Me Wild" Raygun Music N/A 12 January 2018

Live albums[edit]

  • Live At King Tut's (2009)

Other appearances[edit]

  • I Hate The Way You Dance – features on Fat Hippy Sampler Vol I, released 17/10/05
  • Weather Warning – features on Fat Hippy Sampler Vol II, released 04/12/06
  • Do You Feel Safe? – features on Fat Hippy Sampler Vol III, released 29/09/08
  • I See Things Differently – features on Cider Smiles Vol III (Hide and Seek Records) released 01/07/10
  • Helena (My Chemical Romance cover) - features on Kerrang! Ultimate Rock Heroes!, released 02/06/15
  • When I Come Around (Green Day Cover) - features on Kerrang! Green Day 30th Anniversary, released 04/12/2016

Unreleased tracks[edit]

The following tracks have featured in live performances and/or been made available as demos online:

  • "I Hate The Way You Dance"
  • "Dark Paths"
  • "Old Folks"
  • "Pretty People"
  • "Monkey Solves Puzzle"
  • "Our Friend, the Tree Talker"
  • "Ghost in the Water"
  • "There Will Be No Miracles Here"
  • "Growing Old"
  • "Fragile Skin"


  1. ^ "Instagram post by Murray Macleod • Oct 25, 2015 at 3:30pm UTC". Instagram.
  2. ^ "Biography : The Xcerts – Official website for Aberdeen/Exeter band".
  3. ^ "The Xcerts To Open For Guns N Roses UK Tour". Retrieved 1 May 2012.
  4. ^ "THE XCERTS DROP OFF GUNS N' ROSES TOUR". DIY. Retrieved 21 May 2012.
  6. ^ "The Xcerts announce new album, 'Hold On To Your Heart'". DIY. Retrieved 18 October 2017.

External links[edit]