11:11 is Xander and the Peace Pirates new album, 20/11 was the date of their UK album launch, and I was one face in an eagerly anticipating crowd. The band is fronted by Keith Xander on vocals and lead guitar, with Stu Xander playing acoustic guitar, Mike Gay on slide guitar, Joel Goldberg on bass and Adam Goldberg on drums. It was easy to tell through the atmosphere of the ever-amazing Cavern Club that the crowd had been waiting anxiously for the release of this album, and that many dedicated fans had all come together to support this Liverpool-based band.
The band showcased the whole of their new album 11:11, but the one song that sticks out the most in my memory of the night is the track “Dance With the Devil”, a powerful song that got the audience raring to go and completely invested in the rest of the set. The band combine soul, blues and rock, making seeing them live a totally unique experience through the mix of the acoustic guitar, slide guitar, bass, drums and wicked vocals, these five musicians create an amazing sound unique and exclusive to Xander and the Peace Pirates.
Their instantly recognisable sound was also presented when they played the song ‘Truth Lies’. Keith told the crowd that the song was written about his experience realising that what seems to be “real” is in fact fallacious, which was obviously a key, eye opening experience for him, and this really comes through in this great track.
The audience were also let in on the fact that 11:11 represents peace signs, inner peace and balance. This message was shown when the band performed all their tracks and it’s obvious that each song links to this idea of ‘peace’ or the journey to finding peace within ourselves.
On the night, it was easy to tell that the band are influenced by artists such as Prince, Lenny Kravitz and Stevie Ray Vaughn, mainly through the heavy focus on guitar in their music. The band managed to get every crowd member involved with the songs; at one point Keith asked the band to sing the line ‘Only solution to soul pollution will be a spiritual revolution’, an instruction that everyone in the crowd joined in with to make the atmosphere of the gig that much more thrilling.
Overall this was an amazing gig, and as Xander and the Peace Pirates were a resident band at the Cavern Club for many years, the venue was the perfect place for their album’s launch. The Cavern Club is such an iconic venue in music history and a perfect place for a band like Xander and the Peace Pirates who are set to take Liverpool and the rest of the world by storm. Great atmosphere, great music, great band, all in all a great gig. I cannot wait for the next time Xander and the Peace Pirates play Liverpool, and I will be first in line for a ticket.
Picture credit: Grace Dutch