Originally formed in 2001 in the headmaster's office of their Aberdeen, Scotland school, the Xcerts comprise Murray MacLeod (lead vocals/guitar), Jordan Smith (bass), and Tom Heron (drums).
It wasn't until 2006, with the departure of original drummer Ross McTaggart, that they really began to progress and subsequently relocated to Brighton to concentrate on their music. Here Heron, originally from Exeter, was installed as the band’s drummer. Playing a combination of loud, distorted riffs and soaring pop-edged choruses, they drew immediate comparisons to countrymen Biffy Clyro
and the '90s post-grunge of Weezer
. The band released two singles on Glasgow independent label One Records
before Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly
frontman Sam Duckworth
released a further two singles on his Mannequin Republic
label. The first single, "Do You Feel Safe," received considerable radio airplay on BBC Radio 1 and XFM. The Xcerts then relentlessly toured the U.K. with Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly
throughout 2008, and their energetic live performances began to gain attention from the media. Their hard work paid dividends as they were subsequently signed to the Xtra Mile
, Frank Turner
) in 2009. Their 2009 debut album, In the Cold Wind We Smile, featured songs that had been written during years of touring which had allowed them to perfect their body of work. Early singles "Just Go Home" and "Do You Feel Safe" both appeared on their debut full-length record, which was well-received by the British press, Kerrang!, and Rocksound. The album was recorded in Wales and produced by Dave Eringa (Idlewild
, Manic Street Preachers
), whose straightforward approach brought urgency to the angst and melancholy delivered perfectly by MacLeod's vocals.