Interview: The XX - XX make their mark with XL Records

HANDY if you're looking to catch Britain's coolest young band; The XX mark that spot, and they're heading for Studio 24 next week.

Getting tickets for Tuesday's gig may prove to be problematic, mind, as everyone seems to love them right now.

That's because the London newcomers mostly live up to the hype, unlike most other buzz bands around.

On the surface, these three precocious 20-year-olds appear not to be doing anything new – think Cocteau Twins and early The Cure with a hint of electronica and R&B – but their eponymous debut is a simple yet groundbreaking piece of moody, minimalist indie pop. Now signed to XL Records' sub-label Young Turks, the band, comprising Oliver Sim, Romy Madley Croft and Jamie Smith, were initially very secretive about things and didn't even tell friends and family about The XX. That's mainly because they weren't too confident, as Sim explains.

"It's a lot easier to play in front of quite a lot of strangers than a couple of your friends just because when it's someone that really knows you, it's much more scary," he says.

"We were gigging a little bit before we told anyone about it."

The cat's out of the bag now, though; their debut earned all sorts of plaudits and their recent tour in support of Florence And The Machine brought them to a much wider audience.

"We used to play smaller venues so in the beginning, that's what our music lent itself to," says Sim. "Now we've put a lot of work on production and it's a lot bigger and we're trying to work hard on it so it'll translate well into bigger venues."

The XX, Studio 24, Calton Road, Tuesday, 7pm, 12.50, 0131-558 3758