Tonight’s Alexandra Palace show, the band’s biggest performance to date, feels like an achievement; like everything of Alt-J’s career so far has been heading to this point. The sold out venue buzzes with feverish excitement, excitement for a band that, two albums in, have not lost the dedicated fan base that helped get them here, just added more of them. Thousands more of them.
Their meteoric rise to success is a great indie success story. The Mercury Prize-winning 2012 debut 'An Awesome Wave' bridged the gap between leftfield and mainstream music, pushing a truly original sound that on the surface one might not have imagined would appeal to a wide audience, but is at the same time undeniably immediate.
The fans tonight are not to be disappointed. The trio play a relatively even balance of tracks from both the beloved 'An Awesome Wave' and new record 'This is All Yours', everyone knowing every word despite the latter only having been released mere days before. The Miley Cyrus-sampling opener 'Hunger of the Pine' enraptures from the off, while 'Every Other Freckle' and 'Taro' send the crowd into £4.80 a pint-fuelled fervour. Old favourites 'Estocada' and 'Matilda' are highlights, exhibiting why Alt-J are where they are. This is cerebral music that you can sing and dance to, a fact fully demonstrated by tonight's audience.
The encore is somewhat of a more sombre affair, consisting of a cover of Bill Withers' 'Lovely Day'-full of Alt-J introspection and less of Withers' optimism, 'Nara', and last, but certainly not least, 'Breezeblocks'. It is a truly triumphant close. With headline slots at the mighty O2 arena already booked, Alt-J are a band who are going to take on the world and almost certainly win.
Records & Merch
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