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Alt-J// O2 Academy/ 11.5.13

          

Ever had those pre-gig fears that your favourite band isn’t going to live up to your expectations? With the unique blend of Dubstep rhythm and folky harmonies, the question of the night was will Alt-J be able to create their special sound on stage?


The sold out 02 Academy suggests that their fans certainly believed the band were up to the job. As an eerie male voice choir echoed across the dark venue, the crowd fell silent anticipating the Cambridge four-piece’s entrance. Striding on to an eruption of screams, hands in the shape of an ‘A’, which the audience rushed to mimic, Thom the drummer breaks into an energetic rhythm which carried the band through the night.


‘Fitzpleasure’ stole the show, lurching band and crowd together into a wild frenzy. This is when the band truly came into their element on stage, losing the awkwardness of the earlier songs. The band’s multitasking Gwil Sainsbury danced around the stage to the drone of the smouldering guitar and frontman Joe Newman’s nasal voice reverberated around the crowd.


After the classic ‘one more song!’ chant, Newman and keyboardist Unger-Hamilton returned alone. This left the audience a little baffled, wondering where the rest of the band was, leading to noise levels rising above the two-part harmonies. But to great relief, the rest of the band joined them on stage to the Bollywood sounds of ‘Taro’, creating an emotive finale.


Alt-J’s performance received an ‘awesome wave’ of adoration from the audience, proving they can live up to the pedestal they’ve been put on since the release of their acclaimed album. It was a brilliant gig and the band captured the essence of the album perfectly, so if you enjoyed it from the comfort of your home, it’s worth making the time to see it live.


/Lorna Poultney

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