LIVE REVIEW: Alt-J – Wolverhampton Civic Hall – 22nd September



After a long wait the time had finally come for me to see one of the most interesting acts that’s around today, Alt-J. Missing their debut album tour was a huge mistake so after the announcement of their new album This is All Yours the same mistake was not going to be made again. Although they lost their talented bass/Guitar player Gwil Sainsbury their new album didn’t disappoint, as they still delivered nothing below par which piled the excitement on this gig.

Marika Hackman provided the music to warm up the eager crowd up for Alt-J, and they seem to do it like veterans. Each of the their songs were interesting and in a sense daunting, as they each had an eerie feel to them and both of these qualities kept the audience hooked as they continued to give the band a strong reception.

The lights went down and the crowd got louder as the Leeds band strolled onto the stage with calmness and composure embedded within each of their steps. The band started strongly with ‘Hunger of the Pine’ opening up the set and getting a huge response from the crowd immediately after the song. Straight after the opening they hit the crowd with some well-known hits with ‘Fitzpleasure’, ‘Something Good’ and ‘Left Hand Free’ with each of the songs earning an abundant reception.

Throughout the night it seemed that the biggest reactions came from songs belonging to the first album with the likes of ‘Matilda’ and ‘Tessellate’ getting people moving. Unfortunately it felt that their Second album hadn’t sunk deep enough into the minds of the crowd as it didn’t connect with the vast majority, however it was stilladmirable purely because of the performance of the tracks.

‘Every Other Freckle’ and ‘Warm Foothills’ was a joy to hear live because it was great to see them playing out with ease, it was difficult at times to understand how they were playing the songs because they seemed too complex to play between four people.

The encore was the highlight of the show as the band covered Bill Withers’ ‘Lovely Day’, played through the magical song ‘Nara’ and left the crowd drooling as they ended it with ‘Breezeblocks’. Being part of the crowd as they played ‘Breezeblocks’ was a magical experience, because it felt like it was just coming straight off the record because It was spotless.

Alt-J proved that they are still one of the most unique acts around as their set was filled with magic and bliss throughout, and there’s no doubt that they will continue this through their music career. Unfortunately it seems that their second album hasn’t captured the audiences like An Awesome Wave did, however there is still time for the album to sink in. Bottom line is, if you’re going to see alt-J, you’re going to see an excellent performance.

Words by Alex Wise @al4563


One thought

  1. Went to the gig at Wolves on Monday 22nd Sept.
    Marika Hackman was a good warm up – sounding similar to London Grammar but with strong simple guitar accompaniment – definitely worth a listen….

    Alt-J came on to the strains of Hunger of the pine (just magic)
    There was a real excitement in the crowd (even through the stunned silences) – just amazing.
    New songs interspersed with the old.. “Left hand free” went down a storm – just got such a great rock feel to it; and the complete contrast of Nara with sunrise imagery in the background.
    The light show was spectacular and blended/emphasised the music perfectly. The sound was crystal clear and we were just swept along on a wave euphoria… Joe’s vocals and Gus /Thom’s harmonies were note perfect .
    “ripe and ruin” came on followed by “Tessellate” we all went wild. Each song executed perfectly, they sounded so polished and played like they’d been in the spotlight for years.

    The atmosphere was just amazing, with my personal favourite TARO was sung and played stunningly (Bhangra sounding chorus by Gwils stand-in).
    Before we knew it, the night was almost over and the encore Lovely day and Breezeblocks got the message across loud and clear .. what a night!!….

    Such a pity that the set was only 70 minutes long, and that we had so little time to listen to the album beforehand,
    Just can’t wait to see them again – an absolutely amazing experience from start to finish :
    Cheers lads – GeordieJohnH 10 out of 10!

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