Cambridge Rockers Alt-J at the Brighton Centre
A gig at the Brighton Centre is always a glittering affair and tonight’s offering of Leeds three-piece Alt-J proved to be exactly that.
Hampshire rockers, Blaenavon, kick off proceedings with an electrifying support slot. The trio’s energetic set perfectly paves the way for the headliners to take over and material from their debut album, ‘That’s Your Lot’, is met with nothing short of adoration. The awaiting crowd is treated to a number of tunes, including: ‘Orthodox Man’, ‘My Bark Is Your Bite’ and ‘Take Care’. They reek of a band with a point to prove throughout their slot, which will undoubtedly see people flock to their own headline shows in the not too distant future.
As Alt-J take to the stage amid a flurry of flashing lights and launch into ‘3WW’, the crowd surges forward and appear polished and locked together from the very off. The familiar opening strains of ‘Something Good’, from the band’s debut album ‘An Awesome Wave’, receives a remarkable reception from the swelling crowd.
Recently released material to be played from the trio’s third album ‘Relaxer’, includes ‘Deadcrush’ and ‘In Cold Blood’, which exemplifies just how much Alt-J have grown in a relatively short space of time. The live setting also works wonders and allows the new tracks to really flourish and come into their own.
However, it’s older material that sees the trio ignite an enthusiasm that blazes fully. Recognisable hits ‘Bloodflood’, ‘Every Other Freckle’ and ‘Matilda’ see the group showcase their blissful melodies and addictive choruses, which appear even brighter than on the original records they were released.
As the trio leave ‘Fitzpleasure’ to hang gloriously in the air, they seemingly wave goodbye, but everyone knows they’ll be back for an encore. Indeed, a minute or so later the band return to the stage to be met with rapturous applause and the group revel in the final few numbers of their impressive and striking set.
Penultimate number, ‘Left Hand Free’ sees the venue reduced to one great, heaving mess as the crowd sings every word straight back at them. The closing honour tonight is given to a long-term fan favourite, ‘Breezeblocks’, that sees a tacitly planned setlist finish in as gleeful a manner as the band could manage.
Supremely confident and self-assured throughout their set, Alt-J kept crowd interaction and between-song chats to a minimum – instead, letting their music charm the crowd before them. A mixture of material from their three albums, it’s a heady cocktail to behold, and the dazzling light show that backs them is the cherry on top. ‘Relaxer’ might not have been the brilliant album fans had hoped for but tonight proved that Alt-J are one of the best live bands around in Britain at the moment.