Live: Alt-J @ Nottingham Rock City

After storming the music industry last May with the release of their debut album An Awesome Wave, Alt –J sent their Nottingham fans wild this week when they played a sold out gig at Rock City. The euphoric reception they received came as no surprise after the success the last year has brought them, from winning the Mercury Award back in November to landing themselves three BRIT nominations only a few months later.

The band first met at University in Leeds in 2007 and in their second year of studies Joe Newman approached band-mate Gwil Sainsbury with some songs of his own that he had written. The rest is history.

Their quirky sound with an artistic edge without a doubt makes the indie quartet stand out from other bands within the genre and as I stood in the crowd on Monday night it was clear that their unique identity has appealed to fans of all ages. The older members of the crowd were less animated than the youngsters bopping around on the front row; however it was clear from observation that they were enjoying it nonetheless, taking in the cleverly witty lyrics and sharply delivered performance.

The crowd eagerly anticipated the bands arrival and they finally appeared on stage at quarter to ten, following the two support bands Hundred Water and Princess Chelsea.

Despite their more delicate style of performance in comparison to other bands, the crowd had been driven into a frenzy by the time they got around to performing their third track of the night, Tessellate. Fans created triangles with their hands above their heads as they roared the lyrics, “Triangles are my favourite shape three points where two lines meet”, which is in reference to their band-name being derived from the short-cut for the Delta symbol on Apple computers.

With only one album of material available the set-list was consequently limited; however they mixed up the running order with a modern and nearly unrecognisable mash-up of Kylie and Dr Dre which they had without a doubt put their own stamp on.

Matilda was one of the best received songs of the night along with Breeze Blocks, which is currently in the UK charts and pricked up the ears of those in the audience who were less familiar with Alt-J’s music.

Despite the short set lasting a mere 57 minutes, Alt-J did not disappoint and with such cleverly constructed material maybe a minimalistic approach was all that was required to showcase their album which is admired and appreciated by so many.

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