WORDS AND IMAGES BY BILLY SEAGRAVE
Billy Seagrave finally gets to see this show that has had its fair share of cancellations, and it was with great anticipation to watch Alt J deliver a live set in Manchester in what has seemed like a lifetime.
The Manchester Apollo was set to welcome Alt-J for an evening that has taken so long to finally come around for the fans. The Leeds trio have technically popped over from Leeds, the venue is filling with a wide age range of people. There was a great atmosphere building before proceedings were about to commence.
Opening tonight’s offerings are from Wilderado a five-piece band hailing from Tulsa Oklahoma the alternative rock band received a warm welcome to Manchester Apollo, as they explained it was a pleasure and eye opening to work in such a fantastic venue. They delivered an interesting set, capturing the imagination of the assembled crowd. Max Rainer, Tyler Wimpee, Justin Kila and Jack Malonis gave the Manchester audience a real treat, perfectly warming up the crowd for Alt-J tonight’s host. The band announced they will be back in the city in October playing just down the road at Manchester’s Deaf Institute.
The Apollo was pact to the rafters, and as the faint strains of the Fatboy slim classic begins to filter around the venue, the crowd begin to stir, it’s not often that a song that has been chosen as a warmup gets cranked up and gets louder and louder, ‘Right here right now’ has the crowd in fine form and a perfect builder for the main act. The venue lights lowered as the intro music slowly started, the crowd got the first look at the band as they took to the raised platform stage, the set up which has a glass floor enabling lights to be used below the band, the backdrop showed a single candle that multiplied as the song went on. Alt-J opening the set with ‘Bane’ with its slow start, building as the song develops, the silhouette figures of the band on the raised stage loomed larger than life, as the led backdrop enhanced the atmosphere of the opening song. It was the perfect start to the show, entrancing the audience into their music, the vocals from Joe Newman emphasized this, the band currently on tour with the latest album ‘The Dream’, with their 10-year anniversary from their Mercury winning debut album; An Awesome Wave; Continuing with ‘Every Other Freckle’ before the band performed their current single ‘The Actor’. The tempo, building on the earlier songs was creating an atmospheric euphoria within the venue, the strobe lights beaming from the Perspex flooring lit up the band members and had the crowd focused on their every move.
The band are in full flow as they delve into past albums and treat the appreciative Manchester audience to a back catalogue of songs with ‘Deadcrush’, ‘Ripe & Ruin’, ‘Chicago’ and ‘The gospel of John Hurt’, the audience are in awe and of the excellent harmonies and melodic interludes the band have developed over their fantastic career so far. Closing out the set with ‘Dissolve Me’ and ‘Fitzpleasure’, returning to play a three-song encore that had a grateful crowd lapping up every second of every beat. ‘Left Hand Free’, ‘Hard Drive Gold’, before finishing the set with ‘Breezeblocks’, Leaving the stage to a still totally pact venue and a fantastic ovation from a crowd that been thoroughly entertained.
For a three-piece band they delivered an exceptional evening of quality music, a set full of tunes that can light up any venue, if you get the opportunity come out to see this show, you will not be disappointed, you will certainly be entertained.
Joe Newman – Guitar, Bass, Lead Vocals
Thomas Stuart Green – Drums
Augustus Unger-Hamilton – Keyboards, Vocals
3/ The Actor
4/ In Cold Blood
1O/ Something new
12/ John Hurt
15/ Taro Dissolve me
17/ Left Hand free
18/ Hard drive Gold
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My life is a soundtrack, i track my life through music, photography is my passion, my escape, my expression. Without both i have pieces missing, thankfully i’m blessed and get to combine both.
Born in Manchester, lived in Australia for 22 years where i was heavily involved in the Australian Music Industry, firstly in bands (Singer) and then managing bands (all original), I moved back to the UK, Wales specifically 10 years ago and married my childhood sweetheart and life is good.