Leeds Mercury Award-winning Alt-J release their second album, This Is All Yours, today and tonight’s sell-out beginning to its tour marks the celebration. Luckily it’s been streaming online for the past couple of weeks.
As such it’s a strong start, the album’s lead single Hunger Of The Pine, featuring samples of nation-divider Miley Cyrus, recreated ably, followed by two from their 2013 debut (An Awesome Wave), Dissolve Me and Something Good. It’s a beautifully balanced set from the increasingly impossible to quantify outfit – though TIAY at time errs on the slow side, the positioning of its upbeat singles amongst An Awesome Wave’s beatier backbone does credit to their perceptiveness and reflects the ingenuity of their live-to-sample ratio.
In four-across-the-front formation, two spotlights fall on lead singer Joe Newman and keyboardist Gus Unger-Hamilton as they follow the soft a capella trajectory of Interlude i into Tessellate and beyond into the salaciously erotic Every Other Freckle.
At times the newer material does lack the force of their older work but maybe that’s the power of the audience who are still in the getting to know each other stage of the relationship.
The encore comprises a stripped back cover of Bill Withers’ Lovely Day followed by Nara and finally Breezeblocks which it seems everyone has been waiting for. Alt-J may have lost a founding member this year but conversely they’ve found their live stride.
Photos: Andy Hughes