After weeks of lusting after a ticket to see newcomers alt-j, they answered our prayers through the medium of Twitter and announced they were doing a small gig at the busiest train station in the UK. We can’t remember the last time we were so excited to go to St Pancras…
Twitter introduced me to this band; this odd computer command kept cropping up
Like some silent, incessant online chant to discover these guys the almighty tweet tweet led me to a band that I have fallen for at first listen. I am the geeky loner sitting across from them in the canteen and they are the arty-yet-popular collective that have great teeth and can sing. I vaguely just about remember catching them on BBC introducing some time last year and thinking that The Maccabees had taken on a new sub-band with cooler riffs and visuals. They take musical influence from Radiohead to Skrillex all the way back to Laura Marling, which is apparent in their mournful lyrics and hint of electronic dabbling.
After much online swooning and continual replaying of their singles, I hankered for more. A live gig was the only possible solution; I needed more songs, I was intrigued as to how they would perform these incredibly varied songs, I wondered how they gelled as a group. I browsed on and off all day for tickets but the re-sell price was inching up by the minute and I had to pay my rent on time this month. I resigned in a strop and prayed to the music gods to one day let me see them for real. Twitter became my saviour once more and answered my prayers; they had tweeted about a free live set they were to play at The Station Sessions in St Pancras train station, one of the busiest places in London.
I rushed down camera in hand all giddily excited at getting a decent view and being able to listen to a live half hour set for free and managed to nestle between the puzzled commuters and actual fans.
The atmosphere, although in surreal surroundings, was intense yet very calm. It was bizarre to have such a huge section of one of the busiest stations in London so quiet, craning to hear the boys and their beautiful sounds. They honestly were a joy to watch and exceeded my expectations; vocals were spot on, harmonies perfected and the drummer had a Yoda-like concentration going on.
Even the confused commuters stayed til the last note, a testament to just how lovely their set was. They played some of their well-known tracks like ‘Matilda’, ‘Tesselate’ and ‘Handmade’ but also previewed a few newbies that, on first listen, were gorgeous. I am counting down the days til their album ‘An Awesome Wave’ drops (May 28th).
Word on the cool-blogesphere-ad-covered-music-sites is that the boys don’t like having their faces showing in any pictures, a faceless middle finger to the world of social online sharing, so I chose a picture that kindly adheres to there ethos and also looks quite ok! Below is a short video I took of the boys playing ‘Tesselate’, not an amazing view, but then again it was the best I could get amongst a crowd at five foot!