When performing on stage, save for the strumming of strings, tapping of keys, and beating of drums, alt-J barely move. Their legs and arms are almost immobile, and due to the lights flashing behind them, any movement of their lips and eyes are hidden in shadow. When addressing the throng in front of them between tracks, they are brief and modest, seemingly unaffected by the crowd’s ecstasy. Indeed, one might deduce that they aren’t even enjoying themselves. This is All Yours is the name of their second album, and playing at Berlin’s Columbiahalle last month, it appear like alt-J are willingly but indifferently imparting a gift.
It is a gift ardently received.
Centre stage and just a step closer to its lip than his bandmates, lead-singer Joe Newman doesn’t have the classic appearance of a rock star ...
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Bertie Digby Alexander