There’s a fundamental problem with seeing a band you’ve gone straitjacket needed mental for – they are always going to be a bit disappointing. This happened with Alt-J…
I fell for them and listened to their album more times than I’ve eaten bacon. (I need say no more) The love affair started when my boyfriend introduced me to them, and for a while – I felt cool. I knew about them when few people did. And I went to University in Leeds – where they’re from. And they’re kind of my age. All of this meant (in my head) that I was special and had a wonderfully intimate relationship with them. Of course, they soon became the Holyoaks soundtrack, the Urban Outfitters background music and the B&Q advert. I felt like a cuckold but it didn’t matter. Yes, they were sleeping around, but I was hooked. They could crawl back into my sheets anytime.
So, one evening I was at a very suave fashion party with my parents (looking very uncool and silly drunk) and Alt-J were djing. N.B. I am always rather pissed off when musicians ‘dj’. We like you because of what you play NOT because we like your favourite songs.
But somehow they nailed it. Watching music geeks at work is like watching a sculptor – like Patrick Swayzie in Ghost. I got really close up and started dancing like a lunatic. Obviously no one else did. It was a fashion party and they needed to look cool. I, on the other hand, was not too bothered. I started worshiping them, and when they came off, I followed them around telling them that I loved them.
So then a couple of months later, I went off to Brixton to see them actually play. I was so excited I thought I was going to piss myself. We stopped off for a DELICIOUS pizza in a joint called Franca Manca, and headed towards the gig.
We weren’t in a great spot. And the first thing Joe (the singer) said, was ‘I am going to have to apologise, my voice is shot’. I know I should have thought poor chap, how shit for you, but I’m a twat and I just thought – Why? Why tonight? When I AM HERE?
It was essentially a good gig. The visuals were amazing, and they played their whole album which we all know and love. But it just didn’t sound as good as when you’re dancing around your room naked. But then again, live music never does.And they just weren’t giving that bit extra you need with live music to make the sound all okay.
I wanted them to talk to me, to feel their energy running up my tights. I had, after all, endeavored on a relationship with them and they slightly looked like they weren’t phased. Like they weren’t that into me. God forbid. I wanted to understand them, but they only gave me their songs.
So I did what every chick does when she feels rejected – I drank tequila.
When I stumbled home that night, I wasn’t itching for Alt-J in the same way I had been. It turns out we needed a break.