Alt-J looking like moody buggers

Shambletracks: Easy like an Alt-J morning

Oh Shambles. We’re feeling delicate today. Paddy and I have finally done it – we’ve finally bust through to HANGOVER TOWN. Next stops, QUESTIONABLE TOILET NOISES and ADDICTION TO LEMSIP, passing briefly through REGRETVILLE, with a lovely view of HEY ALL THOSE THINGS YOU DID WHEN YOU THOUGHT NO-ONE WAS LOOKING BUT SOME PRICK WITH A CAMERA PHONE HAS IMMORTALISED FOR AT LEAST, LIKE, A WEEK.

Anyway, that’s my excuse for why I missed the deadline for Shambletracks yesterday and instead have crawled in late, piss-soggy and incoherent, groping for my dignity and trailing trousers. Sorry.

We did the classic one-two of ‘Host a Birthday Party then go and see the hottest indie quartet in town’ this weekend, celebrating both the anniversary Paddy-shambles’ brave liberation from the womb and Alt-J’s delicious introduction to London’s favourite tit monument, the O2 arena. They put on an absolute barnstormer of the show for us, Zac and Chloé, who accompanied us because we needed responsible adults to stop us doing naughty things. Everything from moody set opener ‘Hunger of the Pine‘ – helped by arrays of pulsing red lights, glowering like some enormous pan-galactic android – to perennial hit ‘Tessellate‘ was upgraded for the massive O2 stage, but the four Cambridge lads remained friendly and inclusive rather than aloof or arrogant, which is always lovely to see.

Paddy even managed to swank himself into the VIP area and sit next to Ellie Roswell, lead singer of supporting band Wolf Alice; they were an unexpected treat, their songs heavy, lairy and disjointed, like a souped-up Sonic Youth, and the pleasingly-named ‘Moaning Lisa Smile‘ was particularly brillo.

The only thing they didn’t get round to was playing their stripped back cover of Thin Lizzy’s ‘Dancing in the Moonlight’, trading in the funked-up bass and finger clicks for a glockenspiel and Joe Newman’s typically swallowed vocals. It’s far more a starry-eyed walk of wonder home than the original’s swagger up the street, but it’s absolutely beautiful. May it soothe you this Sunday morning and make you forget how many times you made that slightly inappropriate joke about ham hocks and imams while pulling ‘that Roy Chubby Brown face’.

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