Alt-J Norwich Waterfront 30th October 2012

Alt-J are a pretentiously-named band from Leeds, formed around 5 years ago.  They’ve released some records, played some gigs, that’s about every single thing that you need to know about them.  Oh yeah they won the Mercury Music Prize a couple of days after this gig and they believe in censorship, and silencing their critics, even when their critics are not even big critics.

Or maybe they’re just shit and don’t want anyone wtih a brain to see them live and put finger to keyboard.  They are paranoid and fearful of bad reviews, scared of interesting and erudite reviewers (I’m not talking about myself here), fearful of what is genuinely alternative and innovative.  They produce coffee table music for the unthinking masses, and for uninteresting people everywhere.

Anyway, after the support Alt-J take the stage to some applause from the crowd.   I think they played ‘Breezeblocks’, ‘Tessellate’ and ‘Something Good’ (no it wasn’t).  They played a load of songs from the album.  A bit of middle-aged, middle-class electronica does not make a tedious middle-of-the-road indie-lite band anything other than a tedious middle-of-the-road indie-lite band and every clap and every cheer just makes me realise what a bunch of numb-nuts their fans are.

And yet their stance on censorship (refusing entry to the mighty Simon Price to this very gig) betrays a totalitarian lack of tolerance shared by evil warmongers throughout history, from Hitler to Stalin to Blair.  It would be no exaggeration to say that Alt-J have done their best to set up their own (albeit slightly smaller) propaganda machine based on Glavlit, which has ruined the careers of thousands of music journalists around the world, causing their families no end of suffering, from feelings of inadequacy to the starvation of their children.  Basically the effect of Alt-J on music journalists is something akin to Stalin’s purges, Hitler’s propaganda machine and that famine in Ethiopia that Geldof sorted out rolled into one.  It is so bad that – at the risk of over-doing it – that I feel compelled to say that there is something of the Mandelsons about them.

Basically… I’ve never heard a good song by them, they are tedious middle of the road except in their extreme rightleftwing authoritarian politics.  In accepting a prize given by Barclays they are actually responsible for the last 5 years of economic calamity and are as bad fat-cats as any banker and they certainly fall into the M-People / Elbow type of winners, not the PJ Harvey / Hegarty camp.

Alt-J – you could have had a Simon Price review, instead you chose this one.

ps – writing this review reminds me of the last time I was in Norwich as it goes, I was a young child and we saw Paul Daniels and Debbie McGee in the street.  This was the 80s and it was dead exciting.

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