Alex G

Alex G


It was about this time last year that I was first introduced to the lo-fi styling’s of Philadelphian songwriter Alex G. My housemate played me his last album DSU and I was instantly hooked by  his warm, college-rock sounds. That week, we caught Alex and his band open up for Montreal post punks Ought in sunny Manchester; good timing right? Although his performance was a little static the songs really stuck out here and with a nice, loud PA, I was overall impressed with the his set.

A year on and Alex has made a new record. Forever prolific, Beach Music is album number seven for the 22 year old and has been picked up by prestigious indie label Domino Records, which is a pretty big deal! So, tonight Alex returns to the UK for one of two nights here as part of a European tour in support of the record. The room is full, everyone is in their best baggy shirts and ready to sway.

We’re at the Night And Day Café tonight, a venue that seems to being used more and more for good, cool shows at the moment instead of pay-to-play band nights. I know it can be a bit tricky to see the stage in certain places and the beer ain’t so cheap but with good sound and it’s quaint hipster charm, Night And Day will always be a NQ staple.

Opening tonight we have a band I can’t seem to find much information on. I know they’re called Move and the lead vocalist/ guitarist is also the bassist for majestic indie-pop mavericks Money. That’s about all I know. I think that an air of mystery is always a good thing, because it keeps you on your toes and interested to hear or see more. And these guys are certainly worth keeping an eye on! Sadly I arrive midway through their set but from what I hear, each song is a indie dance floor smash in the making! if you remember groovy indie band Ok Go from the 00’s, Move are like their cooler, sexier, younger brother who have been indulging on diet of early Strokes with distorted vocals and sharp guitar chords. An incredibly promising new band and solid opener for tonight.
Alex G and his three piece backing band arrive on stage shortly after and blast through an hour of cuts from his extensive back catalogue, of course leaning on tracks from Beach Music, which I’m enjoying very much and seems to be greeted well by die hard followers. The new record continues the warm, slacker pop vibes of DSU but its a bit more eclectic and varied in both the writing and sonic aspects. Songs like ‘Bug’ and ‘Kicker’ are big highlights for me; with their wonderfully hazy charms melded together with strong melodies that I haven’t been able to get out of my head for the past week.

If I’m honest, my opinion of tonight’s set hasn’t changed much since I last saw Alex; great songs, little stage presence. I mean, don’t get me wrong, Alex’s quick bursts of in-between song banter are amusing in all his teen innocence and there is some movement from him and the band as they sway around to their mid-tempo pop, but halfway through, I do find myself a little fidgety. I guess that is the nature of his songs though, they don’t require head banging or mosh pits, they’re just chilled out pop songs to gently nod your head to. The vibe really makes tonight to me; zero knob heads, just a bunch of humble hipster teens hanging out, I kind of feel like I’m at some alley bar somewhere in America, a place Seth Green from The OC would hang out in.  Overall, a pleasant and humble performance from the states best new song writing export.

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Benjamin Forrester

I joined the Silent Radio family near the very start of my move to Manchester in 2012 and I'm still having the best time! During my stay here I've been in two noisy bands, had a not so noisy solo project, made a zine, started a blog and started a radio show. It's been productive to say the least and it's all been intersperse with a shit load of gig going and beer drinking. I would love it if you followed me on twitter @dr_brainless for excitable tweets about playing, watching and living new music.