The sirens blare. A voice comes through the speakers. This is one way to start a show. Now just for the lights to go out and they walk on stage. Or not… The sirens keep going while occasionally being interrupted by the concerning “This is an emergency, please evacuate the building.” Part of me still believes that this is some ingenious plot by Alt-J. I soon realise that this isn’t the case as three firetrucks greet me at the front of the building.

It was about 3° Sunday evening and I had most foolishly underdressed. As we join the crowd and watch the fluorescent heroes walk into what we expected to be grave danger there was a sense of uneasiness in the herd. The occasional shout of inaudible gibberish from the front would receive a cheer no matter what the topic. A crowd almost turning into a restless mob as we would ripple forwards if someone were to make a move. 45 minutes pass very quickly as I recite the whole of An Awesome Wave in my head preparing myself to shiver to the train station. However, hope was not lost.

After a mad rush through the doors like middle aged mothers at Mark & Spencers on Black Friday, I think the hour outside is made up for as we return to the breathtaking hall that is Bridgewater Hall to ‘Light My Fire’ by The Doors playing aloud. The anticipation is overwhelming, I have half an hour before I have to leave to get my train. Will I ever see this band?

The lights dim. The fairy lights twinkle on the ceiling like stars lighting up the night sky. And finally. Joe Newman, Thom Sonny Green and Gus Unger-Hamilton grace the stage. The room is black out until what seems like curtains of lights separate the trio with the first note. The bass begins to shake the room and we are plunged into what seems to be twirling through a sci-fi vortex like Dr Who. ‘Something Good’ consumes the crowd in a sigh of relief. This was definitely worth the wait. The piercing voice combined with the tranquil harmonies and drums channeling the spirit of Keith Moon, each song carriying each other so flawlessly.

We escaped the fires of hell and now it seems like we are in the presence of something almost ethereal. The lights are the fourth member of the band. Every sound is reacted to like an explosion of colour. I mean, fuck the fire warning this band should give a formal epilepsy warning for every show. I manage to catch around 10 songs, before I have to depart from the Alt-J. I had the pleasure of half an hour. What a fucking spectacle. Instead of being upset about missing most of the show, I was eager. Wanting. Desperate. To see more.

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