LIVE: (Sandy) Alex G @ The Deaf Institute, Manchester, 19.10.17

If you haven’t heard, the experimental, alt-rock phenomenon (Sandy) Alex G is here to enchant us with his everlasting expertise in the UK. The Philadelphian multi-instrumentalist is here to stay until the end of October, before he sets off across the globe to continue his prodigious 2017-18 tour.

Alex G plays on a sort of distorted folk and intermixes acoustic components with austere tones by using unpredictable chords and key changes, often interwoven with irregular time signatures. However, when it comes to defining the incredible work of Alex, the guy really has done it all. Throughout every album, he manages to successfully showcase his flexible aptitude to move from genre to genre; from velvety jazz to heavy fuzz, his ability to transform his music yet perpetuate that fundamental Alex G sound we recognise, leaves his listeners anything but bored.

As for Alex’s performance with the band on Thursday, he was certainly adamant that his delivery did not have the option to disappoint. Intertwining his well-known works such as ‘Proud’ and ‘Mary’ with darker accents like ‘Brick’, fabricated an effortless but breathtaking flow for the setlist – with the admirable addition of playing songs on demand at the audience’s request. Each band member manifested their talent within the perimeters of challenging parts to play, allowing the extended difficulty of the songs to determine an extremely engaging spectacle. This extra need for concentration may have resulted in a slightly reserved approach; it would have been nice to see Alex loosen up a little more for the assurance that he was enjoying himself also. However, the conclusion of the professional and impressive performance made his possible apprehension all too forgivable.

The sold out crowd left the gig with all expectations satisfied, and we were unquestionably lucky to behold the brilliance of Alex G in his element on stage. Undoubtably, there are many of us who wouldn’t mind witnessing his intellect an additional time along his creative journey for even more mind-blowing music. We’re anticipating great things.

Bronwyn Risely