Alpha set to play first Bristol show for 10 years
“It’s perfect, magnificent stuff, intense yet distracted by itself, in thrall to its own fragile dynamics, lost in a rare and poised reverie. Its trip hop, I guess, as much as Radiohead are rock’n’roll, but it’s also far more – Alpha feel as natural, inevitable and organic as breathing, as wracked and insatiable as a never ending deep, dark night of the soul.”
This is what Melody Maker has to say about Alpha, who play their first show for 10 years in their home city of Bristol this Friday in The Lantern, a comeback many fans have been waiting a long time for.
If you’re not familiar with the band’s work, allow us to get you up to speed with why this gig should be at the top of your list of things to do this weekend…
Alpha were the first signings to Massive Attack’s label back in 1997 from which they released their stunning debut album Come From Heaven, which has been critically acclaimed worldwide and has been an important element of the Bristol sound since, if somewhat overlooked.
Founding member Corin Dingley has been at the helm of Alpha for many years; he and singers Wendy Stubbs and Hannah Collins are bringing Alpha alive again once more, performing songs from Alpha’s new album Loving Nobody, which has been cited as Dingley’s masterpiece.
The duo of Dingley and Andy Jenks formed Alpha in 1996 and were originally called Ariel after working on various projects in the Bristol area. They recruited singers Wendy Stubbs, Martin Barnard, Helen White and Kelvin Swaby (now of The Heavy) to add vocals to their downtempo, beat-driven compositions of the late 1990s, which led to them being labelled ‘Post Trip-Hop’.
Watch the video for the exquisite Sometime Later from Alpha’s first album Come From heaven here:
Come From Heaven, their debut LP, was the first released on Massive Attack’s Melankolic label in 1997, from which they departed in 2001 after the release of The Impossible Thrill. Currently on Don’t Touch Recordings, a label they founded, Alpha have released a further eight albums to date including a wonderful collaboration with Horace Andy called Two Phazed People which garnered outstanding reviews.
Known in the industry as ‘the best kept secret’, Alpha have worked with Madonna, Robert Plant, Massive Attack, Jarvis Cocker, Alison Moyet, Benjamin Biolay and Coldplay to name a few. Not to mention that Prince recently cited Alpha as one of his favourite acts, particularly selecting seminal first album cut Somewhere Not Here as one of his favourite songs.
Find out more on the gig and book tickets here: https://www.colstonhall.org/shows/alpha-live/
And listen to our essential Alpha playlist here: