FORMER King’s Ely pupil, Gus Unger-Hamilton, and his band, Alt-J, have reached ‘Number One’ in this week’s UK album charts.
Their second album, This Is All Yours, was released at the end of September and went straight to the top spot on the UK’s Official Albums Chart. Their debut album, An Awesome Wave was released in 2012, and that year won the British Barclaycard Mercury Prize, as well as BBC Radio 6 Music Album of the Year 2012.
Unger-Hamilton, younger brother of Ferdy (Head of A&R for Polydor Records), after leaving King’s Ely, studied English at Leeds University. A classically trained pianist and former chorister at Ely Cathedral, Gus now plays the keyboard and sings harmonies in the critically acclaimed band.
Alt-J played a host of festival shows throughout last year, including Reading and Leeds Festival and Glastonbury Festival, before being nominated for three Brit Awards: British Breakthrough Act, British Album of the Year and British Group of the Year.
Gus’ singing teacher, Peter North said: “It’s great to see Gus and Alt-J building on the success they’ve already had over the last 18 months or so. Lots of the pupils I teach here at King’s Ely have ambitions to make it in music. Seeing someone like Gus ‘up there’ inspires them and shows them what is possible.”
Following their UK Number One, Alt-J has entered the US Billboard charts at Number Four. To coincide with this, the trio has announced their biggest US show to date, at New York’s 18,200 capacity Madison Square Gardens. The band will also play a headline show at London O2 Arena on January 24 2015.