Search The Line of Best Fit
Search The Line of Best Fit

Interpol – Brixton Academy, London 27/03/14

31 March 2014, 14:00 | Written by Joe Daniels

It must be said, there is an incongruity to Interpol‘s headline slot on the NME tour following, as it does, such fresh-faced support from Royal Blood, Circa Waves and Temples. Interpol, though, aren’t stalwarts of the indie-rock scene without reason and tonight they offer up a no-holds-barred trip through their esteemed back catalogue.

The band’s loftily praised debut, Turn On The Bright Lights, gets particular attention tonight, with set-opener “Say Hello to the Angels”, “NYC”, and “Stella Was a Diver and She Was Always Down” all getting an airing.

“Evil”, as you’d expect, gets everyone pogoing around. “The Heinrich Manouvre”, the only song taken from Our Love to Admire included in the set list is particularly potent, with the textural guitar work coming to the fore as guitarist Daniel Kessler punctates the chorus with caterwauling fuzz. “Narc” reminds everyone that Antics is also a damn fine album in its own right, and “Slow Hands” reaffirms both that, and how danceable this band of Brooklynite miserabilists can be.

“Lights”, the strongest track from their handbreakish self-titled fourth album (and the only one played tonight), also proves itself an absolute belter live. Played in the encore, it’s a slow burner that builds and builds until crescendoing in a frenzy of guitars and singer Paul Banks’ anguished wails.

It’s also refreshing to see how much of a unit the band look on stage these days. Clad in black suits, they cut the image of a bunch of morticians – a far cry from the disparity you could once see between former bassist Carlos D’s spotlight-hogging showmanship and the rest of the band’s tapered approach

New songs get an airing too, and whilst “Anywhere” and “My Desire” sound like the Interpol-by-numbers broody atmospheric thing we’re used to hearing, “All The Rage Back Home” is a scrappier affair. The song has Banks breaking his usual baritone croon in favour of chucking his voice about a bit. If the forthcoming album features any more of this, it’s an exciting prospect indeed.

Closing with “Obstacle 1″, their best song from their best album, the band offer up one final reminder of just why they were such a force the first time around; of why they, alongside the Strokes, got East-coasters back into guitars and skinny jeans. And while there won’t be any reinvented wheels come album number five, we can be assured the wheels are nowhere near off just yet.

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