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GIG REVIEW Interpol, Albert Hall, Manchester, Sunday 8 February 2015
Monday 9th February 2015 @ 12:37 by Anon Anonon

If we forget the fact that Interpol have opened with ‘Say Hello to the Angels’ at most of their gigs on their latest tour, a track from their debut album, you would be forgiven for thinking they had penned it specifically for this gig alone.

ON FORM: Brooklyn trio Interpol,who tour as a five-piece.

ON FORM: Brooklyn trio Interpol,who tour as a five-piece.

The recently renovated Albert Hall, in all its splendour, is dramatically gothic with its church filled past and was an inspired choice for the American bands return to Manchester.

Even at the midst of night, light pours in from two tiers of stained glass windows, as it does from the 18 detailed skylight windows which weave around the supporting joints of the Victorian venues suspending speakers.

Even more ironic is that on this holiest of days, Interpol and their easy on the ear sound appeal to an equally as cool crowd in this former Wesleyan chapel – a live space that is slightly larger than 1,500 capacity of the similarish of sorts Ritz venue across town.

Reminiscent somewhat of the Pixies, another band that seem to revel by vertically lounging as they perform, Interpol almost pay homage to them with their fifth song of the night, The New, a song which stops and starts and kicks in with a haunting bass line half way through its six-minute length.

This follows crowd favourite Evil before My Desire, a funky uplifting number from new album El Pintor, the third track to be aired out of six from the album throughout the night.

El Pintor, which was released in September last year, is the band’s first album since the departure of the bands much-revered bassist Carlos Dengler – and this brings with it a more rounded performance.

The New York indie-rockers are in fact refreshing. Unlike most bands, Banks isn’t the bands vocal point as its lead singer. The 36-year old doesn’t steal the limelight. Instead, Interpol are a band whose vocal point is just that, the band as a whole, and that’s not something you see too often.

“Manchester Loves Interpol.”

As expected, Banks is in his much-described dour mood but does crack the odd smile, particularly when someone from the crowd shouts “Manchester loves Interpol.”

The lead singer repays the gesture before the band plays out to Slow Hands, bringing a raucous reaction from this sold out crowd, telling them: “Thank you Manchester, you beautiful bunch of Mancunians.”

The bands often been mooted to have many a Mancunian influence, and this is only heightened when the touring bassist teases the crowd with a snippet of the Stone Roses much recognisable and iconic single Waterfall.

The only perceivable burden with the Brooklyn trio is a slight mid-set lull when they play through some of their back catalogue, but this only adds to the cloak of moodiness that Interpol excel so well at.

They start their first encore off with All the Rage Back Home, perhaps the most popular song from their new album, which brings with it a lively bass line and more of an upturn with Banks detectable vocals.

NYC and PDA follow before the band return for their second and final encore, ripping through another fan favourite Leif Erikson from their debut album.

Another ironic song, given its organ chimed undertones, something which can in fact just be made out behind the band’s impressive visual backdrop in this most fitting of venues.

Interpol may have only touched down in the UK recently, after playing for the past few weeks in cities such as Amsterdam and Berlin, which may of explained the drummer’s – Sam Foragino – occasional smoking on stage, but with Dublin, Glasgow and Leeds all set to come over the coming weeks, Interpol are certainly back with a bang, and are as effortlessly spot-on as ever.

Review by Max Wieland

18-Song Setlist in Spotify: Interpol – Manc – 08.02.15