Live Music + Gig Reviews

Interpol @ Alexandra Palace, London

30 November 2007

As we made for Alexandra Palace, the darkness that was our path eventually came to a point which overlooked the amber hum of London far below. Staring down from this desolate point filled you with a loneliness and insignificance for at least a few moments. Then the wind tugged and the rain spittled down your neck and you carried along – Interpol surely wouldn’t have it any other way.

New York’s finest find themselves in the position of having a back catalogue full of rich pickings and the acumen to deliver an arena show with this the second of two sold out nights at the 8,000 capacity Ally Pally.

It caps a defining year for the band, from the release of their beautiful third album, the consolidation of their sound and the transition to a major label stable, all made with the passiveness of Carlos Dengler turning his head from left to right onstage.

The set is now primed for a main stage festival headline slot with a huge backing screen, an assortment of light fixtures with mini-monitors, and even the upper stage rigging replete with light trails which are vibrant throughout.

Its the grandest of stages and there’s a certain inevitably about this moment. The shudder from Paul Banks diaphragm resonates on Pioneer To the Falls. Daniel Kessler can’t get enough of hopping up and down Sam Fogarino’s drum riser for Say Hello To The Angels, who in turn dictates things from his pedestal like a general.

And who else could pull off carrying a bass guitar like a bayonet while sporting a porn star moustache, granddad’s cardigan and man bag but Carlos Dengler, who revelled in the stage space

They were confident enough to air seven songs from Our Love to Admire, leaving an hour to juggle round Antics and Turn On The Bright Lights. A somber rendition of Lighthouse led by Kessler and Banks draped in ambient blue light proved to be the high point, whilst Scale, Mammoth and No I In Threesome lavished the tacky innards of the venue with that epic noir sound as it was was meant to be heard. So much so that the likes of Evil, Specialist and PDA seemed pedestrian as the 90 minutes drew to a close.

It was in no uncertain terms then, that the band of the year strolled in and out of the arena impeccably groomed and with an added spring in their step.

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More on Interpol
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Interpol – Marauder
Interpol – El Pintor
Interpol @ Electric Ballroom, London
Spotlight: Interpol – Turn On The Bright Lights