Bloc Party and The Silent LeagueEdit this event
"_Buy or sell tickets for Interpol. Buy or sell. Anyone wanting to sell tickets for Interpol? Anyone?_" With a greater number of touts in force at Kentish Town than on any other Saturday night, the chances of getting a ticket for tonight's concert appeared as good as a forthcoming Libertines re-union. However, if you were willing to handover sixty quid to the geezer inside the Bull and Gate who reeked of piss, you'd surely consider it money well spent.
Onstage just hours after an appearance at Notting Hill Arts Club, **The Silent League** warmed the early crowd with a short set of alt-folk, reminiscent of Mercury Rev without the bow saw wig-outs. Friends of Interpol drummer Sam Fogarino, the band have been busy promoting their debut single, 'Breathe', with support slots for Brendan Benson and Sophia in the past week. A Borderline setting would have been more appropriate though, as their soft-hued sound was lost amongst the chattering crowd who were too busy getting drinks in before the rush.
For a band that had previously garnered more attention for guerrilla gigging than actually releasing any records, Bloc Party certainly lived up to the hype that surrounds them. New single 'Helicopter' got an instant reaction from the band's growing fans at the front, and the combined force of Kele Okereke's impassioned vocals and manic drummer Matt Tong's blazing stick work propel the band's signature art-punk style through the clouds and into the stratosphere above. With a debut album slated for early 2005, sold-out headline slots for the local boys shouldn't be far away.
Sold-out shows have become standard procedure for Interpol, who have toured constantly after the release of sophomore album 'Antics'. Their third London show in as many months, tonight's Forum set is proof that the band's newer material has settled in amongst the darker moments from '_Turn on the Bright Lights_', providing a canon that most bands would sell their soul at the Crossroads for. Opener 'Next Exit' is reminiscent of Procol Harum's 'Whiter Shade of Pale', and with its 'Leader of the Pack' drum beat, it's proof of a more expansive sound from a band who used to gather Joy Division references from lazy critics across the music press.
After such a stunning start, it's clear tonight that Interpol are an immovable force. The confidence with which they tear through 'Say Hello to the Angels' and 'Obstacle 1' are of a band whose constant touring has produced a well-oiled, not to mention well-tailored, fighting unit. The constant sight of red ties and black collared shirts throughout the male half of the audience may have a greater effect on this winter's fashion than any issue of GQ could. Crowd favourites are treated with bursts of shouting and then stunned silence as Paul Banks plays Pied Piper, complete with dapper head attire, his laconic vocals delivered almost as a spiked afterthought. NYC remains the bands one true 'anthem', with Michael Stipe's cover at a recent New York concert fitting testament to the track's hymnal beauty. The hymn to the band's home city is the shows highpoint, and although only 'Slow Hands' gets a similar crowd reaction amongst the newer material tonight, it confirms '...Bright Lights' as one of this decade's must have albums.
The band bring the set to a close with the throbbing 'PDA', complete with a burst of strobe lighting as if an electromagnetic pulse had just been created from the band's frenetic energy. With* Carlos D* and Sam Fogarino cracking the whip at the back, and Daniel Kessler's jagged guitarwork bristling behind the cries of Banks, it's a stunning closer. The benefit of having two albums of work to choose from means an encore is a given, and the band provide two of them by closing procedures with a trio of tracks from their debut. When the band finally walks off stage after the haunting 'Untitled', it suddenly dawns on you that album number three can't come soon enough. The wallet may be sixty pounds lighter, but seeing an in-form Interpol is certainly a blue chip investment.
Photo by Sonia Melot
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