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- Interpol »
For a band that neither looks nor sounds like they’re enjoying themselves, it seems that tonight, at the second of Interpol’s two shows at north London’s Alexandra Palace, Paul Banks, Daniel Kessler, Carlos D and Sam Fogarino might be allowing themselves a smile or two.
As their foreboding entrance music bounces around the 19th century hall and purple light drapes the stage like a silk blanket in a bordello you wonder at what point exactly the New Yorkers went from fair-sized indie outfit to stadium rockers, albeit London’s indie arena of choice which in recent months has featured, or is due to feature, Arcade Fire, Arctic Moneys, Editors and Bloc Party. That’s not to suggest that they’ve not got the skills to pay the, er, venue hire, but 16,000 Londoners can’t be wrong.
Opener ‘Pioneer to the Falls’ casts a spell over the rowdy crowd as a silhouette of Paul Banks is smothered by the artwork from the band’s latest long-player Our Love To Admire _which is projected onto the giant screen behind the band. Singles from the record are joined throughout the night by old stagers from _Antics and_ Turn On The Bright Lights_ like ‘Slow Hands’, ‘Narc’ and ‘Obstacle 1’. A few songs (and token-bought pints of Carlsberg) after ‘Pioneer…’ the crowd slowly begin to move as the atmosphere emanating from Dan Kessler’s pickups slowly makes it way down the back of the venue.
One of the best things about the band's relatively staid live show is the odd formation employed by the three guitarists. Banks stands still at the microphone, while Kessler runs round in circles like a hyperactive six-year-old - albeit one with large sideburns. Carlos, meanwhile, either stands forwards or backwards staring at the back wall while the wall stares back. He looks like the indie Colonel Sanders, incidentally.
As beautiful as Owen Jones’s Palace is, the sound tonight is, as you’d expect from a hangar-sized room, terrible. As Carlos D’s bassline opens the exemplary Evil, it’s difficult to recognise as it bounces around the blanketed roof like a lost helium balloon. It’s a shame because tonight Interpol confirmed their promotion to the big leagues: they’re a hit away from playing venues like this all over the country – not just London. And you wouldn’t begrudge them it either.
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