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Clumsily barging their way on to the tight squeeze of a stage, Simian kick off with 'La Breeze', that's shamelessly packed with melody and cloud kissing positivism. Then comes a new strutting, almost anthemically determined rock approach for 'Never Be Alone', but there is still a familiar garnish of chopping chord changes and interesting noodly bits. The rest of their enthusiastic set weaves a fascinating journey through all manner of alluring twists and turns, with 'In Between' actually strutting the funk!
If Simian are adventurous puppies, then Interpol are the big handsome buggers who sit, stare and never wag their tails. But they do look fantastic. Far left, guitarist Daniel was born for the sharp suit, Paul in the middle sings in shirt, tie and a small, schooly sweater but ending the line, bassist Carlos is an icon. With chiselled Germanic features and oiled raven hair, severely glued across forehead, his Dietrich countenance is immutable.
The first song 'Untitled', guides the band graciously into the arms of an exceptionally packed house. As wisps of perfumed parlour smoke, the cautious dreamlike keyboard patterns meander as vocals unfold. November's new single _'Obstacle 1' was inspired by a gruesome New York suicide amongst other deaths, and is performed tonight with an animated passion that's only kept in check through a studied air of disdain. Weary experience is betrayed by the voice. Nothing touches him, but that's exactly what he would have us believe.
Much has been made of Interpol's love affair with the 80s. At times The Smiths'* jangley rhythmic guitars leap out, at another it's the Psychedelic Furs' panoramic sweep. What Interpol have lifted from this past is much more than a CD collection, it's an aura. It's the mindset that brought all the lost boys in to being, Joy Division* and The Cure inclusive. Between songs they are mute, each moored inside their vocation, with Carlos briefly animating once only to light a cigarette, a Camel.
From some who already knew the album, cheers rise as 'Stella Is A Diver...'_ begins. At last the band are conquered, their studied aloofness sent reeling, as the potency of their creation tugs at each, and Carlos' hair is a mess. As Stella shudders to its death, Paul briefly kisses his mic with an impulse of tenderness. After a stock "Thank you for coming, you're a wonderful audience,"** escapes his lips, they stumble, self-abused out into the darkness.
- On the DiS stereo: November 2012
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- Weekend Listening: Ghosting Season, Sigur Ros, M83, Paul Banks + Spotify playlists
- Paul Banks' track by track guide to his new album Banks
- Going solo & 10 years of Turn On The Bright Lights with Paul Banks of Interpol
- Stream: Interpol's Paul Banks' new album Banks
- The DiS Community's... 101 Favourite Albums