Mum And Dad and Joel PlaskettEdit this event
Being a Mogwai fan, I was devastated at a lack of funding making me unable to attend their gig. Therefore in an attempt to console myself, I toddled down to the Monarch for the X-Posure evening and London debut from one of the current flavours of the New York scene, Interpol. But several starters would have to be devoured before we would know if the main dish lived up to expectation.
Firstly Joel Plaskett takes to stage looking not dissimilar from Stephen Malkmus were he to be thrown back to the 1970s and playing a sweet set, which is fundamentally the problem; this is PLEASANT. Particularly twee tracks like 'Maybe We Should Just Go Home' provide hecklers with a field day. Fortunately enough Joel Plaskett can be cast into the shadows by the remaining nights entertainment.
Mum And Dad, in complete contrast, create a wee stir. Taking about half an hour to attach a rather shabby white sheet to a pole overhead with masking tape, an air of impatience and curiosity begins to hover around the Barfly. Yet when they take to stage it has all been worth it. For anyone who has not heard Mum And Dad before it would be easy to assume they follow the lo-fi style of Mr. Gough due to their Twisted Nerve connection, however the band owe more to Mr. Votel; this is SONIC warfare on the senses. Both Joe and Ian stand like statues framing the stage with lead singer Clair writhing in front of a projection of car crashes, naked women and space attacks. Now for the music - not quite so easy to describe. Stealth beats remain constant underlying sci-fi electronic escalations with every climax accentuated by the banshee style wailing. This is definately an acquired taste, but at least it makes you feel alive.
And then at last Interpol take to the stage. There is no cocksure attitude exuding from the quartet, which might be expected following all the hype surrounding the New York movement. In fact little interaction is made bar the odd thank you and a dedication to the Ramones, showing that this is purely about the music. And why detract from music this outstanding, capable of conveying any message you could ever imagine more successfully than words? A solid set including tracks 'PDA' and 'Song 7' both featured on the recent 'PDA EP' and despite being a brooding drone guitar group fusing elements of Mogwai with the Cure, more dancing is incited than a production of Swan Lake. In the same way that if the only Joy Division track you'd heard was 'Love Will Tear Us Apart', the beats pounding through 'Digital' would produce an unexpected state of shock, Interpol start their set lulling the crowd into a false sense of security only to explode later through the darkness.
Interpol are something special and will be hard pushed to avoid tags such as the Joy Division for a new generation and despite being weary of hype, I don't think I could find it in my heart to disagree. Tonight Interpol have proved they'll be staying round for a while. My advice? Go see them soon or forever be resided to a fate of pretending you saw them before they ruled the world.
The show will be broadcast on Xfm on 23rd, 24th and 25th April as part of John Kennedy's X-Posure.
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