Friday, July 11, 2008

Live Review - Interpol

Sheffield Academy
Sheffield, United Kingdom

Although success can be measured in many different shapes and forms, I guess it's fair to say that Interpol can be deemed as a successful act. Plying their trade for Matador Records in the early days with two landmark albums, New York's finest dressed band took the leap and signed for Capitol records for their third album, Our Love to Admire. It has to be said that their if-it's-not-broken-don't-fix-it ethos came off a treat with their first two outings. Turn on the Bright Lights is without doubt one of the highest points of this era when talking about 'good' music, while their second outing, Antics, followed in a similar vein with a little more vigour.

Live, the band have beefed up their sound (not surprising, since they now have Capitol in their corner) with the ethereal drones substituted for a gear-shifting and almost sweaty rock assault.

Sheffield were in the long line to witness this 'new sound' and along with it were treated with a slew of Interpol singles, not to mention a couple of old favourites thrown in for good measure. The new material – like on record – was presented in similar fashion, with 'Pioneer to the Falls' kicking off the night, followed by the larger sounding 'Slow Hands', which comprises of ricocheting guitars generating sound that bounces off the walls. An experience that is a first whilst in the hands of Interpol.

'PDA' and 'Obstacle 1' are also speedy renditions, while wall of sound that is 'Not Even Jail' is the night's evident stand out with its longevity unleashing a special aura, live. The drawn out rendition of 'Roland' sees Sam Fogarino's prominence on the drums, while the ethereal goodness of 'Obstacle 2' presents the vintage sounds we are accustom to hear from this band; a fitting way to close the night.

The older material has undergone an overhaul, with Interpol stepping up the pace and intensity, resulting in the band seemingly giving out an energy to its audience rather than draining it in from them, which is a compliment to their virtuosity. It was good to see the band throwing bits and bobs of material off OLTA into their set-list, rather than rendering large portions of it, despite album stand outs like 'No I in Threesome' and 'Pace is the Trick' left out in the cold. Still, it can't be argued that 'The Heinrich Maneuver' is a solid single and live the song remains to live up to quality.

It's no secret that Interpol's new album ranks as the weakest in their catalogue of work and with the abundance of old material the band perform live, maybe they're aware of this, despite their new demographic of fans thinking on the contrary to these beliefs.

By Simon K

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