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Shed Seven - Alexandra Palace, London, 30/11/2007

  by Sarah Mwangi

published: 23 / 11 / 2007

Shed Seven - Alexandra Palace, London, 30/11/2007


Sarah Mwangi sees New York rockers Interpol encapsulate their audience with a boisterous and theatrical show at the Alexandra Palace in London

Interpol couldn’t have chosen a better setting to play the second date on their biggest stage in the UK than on a Friday night where the weather varied from cold and dark to the downright miserable. And after a nightmarish wait outside in the cold downpour and biting wind, I finally made my way through into the vast halls of the Alexandra Palace. The night started off with the support of Blonde Redhead. Coyly and barely above a whisper, the multi-talented Kazu Makino introduced herself whilst Italian twin brothers, Simone and Amedeo Pace, quietly took their positions on the stage which shone midnight blue lights on them. With sometimes inaudible vocals, Makino possesses a distinctive voice which you either love or hate. And whilst I had trained by ears my listening to their album ‘23’ on repeat, Amedeo’s vocals were a whole lot easier to take in live. But by no means was Makino a weak link. Simply there wasn’t any weaknesses in their enthralling performance. And these words were no truer than with their bass fuelled instrumental outro of ‘Melody of Certain Three’. I’m sure they would excel as a headlining act, but in their support slot they were exceptional, even more so as it was their last night with Interpol. And to show the camaraderie and the shared appreciation they had built touring together, Paul Banks and Sam Fogarino joined the trio for the last three songs of their set. Shortly after an intermission, an enlarged image of Interpol's latest album cover of two lions leaping on a powerless deer filled the back of the stage, signalling the quartet’s imminent arrival. Then there they stood. Like the victorious lions a moment before, they too had their prey within their sights and only one thing on their minds. Just as in their current album, ‘Pioneer To The Falls’ started with the creeping of Daniel Kessler’s guitar soon followed by frontman Banks’ abstract lyrics in a commanding monotonic drawl. A minute into it, drums and bass joined the mix to display the cinematic design that surrounds their third offering, ‘Our Love To Admire’. On opposite ends of the stage, Carlos Dengler and Daniel Kessler were the embodiment of cool. Dengler, sporting a well-groomed moustache, took a bold stance powered by the temerity of his unfurling basslines and as if to diametrically oppose him, Kessler frantically paced the stage with his guitar as it let out Interpol’s signature angular riffs. And in the background but always present, drummer Fogarino’s prowess maintained the energetic instrumental demands of their songs. It was obvious that Interpol were playing to suit the mood of the boisterous audience. Only one thing wrong with that; this meant that the slower songs seemed to be rushed. ‘Take You On A Cruise’ and ‘The Lighthouse’, which are at their strongest in their imitation of a slow death, were played at a tempo that robbed them of this winning quality. If the slower songs, however, felt slightly unfulfilled, then the songs at theirelement were the ones that reduced the audience to their most primitive state. Highlights in the three albums, ‘Obstacle 1’, ‘Slow Hands’ and ‘The Heinrich Maneuvre’ assaulted the crowd like a tidal wave to evoke the inner Neanderthal in all of them. Put simply, Interpol owned the night. Their theatrical performance of songs new and old, vibrated through the Palace encapsulating the audience, ensuring that reality was forgotten. That is until a gust of cold wind slapped their faces as the doors opened an hour and a half later.

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Shed Seven - Alexandra Palace, London, 30/11/2007

Shed Seven - Alexandra Palace, London, 30/11/2007

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