Interpol played a nine song set to a packed Rough Trade East to celebrate the release of their sixth LP, Marauder. Andy Keating of Manchester's Ist Ist went to see them in a venue which was smaller than the kind they were playing over 15 years ago when they exploded into the public consciousness with their seminal debut, Turn On The Bright Lights.
In the lead up to the release of Marauder, much has been made of the way in which it was recorded; predominantly played live and tracked directly to 2 inch tape, with minimal overdubs and little studio trickery. The band wanted to capture the essence of their live shows and they succeeded.
These methods in turn lend themselves to the ability to reproduce the new material live. Instead of having teething problems in getting the new songs to work in the live environment, which even the biggest bands can struggle with, the songs taken from Marauder never sound out of place and barring Evil and Obstacle 1, the biggest reception of the night is reserved for the The Rover.
The swaggering If You Really Love Nothing, the two-tone infused, jagged Complications and driving NYSMAW represent a change of direction for the band, whilst retaining all the elements which made so many people fall in love with them around the turn of the millennium. There’s still a brooding intensity to Paul Banks’ vocals and the way Daniel Kessler can create swirling atmospheres and turn a song on its head with seemingly minimal effort on the guitar. It’s encouraging to see their creativity shows no sign of dissipating just yet.
One criticism levelled at Interpol is that they may no longer be determined to expand their fan base, that their records chart respectably yet drop away in the following weeks, which suggests the hardcore buy it but not many new fans do. The extensive PR campaign behind Marauder exposes this accusation as unfair: and a band happy to phone it in wouldn’t entertain the idea of coming from New York to London to play to less than 300 people when their tour doesn’t commence in earnest until later this year.
Bands are always keen to play their new material live, and rightly so, the price of entry does not guarantee anyone the right to hear all their favourites and essentially a classics set. Fans can sometimes be apprehensive about set lists loaded with new songs, yet on this evidence, the body of work that is Marauder stands up against anything Interpol have offered previously and the full length shows on the ensuing tour should be truly compelling.
Interpol played: Not Even Jail, If You Really Love Nothing, Evil, Complications, Slow Hands, NYSMAW, Leif Erikson, The Rover, Obstacle 1.
Interpol's official site can be found here. They are also on Facebook and Twitter.
Ist Ist are on Facebook and Twitter.