Saturday 12 November 2022

The Murder Capital - Leeds Oporto - 11th November 2022

The Murder Capital continued their short semi-secret acoustic tour on Friday night with a three-piece seven-song set at Oporto in Leeds. Previewing five songs from their forthcoming album Gigi's Recovery as well as a couple of reinvented old favourites, they delighted an enthusiastic audience privileged to see them at such close quarters before they head to bigger rooms in the new year.

Half way through the set James responds to audience shouts for For Everything and Love Love Love by telling the crowd that it's impossible without an array of pedals in front of Cathal and Damian who are accompanying him on these shows. That's the ultimate issue with taking When I Have Fears back to acoustic, the power and volatility doesn't translate fully, although Green And Blue retains its aching sense of loss and there's an urgency to Don't Cling To Life as they race to the end of the song before the strings on the guitars give way under the momentum of the song.

Gigi's Recovery, three years in the making, lends itself much more to this setting. The Murder Capital have shied away from some of their contemporaries' relentless release schedule to rediscover and reinvent themselves with this album. There are moments that hark back to When I Have Fears but they're few and far between and not on show tonight. The album's two lead singles - Only Good Things and A Thousand Lives - are a good palate cleanser and both present in the set tonight. The acoustic approach to them gives added poignancy as does being stood just a few feet away from James. The stripped bare setting also allows us to hear James sing and appreciate the tension and intimacy in his vocals that was swept along in the undercurrent on much of their debut.

The other three songs - The Stars Will Leave Their Stage, Crying and their next single (Ethel) - are a revelation though and will disappoint those looking for a Mark 2 of the debut. The headspace of the band has shifted from the death-laden intensity of the debut to questioning how to carry on and discovering the light at the end of the tunnel but none of that. However the observational nature of the lyrics and the band's ability to capture that mood in the music, even in the stripped back setting, is still very much present. There's a reverential silence in the room, unusual in these days of me, me, me and very few cameras out. People living the moment and the experience is what The Murder Capital are about. 

The Murder Capital's official site can be found here and they are on Facebook and Twitter.

They tour in February at Antwerp Trix Club (February 4), Cologne Luxor (5), Hamburg Molotow (6), Berlin Lido (8), Munich Hansa 39 (9), Strasbourg La Laiterie (11), Paris Le Trabendo (13), Amsterdam Paradiso (14), Manchester Albert Hall (16), Glasgow SWG3 (18), Leeds Stylus (20), Birmingham The Mill (21), London O2 Kentish Town Forum (23), Bristol The Marble Factory (24), Dublin Vicar Street (26) and Cardiff Tramshed (27).


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