Live Review Interpol, Albert Hall, Manchester 8th February 2015

Songs new and old are met with positive frenzy, and delivered with an effortless, but inch-perfect confidence.

Maybe it’s just that characteristic Paul Banks charm, but when he talks about how Interpol love Mancunians you can’t help but feel he’s being honest. It’s easy enough to draw a line from the city’s own originators of post-punk, Joy Division and The Chameleons, through Banks’ band even to one of the most recent toasts of the music world, Viet Cong. In a particularly satisfying moment of everything coming full circle, Joy Division’s bassist Peter Hook tweets a message of support to the band prior to the gig. Of course, the band are met with utter devotion, a Helvetica-touting flag being unfurled and choice sing-alongs from the entire room at all the right moments.

From the first thunderclaps of Sam Fogarino’s drums on ‘Say Hello To The Angels’, there’s a sense that the band are really in the mood for it tonight; an extra spring in Daniel Kessler’s step, an extra ounce of swagger from Paul Banks. It doesn’t hurt being in a converted chapel, an only recently unearthed gem that maintains an intimacy at the same time as it does an impeccable grandeur.

A surprise entry so early in the setlist, ‘Evil’ is met with rapturous reception before melting into a particularly menacing rendition of ‘The New’, a song that resonates with the feeling of being perched on the precipice of something completely manic. Midway through the set, the unerring build of ‘Lights’ is extended into a much more fearsome beast, with guitars that find more intensity and keyboard tones filling every available space. The set ends with a roaring trio of songs from ‘Antics’, culminating in the breathless ‘Slow Hands’. With six months behind it, encore opener ‘All The Rage Back Home’ is confirmed as one of the very best songs the band have written with its restless energy building to a crashing climax.

Interpol, Albert Hall, Manchester

It’s testament to the staying power of Interpol that many of the fans in attendance leave overjoyed with catching a rare performance of ‘Leif Erikson’, essentially an unreleased, low-key album closer. Yet in its place, it’s almost a gift, a completely unexpected second encore after the band had already seen the set out with natural closer, the stomping ‘PDA’.

Songs new and old are met with positive frenzy, and delivered with an effortless, but inch-perfect confidence. No one is left ‘waiting for the hits’ as the band never even come within a mile of a miss, pulling the vast majority of the material from their first two classic albums and a very, very good latest one, ‘El Pintor’. As Interpol each day further cement their place as cult superstars, it’s performances like this that ensure these fans are enthralled ever further. This city obviously did already, but for some time yet it can safely be said - Manchester loves Interpol.

Photos: Leah Henson

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