Saturday, August 25, 2007

Goers of the Throbbing, Choppy Crowds,

Admittedly, I haven’t paid much attention but I have found 2007 so far to be a poor year for good album releases (albeit Bombshell by King Creosote is on the horizon). The judging of the Bellyaches Music Prize 2007 shall be rather easy. One album that I rate highly remains ineligible: Our Love to Admire by Interpol. It’s their most cohesive album to date. It’s full of songs for the grim moods that I permanently take up, hidden in those songs is always a ray of hope. Interpol are just a band that plays some songs, Interpol is more of an ethos to be submerged in and that act is only possible for layered people.

Some of those would have attended Interpol’s T on the Fringe concert at the Corn Exchange on Wednesday. Interpol have long been on my list of bands that I must see, thus I toddled along. I had never been to the Corn Exchange so this visit will probably be my first and last. The problem with liking bands that produce great songs, become critically and commercially successful is that they attract people and people need to be accommodated – the only way to do this is by putting them in horribly huge venues. I don’t mind the distance back of the venue and the stage, I don’t mind not being able to see much. It’s the people that I hate. Why can’t they find a spot and stay there for the duration? I thought some of the twits were solely there to do laps of the hall. They may have been thirsty but does that mean that they should shove people out of the way. One nimrod was on one of his laps, I was not aware of him thus he stayed kicking me until I realised that he needed through. More people also means that the likelihood of people singing and clapping along is greater. I didn’t pay for this treatment to be added to the songs. In fact, these are distinctly not part of the Interpol ethos. I feel quite duffer-like for having these grievances. I’m not cut out for the big bands at the big venues.

The band was excellent on the evening. They finally arrived on stage at 9.30pm; the crowd were quite irate by this time, there were boos. Somehow, this was forgotten when the ethereal five appeared with the din of feedback. They began with the opener on Our Love to Admire, Pioneer to the Falls, it’s an epic with a great chorus, “Show me the dirt pile and I will pray that the heart can take three stowaways.” The next song was a classic from Turn on the Bright Lights, Say Hello to the Angels, this, with its really fast, upbeat riffs, was expertly performed. I am not impressed with the forthcoming single, Mammoth, it seems incomplete, it lacks a beginning and an end. It was a night for me to Rest My Chemistry so its airing was entirely apt. Slow Hands is perhaps the best of Interpol’s singles, it was great to hear, I’d seen the video on MTV2 so many times, it was just like that. The crowd sung along to Evil, I did not but it was good. They played a great set, Paul mumbled some stuff to the crowd now and then, but he and Dan seemed to be having a good time going through their exquisite compositions. Carlos remained regal in the background, Sam drummed impeccably (with a pigeon on his kit) and the keyboard guy seems to fit in well. They ended the main set with Not Even Jail, and amazingly, the song just clicked with me, I got it, it wasn’t a bad song before but right then, it began to mean something to me.

They came back for an encore of three songs: NYC, Obstacle 1 and Stella was a Diver and she was Always Down. I thought it was something of a treat to have a three song encore; all three are classics. This is a bit of an odd statement, but the band has a three album back catalogue and it means that there is a familiarity with all their songs and it made the gig rather comfortable. Stella is perhaps my favourite Interpol song, it’s typically bleak but I reckon the almost onomatopoeic guitars are a work of genius.

Interpol were on top form and I fulfilled a personal aim in seeing them live, however, if they continue to play in venues like this, it’ll be the last time that I do so. It was good while it lasted.


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