There’s something curiously icy about this band
Interpol

“There are loads of Irish in tonight,” says the genial bloke ripping the tickets inside the Palace’s grand entrance. He’s right, too, as every other accent you hear in the famous old North London edifice seems blessed with an emerald twang. Perhaps Interpol have a hardy enclave across the water. That old Irish/American Manhatten transfer.

Or they may even be here for Blonde Redhead. The New York trio haven’t made a massive splash on the mainland yet, but they do have a versatile, accessible sound that could happily cross over, eventually. New single, 23, for instance, is the highlight of tonight’s set and has an ethereal Sigur Ros-like quality, while elsewhere there are catchy pop nuggets and clamorous waves of guitar, which go down well with the ‘Pol masses. It’s good to see so many crammed in here early on, when there are hot filled doughnuts on sale in the lobby. It’s a grand place is Ally Pally.

This is the final date of the Redheads’ support slot, and Interpol’s Paul Banks gives them a hearty send-off during the headliners’ performance. It’s the warmest moment of the evening, in fact, hot doughnuts aside. Banks and co are known to be a little frosty with each other offstage, and that all feeds into the Interpol ethic, for better or worse.

There’s something curiously icy about this band, a coolness of style and sound that leaves a lot of punters, well, cold. The guitars have an impressive grandiosity, but don’t allow for much between-song variation, and Banks sings all of them through his nose, which is either wonderfully unique or completely bloody infuriating, depending on your POV.

This crowd keep their distance too, wandering in and out throughout, nodding rather than moshing and streaming out steadily before the end, happy enough but having heard enough nasal droning for one evening. Well, they’ve got flights to catch.
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