Banks, Kessler and Fogarino mix light and shade for an intimate Banquet Records show
If playing it cool really does just make the world a little colder, there was only one place to be on Sunday night. London might have been burning but Interpol chilled Kingston at a powerhouse Banquet Records show that proved just how well the band’s new record sits among their older hits.
The faded glory of Kingston’s PRYZM club feels like a perfect fit – vintage cinema platforms bringing everyone in close and a retro mirrored chandelier reflecting every flash of the red strobes. Lighting has always been a big part of any Interpol set and Paul Banks, Daniel Kessler and Sam Fogarino turned up as they usually do: as silhouettes hidden behind a wall of atmosphere.
When the shadows did lift though, something was different – Banks flashing a rare grin between songs every time the place erupted. Looking way prouder and more animated than usual, the famously stoic frontman has every reason to smile. It’s been 20 years since Turn On The Bright Lights but new album The Other Side Of Make-Believe feels almost as fresh, edging the band forward into a bigger and broader territory.
Opening with ‘Evil’ and moving straight into ‘Fables’, Interpol’s set flicks seamlessly between their earliest and latest – mixing thick post-punk indie with more intricate and cinematic alt-rock. Classics like ‘Narc’ and ‘The New’ still play perfectly, but it’s recent singles ‘Toni’ and ‘Something Changed’ that now sound the biggest.
Better yet, everything else from the band’s back catalogue feels elevated. ‘All The Rage Back Home’ (from 2014’s El Pintor) and ‘Lights’ (from 2010’s self-titled album) now somehow feel and new and old at the same time – fired with pile-driver energy and building live to meet the band’s most ambitious Joy Division aspirations. As indie classic ‘PDA’ closes the set, sounding as vast and layered as the best of the new record, it’s hard to see where the seams are on a set that now spans twenty years and several different scene changes.
Now older, wiser and (very slightly) happier, Interpol take the stage with the confidence of years behind them as well as in front. Filling PRYZM with fire alarm guitars and a hypnotic swell of snares that matches the drama of the shadow play hitting the walls, Interpol have never been cooler as the rest of us melt.
Interpol have one last UK show booked for this summer, playing London’s O2 Forum Kentish Town on 18 July. Final tickets are available here.