Sunday, October 24, 2004

turn on the bright lights

Tonight we saw Interpol at the Crystal Ballroom, and it rocked. They are their own sound, but still it was like seeing Joy Division. It's hard to avoid comparing them with Joy Division - they're like what would have happened if Joy Division had become The Toadies or Coldplay instead of New Order after Ian's suicide. The fact that the entire band was wearing ties, some of them suits, only served to reinforce the Manchester working grunt image, but these guys are pure NYC.

I read a review of Interpol's first EP right after it came out: "It sounds like the Ramones covering 'OK Computer'." Not a bad description, really... or this one, which is a bit thick but also pretty accurate: "an accident sprung from an attempt to combine goth and mod into a new space-age clarity-resistant polymer. Their gloomy drones and spring-loaded beats coalesced into a thoroughly varnished, gleaming corridor of black mirrors, where you could only see shadows of the band, their oblique lyrics and chain-link-fence-of-sound production sounding less like a rock group and more like some uncatchable entity of music."

Last week we saw Flogging Molly in the same venue; it was like seeing the Pogues, if they weren't too drunk to play their instruments and if the mellowest song they did was 'The Sickbed Of Cuchulainn'. (Last time we saw Shane MacGowan he was so drunk he just held on to the microphone stand to support himself, and didn't move from that position throughout the whole set, which he delivered in a monotone drawl from start to finish.) The place was really moving - actually moving, as the third-floor ballroom has a suspended floor and when you get a few hundred of the celt-core leather-and-tweed set jumping up and down it's like walking on a hardwood trampoline.


Blogger charles c said...

Did Secret Machines open? They're a Dallas band, but moved to New York and got much better!
I've seen Interpol three times - twice in a club and once at Curiosa.
They *do* sound a lot like an updated Joy Division . . . and I can hear some Cure influence, as well. To me they sound like if Joy Division meets The Velvet Underground or Galaxie 500.
They're here next week . . .I'm not sure if I'll go or not since I've seen them several tiems in the last year - trying to check into free tickets.

Blogger Foobario said...

Aye, they did. I hadn't heard them before, so I was pleasantly surprised... they managed to really crank out some powerful tunes, just 3 guys arranged on 3 sides of a square, all facing the center - it was like they weren't playing the crowd, they were just jamming, and there just happened to be a thousand people watching them.
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