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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Live Review: Interpol, Riverside, Newcastle (16/03/2014)

For some unbeknown reason the NME's annual Awards Tour has chosen to omit Newcastle from its 2014 trail, but that didn't prevent this year's headliners from paying North East fans a visit. Members of Sunday night's long sold-out crowd may, in fact, argue they got the better deal, with this special Riverside warm-up providing a sense of occasion that'll no doubt be absent from the New Yorker's trawl of the nation's O2 Academies. Their first show of any kind since November 2011, this coup had the dual significance of kicking off Think Tank's stint at the venue, following previous residencies in both Hoults Yard and Times Square. It made sense then that there was also local favourites on show in the shape of Warm Digits, who cranked up the atmosphere nicely with a typically propulsive half-hour display of krautrock goodness.

In many ways, the momentum they built was mirrored by that of Interpol's set, though their directness comes via angular post punk gloom as opposed to driving digital tempo. Doused in low-key lighting and a dense cloud of dry ice, the quartet slipped into gear remarkably given their two-year layoff, airing a selection of old classics taken predominantly from their early '00s peak. Significantly, though, they also handed live debuts to a trio of cuts from their imminent fifth album - and they'll certainly spark rumblings of a return to form after 2011's underwhelming eponymous set. Flanking Paul Banks' powerful baritone with an unswerving guitar offensive, 'Afterwards' was especially promising; but for me the high point was their closing rendition of first album classic 'Stella Was a Diver and She Was Always Down.' Momentous and magical, it shows what the group are capable of when they hit top form, and while not the type to deal in live fireworks this comeback suggested they might just be ready to fire on all cylinders once more.

Setlist

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Interpol

Warm Digits


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