Interpol @ Rock City Nottingham review

Posted on 25 November 2010
By Lara Leon Cullen
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Interpol delivered a lacklustre show in front of a totally disinterested crowd in Nottingham‘s Rock City, the kind of gig that makes an iPhone an essential piece of kit to break up the tedium.

At one time, this New York quartet were the mighty torch bearers of dark and hypnotic indie rock, but now they have truly lost that spark which set them above the mediocrity around them. Now it seems they have fallen in to the trap of going through the motions on stage like so many others before them.

Support came from a band called Surfer Blood who lacked any real stage presence and perhaps the night started to go wrong here. Their output was a mixed bag of bland tunes, but if you like that kind of safe, tried and tested American indie rock, get on these guys because they have got it down to a fine art.

They weren’t exciting in the slightest and offered nothing other than what shitty bands of a similar ilk were doing 5 years ago.

There was no real crowd interaction, and the band were fairly static to watch, glued to the same spot like weathered statues. The only exception being the key-board percussionist who at least made an effort to rock it and engage the crowd with some real energy and some intricate work on the keys.

Things went from bad to worse as Surfer Blood had issues with their distortion pedals. The crowd were suitably unenthused.

They’ve apparently been described as the new Weezer but Rivers Cuomo has nothing to worry about if this spectacle is anything to go by.

Interpol came on stage about 8.30 and this was the first night of their UK tour to promote their 4th album. In fairness, they’ve never been the most exciting live band, relying more on the music than effects or gimmicks, but it felt like there was something even more laboured than usual here.

They didn’t have the buzz you’d expect of a band starting on their first UK tour in a long while, in the country where they have experienced their greatest commercial success and have their most ardent fan base.

Instead it felt like a bunch of guys going to work for 90 minutes and it just felt contrived, the antithesis of a good rock n’ roll show. There was a real lack of passion, excitement or connection and they might as well have played behind a perspex wall.

There were some diehard fans in the crowd that had clearly been desperately anticipating their return to the UK music scene and lapped it up, singing along to every word and these folk were in their element.

Sadly these fans stuck out like a sore thumb as they were in the minority and it felt like a lot of the people in attendance were simply passing the time just to hear big hitters like Evil, NYC and Slow Hands. The gig seemed merely something to do to break up the working week.

It was hard to feel any rapport with the band after this showing, the lighting was dim and they were mere silhouettes in the eyes of many of the crowd. By the end of the set it livened up a little, probably down to the alcohol more than the music, but it seemed only the truly dedicated fans were enamoured with the band.