James McDonald 30/11/2007

Having sold out the grand Alexandra Palace for a second night in a row, New York's finest triumphantly returned to our nation's capital with a newly strengthened arsenal of material, tonight spanning 4 major releases. Trying desperately to absorb the 3000 or so faces around me in anticipation of the band's arrival on stage, I only really began to understand the magnitude to which Interpol have rightfully grown over their 7 year life span. Tonight had an air of something very special indeed, and finally this feeling was confirmed when the band, having belatedly taken to the stage, plucked the opening notes to “Pioneers To The Fall”. From thereon in, it was bliss.

Their set was an eclectic mix of old and new, with a narrow emphasis on this year's 'breakthrough' album, Our Love To Admire. The delivery of songs such as “Mammoth”, “The Heinrich Maneuver”, and new single “There's No I in Threesome” reiterate the point that even live, the new material stands up proudly alongside the tried and tested songs that first stole our hearts. However, for this writer at least, it was these older songs that really shone through in their hour long set - “Obstacle 1” glittered it's beauty over the sizable crowd, and closing track “PDA” powered along in remarkable fashion, with Paul Bank's ever present vocal performance echoing dominantly throughout. And even a surprise for the hardcore contingent present tonight - after a brief interval the band returned for their encore with a memorable performance of “The Specialist”, a track from their debut EP all those years ago.

It's been a remarkable return to form for probably the most intelligent band to hail from the states in recent times, and tonight's performance was ultimately the punctuation at the end of a year which has undoubtedly been theirs.