Gig review: Interpol, Glasgow

Interpol's musical references included early U2. Picture: Greg Macvean
Interpol's musical references included early U2. Picture: Greg Macvean
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Indie stalwarts Interpol are not the most obvious choice of Valentine’s Day soundtrack but doubtless there are many who would favour their somewhat doomy romanticism over any box-ticking love ballad.

Interpol - Barrowland, Glasgow

* * *

The black-clad Anglophile New Yorkers hark back to the good old-fashioned days of indie with the kind of reasonably atmospheric, slightly angsty, quasi-anthemic sound which would have graced the Barrowland stage on a regular basis in the mid-80s, embellished on this occasion with a tasteful colour-coded lighting palette instead of the old regulation side serving of dry ice.

Their music is a diluted mish-mash of classic reference points – a spot of early U2, a soupçon of Echo & the Bunnymen. Set opener Say Hello to the Angels had the same urgent spring in its step as The Smiths, while Paul Banks’ authoritative baritone bears the tone if not the torment of Ian Curtis.

The clanging gothic guitars of My Blue Supreme and sinewy, melodic bassline of Evil were familiar, comforting, if hardly challenging markers but much of the set was driven by Sam Fogarino’s tireless, churning drumming, waves crashing on the big screen as he bashed with intent.

Without his rhythmic impetus, the music tended to the dirgey and, as a rule, the sound was more fettered than feral. But it still elicited a frenzied reaction from pockets of the crowd which almost derailed the encore when the group had to mark time while stewards sorted out the high spirits in the front rows.

Seen on 14 February