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Interpol, The Village, Dublin, 28th August 2003

Living up to hype is probably what a band must hate the most. No matter how good a performance may be, it will undoubtedly pale in comparison to what some critic is expecting. This was the forum that was to greet NYC's Interpol when they played the Village. However, unlike most, these guys surpassed, no, superseded any expectations.

From the moment they took to the stage dressed in their trademark impeccable suits and bathed in an eerie green hue, they commanded attention. As the first chords of the atmospheric 'Untitled' was sounded, lead singer Paul Banks leered over the microphone, singing with beautiful harrowing accuracy.

If you thought Interpol sound good on record, then this show was for you. Every note, every vocal, every atmospheric pitch was in place. The haunting vocals of Banks, the intricacy of Kessler on guitar, the rumbling of Foregino on drums and the hypnotic hum and winding dips of Carlos D on bass combines to become a performance worthy of the silent pauses of awe that proceeded many of the songs on the night.

There was a notable lack of interaction with the audience in the traditional sense, but it was quite impressive to sense how Interpol's music was for many enough to make up for an overload of banter for audience to stage and vice versa.

They have been heralded by much of the press as gloomy or mopey, but it was reported that Mr Banks did actually smile on than one occasion! A satisfactory grin could also be seen on the face of new romantic-esque Carlos D for most of the night undoubtedly due to his unfailing popularity with the Dublin crowd.

Interpol worked their way through many of the beautiful pieces from "Turn on the bright lights", including singles 'Obstacle 1' and 'PDA'. Possibly the most memorable moment during their set list came during an emotionally charged 'Stella was a diver and she's always down', as Banks sang out the lyrics in a emotive and engaging voice inducing a mass goose bump moment.

It is rare to find a band to command such a level of respect from audiences and critics alike and to imprint such emotion with their music on their very first outing. The only disappointment is that we ill undoubtedly have to wait until the latter half of 2004 for a repeat performance.

Bernadette Johnston.

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