Of course everyone knows the story of the greatest 'Manchester' band of the last 15 years. About that first classic album which soaked up the city's finest bands and married it with an attitude synonymous with the region and its musical history. About the second album which, while not quite as complete a package as the first, nonetheless featured their most enduring singles and seemed to define the period of time in which it existed.
Then there was that third album. When it finally came out it polarised fans and left most critics indifferent, lacking as it did the anthemic singles or songwriting nous of those which it followed. That it was released amidst rumours of infighting and a growing sense that creatively, the group were now firmly governed by its singer and lead guitarist and thus no longer a 'band' in any kind of democratic sense did little to help. Depressingly, the album also seemed to suggest a decline towards inevitably diminishing returns, the band doomed forever to unfavourable comparisons of newer material against their hallowed debut.
To this day people still attend the shows in droves, and of course, every band has its share of die-hards, but one can't help but feel that for the silent majority this is mostly out of nostalgia and a chance to singalong to those classics from the first two albums; paying lip service to the more recent material is simply an unspoken, but notheless mutually understood, part of the deal.
Nothing about last week's 'homecoming' show at the Apollo suggested any of the above to be false. The set list chronicled a sparkling past without alluding to a bright future, with the band and audience only truly 'at one' during airings of the ubiquitous older material. Still, the bands enduring image and attitude seemed to suggest they might not be going anywhere just yet, even if their artistic and creative peak seems now to be some years behind them.
Oh yeah, you know I'm talking about Interpol right?
Video - Interpol 'PDA'
Interpol played the Manchester Apollo on the 8th July 2008
Words: Billy iDle