Academy – 18/3

The NME Awards Tour 2014 kick started right here at the 02 Academy with Interpol returning to Scotland for the first time since 2011 and this time round, they’re supported by an assortment of sub-par indie cohorts.

Previewing three tracks from their half-finished, untitled new album unfortunately pales in the face of the old hits. Favourites like ‘C’mere’ and ‘Not Even Jail’ get the biggest reception and the normally sombre band crack smiles at the appreciation they receive.

However, this feels like a reacquaintance between two old, past it, hounds. Interpol and the NME first kicked off their relationship in 2003 when Interpol toured their significantly more revolutionary debut album. Indeed, the new material and at least half their back catalogue pales in comparison to their early Turn on the Bright Lights-period peaks. It’s as if, at a last bid for mass communication, they pulled this together to slowly assuage their slide into irrelevance.

New bassist Brad Truax plays all the right parts, but the Carlos D era had a sense of style and uniqueness that they’ve let slip. 2010’s self-titled effort simmered, but never boiled, and they carry this to the stage. A spark is missing from their present incarnation. The quality gap between the eras is significant, and not to be explained away by a new found maturity. Cuts like ‘Hands Away’ and ‘Stella Was a Diver’ are fantastic reminders of the years when Interpol were the future, not a band getting close to being without one.

[Dom MacInnes]

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