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The Indie Cred Manchester Gig Guide: 7th-13th July 2008

Summer In The Park Festival
We’re saving all our gig-going energies for T In The Park next weekend but there’s much going on in Manchester this week with plenty of bands on the T bill doing the rounds.

On Tuesday, Interpol, who were a massive disappointment the last time we saw them at the Empress Ballroom in Blackpool, hit the Apollo with Ladytron in tow, while on Wednesday, Cardiff indie poppers The School play the Night & Day with an excellent support bill, including local bands Amida and the much-touted Cats In Paris, as well as the excellent Rosie Taylor Project. I’ve never heard of The School before but, from what I can hear on their Myspace page, they sound like they know their way around a Belle And Sebastian record or two. Also on Wednesday, Austin, Texas garage rockers-du-jour White Denim play the Roadhouse.

At the Roadhouse on Thursday are the excellent Jaguar Love, whose Take Me To The Sea album is an absolute joy to behold. Unfortunately we’ll be on our way up to Scotland by then so we’ll also miss the Transgressive Hot Summer Tour at the Night & Day on the same night which features Jeremy Warmsley, Ox.Eagle.Lion.Man and Liam Finn, among others. If neither of those tickle your fancy then get yourselves down to the King’s Arms in Salford for Simon Connor‘s EP launch party which features support from The Bangs, who we highly recommend, and only costs £3 to get in to.

On Saturday and Sunday the inaugural Summer In The Park festival takes place at Platt Fields. Manchester needs a new festival to fill the considerable void left by the disappearance of D:Percussion from the schedules and Summer In The Park looks like it might just fit the bill. It’s billed as a food and drink festival so while there’s an excellent music line-up, including I Am Kloot, The Earlies, Magic Arm, Liam Frost, Stephen Fretwell, Lucy And The Caterpillar, The Bottomfeeders and Gideon Conn, some of the city’s finest eating establishments will be setting up shop for the weekend, including Grill On The Alley, MosoMoso, The Northern Quarter Restaurant, Tampopo, Evuna, Chaophraya and Carluccio’s, to name but a few. It’s £9 for a day ticket and £17 for a weekend pass and it almost makes me wish that we weren’t heading up to Scotland this weekend. Let’s just hope the weather holds out for all of us.

Posted by The Ledge on 6th July 2008 at 10:47 pm | comments (3)
File under gig guide,gigs,interpol,manchester gigs,simon connor,summer in the park,the bangs,Uncategorized.

Gig Review: Interpol @ Blackpool Empress Ballroom, 28th November 2007

Interpol @ Blackpool Empress BallroomI can feel Interpol and I drifting apart. Their new album, Our Love To Admire, hasn’t set my pulse racing in the way that its predecessors, Turn On The Bright Lights and Antics, did. It’s more of a straight forward rock record and is missing much of the dark, angsty flavours of the band’s earlier work. At the Leeds Festival earlier this year they put in a decent set but playing outdoors and in broad daylight are not exactly the ideal conditions for a band on the darker side of the indie rock spectrum.

Blonde Redhead @ Blackpool Empress BallroomThe grandiose setting of the Empress Ballroom in Blackpool was certainly promising, and Blonde Redhead did a fine job in opening the proceedings, their noisy, blissed-out indie rock going down well with the large crowd though they were helped along the way by the contributions of Interpol drummer Sam Fogarino on the last two songs and Paul Banks playing guitar on the last. 2007 has been a good year for the band with their excellent 23 long player garnering rave reviews and destined to appear ahead of Our Love To Admire in many an album of the year list.

Interpol bored me. There was no spark; none of the bristling menace of previous shows. Older tracks were played more in the style of the newer material. “Obstacle 1”, despatched early on, sounded pedestrian and was an early indication that this wasn’t going to be a vintage night. I snoozed though selections from the new album, interspersed with flat versions of stuff from Antics and a disappointing rendition of “Say Hello From The Angels”, my mind more occupied with the baffling attempts by security to stop anyone taking photos. I’m sure they ruined the show for many people with their perpetual haranguing of innocent punters, their flashlights constantly searching the crowd for offenders who were invariably pounced upon by a wannabe Gestapo, despatched from the barrier in a disturbing flurry of activity. “The Lighthouse”, a slow burner from the new album, almost had me nodding off, kept awake only by the chatter of fans who were obviously just as enthralled as I was.

Interpol @ Blackpool Empress Ballroom Part of the problem was the abject performance of Carlos D. Where he was previously a brooding, bass-wielding presence, prowling the stage with an unflappable sense of cool, here he was almost anonymous, often looking bored, though there was a touch of Vaudeville about his facial hair that fitted in with the surroundings. In contrast, Daniel Kessler, was the life and soul, his chicken-legs dance routine bringing back memories of Fine Young Cannibals on Top Of The Pops back in the Eighties. This is not necessarily a good thing.

Of course, it wasn’t all bad. “No I In Threesomewas very good indeed, though it is my favourite from the new album and they certainly did it justice. Things picked up towards the end with “Evil” and “Not Even Jail” finally hitting the mark, though the encore was another letdown with “Untitled” lacking its usual moody atmospherics (too many lights! Interpol shows should be played in the dark) and “Stella” speeded up and suffering a similar fate. The closing “PDA” was probably the best moment of the night but by then I could barely care less. They say that form is temporary, class is permanent and hopefully this is just a temporary blip for Interpol though, judging by the rapturous reception they were given by almost everyone else in the ballroom, I’d guess that they probably won’t be changing tack for a while.

Blonde Redhead – Maddening Crowd

Interpol – No I In Threesome

Posted by The Ledge on 7th December 2007 at 12:28 am | comments (5)
File under blackpool empress ballroom,boring gigs,Gig Reviews,interpol,mp3,Reviews.