Interpol are reborn as they make their UK return live at Hackney Church.

Words: Karl Johnson | Photos: Sagia Soufi

After illness threatened to put a stopper in the New York City outfit’s post-pandemic return to British soil – their June 14th Roundhouse date pulled last minute – you wondered whether the stars wouldn’t align for Interpol’s dream return in promotion of their stellar new record ‘The Other Side Of Make-Believe’.

Not even the start of a heatwave, that would see the UK endure temperatures of over 40C for the first time on record, would halt the return of a band that this country holds so deep in its heart and musical history. Set within the confines of Hackney Church – a Grade-II listed Anglican church – Interpol took the stage, fittingly situated beneath a stained glass guardian angel.

Interpol powered through 17 tracks, exhibiting new cuts in ‘Fables’, ‘Something Changed’, ‘Into the Night’ and ‘Toni’ from their 7th album ‘The Other Side Of Make-Believe’ – the album released just 24 hours before the show itself. The new tracks stood in lockstep alongside career-defining hits ‘Evil’, ‘Obstacle 1’ and chaotic closing number ‘Slow Hands’.

In the live setting Interpol excel, between songs the commentary from vocalist and guitarist Paul Banks is kept to a minimum – no fuss or self-promotion of the merch stand, simply allowing the new tracks to bleed into the ears and hearts of an adoring crowd.

Stranded in Edinburgh for 9 months during the pandemic, Banks set to writing what would become ‘The Other Side Of Make-Believe’, exchanging ideas and instrumental ideas over email with guitarist Daniel Kessler and drummer Sam Fogarino – those expecting a disjointed or lifeless record would be proved wrong, tonight in London Interpol feel reborn.