Paul Banks: Dublin – live review

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Paul Banks
The Academy, Dublin
20th Jan 2013

Interpol-er takes center stage, dressed in black, when he hits The Academy in Dublin. Chris Ledwidge tells us more.

2012 saw the release of the second solo record by Interpol frontman Paul Banks. That record, “Banks” was the first released in his own name since dropping the pseudonym of Julian Plenti. Perhaps it’s the result of years of writing and performing in a headlining band, but Paul arrives on stage with the appearance of a more confident artist than I’ve seen him perform before.

This show in The Academy, Abbey St. Dublin is the first night of a European tour which will move through the UK and onwards. Dressed all in black, the rest of the band, drummer Charles Burst and Brandon Curtis on bass, keys and backing vocals join halfway into the opening song ‘Skyscraper’.

 

Wide grins from each of the band member after an appreciative applause from the crowd after the opening song and ‘Only If You Run’ through the transition into ‘No Mistakes’, the first song from ‘Banks’, the new solo record. show they are relaxing into the start of the tour and genuinely seem to enjoy playing the show.

After a steady first half, ‘Goodbye Toronto’ is the first song to really get the crowd moving. It’s really the only song that gets people moving at all. There are a lot of wide rimmed glasses just nodding along; it’s that kind of crowd.

 

Although all of the music was written alone by Banks, then learned to be played live by each of the band members, they’re clearly a lot more than just an average touring band. Each of them comes forward with their own influence over the songs, especially guitarist Damien Paris. Using the same material from the record he is able to act both as a backing or harmony to Banks’ own playing, then at times leads and displays his own style on other sections. Also, a fine beard sir, well done.

Most of the songs are guitar led though effect laden textures mixed with keyboards giving a very broad range of sounds across the show. The typical eeriness and dark atmosphere in the sound transfers across from the records helped by a well thought out production and by the clarity of the sound in this small venue.

Eight old songs and 10 from the new record make up the show which lasts only 75 minutes. Most regular concert goers might think that a bit short for a €30 ticket price. Though 18 songs would usually be a decent set length, the fact that there is no extra material brought in to extend the songs in their live performances means most remain at around three and a half minutes. Each of them is almost exactly as they are heard on record and knowing how Paul Banks works it is unlikely that this will change later in the tour.

Setlist (75 minutes)
Skyscraper
Only If You Run
No Mistakes
Fun That We Have
I’ll Sue You
Arise, Awake
No Chance Survival
Over My Shoulder
Goodbye Toronto
Fly As You Might
Lisbon
Another Chance
Young Again
Paid For That
The Base
Summertime Is Coming

On The Esplanade
Games For Days

Check out Paul Banks on Facebook and at his official site.

Words by Chris Ledwidge. More writing by Chris on Louder Than War can be found here.

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