Last night Paul Banks graced the Wuk in Vienna to play his brand new album Banks. There was plenty of anticipation and a decent amount of nerves and a slight air of pessimism regarding his appearance. Partly due to his legendary status as Interpol’s frontman, which means everything he touches should turn to gold, resulting in extremely high expectations, and partly due to the fact that his latest album takes a number of listens to really get into.
Was he going to win the crowd over with an energetic and lively display? Or would the gig fizzle out like the album seemed to do upon the first two or three listens? Thankfully the answer was the former rather than the latter.
It wasn’t a sold out crowd in the Wuk but it was full enough for a Sunday evening when the main pass time in Austria involves watching the traditional criminal series “Tatort” and the clientele was a healthly mix of youngsters embarking on their first Banks trip and old heads trying to re-live the Interpol days by constantly requesting Interpooooool songs.
In a brave move for a “solo” artist Paul Banks decided to open with two songs not on the current album as he delved into his alter ego Julian Plenti and the song Unwind. Fans had to wait until the third song of the evening to get a taste of the new stuff and it was worth the wait as I’ll sue you was as tight as you would expect from a man of his experience.
The highlight of the evening was “Over my Shoulder” which certainly got plenty of shoulders moving and is one of the stand out tracks on the album in my opinion.
Overall a perfect Sunday evening shoe-gaze which never pretended to be anything more than that. A solid performance all round. 8/10