Paul Banks was certainly the crowd favorite at the Julian Plenti show at Chop Suey on Monday night. Although there were cheers of â€œI love you, Paulâ€ throughout the set, the musicians Banks brought in to back his solo project were certainly no slouches (particularly the bassist and cellist, whose names this writer was unfortunately unable to find).
As it was an all-ages show, those of the audience who wanted to imbibe were relegated to the back bar. This did not make for easy listening, as even listeners who vocally proclaimed their love for Paul Banks talked through most of the bandâ€™s dreamier songs, particularly â€œNo Hiding Placeâ€ and â€œOn the Esplanadeâ€.
Julian Plenti opened with â€œFly as You Mightâ€, a hypnotic tune dominated by Banksâ€™ baritone that set the mood for the rest of the show. The band picked up the pace with an extremely tight rendition of â€œFun That We Haveâ€. The band was clearly having fun with its fourth song, â€œUnwindâ€, as the guitarists and drummer let loose during the chorus. Paul Banks gave his usual deadpan delivery throughout â€œGirl on the Sporting Newsâ€, as he crooned I just want to tell you one thing/youâ€™ve got the kind of sex appeal/that doesnâ€™t get a guy like me down.
The best song of the night was perhaps â€œOnly if You Run,â€ as guitar, cello, and bass provided layers and layers of sound that filled up the room. This song brought the musicians together as Julian Plenti, rather than as Paul Banks and his backing band.
Julian Plenti did its best to appease the crowdâ€™s hopes for an Interpol-themed encore with â€œGames for Dayâ€, a fast-paced song that easily could have been on the third Interpol album. The songâ€™s abrupt close was greeted by uproars from the crowd.
Here’s the track “Fun That We Have” off Julian Plenti’s recent album Julian Plenti is… Skyscraper, out now on Matador Records.
Julian Plenti: Fun That We Have [mp3]
[audio:091120-julian_plenti-fun_that_we_have.mp3|titles=Fun That We Have|artists=Julian Plenti]