Last night (September 22), The Murder Capital took to London’s Lafayette to play their first headline show in over a year and launch their “new chapter”. Check out footage from the gig, its setlist and more below.
After a string of festival appearances over the summer as well as a support slot with Pearl Jam at Hyde Park, the Irish five-piece announced their second album ‘Gigi’s Recovery’ yesterday, a few hours before the gig at the central London venue. The follow-up to 2019’s powerful ‘When I Have Fears’ is, according to vocalist James McGovern, a “loose concept record” about “returning to a place of strength” and is out January 20, 2023.
The band took to the stage of London’s Lafayette and, without saying a word, launched straight into the brand new single ‘A Thousand Lives’. Driven by arpeggio synths, the lush track was a far gentler introduction to the set than The Murder Capital’s usual opener of ‘For Everything’, but vocalist James McGovern still invited the crowd to “move” before a snarling instrumental breakdown.
“Welcome, welcome, welcome,” he said afterwards. “We’re very fucking happy to see you all here. It’s a special day for us. I’m sure you’ve seen all the announcements, our record is coming early 2023, and we can’t fucking wait. Seriously, thank you so much for joining us, we’re glad you could be with us. It’s the beginning of a new chapter for us, so forget the boys you used to know.”
The Murder Capital just doing Murder Capital things.
— JACK SAUNDERS (@jackxsaunders) September 22, 2022
The once-swaying audience quickly morphed into a swirling mosh-pit for ‘More Is Less’, with McGovern telling the audience “don’t be afraid to fucking move” and inviting them to “come closer” before he crouched down to scream the lyrics into the faces of the front row. The brooding ‘Green And Blue’ quickly followed ahead of the band giving new song ‘We Had To Disappear’ its live debut.
A twitching, joyful track that blended together the emotional weight of Joy Division with the funk-fuelled urgency of Queens Of The Stone Age, the song allowed McGovern’s vocals to take the spotlight ahead of a huge, guitar-led breakdown. “Some people have said they’ve been waiting a long time for new music – I don’t think it’s been that long at all,” quipped McGovern before the ambitious noise rock of ‘Slowdance I’ and Slowdance II’. Halfway through the track, he hopped offstage and into the swirling crowd.
“Our second single came out today, but before that, we released one in July called ‘Only Good Things’,” he explained. “Whether or not that’s tongue-in-cheek, we’ll leave to you,” he added as the band launched into the giddy, longing track.
“A lot of familiar faces in this room. Some we don’t see enough anymore, but that’s about to change,” McGovern said afterwards, telling the crowd that his mother was also at the show. After acknowledging some diehard fans down the front, he introduced the emotional ‘On Twisted Ground’ by saying, “back down we go”.
The crowd were deathly silent thanks to a couple of well-placed ‘ssshs’ from other fans as The Murder Capital played the emotionally raw song. Another new song called ‘The Stars Will Leave Their Stage’ picked the mood back up shortly afterwards with a hectic blend of jaunty, angular synths before a hammering run of debut album classics.
A boisterous ‘For Everything’ reignited the mosh pits and had the crowd bellowing the refrain. “That’s the energy we’re looking for,” said McGovern as the band kicked into ‘Feelings Fades’. “You better be ready to catch me,” he told the crowd, then dove off the stage. A celebratory ‘Don’t Cling To Life’ saw the chaotic energy continue.
“We lost our fucking minds writing this new record, not going to lie,” said McGovern once he’d got his breath back. “We might have had our minds in Dublin, we might have still had them in Donegal, [but] once we went to Wexford, we fucking lost them. Strangely enough, we might have got them back in London.”
After the crowd booed the news that they only had one song left of their set, McGovern offered: “I’m sure there’s some late-night schmoozing to be done.” One very loud “fuck yeah” rang out from the balcony, with the frontman instructing in response: “Buy that man a drink.”
“Seriously though, we took our time because we felt like we owed it to ourselves and owed it to the fans to make a record that mattered to us, and we believe we’ve achieved that,” McGovern added as the set came to a close. “On that note, we’ll say goodnight. This is my favourite song on the record.” The Murder Capital then launched into their finale ‘Ethel’, a brooding, cinematic track that soon exploded into a swaggering communal anthem with a real lust for life.
The Murder Capital played:
‘A Thousand Lives’
‘More Is Less’
‘Green & Blue’
‘We Had To Disappear’
‘Only Good Things’
‘On Twisted ground’
‘The Stars Will Leave Their Stage’
‘Don’t Cling To Life’
The Murder Capital have just announced details of a UK and Europe headline tour for early next year. Dates are below while tickets go on general sale at 9am on Wednesday September 28 and will be available here.
4 – Antwerp, Trix Club
5 – Cologne, Luxor
6 – Hamburg, Molotow Musikclub
8 – Berlin, Lido
9 – Munich, Hansa 39
11 – Strasbourg, Laiterie Club
13 – Paris, Le Trabendo
14 – Amsterdam, Paradiso
16 – Manchester, Albert Hall
17 – Newcastle, Northumbria Student’s Union
18 – Glasgow, SWG3 TV Studio
20 – Leeds, Stylus
21 – Birmingham, The Mill
23 – London, O2 Forum Kentish Town
24 – Bristol, The Marble Factory
26 – Dublin, Vicar Street
The tour features the biggest venues The Murder Capital have ever headlined, with McGovern telling NME he “cannot wait to get into those rooms”. “The stages were constantly getting bigger when we were touring the last album and it always felt natural,” he explained. “I always felt like the sound of the band and the theatre of the show belongs on a bigger stage.”
He continued: “I just saw Nick Cave for the first time at Rock En Seine a couple of weeks ago, and I now understand where the bar is for a live show. I don’t think there is a room too big for The Murder Capital, though.”