Live Review: The Murder Capital at Albert Hall, Manchester

Skiddle were at the Albert Hall in Manchester to see The Murder Capital on the first night of their UK tour for their new album 'Gigi's Recovery', check out what we thought below!

Skiddle Staff

Date published: 17th Feb 2023

It’s been three and a half years since we last got music from The Murder Capital. Their first record, When I Have Fears was widely lauded as one of the best post-punk records of its day, and for good reason. Simultaneously angry and tender, with an Irish charm and lyricism reminiscent of the poetic nature of the country, they gained a cult following and blew everyone that saw them away with their searingly intense live shows. 

Now, three and a half years later, their second record Gigi’s Recovery has been released, and we went down to the first night of their UK tour at the Albert Hall in Manchester, to see if they could ever live up to the dizzyingly high expectations the success of their first record set for them.

Image: Paradiso on Facebook

As the crowds poured into the iconic Manchester venue, the first sight was of a huge draped banner, taking up most of the backstage, adorned with the band's name and a minimalist version of the album cover, designed for them by fellow Irishman and artist Peter Doyle. The banner is the first outward marking of the band's new direction. It’s colourful, adorned with moons and sons, and a far cry from the awesomely harsh black and pastel pink cover of their debut. 

Yet, before we could hear the new material the artistic direction was born from, we had the small order of a Heavy Lungs set to take in, and boy did they bring the energy. The Bristolian punk rockers meant business from the second they graced the stage of Albert Hall, with lead singer Danny Nedelko - yes the one from the IDLES tune - gyrating to the heavy drum beats like he owned the show. Their tunes are a throwback to punks' heyday; unruly numbers with a leather-draped edge that ensure the best kind of chaos. 

From press-ups on the drum kit to asking the crowd if they fancied a sing-song to stopping the show for a happy birthday singalong for one of the band's members, it was a support to remember. If you’re at the Birmingham show, the only other on the tour with them as support, we can only urge you to get down early for them. 

After a much-needed interval of rest, the clock struck nine and onto the stage waltzed The Murder Capital, looking enviably cool as always, to a crowd in eager anticipation. This is the first time many will have heard the new songs from ‘Gigi's Recovery’, which had only been released a few weeks earlier, and the Irish quintet wasted no time in letting them have what they came for. 

They launched straight into the incredible opening track from the record ‘Crying’ and followed it straight up with the sensational single ‘Return My Head’ to which the crowd already know all the words. The scream of the chorus precursor “But I'm still waiting for the sign” sent the bubbles of anticipation pouring over the edge of the pan, and shoulders flying into each other down the front; pure chaotic bliss. 

The controlled chaos of the pit continued as they struck into the classic from their first record, ‘More Is Less’, and then straight into the cautious romanticism of ‘The Stars Will Leave Their Stage.’ A track that's repetitive beat amplifies the downtrodden intonation of lead singer James McGovern, setting the scene for the more muted numbers from their two records perfectly.

Such tracks, ‘Slowdance I & II’, ‘On Twisted Ground’, and ‘The Lie Becomes The Self’ provide a needed break to the intensity, and show a side to the band that often takes the backseat to their heavier numbers. Tracks laden in a cathartic stupor, divulging the tender side of the band, a side steeped in an Irish sentiment and charm that bands of any other origin could only dream of achieving.

Following this mesmeric respite, the band paused before clicking right back into top gear with the punk-edged ‘A Thousand Lives’ a track with a drum beat reminiscent of liquid drum and bass, that lurches the crowd out of the comfortable despair of the last four tunes and starting an ascendancy towards the heavy finale.

This ascendancy is truly set in motion by the first album favourite ‘Green and Blue’, and the second album duo of ‘We Had To Disappear’ and moniker track, ‘Gigis Recovery.’ The latter of which concludes everything that has been building, a slow-starting track that ebbs and flows through melancholic riffs and muted drums, with much of the instrumentation taking a backseat to the spectral vocals of McGovern, building to a controlled frenzy of a final verse that is a hypnotic watch; truly encapsulating the new direction of the band's sophomore effort. 

Now, The Murder Capital seemingly aren't about encores. Instead, they deliver a four-part sucker punch of quintessentially Irish post-rock/punk; huge numbers that could only be attributed to this incredible quintet. 

‘Feeling Fades’ kicks off the start of the end, and is undoubtedly the rowdiest track of the night. I mean, you can't blame a crowd for wanting to jump into each other as a scream of ‘They now are lapsed 'round you and me’ come from the stage and the wailing guitar and dirty drum beat hit into action. 

‘Only Good Things’ provides an esoteric stop-gap of a singalong, during which the crowd continue their perpetual bounce, right before the band kick into the fan favourite ‘Don't Cling To Life.’ A track which, as you look around the room at the emotionally driven screams of the crowd, shows just how much this band's searingly poignant lyricism connects with their fans. 

The band finish up proceedings with the lead single from Gigi’s Recovery, ‘Ethel’, which is met with equal aplomb and widespread moshpits, and as the set is finished, and thank yous said, the band leave the stage in as quick a fashion as they entered, and the Albert Hall is an amalgamation of stunned and chattering fans, all in their own way saying; how bloody good was that!

The Murder Capital are a post-punk band for thinkers. Not feeling pushed to churn out music, letting it stew in their psyche before releasing it to the ether, and being all the better for it. The three and half years since When I Have Fears may have been long, but it was more than worth it, and their new material was met by the Manc crowd with unrequited love.

These guys will be remembered in the history books, and are an incredibly important band. If we have to wait another three years for the next record, I will be sitting in eager anticipation. Do yourselves a favour and grab a ticket to this tour, you don't want to miss it.




Fancy getting yourself down to see some live music, that may or may not match The Murder Capitals' sensational show in Manchester, then Skiddle is your place. We have a huge variety of gigs with tickets now on sale, and you can find the best of the bunch on our UK Gig Guide, which you can find by clicking or tapping - HERE



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