Since the very beginning, what’s separated The Murder Capital from the pack has been an almost indescribable ability to strip away any bravado or ‘show’ and simply reveal every emotion to the world – and the results speak for themselves.
With debut album ‘When I Have Fears’, they captured a new force with a diary-like examination from a group of friends working their way through some of life’s darkest moments, served up in a blistering package of love and hope. This year’s follow-up, ‘Gigi’s Recovery’, answered that all-important question, where do they go next? A record that broadens every fibre of what makes them so great and flourishes in pushing at their boundaries, it already stands as an album we’ll be talking about come December as one of the year’s best.
Turning the lights up on The Murder Capital, it’s what makes tonight – their biggest London headline show so far – so special. From the first notes of ‘Crying’, they set their tone. Hypnotic turns from ‘Gigi’s Recovery’ are given the grand moments they deserve – whether it’s the swaggering ‘Only Good Things’, the jittering Radiohead-esque shuffle of ‘A Thousand Lives’ or the spellbinding weaves of ‘The Stars Will Leave Their Stage’. It’s all led by the sort of stage presence that most bands would die for. At the drop of a dime, the Forum’s packed floors are firmly in the palm of their hand, and the result is a show that manages to feel intimate and vast.
That balance between tender and tectonic whips throughout. ‘Return My Head’ perfectly bounces off ‘More Is Less’, ‘For Everything’ and ‘Love, Love, Love’, while ‘Green & Blue’ has fans pouring themselves towards the front like a tidal wave. The reaction that ‘Feeling Fades’ receives, as frontman James McGovern commands the Forum to move and give everything before diving into its sweaty pool, is the sort that only comes when you know everyone gathered will follow your every move.
There are tears as ‘Don’t Cling To Life’ and closer ‘Ethel’ rip into frame, and just like that, The Murder Capital have planted their flag firmly in the ground. By cutting to the bone, they’ve become a band who exist to bring people together and to make lost souls feel found. It was always destined to be.