Live Gallery: The National – Castlefield Bowl, Manchester

A stunning display from the American group...

Is there a better live band on the planet right now than The National? The American band have always been a forced to be reckoned with, with albums such as ‘Boxer’ helping to reframe indie rock in their literate image.

But it’s more than this. Live, there’s a point of connection between The National and their audience which is palpable, at times physical. Recently closing Glastonbury on the Other Stage, the band proved their worth with a stunning set, each song resonating with the crowd.

Hitting the road, their UK engagements continue with a show at Castlefield Bowl in Manchester, and it seems The National have the wind in their wings. Amid pouring rain the group unfurled song after song, wringing fresh intensity out of those words.

A stunning display, it found all present wondering who – if anybody – could possibly best The National on this form.

Photography Danny Payne got up close.

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