Maximo Park

O2 Academy, Newcastle upon Tyne on Wed 13th May 2009

After a hectic few days of hometown album promotion, it's back to business proper for local heroes Maximo Park, kicking off their national tour with a pair of long sold-out dates at Newcastle's O2 Academy. The atmosphere in the venue was electric long before the band take to the stage, and it was clear that big things were expected. Maximo Park, as usual, did not disappoint.

With 'Quicken The Heart' taking the number one spot in the midweek album charts, the band took to the stage in a jubilant mood, and set their stall out with a furious rip through early single 'Graffiti'. The band followed this with 'Wraithlike', and 'The Penultimate Clinch', the opening tracks from the album, and given the reception they received, there could be no question that the fans have had it on repeat for the last few days.

Despite being dogged by poor sound for the opening part of the set, the band soldiered on, and by the time 'Our Velocity' kicked in, normal service was resumed. Even the typically stoic Duncan Lloyd appeared to enjoy himself at times. Paul Smith, who is rarely seen without a smile on his face, seemed to particularly relish the return to the live arena, with his trademark leaps betraying his enjoyment.

Unsurprisingly, new tracks made up a large proportion of the set tonight, but already many of them sound right at home in the set. 'A Cloud Of Mystery' and current hook-laden single 'The Kids Are Sick Again' deserve particular mention, having seemingly lodged themselves in the collective fans' consciousness already.

As they closed the main set with the buzzsaw attack of 'Girls Who Play Guitar', the band looked spent. However, getting away without an encore was unthinkable, and they returned to the stage to a heroes' welcome. The encore opened in melancholy fashion with brand new track 'That Beating Heart', a typically heartfelt number in the vein of 'Acrobat' which is clearly destined to accompany an upcoming single. 'Questing, Not Coasting' was given a more upbeat treatment than it receives on the album, which unfortunately seemed to detract from it's undoubted beauty.

Somewhat predictably, the show was closed in the usual manner with 'Apply Some Pressure' and as usual it received the biggest ovation of the night. Sometimes I wonder whether the band ever think of changing this. It may be their most well known song, but it is by no means their best. The fans love it though, so obviously it does something right.

Having fought to gain recognition for years, Maximo Park are now clearly relishing their new status amongst the heavyweights of the UK scene. That they manage to enjoy it, whilst still appearing refreshingly 'local' is to their credit, and no doubt one of the reasons they sold out two nights at this venue in less than ten minutes.

article by: Tommy Jackson

published: 14/05/2009 17:08


sorry, we currently have no gigs listed for this act.