JD Roots presents Maximo Park, The Cluny, Newcastle – 2nd May 2013
There’s something about a homecoming show that just can’t be beaten. Sure, you can travel to see a band and have a fantastic time doing it, but nothing quite beats seeing a band smash it on their home turf and on their own terms.
It’s even better of course when you take said band away from the festivals, big venues and enormo-domes and put them right back to where it all kicked off in the first place: a sweaty room in their home town with a flowing bar and a dance floor packed with passionate, die-hards. Such is the joy of seeing Maximo Park return to Newcastle’s favourite independent venue, The Cluny.
Presented as part of this year’s Jack Daniel’s JD Roots series, there’s a definite buzz about seeing Maximo Park back in more intimate surroundings, they’ve played the Metro Radio Arena after all, and along with region-mates, The Futureheads and Field Music they really helped put the North East back on the musical map.
Before Paul Smith and co take to the stage though there’s the hand-picked support band, Palace. Playing out like a musical career in reverse, Palace’s set certainly showcases a lot of musical potential, moving as they do from ethereal shoe-gazing rock to the sort of indie dance floor fillers that Arctic Monkeys fans would adore in the space of half an hour. It’s supremely confident display, and one that’s sure to have won them a fair few fans.
Speaking of confidence, Maximo Park positively bristle with the stuff tonight. They’ve always had a nervous energy, both in their songs and performance, but the constraints of the small stage mean that they’re practically bouncing off the walls, with Smith’s intense glare reaching everyone in the room.
It’s also far too easy to forget just how many indie-pop gems Maximo Park have in their music box, with Our Velocity (and it’s amazing final section), Going Missing, Limassol and Girls Who Play Guitars sitting more than comfortably with a selection of fan-pleasing rarities and newer tracks from the band’s latest LP, The National Health.
The curtain is of course brought down in the only acceptable way; a tooth rattling, magnetically charged Apply Some Pressure. It’s still an utterly stonking piece of angular mania and one that shows the band at their best. No easy feat when they’ve proved, once again, just how good they are and just how many other fantastic tunes they have at their disposal.
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