The Maccabees are set to spring into action when they’re halted by a flurry of fans piling into the back of Resident. “Hold on, there’s a late surge,” says frontman Orlando Weeks with a smile.
Well we think that’s him. It’s not been easy for SOURCE to get in this afternoon and when we do we’re ushered to the back. This leaves our intrepid photographer no choice but to hoist his camera in the sky and hope for the best.
Lucky fans who pre-ordered new album ‘Marks To Prove It’ early got themselves a ticket for the mid-afternoon show. In the queue outside we’re asked what’s going on by numerous passers-by. Most give affectionate smiles when they hear it’s The Maccabees. Over a decade into their career and the former Brightonians still have a second home here.
The five-piece open the set with a stripped down version of new single ‘Something Like Happiness’. Led by acoustic guitar and piano the chorus is just as rousing live with Orlando’s tender voice backed beautifully by Felix and Hugo.
They follow with ‘Marks To Prove It’ which could be the most urgent sounding song they’ve ever recorded. Guitars and percussion rattle along with the same clockwork ferocity that made ‘Wall Of Arms’ such a pleasure. The downward spiralling keyboard break sounds disorientating and surreal. It’s like we’re temporarily being sucked into the void.
‘Spit It Out’ starts with Orlando’s ghostly warble atop of fractured piano before the track slowly rumbles into life with the full band emerging. “What are we doing now?” implores Weeks during the anthemic finale.
It’s hard to listen to the lyrics without imagining the laborious creative process behind ‘Marks To Prove It’. ‘Given To The Wild’ came out back in 2012 and the band reportedly scrapped the initial follow up after feeling unsatisfied. Despite the delay the results are stunning. Multiple listens unlock an album that feels like a greatest hits. It showcases the best bits of all three previous efforts with a matured sophistication.
“I don’t usually play piano,” says Orlando laughing after a false start to ‘Kamakura’. When it gets going though it sounds sublime. “Your best friends forgive you, your best friends forget you get old” sings Weeks in the soaring chorus. It’s one of many poignant lines throughout ‘MTPI’ that deals with age, mortality and the passing of time.
“The only person you expect to stand this close and stare right at you is a dentist,” jokes Orlando. It feels like a clinic in Resident this afternoon and The Maccabees are operating with surgical precision.
“I’ve got notes for this one but I left them in Kingston,” Orlando jests before they tear into ‘Given To The Wild’ single ‘Pelican’. The crowd in Resident are ecstatic and the band look visibly humbled as they leave the stage and prepare for a signing session.
Scoring their first UK number one album in eleven years The Maccabees have earned their spot at the top. Thanks for remembering us gentlemen, you’re always welcome here.