The Maccabees – live review
The Academy, 3rd March 2012
2012 has seen Brighton’s The Maccabees explode onto the wider public consciousness with the release of their third album, Given To the Wild. A packed out Academy provided an intimate environment for the gig, and the crowd waited expectantly as the support act, Dublin’s We Cut Corners, gently roused the audience.
Not known for their ‘rock and roll’ antics, true to form The Maccabees glided onto the stage at a respectable 9pm to palpable excitement and rapturous applause. Their notoriously shy front man Orlando Weekes did little to work the crowd but part of The Maccabees charm is their understatement and they opened the night with two of the stronger songs from their new album; the moving Child and the more fast paced Feel to Follow served to whipped the crowd into a frenzy. The audience’s energy held as a number of older tracks from 2007’s Colour it In and 2009’s Wall of Arms were showcased, with No Kind Words and Can You Give it provoking large swathes of the audience to join in with the choruses.
The Maccabees are renowned for their strong live performances and in this respect they did not disappoint their passionate Dublin audience, with Weekes’ clarity of voice a joy to behold. However it was hard not to sense the drop in excitement and passion within the audience when some of the newer tracks were played. Although described by one NME critic as entering the ‘prime of their musical lives,’ it was hard not to sense the contrast between magnificent songs from Colour It In such as Precious Time and some of their more recent offerings, including Grew Up At Midnight, which made them sound like a low budget Coldplay post A Rush of Blood to The Head.
The Maccabees are still amongst the best Indie-Pop bands around, but one is left wishing that they received exposure when they were at the peak of their powers in the Indie/Rock saturated late Noughties. Nonetheless their recognition and praise is long overdue and well deserved – just give their older stuff a listen.