Maximo Park : Manchester Academy, Manchester UK 10/01/2006

Ok, let’s start with a little word association…

Birthday – Hangover,

Hangover – Fragile,

Fragile – Quiet,

Maximo Park – LOUD!

Yes folks, here I am, severely hung over clutching onto 3 hours sleep from the previous night, begging to return home for more shut-eye.

I am instead standing three rows from the front of the stage in an incredibly busy music venue.

Everyone is eagerly awaiting Newcastle’s second finest export (after brown ale) to grace us with their presence. Maximo Park are a quintet from Northeast England. A hard working, hard living city, something that is reflected in their songs, no-nonsense real life matters.

As Paul Smith & company lurch onto the stage, the obligatory roar echoes through the room. The stage comes to life via neon tube lighting, which take the form of a giant stereo equalizer.

With pleasantries aside, the band are straight down to business.

A few songs in and I’m starting to feel a whole lot better. The incandescent Mr. Smith exhaustingly puffs & pants into the mike after every song (now minus his jacket after working up a sweat). He truly is the leading light of the band, a thriving mass of energy. He constantly throws himself around stage, kicking out those iconic punk poses.

His energy is almost unparalleled by anyone I’ve witnessed onstage before. So much so, that the rest of the band seem nonplussed by it.

The only other member you care to take note of is the keyboardist, Lukas Woller who throws his hat into the ring on a couple of occasions.

On all this evidence you might think Maximo Park rely on their talismanic frontman for all their charisma. Please let me stress that this isn’t so!

It always helps if a band have good songs. And even though the influences are easy to pick out (Smiths, Buzzcocks), they rework each influence to make every song uniquely their own. The night’s renditions of post-punk anthems "Grafitti," "Going Missing" and of course, "Apply Some Pressure" send the crowd into rapture. And so it bloody should! Hell, even the new material sounds like it has some weight behind it. Bring on the new album.

Well I arrived here half asleep and I’m leaving baying for more!

Anyone know where the nearest party is?

For more info see:

Related Content

Recent Posts

New to Glide

Keep up-to-date with Glide