So last night after waiting what felt like an eternity, I finally got to see the Maccabees at their biggest solo gig yet at the frankly amazing Alexandra Palace in North London. It is one of the bigger venues I’ve been to with capacity of over 10,000 people! The crowd was a heady mix of tight jeans and chunky knit bobble hats all pent up with indie love for one of the better bands to emerge from the early noughties of indie rock/pop.
Their latest album, ‘Given To The Wild, is by far their most established work, created almost perfectly for last night. The soaring guitar riffs and odd synths blend with lead singer Orlando Weeks unwavering semi-falsetto amassing to monumental build ups that truly are stadium worthy. ‘Go’ and ‘Feel to Follow’ are prime examples of this and left the crowd swaying and chanting along in complete sensory bliss. They really have moved on from their sickly-sweet debut of ‘heart-shaped bruises’ and lamenting about lego and such. (Not to say I don’t love any of their earlier records, ‘First Love’ is full of teenage love and abandon.)
Mixing together their new album seamlessly with the older stuff, they really connected with the crowd and you could genuinely see the astonishment and pride on their faces from playing at such an epic venue. I mean to have over ten thousand people all frantically jumping and dancing around their infectious single ‘Pelican’ was probably very surreal for them. They put on an Ibizaesque laser show towards the end which was bouncing off all the huge disco balls and cutting through the smoke really elevating the production to a full blown show, as seen in this sick fish-eye shot from the back of the stage. They even had two big screens for one and all to see everything, which for a little ‘un is ideal!
Orlando made his signature rubber stamp as he does for each venue they play at, and they were even on sale to raise money for the MS society. I’m telling you they are the nuns of the indie pop world, but in a nonchalantly cool way of course.
The Maccabees played a cracker of a gig and let their boundless energy flow unto us; the ever thirsty crowd, eager for a sip from the chalice of Maccabee. It felt like a real ‘moment’ for them as well as us, and having a great friend with me to watch it all made it that more memorable. Spirits were jovial as most of the revellers moved onto the adjoining pub to pore over the set list and talk about the sheer volume from the sing-a-long of ‘Toothpaste Kisses’. All in all a brilliant band that have tapped into their ‘sound’ and know exactly how to deliver. Happy to have witnessed such a rollicking gig and happy to have snapped up early £20 tickets- the re-sells were pushing £100. But do you know what? I would’ve paid that too.