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By Mary Chang
on Wednesday, 15th February 2017 at 6:00 pm
North East indie veterans Maximo Park have made an alternate music video for ‘Risk to Exist’, the title track of their upcoming sixth album. The LP is scheduled for a release date of the 21st of April on Daylighting. A previous promo for the single premiered when the album news and accompanying UK tour for May was unveiled in January. Showing their support for Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS), which conducts search and rescue missions in our seas, the band have announced all profits from sales of this single will go to this humanitarian organisation. The band had >this to say on their Facebook about MOAS and the new video:
After reading a newspaper article about the amazing work that MOAS do, we felt the song’s issues aligned perfectly with the organisation’s founding ideal – that to do nothing when people are in danger is immoral. The song is all about the fragility of life and nowhere is that more visible than in the footage of the rescues undertaken by MOAS, where flimsy dinghies are overloaded with desperate people, literally clinging on to life. Even though the song was borne from self-expression and a more generally empathetic position, it became, to my mind, a rallying call and we felt that any profit from its sale should go to helping this cause.
Watch the new video below. Buy the single or donate directly to MOAS through Maximo Park’s own effort through here. Want more on the North East band on TGTF? Follow this link.
By Mary Chang
on Tuesday, 24th January 2017 at 9:00 am
North East indie stalwarts Maximo Park have announced a new UK tour in May. This tour will be in support for ‘Risk to Exist’, their sixth album and the follow-up to ‘Too Much Information’, released in February 2014. Tickets go on sale this Friday, the 27th of January, at 9 AM. You can listen to the title track in the promo video, embedded below the tour dates. ‘Risk to Exist’ is scheduled to drop on the 21st of April on Daylighting. For more of TGTF’s coverage of Maximo Park, you can go here.
Friday 5th May 2017 – Birmingham Institute
Saturday 6th May 2017 – Newcastle Academy
Monday 8th May 2017 – Aberdeen Lemon Tree
Tuesday 9th May 2017 – Glasgow ABC
Wednesday 10th May 2017 – Sheffield Leadmill
Friday 12th May 2017 – London Royal Festival Hall
Saturday 13th May 2017 – Bexhill De La Warr Pavilion
Monday 15th May 2017 – Cambridge Junction
Tuesday 16th May 2017 – Cardiff Tramshed
Wednesday 17th May 2017 – Falmouth Princess Pavilion
Friday 19th May 2017 – Manchester Albert Hall
Newcastle veterans Maximo Park will mark their 10th anniversary later this year with a short series of live shows in November. Celebrating 10 years since the release of their debut ‘A Certain Trigger’, the band plan to play that album in its entirety, along with a selection of single tracks and rarities from their lengthy career.
In addition to the live shows, Maximo Park will share some of those rare tracks, one per week leading up to the anniversary date, on their official Web site. The band will also release re-mastered versions of ‘A Certain Trigger’ and a collection of b-sides and demos titled ‘Missing Songs’ on limited edition vinyl on the 30th of October. Below the tour date listing, you can stream the demo version of ‘Signal & Sign’.
Tickets for the following shows will go on sale this Friday, the 15th of May, at 9 AM. Previous coverage of Maximo Park on TGTF can be found here.
Tuesday 17th November 2015 – London Roundhouse
Wednesday 18th November 2015 – Manchester Albert Hall
Thursday 19th November 2015 – Newcastle City Hall
Friday 20th November 2015 – Glasgow Barrowland
By Mary Chang
on Tuesday, 23rd December 2014 at 11:00 am
2014, 2014, tsk tsk tsk. When it came to live shows, you put in some tense situations where I couldn’t understand the lead singer in his normal speaking voice (Glasvegas at DC’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Hotel in February), feared for my life because the heat was proving a bit too much (Slow Club at Sheffield Great Gatsby in May), got grossed out by other punters’ grinding (Glass Animals at DC’s U Street Music Hall in July), and needed to take a train to another town and back, all in one evening (Fatherson at Edinburgh Potterow in October). But it was in good fun, as you were always entertaining. Here are my top 5 live experiences this year:
5. The Dig at Black Cat Backstage (4th December 2014) – watching a band you’ve come to know and love evolve over time, and who just keep getting better and better, is probably one of the greatest blessings given to a music editor. The Dig, who I saw support Editors 4 years ago, are one of those bands. December gigs are hard to pull off in Washington – people are lazy to come out once the weather turns cold – but they came out in droves for this show Thursday night the first week in December for the New Yorkers. They’re ready for their close-up, folks.
Reminisce through TGTF’s back catalogue on the Dig through this link.
4. Glass Animals at Glasgow CCA (17th October 2014) – after you’ve seen a band many times, the gigs all start to blur together, especially you’re seeing them when they’ve only got their one debut album to promote. Glass Animals shows are always interesting, if only to view the wildlife on display in the audience, but the Oxford band were in fine form even on the last UK date on their tour in October. I was expecting them to be completely beat, after returning the week before from a whirlwind North American campaign and subsisting on far too little sleep. Perhaps it was the party atmosphere in Glasgow on a Friday night, the CCA stuffed to the gills with punters, that turned this gig up to 11? Vibes, man. Vibes.
Glass Animals have been a favourite at TGTF since last year, and you can read all of our coverage on them here.
3. Fenech-Soler at Brooklyn Glasslands (5th April 2014) – good things come to those who wait. Or so the saying goes. Even though I had to trek up to New York for this one, Fenech-Soler was definitely worth it for me to finally hear songs from both their debut album in 2010 and 2013’s ‘Rituals’. I haven’t danced that hard in ages. (Meeting Ben and Ross Duffy and getting to chat with them for this interview was definitely a personal highlight of 2014 as well.) I waited 4 long years to see electro-pop band Fenech-Soler to do a proper show in the States, and since I saw them at this show (at a venue that sadly will no longer exist in 2015, sob), they’ve done a couple tours in our country, and I couldn’t be happier for them.
Our pretty comprehensive archive on Fenech-Soler here at TGTF is this way.
2. Maximo Park at Rock ‘n’ Roll Hotel (20th May 2014) – like Fenech-Soler, Maximo Park was a band I had missed seeing, and for even longer (beyond 6 years). It had nothing to do with them never coming to DC; I was either not here when they’d come or the show I’d had tickets to see them at had been cancelled. If you’ve never seen Paul Smith and co. perform, wow, you need to do yourself a favour and rectify that ASAP. I came to appreciate their latest album ‘Too Much Information’ much more after seeing it performed. Also, you always know the band you’ve come to see play is pulling out all the stops when the set list spills out over 2 pages. I’m looking forward to the next time they return to Washington. And to those asking, yes, Paul Smith really does give those reinforced trousers a workout.
Check out our writings on TGTF on the Geordie band here.
1. Royal Blood at DC9 (20th July 2014) – this gig can be best summed up with one word: PHWOAR. Perhaps my only prior experience with Mike Thatcher and Ben Kerr – Thursday at SXSW 2014, playing Lammo’s BBC Introducing night – didn’t sit well in my head because there is always too much background noise from other acts in Austin to really concentrate and appreciate on just one. At their first, and I might add rammed, headline show in DC, eyes and ears all glued on them with good reason. As those who waited for them to play at the John Peel stage at Glasto this year know, this duo from Brighton pack a massive punch in their successful effort to bring hard rock back. Best new British guitar band? Forget it. Best new British guitar duo’s where it’s at.
All of TGTF’s coverage on Royal Blood is right this way.
After the cut: the full list of all the gigs, in reverse chronological order, that I’ve been to in 2014. The runner-up gigs are also marked.
Continue reading Top Gigs of 2014: Editor’s Picks
By Mary Chang
on Tuesday, 21st October 2014 at 4:00 pm
The latest promo from Geordie stalwarts Maximo Park is for ‘Give, Get, Take’, the opening track from their current album ‘Too Much Information’, released in February.
As noted by the Maximo devoted, their last video for ‘Midnight on the Hill’ didn’t feature the band at all, so this performance video in a space well loved by and truly important to the North East band is a nice change. Somehow, I felt I’d been there before, so I asked the band on Twitter if my gut feeling had any merit. (It did; turns out the venue is the famed Bridge Tavern in Newcastle, just a stone’s throw away from the main railway station in town where our Martin took me the first time I visited Newcastle last year.) Watch the video below the Twitter embed.
By Mary Chang
on Thursday, 22nd May 2014 at 2:00 pm
It is the year of 2014. So that means Newcastle’s Maximo Park have been around for 14 years. FOURTEEN years. I can’t stress this enough. In a music industry climate that sees bands petering out and calling it quits after as little as 2 years in their failed quests to ‘make it’ in this business, the band who started out in Newcastle – Paul Smith, Duncan Lloyd, Archis Tiku, Lukas Wooller and Tom English – find themselves, probably feeling somewhat strangely, at the top of the UK indie band longevity stakes.
Even if you’re not a Maximo fan, you have to admire their relative endurance in what has become increasingly a trying profession. Having put out five well-received albums (their debut ‘A Certain Trigger’ was nominated for the 2005 Mercury Prize) and having played to thousands upon thousands of fans across the globe gives them the right to feel proud and perhaps even cocky of their accomplishments. But I think the humility of frontman Smith at the end of the night summed up what these well-mannered Englishmen are all about: he thanked, sincerely, everyone who came to their show at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hotel in DC Tuesday night for “spending their hard earned money to come see us play”. Maximo Park may have their place assured in rock history but divas they are not. Further, you can read my interview with drummer Tom English here, what a down to earth guy.
The opening act for the night were relative locals to the area, Eternal Summers from Roanoke, Virginia, who were the support act for the Geordies’ current American campaign. Research has revealed this band also deserve kudos for their staying power too; their third LP ‘The Drop Beneath’ was released in March on Kanine Records, the Williamsburg, Brooklyn indie label famous for also putting out releases by Grizzly Bear and Surfer Blood. They describe themselves as “a power trio”, which is a description hard to argue you with if you see their live show. ‘Gouge’, a fast-paced driven number off their latest album, shows off singer/guitarist and former Washingtonian Nicole Yun’s angelic vocals. I hesitate to call their music twee, but I can’t help but draw comparisons to the Pains of Being Pure at Heart, who oddly were scheduled to headline at the same venue the next night. I didn’t know much about them going into the show but I was impressed by all three band members’ playing: Yun’s shredding on her guitar, bassist Jonathan Woods’ grooves and drummer Daniel Cundiff’s preferred crossover-handed, rapid-fire style playing.
I’ve had three prior opportunities to see Maximo Park in the last 6 years, but I wasn’t going to let opportunity #4 pass me by. Now that they have five albums’ worth of material to draw from, they have quite a lot of material to pick through when choosing those to highlight in their set list, as drummer Tom English discussed with me when I interviewed him post-gig. (That interview is coming soon here on TGTF.) While this tour is in support of latest album ‘Too Much Information’ released in February, naturally there were certain numbers that they couldn’t go without playing unless they wanted a riot. The set began with the opener of ‘Too Much Information’, ‘Give, Get, Take’, and from that point on, I became mesmerised by frontman Paul Smith’s performance. I think it was inevitable.
I’d been ‘warned’ by many friends over the years that resistance to Smith’s charms was futile, that his charisma would pull me in like hypnosis. (Just writing this now reminds me of a conversation I had with Martin when I was in England earlier this month, about how confident, charismatic frontmen can make or a break a band. Clearly, years ago Maximo Park made the absolutely right decision in hiring Smith.) And yes, as a friend had pointed out, he’s practically a human Gumby, his body contorting to whatever the group’s music is suggesting or going entirely airborne. Alex Kapranos, try as you might, but you’re still rooted to the ground by your guitar. The dancefloor ready ‘Brain Cells’ is a great example of this: the more angular, bouncy, dancey rhythm caused him to do the Robot better than Peter Crouch. In between the songs, he played the self-deprecating and, at times, comical, always fedora-wearing emcee for the night. One particularly hilarious moment was when he headed for my side of the stage in a middle of a song and paused for a moment to give a look of consternation at a disinterested boyfriend who was reading his phone during the show. Smith also has this face that just exudes pure glee. That’s the kind of frontman I like: someone who actually looks like he’s having a good time along with the rest of us. Being humble helps too!
I’m sure the Maximo fans are wondering, “what did they play?” A whole lot. So many songs that the set list spilled onto a second page. Nearly every single song on the new album was played, but plenty of old favourites got an airing as well. Older crowd favourites ‘Our Velocity’ and encore closer ‘Going Missing’ unsurprisingly caused raucous scenes, but relatively newer ones such as ‘The National Health’ and ‘Hips and Lips’ provided additional kicks in the arse and felt right at home alongside them. For sure, ‘Leave This Island’ and ‘Midnight on the Hill’ from the new album were also definite highlights of the night, showing the band’s command at writing wistful yet totally engaging and memorable rock songs. There’s a reason why people still know all the words to the songs on ‘A Certain Trigger’. They’re excellent songwriters. While they may be quite a bit older than many of their indie counterparts, Maximo Park is showing everyone how it’s done.
After the cut: Maximo Park’s set list.
Continue reading Live Review: Maximo Park with Eternal Summers at Rock ‘n’ Roll Hotel, Washington DC – 20th May 2014