Tonight in Leeds is The Maccabees moment in the sun. I’d defy any fan to pick a more perfect setlist, balancing the early jubilant riffs of X-Ray and Wall Of Arms with the likes of Forever I’ve Known and Glimmer, the latter suitably accompanied by a single light reflected off an enormous glitterball suspended above the stage. Knowing not to drown their music in visuals, the simple screens that flashed block colours in time with the music epitomise the sparseness of Given To The Wild’s ideals, evoking images of Radiohead or Arcade Fire. It is not difficult in the slightest to imagine this show in an arena or headlining a festival.
As songwriters, The Maccabees have grown up beyond recognition, becoming vast and cinematic in contrast to the endearingly D.I.Y approach of yore. By the time they hit my personal new favourite Forever I’ve Known, Orlando Week’s tentative yet pleading voice inquiring ‘I know nothing stays forever/but can we still try?’, my top lip is wobbling somewhat, and continues to quiver for the rest of the set. A dewy eye that has been in place since Feel To Follow finally spills over during both Precious Time and Went Away, two potential modern classics that see the band with an intent in their eyes that could burn Leeds to the ground. I haven't seen this level of passion in a long time: since I last saw The Maccabees, to be exact. There is something about their delivery that holds an all or nothing quality, a steely determination to finish each song on a crescendo of noise that is unexplainably cathartic and comforting to hear live. I started this review by saying that I couldn’t see much of the stage, and I shall finish it by saying that it couldn’t have mattered any less. Tonight, The Maccabees made an early play for gig of the year.
|Myself with Felix White|
STOP PRESS! : Following the gig The Maccabees did a DJ set and we were lucky enough to have a little chat with Felix. He was nice enough to tell me a little nugget of very exciting news but I'm afraid I gave him my word that I would not pass it on until I was allowed. So, keep your eye on safetyinsound.com over the next week!