Maximo Park
@ Manchester Apollo

“Write a Review, how objective can I be?” Not very, I am afraid to say, but I shall do my best!

Having been a huge Maxïmo Park fan from the very beginning, to say I was looking forward to their Manchester gig is a slight understatement. Having bored my friends stupid with my ramblings of how good they were at the Leeds Festival and how excited I was about seeing them at the Apollo, I then began to have reservations. Was I hyping them up too much and setting myself up for disappointment?! Thankfully, my fears were laid to rest as soon as Paul Smith, the rather dapper and enigmatic frontman, bounded on stage with his cohorts – Tom English on drums, Duncan Lloyd on guitar, Archis Tiku on bass and Lukas Wooller on keyboards.

They open with The Coast is Always Changing, a favourite from their first album “A Certain Trigger”. The atmosphere is electric, the crowd raucous and Maxïmo Park are spurred on by this. Smith’s theatrical, yet alluring, dancing and emotionally charged vocals combine with Wooller’s frenetic keyboards, Tiku’s steady bass, English’s pounding drumming and Lloyd’s machine gun-esque guitar to demonstrate exactly why Maxïmo Park have become one of today’s more popular indie bands.

This tour is in support of their recent album “Our Earthly Pleasures” and, quite rightly so, the majority of the set comprises of songs from this. A Fortnight’s Time, Girls Who Play Guitars, Your Urge, By The Monument, Karaoke Plays, Books From Boxes, Sandblasted And Set Free, The Unshockable, Parisian Skies and Our Velocity are interspersed with the best from their first album “A Certain Trigger” – Apply Some Pressure, I Want You To Stay and Going Missing.

The encore begins with Acrobat, from their first album, a song some critics have described as “self-indulgent” but yet it has achieved one of the loudest cheers of the night. Russian Literature follows, before they play their very first single Graffiti – an excellent end to the evening.

It’s refreshing to see a band who is as grateful to the audience for coming to see them as the crowd is for them playing. They give it their all despite the fact that this is their seventh stop on a 37 date tour.

Pseudo-music snobs that I know have dismissed Maxïmo Park as a clichéd and uninspiring – I defy them to still say that once they have seen them live...

Becci Crowther