Maxïmo Park bring pure indie rock to Heaven
The 8th of June saw Maxïmo Park take to the stage to atmospheric electronic sci-fi music and UFO lights blinking behind them, and after a pause for effect crashed into their namesake song of their new album The National Health to the sold-out venue.
The lads from up North have been in the industry now since 2004 with the release of their first record A Certain Trigger from the Warp label, a forerunner of albums that marked the new rock era with its electronic synths, funk guitar and heavy drumming. The album also contains the song they’re known for, Apply Some Pressure. Their subsequent two albums never reached the popularity of their debut, only providing a few killer tracks such as Girls Who Play Guitars and Books from Boxes. For frontman, Paul Smith, and the other band members, hopes must be to bring themselves back to the glory days or face the revelation they may become irrelevant in the music industry today.
The Park ignited the concert with two tracks off the new album; The National Health and Hips and Lips to receive a subdued reaction from the crowd; but when guitarist Lloyd began strumming the intro to their classic Girls Who Play Guitars, the audience livened up. Maxïmo Park shine best when playing with an enthusiastic crowd, fuelling Smith’s exuberant on-stage presence with his classic Jarvis Cocker styled movements. The band profits from the frontman’s energy while performing, which omitted could risk the show being stale and morose.
Through the concert Park played a majority of tracks from their new album, cut up with their crowd-pleasing older tracks. While the crowd seemed to lull when the new stuff was played, musically the tracks are recognisably decent. The Undercurrents rings with success, with its soft melodic build up to its inviting sing-along chorus. The snappier Write This Down is reminiscent of their early work, which received a great reaction.
The boys finished their encore with their smash hit Apply Some Pressure, which received the most raucous reaction of the night. Smith fist-pumped to the applauding crowd as Maxïmo Park finished their set and he was quite rightly visibly ecstatic at the night’s concert. Maxïmo Park appear to be back on form, putting on an electrifying and exciting performance launching their new album The National Health.
Photo: Simon Franklin
The National Health comes out on Monday 11th June, listen to the whole album here.
For further information and future gigs visit here.
Watch the video of first single Hips and Lips here: