Maximo Park at the Roundhouse
Best known for their 2005 album A Certain Trigger and 2007’s Our Earthly Pleasures – both of which went gold in the UK – Maximo Park were back just a month after their last sell-out gig to perform again to a packed Roundhouse in Camden.
Though this is a band who don’t rest on the laurels of their chart-topping tracks, Maximo Park have an instantly recognisable sound that carries throughout their work. They opened with 2007 track Girls Who Play Guitars, set to see whether this audience was comprised of dedicated fans or one-hit wonder chasers – the answer being a resounding confirmation of the former.
Energetic frontman Paul Smith, who had already jumped onto the speakers within the first song, pumped his mic stand in the air to the beat of National Health like a fist in a rally, dominating the stage in his characteristic suit-and-black-hat ensemble. The crowd consisted of true fans from across the ages, embracing each song as the boys delivered a setlist that bounced between their albums, from the well-known to unreleased tracks (in the case of A19) that took the crowd back to the band’s routes across the Pennines. The crowd erupted as Smith devilishly announced the famous tracks Our Velocity and Books from Boxes to end the first set. Within the first opening chords from guitarist Duncan Lloyd the crowd was screaming and surging forward to sing along.
Maximo Park itself professes to be emotional; the lyrics pull no punches. It is no wonder then that alt-rock tracks Leave This Island and I Want You to Stay mobilised the crowd to grab whoever was standing next to them and shout the lyrics whilst trapping them in a bear hug of elation. There is no doubt about it: the fans who flocked to The Roundhouse left contented and already keeping an eye out for the band’s return.
Photos: Nick Bennett
For further information about Maximo Park and future events visit here.
Watch the video for National Health here