The Maccabees

24 06 2009

Last month I went to see Indie hopefuls the Maccabees for Hot Press. Here’s the review from a few weeks ago


The Maccabees at the Spring and Airbrake, Belfast.

Perennial indie underdogs the Maccabees are an exasperating bunch. Shuffling onstage at the punctual time of 10.15pm, the Brighton-based five-piece mumble a few words into the microphone, flop their fringes over their eyes and keep their heads down, chugging out renditions of songs from their last two albums (‘07’s Colour It In and ‘09’s Wall Of Arms for those keeping score). Don’t get us wrong, songs like ‘X Ray’ and ‘Kiss And Resolve’ are note perfect anthems that are well received by the crowd, but there’s no real connection that convinces us they’re ready for the premier league.

But then, five songs in they hit us with the lilting ‘Toothpaste Kisses’ and we finally start to see a crackle of electricity between the performers and their audience. The noisy, spray-on jeans clad clan of Maccabees devotees sing every word and even whistle the “switz-swoo” bit in the middle, much to frontman Orlando Weeks’ amusement. Bless. Despite his inability to say anything audible tonight, he does have a pleasing set of lungs though. On ‘Precious Time’ he sounds every inch the love-struck artisan, lamenting all of life’s wrongs and on the pulsing ‘Lego’ the band throb with some Joy Division inspired goodness.

Rounding off their set with recent single ‘Love You Better,’ the Maccabees appear quite touched by their reception. The song itself sounds huge and hopefully points the way to much bigger things for the band in the future. At 45minutes with no encore, tonight’s gig was a short and sweet experience but then, we wouldn’t want our first date with the Maccabees to be anything less.

 Edwin McFee