Maximo Park (Manchester Academy, 15 March 2014)

The reason we went to see J’s sister and family on the weekend that we did was because Maxïmo Park were playing at the Manchester Academy on the Saturday evening (15th March). J & I had spent the day in Manchester at the museum (post) and we had a brisk dinner in a restuarant in the China Town area before meeting Jo and Chris outside the venue at pretty much spot on doors time. I’m sure I’ve seen someone play at the Academy before but it seems it was long enough ago that the outside of the building had changed and I didn’t really remember the inside either!

Iron Maiden Beer

Out of deference to the fact that Jo was 6 months pregnant we hung around in the bar area where we could sit down until the support act started – and obviously the rest of us sampled some of their beers over the course of the evening. They had rather a good selection of things I’d not tried before – including the Iron Maiden beer (had to be tried) and some by a local brewery (Brightside), all pretty good.


The support act were Teleman, who I’d never heard of (or heard) before. I remember liking them at the time – quite rocky and appropriate as the opener for a Maxïmo Park set. But I must confess as I’m writing this nearly 3 weeks later I don’t actually remember them that well. J bought the CD from the merch desk at the end of the gig so clearly he liked them too. I should listen to it some time 🙂

Maximo Park

And then on to the main event! Maxïmo Park were fantastic, as usual. There’s a real energy to their sets, and even though we were further back than we often are (about halfway, I think) there was still a really good atmosphere and the people around us were clearly really into it. And by the end of the set people were jumping up and down all around and even behind us. Obviously there were quite a few songs from the most recent album, but after that I think the next most represented album was their first one. That’s still my favourite, and my go to album when I think I want to listen to some Maxïmo Park, so that was pretty good for me 🙂

After the gig was over we bought some beer at the merch desk – they had a Maxïmo Park No. 5 beer brewed to be sold after the gigs. We picked up a bottle each, J and I drank ours on the Sunday evening when we got home to finish off the weekend 🙂 Rather nice, quite citrus-y and flavourful. (If I wanted to be pretentious about it I suppose I could say: Fresh & energetic, like the band …)

Maximo Park playing at O2 Academy, Newcastle (3/11/12)

We travelled up north at the weekend to go to a Maxïmo Park gig in Newcastle. Jo and Chris were going with us (and had in fact organised the trip, so thanks to them for that 🙂 ). We headed in to Newcastle itself on Saturday afternoon to get checked into our hotel, then off to Tilleys Bar for a beer or two before grabbing dinner in one of the buffet restaurants in Chinatown. Then on to the gig itself 🙂

The O2 Academy seemed a good venue to see a band in – J & I decided it was probably the same size as the Cambridge Corn Exchange where we’d seen Maxïmo Park before just differently shaped. We got in just after doors and got a good spot in the centre near the front – only 3 people from the stage, and we could’ve pushed further through if we’d wanted to I think. I was a little surprised how few people seemed to want to try & be at the front, it didn’t properly fill up till Maxïmo Park were on stage even though it was a sold out evening and people weren’t pushing past to get the best spots like I would expect.

The support band were called La Femme, and I’d never heard of them before. It turns out they’re a Parisian band, who do fairly high energy poppy stuff. And sing in french. Fun, though I don’t feel any need to seek out their album.

Between the bands Jo & I pushed out for bar run, and bumped into Ross (a friend of J & Jo’s who grew up in the same village as them) which was cool 🙂 He wouldn’t come through to the front though, so we didn’t get much of a chance to talk to him.

Then it was time for the point of the evening! I know the first Maxïmo Park album the best, so was pleased that they played so much from it. Pretty much all their songs are very high energy & so there was a lot of jumping up and down and a lot of singing (shouting …) along. The atmosphere where we were was fantastic, everyone seemed really into it and the band looked like they were enjoying it as well. And they even played my favourite song of theirs (Acrobat) so I was happy 🙂

Here’s a youtube vid from some gig in the Netherlands 3 years ago – with both Acrobat & Our Velocity:

After the show we decided to stay in the venue and see what “the country’s biggest indie night” was like. The music at first in the upstairs room where you had to be while they cleaned the venue/people left was pretty good, all fairly old school indie. Although the DJ’s mixing skills needed some practice. After a bit we moved downstairs back to the main venue hoping to get seats & hopefully better DJing, but the music there turned out to be a lot more boring. I have to confess to not recognising any tracks (except the one Maxïmo Park one they played). After a while we retreated back upstairs but the music there had got crap too (Wu Tang Clan and other such things) so after we finished our drinks we left. Mind you, we had been in there for about an hour & a half after the gig so it wasn’t terrible … just not particularly good either.

Back at the hotel we had a drink in the hotel bar (served by the most inept bar man ever, he didn’t know what half the drinks were & couldn’t find the ones he did know without looking for ages). And then off to bed. A very good evening out 🙂