March 10 @ Leeds O2 Academy
The Maccabees have come a long way in the five years since their breakthrough record Colour It In. Their sound has grown from their good but largely unremarkable debut into something full of bite and precision, they’re overarching maturity reflected in latest record, Given To The Wild, with its wall of sound and bouncing falsetto vocals singing of the hardships of growing up and young adulthood.
The anticipative atmosphere in this sold out Academy is testing to the statement this Brighton five-piece are making. No Kind Words sounds just as enigmatic and dark as on record. ‘Alone, alone, alone, not alone at all’, sings Orlando Weeks, in his deep Brighton tone that at times seems beyond his years; he has the ability to convey a sense of honesty and intimacy despite having three thousand doting fans in front of him.
The building guitar, rising drums, anthemic choruses and nearly spoken verses of Went Away are enough to make a deaf man tingle. ‘Look at you with slimmer lines/ Dirty toes un-showered/ Unholy sight the state of you/ And every sign that you’re wired’, Orlando poetically delivers.
Old favourites First Love and X-ray get a shoe in too but they’re largely overshadowed by their newer material, and it is closing track Grew Up At Midnight that really puts The Maccabees in a room all of their own. The ascending crescendo of the song acting as a fitting analogy for a band on their way to greatness and the end of what has been a stunning set.