Words & pics by Michelle Martin
I do love a good cup of tea. Fruity, spicy or a simple Earl Grey. I enjoy tea like I enjoy music, always open to trying new things.
Admittedly, I know little about Maximo Park. From releasing the debut LP twelve years ago on Warp Records, the Mercury nominated A Certain Trigger, to their latest Risk to Exist LP, the band appeared to have slipped through my music collection. And now I know the reason. As I stand in a sold out main arena at the O2 Institute, with fans and adulation all around me, the most interesting thing in the room is the man in the hat, centre stage. Him, and one audience member who was dancing like a T-Rex.
But as much as I enjoyed Paul Smith’s energetic performance, even his stage presence couldn’t make up for the music. Opening strong with ‘What Did We Do to Deserve This?’ – the second single from Risk to Exist, things fell flat pretty quickly for me after that.
Covering a deluge of work from their twelve year portfolio there were the inevitable ebbs and flows, with ‘Our Velocity’ and ‘Girls Who Play Guitars’ – the opening two tracks from the Our Earthly Pleasures sophomore LP – bringing some ear catching open guitars and much stronger vocals to the stage, more so than I found in their recent work. The rest of the set, which I was free to enjoy sans camera after track No#3, felt forgettable. Perhaps I came to this party too late.
But clearly the O2 Institute audience were having a fantastic time, all dancing and singing along, so I guess the opinion of one doesn’t really matter. Maybe that was why I was distracted by a man in the audience attempting to recreate a scene from Jurassic Park – Maxïmo Park’s blend of anarchic stage strutting and political laced indie rock was definitely his flavor. Although I think I’ll pass on this cup of tea next time around.
Check out a selection of Michelle’s shots from Maxïmo Park from the O2 Institute gig in THE GALLERY below. To see the Full Flickr of Pics, click here or on the relevant links.
Maxïmo Park @ O2 Institute 05.05.17 / Michelle Martin – Birmingham Review
Risk to Exist by Maxïmo Park is out on general release from 21st April, via Cooking Vinyl. For more on Maxïmo Park, visit www.maximopark.com
For more from the O2 Institute, including full venue details and online ticket sales, visit www.academymusicgroup.com/o2institutebirmingham
For more from SJM Concerts/Gigs and Tours, visit www.gigsandtours.com