Maximo Park

It’s no secret that Maximo Park are a near-perfect live band. It’s also a well-known fact that they have made some of the best albums in UK indie within their 12-year career. This is reflected tonight at Shepherd’s Bush Empire- a setlist which does not heavily focus on their latest release ‘The National Health’, but instead provides a good dose of their discography which their fanbase cannot get enough of, judging from the unending movement in the venue.

Support band La Femme.

La Femme
La Femme
La Femme

Opening with ‘The National Health’, the energy is infectious and the sold-out crowd catch on immediately, as the band blast through a couple more from the album, leaving no space for breath. It’s when the crunchy chord-work of ‘Graffiti’ enters the Empire that the vibrating crowd become a mess of arms and smiling faces, as captivating frontman Paul Smith leads them through a chorus which firmly set them on the scene many years ago.

Maximo Park

There is only one point when the band falter slightly; on new track ‘Write This Down’, there are a few off-beats, something usually unnoticeable, but when a band are as collected and spot-on as Maximo Park, the most miniscule of problems are all that can be heard. ‘The Coast Is Always Changing’ redeems the band, thankfully, with its warmth and chorus which allows Smith to champion as one of the most talented and intriguing vocalists of the past decade.

Maximo Park

‘The Undercurrents’ marginally slower pace gives fans a chance to rest their dancing legs, just briefly, before the band go “from romance to no-mance”- their words, not mine. The brash guitar and Pulp-esque structure of ‘Limassol’ flies around the room, as rousing as it was when ‘A Certain Trigger’ was released seven years ago. The response only grows louder and wilder as the intro to ‘Going Missing’ plays, a dedicated fanbase swooning under the five-piece’s force

Maximo Park
Maximo Park

The final trio of songs could have perhaps been better chosen- ‘Books From Boxes’ lands a touch too softly at a point where the crowd are so worked up, and ‘Take Me Home’ does not provide the singalong wanted amongst the excitable fans. Final song ‘Apply Some Pressure’ pulls the whole set back in, and the Empire goes mad, more noise coming from stalls than stage.

Maximo Park

Returning to a begging audience, the stunning vocals in ‘Acrobat’ are a true ‘stop-and-listen’ moment. ‘I Want You To Stay’ allows yet another singalong, before the band leave with ‘Our Velocity’, featuring the classic lower-body star jumps from Lukas Wooller and a sense of satisfaction from band and crowd. Maximo Park are still as relevant and electrifying as they were all those years ago.

Maximo Park

Gig Review by Chloe Gynne
Gig Photos by Jordan Curtis Hughes

Maximo Park: Website / Twitter / Facebook

One Response to “Maximo Park + La Femme @ The Shepherd's Bush Empire, London, UK – 7th Nov 2012”

  1. Rachel Says:

    “swooning” is totally right. Paul Smith is one of the greatest frontmen of the last 10 years and I know I came over a bit unnecessary at times.

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