With support from Teleman
Rock City Nottingham 11th March 2014
Rock City bound again but this time its to watch a band that I greatly admire, one for being British and two, they helped to shape and define an era in British musical history, indie pop.
Traffic was an absolute pig getting into Nottingham, but by my side and helping to calm my road rage, I had my wife to be, which was a rare treat in itself as she rarely ventures out to a show, so tonight must be special!
Thankfully, we got to the gig in plenty of time, however, we did wonder if there was a gig on at all, as the first and only support act tonight which came courtesy of Teleman, kicked off proceedings at a later than normal time of 8.15pm when they played a 30minute set. I will point out, the later start time allowed for the ever increasing crowd to have a chance to get to the venue in time, which I applaud.
Tonight was my first encounter with Teleman and in my research, I discovered they have supported a string of well known acts, since the release of their debut album “Breakfast” – acts such as Franz Ferdinand, Metronomy and of course, Maximo Park.
Their style of music, is groovy, melodic synth pop, a down beat Hot Chip, if you will. Personally, I thought the band were a little stagnant and each track started to sound like the last, with little variation in their sound. The lead singer had a great voice and the crowd warmed to them, showing their appreciation at the end of each track.. They will be supporting Maximo Park at every show in this current UK tour, so plenty of opportunity to go check them out and make your own mind up.
What’s my view, well how am I suppose to know, write a review, well how objective can I be…… I’ll apply some pressure and start……I had to get that line in here, seeing as its a lyric from one of Maximo Parks better known tracks “Apply Some Pressure” off their first album “A Certain Trigger”
With Rock City filling up fast for the main act, it was nice to see so many young and younger people come out to support Maximo Park who consist of Paul Smith, Duncan Lloyd, Archis Tiku, Lukas Wooller and Tom English, from Tyne and Wear, who’s last outing was back in 2012. The current tour is in support of their fifth studio album “Too Much Information” and is available, everywhere now.
Tonight very nearly didn’t happen, as the first two shows of the tour, Portsmouth and Bristol had to be rearranged due to lead singer Paul Smith needing an emergency eye operation. These shows have been rescheduled with the Bristol Academy show moved to the 16th March and Portsmouth’s Wedgewood show moving to the 23rd April. Even with the doctors saying they shouldn’t play tonight, Maximo Park turned up to rock, Rock City, regardless, and all to their credit. Paul did state “I’m not trying to be too cool for school, as if that’s at all possible, but I’m wearing these sunglasses, as a precaution to protect my eyes”. I thought he looked rather dapper as along with his hat and uber cool suit, it seemed to work to his advantage. Tom on drums, however, was rocking double denim, as Paul pointed out – luckily, the crowd agreed it was ok for Tom to do so!
As predicted, tonight was to showcase tracks off the new album, but the set had a nice mix of both new and old songs, which seemed to gel very well together. The new album has clearly gone in a different direction compared to their earlier work, in that it’s at a slower pace but you could also say it’s more refined and represents them as the more mature musicians that stood before us today.
Their hands in the air anthems got the greatest reaction though, when played and I’m talking about tracks like ‘Velocity’, ‘Apply Some Pressure’ and ‘Graffiti’, after which Paul lost the suit jacket and gained a megaphone for the next track, “The kids are Sick Again”. That’s not to say the new stuff is dull, take the tracks “Lydia, the ink will never dry” and “My Bloody Mind” both off the new album and are reminiscent of their earlier work and are both great tracks.
Basically, tonight was a mass sing-along, with everyone in the crowd singing back every word of the older stuff and the majority still singing every word of the new material also! It was nice to see such loyal, almost fanatical fans in support tonight, I say fanatical, the guy in front of me couldn’t stop himself waving his arms in my face, all night, as he chanted every word back at the band, he even conjured up a Wayne’s World style “were not worthy” when Paul came over to our side of the stage…..
Having seen the extent of the current tour, Maximo Park are going to need all the energy they can muster and thankfully, tonight they showed us they still have plenty of energy to give and can still pull some shapes. With still plenty more opportunities to catch these guys out on the road, (T In The Park will be a great show) go check out their website and Facebook pages for more details.
Review and Photography by Jay Hawkins (JJ Photography UK)