MAXIMO PARK // THE LIQUID ROOMS, EDINBURGH
Maxïmo Park are still churning up crowds with their energetic buzz, nearing two decades in and Paul Smith now looks grown up, eccentric and in his element.
Maxïmo Park have come on quite an evolution. With commercial success coming early, debut album A Certain Trigger nominated for a Mercury Prize and next release Our Earthly Pleasures being rifled through by videogame producers, the band took off at speed. The Manchester spawn’s post-punk style grows ever more experiential and eclectic as group age. The song are always creative and clever and always speak of the intensity of the experience it is to be human.
Guitarist for the group Duncan Lloyd took the support slot and played a stunningly melodic set. With some subtle tendrils of psychedelia, he and the superb band went from cradling the fans to shaking them with delight. His tracks have a, less-drawn out, Spiritualized glow.
The night was sold out and by the time Maxïmo Park were due on stage the intimate venue was claustrophobic. But the initial discomfort of the sardine tin cram quickly evaporated when the room was united in cheering as the group appeared. The marching anthem for the thoughtful and dejected ‘The Coast Is Always Changing’ is the opener and it gets a hearty roar from the crowd.
Paul Smith oozes confidence. He slinks back and forth looking dapper and carefree. His look is a bit too indie-joker for me, however, it sums him up perfectly – creatively going against the grain. He performs with vigour and passion but at times the wonderful lyrics in the verses are lost until Smith gets to a chorus. Tracks including ‘Risk to Exit,’ ‘Leave the Island,’ and ‘Hips and Lips’ were particularly affected by this. However, Smith keeps everyone on side with an overpowering sense that he worships the attendees. He delights in the interaction and has easy banter with the fans. He also has a so-called ‘hard-to-get’ vibe through. An air of quiet mystery is carried by bright character.
Smith hits his stride when they play the classic ‘Going Missing’ and carries it through the rest of the night. Tom English, drums, does an unwaveringly polished job but keeps very stern. Lloyd looks a lot more at ease out of the frontman spot. When ‘Our Velocity’ is exquisitely played it creates havoc among the fans. This is the track that throws the listener into another dimension through the personal connection it strikes with them.
The tracks ‘By the Monument’ and ‘Apply Some Pressure’ finish the set with some pace. Of course the later has the biggest reaction of the night. With its delicacies and climaxes, this is a track that will never get boring and Maxïmo Park have mastered the delivery of it.
The ferocity continued in to the encore. ‘Girls Who Play Guitars’ was performed with gusto and ‘Get High (No, I Don’t)’ is laden the slick electronic elevation. ‘Graffiti’ was the last of the night’s numbers and this punky slam shouted to the world that Maxïmo Park are don’t need validation, they will make their supporters have a good time.
SETLIST: | MAXIMO PARK : THE LIQUID ROOMS, EDINBURGH - 24.05.2019
The Coast Is Always Changing
Risk to Exist
Leave This Island
Hips and Lips
Books from Boxes
The Kids Are Sick Again
Midnight on the Hill
This Is What Becomes of the Broken Hearted
The National Health
What Equals Love?
By the Monument
Apply Some Pressure
Girls Who Play Guitars
Get High (No, I Don’t)