Maxïmo Park continue the quest at Manchester Apollo

Live Review

Written By Michael Wood Sunday, October 11th, 2009

Maxïmo Park at The Apollo, Manchester

"This is a song that all the band have fallen in love with" says Paul Smith as his band - and a four piece brass sections snuck onto the side of the stage - dive headlong into Questing, Not Coasting.

This is Dalliance's second Maxïmo Park of the year - the first in Leeds having been just after the release of the bands third album Quicken The Heart - and in the months between the two which have seen the band festival playing and touring a set of songs that the North Easteners clearly burst with pride little has changed about the show and the liveliness of it.

There is a few guys adding a brass section to some of the songs and this allows the Pulp-esque Acrobat with its spoken word vocal to be added to the encore but on the whole the set is the same and teething troubles of introducing an audience to new material has been conquered.

It is singer Smith, of course, who maketh the band with his powerful stage presence a mix of sprightly pouncing and the ability to project the more tender moments of his lyrics. That he very probably is the best front man to tread this boards since Morrissey is as much for his bowed headed emotes as the on speaker air punching of Apply Some Pressure.

Questing, Not Coasting is a pinnacle with Smith flicking from desperate lothario to born again romantic adding a baroque performance to the melodrama of the stormy Newcastle night his lyrics paint.

Lyrics which mature with Quicken The Heart which this writer believes will be seen as a superior work to those which proceeded it in the fullness of time nestling alongside the likes of Seamonsters and Black Sheep Boy as definitive third albums. That, for a band for whom live performances of the quality that is seen in The Apollo tonight are the norm, suggests that unlike the peers they so quickly leave behind Maximo Park have the best years ahead of them.

Written By Michael Wood Sunday, October 11th, 2009

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