By Kirsty Fraser
Maximo Park’s stopover in Glasgow was supposed to be the band’s third date on a tour supporting newly released album ‘Too Much Information’. However, fate decreed the first two dates would be rescheduled meaning the Glasgow gig turned out to be the opening night for the tour, and what an opener.
Despite the fact lead singer Paul Smith was still recovering from emergency eye surgery, the energy levels from the crowd and band throughout the gig were frenetic. ‘If you’re wondering why I’m wearing dark glasses, I haven’t turned into Bono,’ Smith chirped midway through the set, ‘doctors told me not to come to Glasgow but I couldn’t let you down. If you’re wondering why I’m odd tonight, I’m in hell.’ If it was Smith’s hell then it was the Glasgow audience’s heaven.
The band were relentless during their set, with keyboard player Lukas Wooller feeding off the energy from the Academy crowd whilst Smith, for the most part, bore most of the markings from his typical stage persona; posturing away – sunglasses, hat and suit firmly in place.
The band opened with Give, Get, Take from their newest album before launching straight into Our Velocity. The crowd never missed a beat. Old and new material mixed well, with the majority of the audience attentive, no matter what was being played. Brain Cells – another new song – was an early highlight and had pockets of the crowd matching Paul Smith line-for-line and wacky hand movement for wacky hand movement.
Graffiti from 2004 release, ‘Apply Some Pressure’ encouraged unified singing from the crowd but it was songs such as The Undercurrents, Girls Who Play Guitar and Apply Some Pressure that had the crowd in full voice.
A million thanks later, the band ended on Going Missing. Smith’s impassioned vocal delivery, complete with that heady mix of synth and bass, made it a stirring end to the night. And then Smith made one last speech: ‘My moves have been limited but I’ve sung my heart out for you Glasgow.’
Bono imitations aside, Maximo Park played their hearts out and despite their singer’s recent health issues, the set was a triumph. What was most amazing however, was the realisation that with 5 albums now under their belts and a career spanning over 14 years, the band have built up a powerful collection of songs and a seemingly limitless supply of vigour. Amazing.