Magnetic performance by Maccabees at the Derby Royal
Derby Royal 29th April 2009

Image copyright:  Adrian Brown -

The Maccabees connected with the capacity crowd of teenage music lovers the moment they set foot on stage. To say that the Derby Royal felt more like a youth club than a music venue will give you an idea of the average age of a Maccabees fan but itís good to see a generation of music lovers being turned on to great live music and thatís exactly what bands like the Maccabees are beginning to achieve.

The atmosphere felt more like a mini festival than a small venue gig with the majority of the crowd singing every word with easily as much passion and conviction as Orlando Weeks who gave an intense and charismatic performance throughout.

The band opened with No Kind Words from the new album, Wall of Arms (due for release on May 4th) and powered through X-Ray and Tissue Shoulders quickly followed by Can You Give It and Kiss and Resolve, also from the new album. The tremendously popular Mary saw the audience singing so loud they gave the band some real competition and the 12/8 shuffle rhythm of Toothpaste Kisses supplied a welcome change of groove (pity the crowd couldnít whistle as well as they sang).


An energy laden set became supercharged with the first note of Precious Time causing the audience to physically jump and the stage lights to fail as drummer Sam Doyle thundered out the beat, lit only by the crystal chandeliers. Three more new songs, William Powers, Young Lions and Seventeen Hands, were among the last of the set. The 440 strong audience enticed the band back to the stage chanting ďMaccabeesĒ until they returned to round off the night with Accordion and the new single, Love You Better.

With nearly half the set consisting of new songs, the Maccabees were taking a risk but at no time did they lose their grip on the crowd who voraciously devoured every note and still wanted more. This gig was as magnetic and compelling as it was heartfelt and sincere with shades of Echo and the Bunny Men and the Cure which, Iím sure, no one else in the room was old enough to notice. The Maccabees, and especially Orlando Weeks, gave a quirky and charismatic performance that I would love to see in a bigger venue. Iím sure I wonít have to wait too long.

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