Alternative rock band Maxïmo Park needs no introduction, but they’re getting one. The Newcastle quartet consisting of Paul Smith (vocals), Duncan Lloyd (guitar), Lukas Wooller (keyboard) and Tom English (drums) as well as “unofficial member” Paul Rafferty (bass) graced the De La Warr Pavilion stage on May 13th to a substantial crowd of long-time supporters as well as fresh-faced fans. Following the release of the band’s sixth studio album in April 2017, Risk to Exist, Maxïmo Park has experienced a resurgence not only in their sound but also their modern-day following.
Maxïmo Park was supported by all-female Manchester band Pins, made up of Faith Holgate (vocals, guitar), Lois McDonald (guitar), Anna Donigan (bass), and Sophie Galpi (drums) who performed music from their newly released EP Bad Things. Maxïmo Park brought an extremely energetic set filled with hits from their extensive roster of studio albums. The evening was filled with “thank yous” from Smith who seemed stunned by the reception from the crowd, “This is such a beautiful place,” Smith lauded, “Thank you for being so nice to us.”
The band opened with the soulful and politically relevant “What Did We Do To You To Deserve This?” as well as the foreboding, soul-stirring Leave This Island. “I thought we should play an appropriate song,” Smith said as he introduced The Coast Is Always Changing to the high-spirited crowd; you wouldn’t think you’d have to avoid a black eye at a Maxïmo Park gig, but jaunty elbows are a serious hazard. Momentum was maintained by the scattering of hits such as Our Velocity and Girls Who Play Guitars between more recent songs like Work And Then Wait.
Don’t worry, Maxïmo Park may be at the stage where they can joke about feeling old, but I don’t think they’ll be losing impetus or their signature robot moves anytime soon.