- The Maccabees played Birmingham’s O2 Institute on June 22nd as part of their farewell tour
- Matt Maltese plays a soulful set with lyrical tales of politics and love
- A high energy set featuring the best of The Maccabees was gifted to the crowd at the sold out show
Matt Maltese brought his politically-tinged sounds to Birmingham, with a soulful, silky smooth set. His songwriting style reminiscent of Stephen Fretwell and touching on talking points in smart lullaby style tunes. Intelligently penned, his work has recently backed campaigns in support of the Labour party, educating through music laced with knowledge and unrivaled wit.
Matt, accompanied by bass and beats, preached everything from romance to a love story based on Donald Trump and Theresa May in a jazz cafe style laid back show. Possessing a real edge, his musical journey will be a fascinating watch.
The Maccabees made their entrance with every bit of the musical boldness they carried from the get-go fourteen years ago. Gracing the stage with conviction yet an endearing humility, as if humbled by the relentless applause from the O2 Institute’s masses.
Broad in demographic, it’s clear to see that whilst the noughtie’s indie-kids have matured somewhat and regrouped for a nostalgia trip; The Maccabees have drafted fans from across the generation and all were out in force for the sold-out show.
A sing-song through a much loved back catalogue took hold of Birmingham as ‘Wall of Arms’ blasted out. Dropping into ‘Feel to Follow’, it’s clear to see that the bands departure to pastures new is unwanted. Hugging his guitar as the song kicks in, lead singer Orlando Weeks, laps up the response from the crowd who absorb each sound made by the band who have sound tracked their years.
‘Love You Better’ appeared a favourite of many, lyrics uttered in-sync, shoulder climbing and a general musical appreciation presented itself within the four walls. Soon to follow, was a recital of the unforgettable ‘Precious Time’, in which Birmingham lost themselves, through amber lights, united in their love for The Maccabees.
Following a career of absolute highlights, the night unfolded to mark their chain of accomplishments. With stand-out moments such as the track which made waves across the indie music scene, ‘Latchmere’. Washing over the packed in audience, the bubbly indie-pop tune whipped up the atmosphere, drawing the gathering in hook, line and sinker. 2015’s ‘Something Like Happiness’ resonated with the audience, lost in a commemoration of musical memories.
Backed by quirky suspended light bulbs, the London five-piece went on to thank those who had assisted them in creating such a footprint on the scene, before leaving the stage and an audience thirsty for more.
Foot stamping and anticipation grew for an encore which really explained just why The Maccabees reached the heights they rightfully peaked to. One of their final pieces of art kick-started the encore, ‘Marks To Prove It’, which backed the unwavering admiration for the band. The hotly-awaited, warm and fuzzy ‘Toothpaste Kisses’, was gifted to Birmingham with a harmonious accompaniment from all in attendance. Third album favourite ‘Pelican’ topped off the night in Birmingham with a farewell fit for the biggest of names.
True to form, The Maccabees did exactly what they set out to. Reminiscing on moments cherished, highs, lows and everything in between; their music will remain with us despite the new journeys they may take. It’s difficult to know exactly where the scene will go from one year to the next, but there will most certainly be an un-fillable hole following The Maccabee’s final curtain!
Photography by Paul Reynolds
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