Maximo Park Teleman had the task of warming up The Institute for headliners, Maximo Park. The support act came to the fore without a care in the world, with the band swamped by the size of the stage.
Teleman That said, Teleman are full of promise and their style of saw synths, effortless grooves and Smiths-esque guitars are something that caught the attention of most in the crowd. Their final track was a highlight of the set list; ignited by plodding bass-lines the song gradually brewed into a euphoric end to Teleman’s show.
Maximo Park An aqua blue wash of lights fell upon the stage, as a droning bass tone gradually drowned the Institute’s speakers. Then, out of nowhere the lights went down and the drone cut off. Maximo Park opened with ‘Give, Get, Take’, the first track from their latest record. This energetic number had frontman Paul Smith bounding all over the stage, sometimes you do have to wonder how that bowler hat stayed on…
Maximo Park The night is then galvanised by signature tunes such as ‘Our Velocity’ and ‘The Coast Is Always Changing’, with the former still sounding as fresh as ever. Smith’s robotic dancing further illuminated the song; it went down a treat with the band’s adoring audience. Brilliantly stop-start ‘My Bloody Mind’ and the romantic ‘Drinking Martinis’ are highlights from their new material, both proved that the Park could still kick it 14 years since their birth.
Maximo Park “I was told not to come!” said vocalist Paul Smith, who openly digressed to the crowd about his recent eye surgery. Smith joked, “That’s why I’m wearing sunglasses, I’m not auditioning for the Blues Brothers”; the crowd lapped up the frontman’s humour as he often went off on tangents between songs. Second album opener ‘Girls Who Play Guitars’ had the best crowd reaction of the night, with enigmatic vocalist Smith demanding the absolute best from the sweaty Birmingham crowd. The lyrics “She goes out, she gets drunk. She gets off, she goes home, she gives in” are shouted back at the band; it’s evident that each member enjoyed it thoroughly with smiles beamed across their faces.
Maximo Park First album classic ‘Going Missing’ brought a bumper 22-song set to a rousing end. The band looked knackered by the end, which is no surprise considering their constant energy and showmanship. A live stage is where Maximo Park should be experienced; the band were on top form, as always. Photographs by Jonathan Morgan.