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Maximo Park @ Limelight 2


Well and truly at the height of their indie-rock powers, Maximo Park are on the last leg of their European tour when they arrive in Belfast – and that very fact is backed up by what’s to be undeniably tight performance from the Newcastle band tonight.

Starting, in true ‘album promo’ style, with the opening track off the new album, Give, Get, Take, the band set the bar for a highly energetic and for the most part, fast paced set of hip shuffling dance moves and near keyboard destruction chaos. With remarkably only one track from 2009’s Quicken The Heart on the list, offerings from the first, second and fourth albums are served up in sharings of ‘Our Velocity’, ‘The Coast Is Always Changing’, ‘Books From Boxes’, ‘Hips and Lips’, ‘I Want You To Stay’ and ‘The National Health’ (below). Songs from the current record are placed cleverly in between and can surprisingly already be heard chanted back from an audience who have gotten their ears on it just weeks earlier.

After teasing their loyal legion with hints that they might hear a really popular old one they burst into ‘Apply Some Pressure’, and it is received to a sea (albeit a packed Limelight 2-sized sea) of open hands and willing voices.

Making room for an occasional witty to-and-fro with members of the audience, Paul Smith, a fantastical concoction of Freddie Mercury, Jim Morrison and David Byrne for the new age, commands the stage throughout, his showmanship energy never seeming to falter. Unfortunately, Belfast doesn’t get to experience the cries of the just-in-case loudspeaker that has been placed by the drums, but such affectations are not even mildly necessary with this type of all-round performance.

At the end up, the consensus in the room is very much inclined towards hoping to see the band return to our corner of the world much sooner than the four year period it took for their unforgettable return tonight. Shannon O’Neill

is a performing musician and roller derby skater for Belfast Roller Derby. She should have been born in the late 70s.