The Maccabees, O2 Apollo, Manchester

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The Maccabees brought their melodic final fling to the O2 Apollo, Manchester, for yet another sold out gig.

After 14 years, 4 Albums, 3 EP’s and countless tours and festival appearances, the 5 piece London based band have decided to call it a day to create their own, individual oeuvre.

As we headed into a gloriously diverse crowd, I couldn’t help but anticipate the performance we were about to witness. There have been far too many “Farewell” tours of late, and this is yet another bittersweet encounter.

As the band graced the low-lit stage, the audience bellowed out, with utter devotion a well-deserved welcome. It was humbling and quite a moment to bear witness too. To Our absolute and utter delight, they got the revellers started with the title track, “Wall of Arms” from their 2009 Album.

A true testimony to The Maccabees strength as a writing collective is the timelessness in their back catalogue of crowd pleaser’s. And yet, the tracks tonight have been placed and played with such skill, there is a masterful flow that seamlessly takes you through 22 tracks!

The set list was both abundant and flawless, with every song leading dazzlingly into another. A steadfast highlight was the effortless coupling of “X-ray” and “No Kind Words”. The fan favorites clearly and evenly distributed with the less well known, but equally as memorable songs such as “Kamakura”.

The sense of euphoria is tangible throughout the venue with outstretched arms and bouncing bodies. Orlando Weeks’ vocals are un-faltered throughout and his genuinely humbled demeanour simply enchanted the audience further. With the mention of a leisure centre, we knew the tempo was building as the crowd crescendoed into “Latchmere”. Bodies upon bodies, crowd surfing, and scenes that often aren’t witnessed in smaller venues.

Within what felt like moments, and the crowd feverish for the final encore, it was plain to see this band meant a whole lot more to thousands of people than could have been anticipated.

The band closed the night with ‘Marks to prove it’, ‘First Love’, ‘Toothpaste Kisses’ and ‘Pelican’. The confetti cannons lit the air with brightly coloured paper and added dramatic intensity in a fun way, the pure love felt for this group of London lads.

I do hope they, as a band, make good the promise to continue to create music, in whatever guise they see fit.

With the tight production, genuine passionate energy and a set list to keep even the biggest sceptic sailing through with arms aloft, the Maccabees show tonight, for me, will be one of the most memorable farewell gigs in British Indie history. For now, it’s time to say farewell.


We rate:
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