The Maccabees are, like many others, a band born of the ‘NME hype’ tribe. Their first ever track ‘X-Ray’ went bananas online and shot them to the top of indie cool alongside others such as Bombay Bicycle Club, Good Shoes and Late of the Pier. Unlike many of NME’s ‘babies’, The Maccabees have gone from strength to strength since their initial surge to fame, evolving and maturing as musicians to create their own hype and respect from around the world.
Their 4th album Marks to Prove it is the reward for all of their hard work and consistency. Going straight to number one in the UK, this album was a major step forward for the band’s reputation across the world.
The album has brought them to our patch of earth in Oz, and since their first visit in 2012 their following has increased a heck of a lot. They have made the jump from somewhat of an underground presence in Australia a few years to one of widespread radio play and recognition amongst Kingsmill’s new generation of Triple J worshippers.
Here for Falls festival, The Maccabees played their own headline show at Sydney’s Metro Theatre to celebrate their new found popularity.
Charging out of the blocks with their title track Marks to Prove it, the boys followed quickly with second album banger Wall of Arms, just to see how well versed the Sydney crowd were with early Maccabees fare. Turns out the crowd had done their homework and lifted their fingies to the skies in rapturous appreciation for some vintage ‘Bees.
Onstage, the Maccabees (all 5 of them) have rather varying stage presence and personas. Where frontman Orlando Weekes cuts a shy, reserved figure behind the mic, guitarist Hugo White is the epitome of rock and roll swagger, brandishing his guitar like a coked up Al Pacino would a machine gun. The other White on stage, brother Felix is more like your favourite daggy uncle, excitable and wide eyed as he rallies the crowd for a chorus of HU-GOOOO, HU-GOOOO to the tune of the old football chant.
The set list has a little something for everyone, with the bombast of second album hits like Love you Better, the serene emotion of the quieter new album tracks such as Silence, and of course fan favourites X Ray and Toothpaste Kisses making for a happy bunch of Sydneysiders.
Whilst Weekes was without guitar due to a finger injury, the band were typically tight and after a 3 song encore finishing with the single from their 3rd album, Pelican, the boys from the UK were ushered off to cheers and screams from those loyal Aussie based fans and perhaps a few new fans aswell.
WHAT THEY SAID
‘In a country full of dangerous creatures and critters, I’ve managed to get stung on the finger by a piece of unruly equipment’
-The irony of Orlando Weekes’ finger injury was not lost on the frontman.
WHAT IT LOOKED LIKE