‘Ladies and gentlemen’ began the announcer at the start of MTV’s ‘Brand New For 2012’ gig, ‘You could be anywhere in the world tonight, but you’re here with us’. One person who certainly wasn’t in the venue was Lana Del Rey, scheduled to be second on the bill between opening act Charli XCX and headliners The Maccabees. Call us cynical, but cancelling her appearance due to ‘ill health’ will probably generate more column inches than actually performing.
It seemed silly strange that a band as established as The Maccabees should be on a ‘brand new’ tour as they kick off the tour for their third album, especially as the new material shows real signs of maturity. They have always been a solid indie band with a strong fan base, but new album ‘Given To The Wild’ shows a more muscular sound with ramped-up guitars that shows the band are ready to move from smaller venues to larger ones and will not be lost on these larger stages.
Despite not being overly talkative on stage, lead singer Orlando Weeks is charismatic and confident but most importantly, the band have a catalogue of great songs up their sleeves. The crowd predictably lapped up every track, but particular favourites were ‘Wall Of Arms’, ‘No Kind Words’ and new single ‘Pelican’ which was greeted with rapturous enthusiasm.
Prior to this, the evening was kicked of by Charli XCX, a mini-Katie B that first caught our attention a couple of years ago with her debut single ‘Francheskar’ but now looks set to finally make it big. Her dubstep-inspired pop comes across like the Cher Lloyd that it’s Ok to like. Pop music always works best with a large degree of self-awareness which, for such a young girl, she manages effortlessly.
However, the night truly belonged to The Maccabees. It is a treat to see a British band on the brink of greatness and no one deserves success more than these boys. Lana Del Who? Forget her. The first great album of 2012 is already here.
‘Given to the Wild’ is available now, download ‘Pelican’ here.