The DykeeniesEdit this event
For a band professing to yield a wealth of new ideas, The Dykeenies must be keeping their hand closely guarded. With a McFly-like shtick and a mass thievery of Jimmy Eat World riffs and angst-ridden yowls, the (admittedly, entirely infectious) Cumbernauld outfit appear the antithesis of many other Orange Juice-praising local sets bent on wearing their brogue proudly. For good or ill, the 'keenies appear devoid of the more indigenous qualities they seemed to possess not so long ago, and instead drench their songs in emo sentiment and American English. Despite being met with fair approval within these walls tonight, such a blend of overly emotive Yankee Doodle pop might struggle to hold any real currency outside of pro-Dashboard Confessional circles.
Before it all becomes too much, The Dykeenies grant us mercy and exit stage left before Dominick Diamond slinks out of the shadows to introduce a certain mob of Geordie upstarts as "the greatest fucking live band in the UK right now". Do you dare doubt the Gamesmaster's disciple?
Denied the luxury of half-time Zelda cheats, Paul Smith soon enough emerges in Diamond's place and backs up the boisterous DJ's claim by delivering a fair case to a unanimously attentive audience. The quintet launch into the psychedelic keys of 'Graffiti' before Smith - rather appropriately for a frontman who suddenly finds himself riding high on a second album - assures that he "likes to see how things turn out". Recent single 'Our Velocity' soon arrives - somehow it sounds like Nirvana's 'Downer' helmed by Devo, but nobody here cares much for plagiarism. Soaring tunes young and younger are augmented by Smith's trademark animated splendour and the immediacy of Maximo Park's unspoken 'pogo' mantra hits this Liquid Room legion with a quickness.
But, somehow, some way, none of the above can be sustained and a mid-set lull arrives. A few years of touring certainly sees the Maximo machine in slick form. However, like all things mechanical, a knack for repetition rules the night in abundance; not in sound but in structure, and while this level of robotic note-perfect precision fits the metronomic balladry of 'Books From Boxes' well, 'Girls Who Play Guitar' simply suffers at its hands. Loosen up Archis, riff!
"Did we go too far? Is that why your nose is bleeding?" Smith inquires late in the set during 'Nosebleed'. Not even a trickle tonight, Paul.
Though 9 out of 10 competition winners might disagree.
- In Photos: Photographer's Favourite Images - 20 from 2012
- In Photos: Maximo Park @ The Plug, Sheffield
- In Photos: Kendal Calling Festival 2012 @ Lowther Deer Park, Penrith
- Maximo Park - The National Health
- In Photos: The Great Escape 2012 in Brighton
- Drowned in Brighton #9
- Maximo Park, Mystery Jets, Rolo Tomassi, Errors join The Great Escape bill
- In The City: Musings From Those On The Ground