The Verse’s Dominic Courtney headed down to indie rock band Maximo Park’s album launch tour at Bexhill’s De La Warr Pavillion on Saturday 13th May.
Despite me getting smacked in the face repeatedly by a bag, De La Warr brought down the roof. Maximo Park brought with them a strong set list, weaving old and new songs together to create a rollercoaster of a gig.
The first impression of Bexhill was that of a small seaside town, being very unassuming. However De La Warr opened up a little slice of musical paradise and the venue immediately became that of something small but great, bringing a variety of arts and music. Walking into the actual venue area with the lights on did incur memories of a School gym floor but there seemed an element of being in a pen with fencing at the front to stop potentially rowdy fans and a high platform running down the sides. This sounds as though ticket holders had been tricked into something sinister however it actually gave an atmosphere that it was going to be a crazy night, a night full of passionate fans and intense music so much so that the venue had to try and contain a gig which wanted to burst free.
The first act, PINS, took to the stage quietly with beers in hand and set themselves up quickly, not really paying attention to the beginnings of a crowd. This started to change as soon as the music began, the originally quiet room was filled with fast heavy music, they came across as a seemingly ordinary indie band but instead at this gig they had become an amazing Fempunk band who tore up the venue. Even though the crowd, who were mainly between 30 and 40, were not initially into it, the band they did not care and played with an immense enthusiasm, the lead singer Faith Holgate swayed across the stage like a model from Studio 54, with the rest of the band viciously attacking their instruments, creating a heavy and rough sound for Holgate’s voice to float over.
With the PINS departure from the stage the place fell flat but with the lights soon shutting off the night really began. A few Roadies ran across the stage setting everything up, microphones were tested, guitars were tuned. Soon the band appeared one by one the stage except for Paul Smith. Anticipation gripped the crowd, I am pretty sure someone dropped their beer they were so excited, with the contents going all over my shoes. From nowhere Smith appeared, completing the stage. Once the music had started, the crowd, now full, slowly began to sing along with the band, each person slowly gaining more confidence in their voices and becoming more invested in the music.
While the newer songs caught a fairly good response from the crowd it was their back catalogue that really received high praise, when songs such as Our Velocity and Coast were played, I am pretty sure that the crowd were thrown back to their teens in a muddy field at Reading, screaming their hearts out to Maximo Park on stage. The encore brought probably Maximo Park’s most notable song, Apply some Pressure, and with Megaphone in hand and provocative crotch movements,
Maximo Park rocked our world. Being the first time I have seen Maximo Park, it was definitely an experience, one that I will remember. They brought an amazing support act, created an amazing atmosphere and lastly recreated some of the best Indie music of their time. Long Live Maximo Park.