The man in the hat came back to celebrate one of the finest albums of 2005, A Certain Trigger, which they (eventually) play in its entirety after a few surprises…
Date: December 15, 2015
Venue: Rock City
This gig is a double celebration.
Not only is it another one of Rock City’s gigs to celebrate their 35-year existence, but for Maximo Park, it also marks the 10th anniversary of their debut album, A Certain Trigger, which they play in its entirety tonight. Eventually.
They open with Girls Who Play Guitars, to the confusion and joy of everyone.
This, and the following plethora of songs are not on the album they’re celebrating.
What’s the deal? Well, they’ve set out to deceive.
It transpires that odds and sods and band favourites are to be played first, with A Certain Trigger as a kind of elongated encore.
The rare A19 is followed by a cheese wire-tight The Kids Are Sick Again, with frontman Paul Smith shouting down a megaphone, which only exaggerates his thick north-east accent.
They end the ‘first half’ with two fan favourites, The Who-like Our Velocity followed by the quixotic Books from Boxes.
That’s where things change. Next up is A Certain Trigger. In its entirety.
If you’re unfamiliar with the album, try recalling 2005, when the likes of Limassol, Graffiti and Apply Some Pressure were your indie disco dancefloor bangers.
Smith dons his famous trilby throughout the gig, no surprise there; it’s his look.
What is surprising is how he manages to keep it on during his on stage antics which range from scissor-kicking to all sorts of hat-defying, hip-swinging Jagger-ish postures. That thing is on there.
His energy is matched by his band’s vociferous, riff-belching, ear-splitting exertions.
Even on A Certain Trigger’s album tracks, the crowd lap up his naturally joyous vibes.
And those vibes continue as the album is saluted, with Apply Some Pressure – an absolute anthem – Graffiti – a classic indie-rocker – and the mighty pomp of Going Missing – possibly their best song ever – reminding us what an album, nay, band, we’re celebrating here tonight.
After an hour-and-a-half of frenetic indie-rock, they’re tired. Unlike their songs.
Some may be 10 years old, but age has been kind to them, and this superb performance showcases their vintage perfectly.