REVIEW: THE MACCABEES @ LEEDS O2 ACADEMY

Words: Lara Thomas

Images: Ed Fielding

The London born Brighton quintet have made a strong comeback with their eagerly awaited third album ‘Given to the Wild’, and Saturday night at the 02 Academy, Leeds did little to diffuse this impression.

The band debuted the new material- opening with ‘Given to the Wild’ and moving onto an eclectic mix of new material including ‘Pelican’ and ‘Forever I’ve Known’ and their previous successes of ‘Love You Better’, ‘X-Ray’ and ‘First Love’. Following the main set, they returned for an encore including ‘Precious Time’ and ‘We Grew Up at Midnight’.

Their stage presence is powerful, and an aggregate of their success. Orlando’s melancholic and echoing vocals- combined with the powerful, burning energy of the band- spread a synonymous hum of synthesising sounds throughout the crowd, who returned the energy with a boisterous roar of excitement. Yet despite Orlando’s apparent confidence he remains a shy and modest boy when mumbling to the crowd…a characteristic of his that has not changed since the first Maccabees gigs in London.


‘Given to The Wild’ gives the indie boys an essence of maturity and is proof they are still seen as ‘relevant’, unlike so many other NME hyped bands of 2006/2007 indie era. Their sound has evidently matured since the gruesome, sloppy days of ‘Toothpaste Kisses’ and 2012’s record is a far cry from 2007’s ‘Colour it In’, showing a deeper, darker and all-grown-up side to the band.

‘Given to The Wild’ made it to number 4 in the charts during the week of its release, and Saturday night reminded the fans why. At least The Maccabees know that their followers are still as loyal as ever after three years of no new material.

2012 festival scene? Yes please, we don’t want the Olympics stealing the limelight of the entire summer, and we’re pretty sure the Maccabees won’t let that happen.

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