The Maccabees @ the Guildhall Southampton 26/11/2015

“At first we started a bit slow, but now I feel like we are finally getting there” confesses main vocalist and guitarist Orlando Weeks after he and the rest of the band bless the eager crowd with three indie anthems back to back. ‘Love You Better’, the simply arranged but up-beat first track from 2009’s Wall Of Arms, joyous ‘Precious Time’ from their debut album Colour It In, and the moderate-starting, heart pumping ‘Can You Give It’.

Weeks, referring to the Zombie crowd that stood before him, took a while to get the Guildhall audience moving after opening with their oddly arranged, but their most upbeat song – the title track from the latest album Marks To Prove It. But once it got started, sweats and grins appeared on faces that you just couldn’t shake.

They play a cleaver mixture of the mature and current, the personal and the stimulating. Impressing their fans, they manage to make a setlist that everybody can be content with. Towards the end of the set, guitarist Felix points out a fan he met earlier in the day and introduces/dedicates the next song to him – “he asked whether we were playing ‘X-Ray’, well yes we are!” An immediate roar from the crowd emerges as the band proceed to play the simulating classic.

Enrapturing songs ‘Kamakura’ and ‘Spit It out’ arguably are more goose bump worthy than any of the powerful and chilling tracks from Given To The Wild, although a deserved contender is ‘Grew Up At Midnight’ which is played just before the encore, which promotes the brilliance of not only the lead vocals but backing vocals from the positive twins Hugo and Felix White. Upsettingly, the setlist wasn’t graced with the unexplainable beauty of new track ‘Slow Sun’. However, with such a perfect career behind them and with so many well-written songs, The Maccabees can play whatever they want.

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