Maximo Park, Clor & Field Music - Leadmill, Sheffield

Maximo Park, with lead 'Paul Smith' in finest form

This gig didn’t get off to the best of starts really, as I unfortunately missed ¾ of the first band’s set (Field Music) due to the over-zealous nature of the Venue Manager at the Leadmill. Ho hum.
Anyway, from what I saw of them Field music certainly have tightened up their live performance since I last saw them, now having toured successfully and to much critical acclaim the North-East 3 piece are gaining more confidence and are sounding really rather good live. Hopefully 2006 will be their year, spurring on more gigs and hopefully more success. Their album successfully managed to get a bronze medal place in my top 10 of 2005, falling short only to the outstanding releases by Sigur Rós and Boards of Canada who themselves are different genres.
The crowd reaction was good, and they had an ovation from the lead singer of Maximo Park at the end of the gig after what has been a long tour for both bands.
They played the recent single ‘If Only the Moon Were Up’, a track I reviewed earlier in the year here as well as some crowd favourites of ‘Shorter Shorter’ & ‘You’re so Pretty’ all from their excellent self titled debut album on the wonderful Memphis Industries label. As I mentioned earlier, I regrettably missed the songs preceding these, so cannot evaluate them.

A short recession later the 2nd band ‘Clor’ arrived on stage to rapturous applause. Given that they themselves are quite big I think a lot of the people out there had come just for Clor as well as Maximo Park. Playing a fairly long set of most songs from their recent self titled album out on Parlophone. It really energised the crowd somewhat with their cool electro beats. The crowd seemed to warm the most to some tracks more than others, they being ‘Dangerzone’ and ‘Love & Pain’ which are quite prominent tracks from the album. Quite soon the crowd and myself were lost in the mêlée of the electronic sounds emanating from the bassist and the wonderfully stamina-rich keyboardist who seemingly puts his entire body to the test every time he taps a note out, all of this perfectly complimented by the unique sounds of the vocals.

Next on were the headliners Maximo Park, a band that have come a long way in the last 12 months. I first saw them back in early 2005 in Manchester’s ‘Jabez Clegg’ and from then on I was impressed and knew they were set to go places. Now they are headlining the 2006 NME tour in January/February which has in the past proven to be the stepping stone to uberfame with the likes of The Killers & Bloc Party reaping the rewards last year.
While the music remains the same as a year ago, their live act has gone stellar. Never have I seen so much raw energy in a rock/indie band before on stage as I did that night (though it was the penultimate show, with the finale being invite only). The lead singer Paul Smith doing theatrical stage dives from left to right, removing layers of suit and using his tie to mop up a plethora of sweat. And it wasn’t just limited to Smith's, even the rest of the band were high on the music with the keyboardist following Clor’s lead by using his entire body in vast swathes of movement on every key press. They are a band who are entirely happy with what they are doing and where they are at, as confirmed by one of their entourage I was chatting to who claimed that he’d never seen the band in such high spirits and energy. One thing that has changed from their last performance I saw was their confidence toward their set. Back then they chose to play it safe by sticking to the singles and well known album tracks, however on this iteration they decided to do something a bit different and played a set comprising of mainly b-sides and crowd requests. They finished the set with the poignant acrobat as an 3rd encore which saw Smith's emotions hit a peak. They thanked the support and left the stage leaving the crowd baying for more, as any good live act should.

Last updated: 19/04/2018 06:41:16

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