Gig Review

The Maccabees
Plus Good Books, The King's Shilling
Southampton, Nexus
1st February 2007

The Maccabees     Good Books     The King's Shilling

The King's Shilling were playing when I entered the Nexus, and made my way across the room. Their music was quite catchy, easy to bob your head or tap your feet to. Nothing heavy or offensive, just simple happy tunes about this and that, you know how it is. But nobody knew who they were, and they seemed to be the So Solid Crew of the indie scene, cramming about sixty members onto a tiny stage. Well, more like six and seven, but you get the picture. That's what let them down, their stage show. They just kind of stood there. But that's not their fault is it, they barely had enough room to breathe. The kids down the front with a bar in their ribs were probably more comfortable.

The Nexus is an interesting venue, looking like a shabby council-estate come bingo hall from the outside, and a dingy club on the inside. The sound isn't fantastic, but it's not bad. Could be considerably worse.

The second band on were Good Books, and, well, I can't remember much about them. They didn't really do anything on stage but play through a few songs, the front-man, or boy rather, just giving off an overtly arrogant vibe for the pretty average music they were pumping out to a crowd who largely, didn't care. As for the crowd, they were skillfully assessed by my friend Joe, as “a group of scene 11 year olds sniffing solvents who were only there because their older brother had told them the Maccabees were cool,” who wouldn't know good music if it “came and shagged their sister.”

The Maccabees came on to much applause from the crowd that, during the support act, had stood in themselves. Hidden by hooded tops and grasping cans of Carlsberg, they watched the earlier bands perform; and emerged on stage for their set in identical hoodies and with seemingly identical beverages. The singer, Orlando, was wearing about five hoodies, and a wizard's hood covered in stars and moons. Well that's a bit brilliant.

First song, “Sore Throat,” and then one for everyone, “Latchmere,” a song about a swimming pool in Battersea. “Good Old Bill” and their forthcoming single “About Your Dress” followed.

Orlando roamed about his small patch of stage, slowly removing layers until he was down to a checkered shirt.

“Tissue Shoulders” “Colour It In” and “Diamond Solitaire” came next, before another than most people knew, “Precious Time.” Obviously, with the release of the new album drawing close, they were going to be showcasing a range of new material, and equally obviously, most people weren't going to know the songs.

The guitarist and bassist on the far side of the stage from me looked quite bored, heads down in their hoods watching themselves play away on their strings, stopping for swigs of lager between songs. In contrast, the guitarist nearest me was getting really into it, stamping his feet and strumming heavily as he sang wide-eyed into his microphone. Orlando continued roaming aimlessly, and the drummer, well, he was just obscured by the two members nearest me. And the times when he was visible, I was probably focusing more on the immature fuck-wit leaning into me and jumping simultaneously; thus practically humping me. Elbow in the head for you, dear sir.

Orlando somehow made his way up onto the bass-drum, gripping the low ceiling with one hand. You know, I swear he was on something. Saying that, I'm sure some of the others were too. Oh well, that's rock and roll kids.

A couple more new ones, and then “Bicycles,” “X-ray,” “First Love,” and “Lego” to finish.

All in all, not a bad gig. Interesting venue, great band, good enough performance, annoying crowd.

Review By Thom

 The Maccabees

Orlando Weeks (Vocals)
Hugo White (Guitar)
Felix White (Guitar, Vocals)
Rupert Jarvis (Bass)
Robert Dylan Thomas (Drums)
 Good Books

Max Cooke (vocals, guitar)
Christopher Porter (vocals, bass)
JP Duncan (keyboards)
Leo von Bülow-Quirk (drums, the cowbell)
 The King's Shillings

Luke Donovan (lead vocals,guitar)
Kelven Penny (vocals, guitar)
Dil Kocher (bass,vocals)
Chris Hann (key)
Ben Kill (drums,vocals)
Spencer (trumpet,persussion)
Emilia (backing vocals,xylophone)
 Band Related Links
The Maccabees Myspace
Good Books Myspace
The Kings Shilling Myspace
 Review Score Code
- Top Cheese
- Brilliant
- Pretty damn good
- Ok I guess
- What Was That?