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
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
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,
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