Going to a gig with a short girl was always going to be an interesting one. A mini adventure, trying to catch a glimpse of lead singer Orlando Weeks, blissfully unaware of the couple thousand in front of him, dancing in his own right as if in his own bedroom, no-one watching. This was, of course, The Maccabees playing a homecoming of sorts, at a packed out Coronet; the rain just enough to make everyone want to be indoors quicker than we were being shuffled in, standing outside Elephant & Castle.
I managed to get tickets through the pre-sale, highly skeptical of the means through which I'd bought them but luck was on my side; a few weeks later, and I did manage to get my hands on the paper tickets. We arrived in time for the only support band of the evening, Gengahr. Somerset Cider in hand, the crowd grew to almost festival-like proportions...and to our dismay, blocked the view we would've had.
Eventually making our way to the left hand side we managed to find a spot just in time for the opening song, "Wall Of Arms". It was as we'd imagined, just as the other many countless times before we'd see them, but the edge was taken off, the view was muffled and the songs just didn't seem the same. We had a decision to make. Or should I say, she had a decision to make. What is it they say? No reward without risk? Regardless of how early we got there, it made no difference. Mid-set, we moved, circled the venue and came to the right hand-side. Of course it still wasn't as easy as said. We, (she), pushed our way through the blockade and the risk turned to reward. A clear view. A space to dance. An air of excitement.
"Latchmere" and "Precious Time" followed. So did the dancing, losing our voices singing along and enjoying what seemed like a new found freedom from the crowd. These were the songs of our youth, the ones we'd grown up with, and they still had the same meaning. The Maccabees were testing out new material. The introduction of piano and a new band member, and the farewell of another. I liked the new feel, the toned down guitars and the introduction of instruments, leading me wanting to go out and get Marks To Prove It as soon as it's released.
I have to admit I'm not a fan of the song itself, but don't let that hold you back. Opinions differ, and I am a fan of the remaining new songs which we were treated to. "Something Like Happiness" became an instant favourite and I have a feeling "Spit It Out" will grow on me too. The Maccabees were reaching their pinnacle, and left the crowd with "We Grew Up At Midnight".
An encore was always on the cards, and when they came back out they described the feeling: 'We leave the stage and wait in a stairwell in most cases, nothing too glamorous and wait to see the crowd's reaction. We always wait to see if we really feel it. This time we felt it. This time, it felt right.' The encore opened with "Forever I've Known", and forever I've known, nothing stays forever. The explicit mention of 'this is our last new song' lead us to believe it was not the last song. The last last song, "Pelican", gave us all words of wisdom.
Of the countless times I've seen The Maccabees - Birmingham, Leeds, Melbourne, Perth, and now London - they never fail to deliver. I'll certainly be in line to see them at Glastonbury, by which point I will be accustomed to their 4th album, Marks To Prove It.
'Tell me something I don't know that I need to know': I urge you to purchase, Spotify, YouTube or by whichever means listen to the latest instalment of the Maccabees catalogue when released. I guarantee you won't be disappointed, and if you are fortunate to see them perform live this summer, make sure you grab a glimpse, Somerset Cider in hand.
We all grew up at midnight.
The Maccabees played:
'Wall of Arms'
'Feel To Follow'
'Love You Better'
'Can You Give It'
'Marks to Prove It'
'Spit It Out'
'No Kind Words'
'Grew Up At Midnight'
'Forever I've Known'
'Something Like Happiness'
Marks To Prove It is released 31st July 2015.