AU Presents: Maxïmo Park

Newcastle's finest deliver sweat, scissorkicks and yes, songs, at Belfast's Spring & Airbrake

I heart AUWith the uncontrollable Gazza going AWOL, the affable Ant and Dec going Stateside and the crocodile-shoe wearing Jimmy Nail going cheap in a bargain basement somewhere, it seems that the once glorious Tyne talent pool has become a little foggy. 

Loyal magpies should not despair, however, as musical wonders Maxïmo Park are flying the Newcastle flag high – their recent sell-out show at the Spring & Airbrake, Belfast, proving that they should be heralded as the true trustees of Tyneside. 

Opening seismically with 'Girls Who Play Guitars', 'Graffiti' and 'Parisian Skies', the genial Geordies deliver a high-octane set that has the adoring crowd singing triumphantly and pogoing ecstatically. 

Both Maxïmo albums are well represented throughout an unrelenting and, ahem, high velocity performance. The excellent 'Going Missing' is unusually dedicated to a chilli dog that had been picked up in a Belfast eatery and the apt 'Unshockable' is delivered as a tribute to hip-hop hero Nelly. 

The 'Park also take the opportunity to showcase a smattering of new songs, all of which are greeted like old favourites by the jovial crowd.

One of Maxïmo Park's greatest strengths as a live act is their singer Paul Smith. With his trademark bowler hat, he looks like a reject from A Clockwork Orange and with his dramatic delivery, use of novel props and high-jumping, gravity-defying, manic moves he turns the art of the frontman into an Olympic sport. 

Smith's hyperactivity sees him lose such an extreme pool of sweat on the Spring & Airbrake stage that Michael Phelps could surely have dived in, waded through and claimed another gold medal.

Repeatedly revealing his fondness of Belfast, speaking of his visits to local film theatres and arts galleries, Smith announced Maxïmo Park's urge to return to the city. 

Let's hope they do stop by again soon, delivering another enjoyable dose of infectious indie anthems and sweat-fuelled scissor-kicks. 

Ailís Corey 

This review is reproduced in association with AU magazine and I ♥