The Gig: The Maccabees and Holy Vessels
Where: Concorde 2, Brighton, United Kingdom
When: 26th August 2010
In One Word: Triumphant
As far as festival warm-up gigs go there have been some pretty big bands playing in small places lately, notably Kasabian for V Festival at Brixton Academy (which I was privileged enough to attend) and a recently reformed band called The Libertines playing the night before in London (which I wasn’t lucky enough to attend, grrr!), but tonight its the turn of the London via Brighton band The Maccabees who are playing at one of my favourite venues…the Concorde 2 in Brighton.
At 540 capacity its an intimate venue right by the sea that has played host to the legendary Foo Fighters, The White Stripes’ first ever UK show, Kaiser Chiefs and Jarvis Cocker’s first solo gig. It costs £3.50 for a decent pint of cider (and not those smaller glasses that venue staff pass off as ‘pints’ in London), there is a CCTV camera inside the main room that is pointed at the stage so when you’re at the bar you are technically still watching the band (or if you’re my Dad, my chaperone for this gig, you’re checking that I’m still in the photo pit – more on this later!) and its so loud that you can still hear the band if you go outside for some air. Whether you are going to a clubnight, seeing a tribute band or a gig live, the Concorde 2 is the place to be.
Local Brighton band Holy Vessels took to the stage and played a pleasing set in front of the audience. Similar to Mumford and Sons, the band have infectious country hooks and grooves that will have you humming their tunes for weeks on end.
The Maccabees kicked off their set with “William Powers” from their second album Wall of Arms. There is something about Orlando Weeks’ voice that I absolutely love, it is so heartfelt and passionate that words simply cannot describe it, but something that I can describe is the lighting situation. It was pitch black with either no front light or a red front light on the band’s faces which makes it incredibly difficult to take photos. So with all my settings on my camera to the highest they can go and I decide that the only route I can go down is to do something that is forbidden in the music photography world; that I’m going to use flash. I have to say I wasn’t told I could use flash but then we were told that the shoot would only last three songs (and its a good thing it didn’t) but the pit entrance was blocked by the audience so we ended up shooting the whole set – result!
The pace then picked up for “All In Your Rows” and “One Hand Holding” which sent one of the rubbish bins circulating around the audience which the security guards looked quite apprehensive about.
When I last saw the band at Brixton in February I can remember them being a lot more chatty with the audience than on this occasion but no-one really seemed to mind! “First Love” is one of my favourite Maccabees songs along with “Precious Time” and “No Kind Words” which all receive rapturous sing-a-longs. The band then played “Child” and an as yet untitled song which sound fresh and exciting and bode well for the forthcoming release and which led into fan-favourite “X-Ray” and the incredible “Love You Better” to close what was a triumphant night for both the band and the fans.
© Lauren Towner, Music Vice
Pictures of The Maccabees at Brighton Concorde 2: