Maximo Park return to Newcastle hometown for two tiny JD Roots gigs

Band played The Cumberland Arms and The Cluny last night (May 2)

Maximo Park return to Newcastle hometown for two tiny JD Roots gigs

Photo: Press

Maximo Park played an intimate show at The Cluny in Newcastle for JD Roots as part of Jack Daniels' JD Roots Homecoming Shows last night (May 2).

"It felt like coming back home," said frontman Paul Smith about the band's return to the city in which they formed. The 300-strong crowd were treated to songs from their last album 'The National Health' mixed with tracks from their back-catalogue.

The day began with a stripped-back secret show at The Cumberland Arms, a small pub outside the city centre which the band cite as being an influential small venue: "I saw Thurston Moore from Sonic Youth play a gig here last month, a hundred people, and his 21-string guitar. It was mesmerising," explains frontman Paul Smith. "We also played there during the early stages of our career. It’s important to remember where you’ve come from and to remember your roots"

The band then moved on to The Cluny, where JD Roots competition winners enjoyed a 20-song set. "I think I've finally gone deaf," exclaimed Smith as the setlist came to a close. "I don’t want to leave people thinking we’re going through the motions. Every night is the time to renew the life of the band and feel like you’re singing those songs for the first time. I’d like to think that every night someone goes away with something special," he added.

The gig marked the first time fans in their hometown had seen the band's fourth album 'The National Health' live. "It was great to get such a huge response for the new songs. No-one was going to the bar or moving at the back. I think we gave everyone a good reason to stay where they were in the end," adds Smith.

Miles Kane will be also playing the second of the JD Roots gigs at Liverpool’s Zanzibar on May 16. NME's annual search for the best small venue in the UK began in 2011. Fans can vote for any backroom or space with a capacity of 500 or under with regional winners announced before an overall winner is revealed in June.

In pictures - Maxïmo Park play tiny JD Roots homecoming gig

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