The Maccabees

Brighton's peers. Concorde 2, Brighton (May 3)

When The Maccabees played the Concorde 2 in late 2006, the show ended with the venue informing the police that the south London-born band were trying to “incite a riot”, resulting in a blanket-ban from all of Brighton’s venues. This time around, playing their adopted hometown at the end of a tour booked to road-test new songs for their forthcoming second album, it should, by rights, end in the band being given the keys to the city where all five members went to university.

They play ‘Lego’. They play ‘Latchmere’. And they positively slay with a boundlessly emotive version of ‘Precious Time’. But it’s the new songs that prove to be the highlights. Opening with ‘No Kind Words’, the sort of smart update of The Velvet Underground songbook The Rakes used to peddle before Alan Donohoe forgot how to sing, they slink into ‘Can You Give It’, which is akin to Joy Division playing Motown. Then, for ‘Accordion Song’, guitarist Felix White takes over lead vocals and singer Orlando Weeks picks up the accordion. Each and every body in the room swoons at the loveliness of it all. But it’s penultimate song ‘17 Weeks’ that suggests The Maccabees’ return should see then shift from indie middle carders to a genuinely big deal. Later at Louis Beach Café, the band host bring-your-own-booze aftershow by the sea. Orlando explains the aforementioned tune is a true tale, about how his great grandfather put all his savings on a racehorse and, with the winnings, started the Weeks family. It’s a cute story, yet you’d give better odds on his great grandson’s band finally breaking through in the coming months.

James McMahon

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