The Maccabees played a special, intimate show at Norwich Arts Centre last night (December 14) to crown the space the winner of NME’s campaign to find Britain’s Best Small Venue by NME in association with Jack Daniel’s.
The 250-capacity venue was announced as the winner of the reader vote, which last year saw Southampton Joiners win the title.
To celebrate, The Maccabees played a 75-minute set for a capacity crowd of fans, drawing from across their three studio LPs and also playing four tracks taken from their forthcoming fourth album.
Opening with previous singles ‘Love You Better’ and ‘Feel To Follow’, frontman Orlando Weeks then referenced the size of the venue in comparison to the arena gigs they’ve been playing throughout December as tour support to Kasabian. “This is a bit of a change from the last month, so it might take a while to find our feet,” he admitted.
Following ‘Wall Of Arms’ and ‘Young Lions’, the band then introduced two new tracks – ‘Kamakura’ and ‘WW1 Portraits’ – before guitarist Felix White applauded a group of people at the front who he noted had been coming to see the band since their early gigs.
The quintet, now augmented by an additional pianist live, then went into a host of older tracks including debut album offerings ‘First Love’ and ‘Precious Time’, which saw the gathered crowd singing back the chorus to the band. After ‘Can You Give It’, Weeks then addressed the band’s lengthy absence while making their forthcoming record, stating, “It’s almost proof our absence hasn’t been misspent, we’ve got the marks to prove it – there’s a pun in there.”
Jokingly referring to their new track of the same name, the band then kicked into said number before continuing on with another new offering, ‘Spit It Out’ – both of which were warmly received by the crowd. ‘No Kind Words’ and 2011 single ‘Pelican’ closed the main body of the set, before the band returned for a three song encore of ‘William Powers’, ‘Toothpaste Kisses’ and ‘Grew Up At Midnight’ before thanking the crowd for their patience in waiting for them while they’ve been in the studio.
The Maccabees played:
‘Love You Better’
‘Feel To Follow’
‘Wall Of Arms’
‘Can You Give It’
‘Marks To Prove It’
‘Spit It Out’
‘No Kind Words’
‘Grew Up At Midnight’
NME would like to apologise to those fans who were unable to get in due to the popularity of the event. Those fans have been contacted directly. If you’re one of them and have yet to receive an email, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org