The Maccabees – Brighton Dome – 23rd November 2015

The Maccabees always pull a good crowd in Brighton because, as they reminded everyone tonight, they did live here for a bit. Tonight was no exception as the Dome was packed out and there was a real buzz of excitement in the air. Drenge opened up the show, with the addition of a new bass player and the three of them nicely warmed up the audience. I've never seen The Maccabees live before, unless they were one of the many bands I saw at the FreeButt over 10 years ago… Because it's now 10 years since they released their first single and started the roller coaster ride to success.
 
As the house lights drop the background music is replaced by the roar of the crowd, reaching fever pitch as the band came on stage. They kicked of with 'Marks to Prove It', the first track off their new album. Alongside the regular five band members tonight they had a little help on some songs with extra percussion, keyboards and a trumpet player making them an eight piece band at times.
 
The Maccabees are a slick and well oiled machine which is not surprising as it's been a monumental year for them, headlining the Great Escape and playing Glastonbury Festival earlier in the year. The new album was featured heavily tonight with seven tracks alongside classics from the last three albums.
 
The light show was superb pulsating between a dome of lights over the stage, droplets of light creeping down the back wall and high powered lights illuminating the audience at just the right times. The band did their part too with encouragement to clap or sing along to songs like 'Can You Give It' and 'Precious Time'. Before launching into 'X-Ray' they ask the audience “Who remembers the FreeButt?” and judging by the response quite a few did. Although as they reminisced about playing there in front of 30 people before their first single came out, I guess not many actually got to see them there.
 
With 'No Kind Words' the Dome was filled with the sound of swirling guitars whereas 'Something Like Happiness' really made you realise why they had added a trumpet player to the mix. They did a great job of bringing out different instruments in the mix for each song adding to the diversity of their music. By the time they got to the encores of 'Toothpaste Kisses' and 'Pelican' everyone was singing along and dancing ecstatically. Overall it was an extremely enjoyable night and an impressive show… I'm sure they will be back soon.
Jonski Mason.