Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Maccabees

After missing out on tickets to the Horrors sold out London show in October, it was announced that the band would play Xfm Winter Wonderland on December 14. There was no way I was going to let them get away this time. I snapped up a ticket each for Pip and I and waited for the day to roll around.

Having not listened to Xfm, I wasn't really sure what the whole night was about. I knew that there were some bands playing that I'd never heard, that Miles Kane might be playing (He didn't) and that Kaiser Chiefs were headlining (How they can headline over The Horrors I'm not sure).

The day of the gig and I'm enjoying my day off work, just out of curiosity, I check the venue website and the Xfm website. I was greeted with a piece of cruel news. Faris from The Horrors is ill and therefore the band will not be playing tonight at the Brixton 02 Academy. So that left an expensive ticket to see a band that I know one song from.

After breaking the news to Pip, we had dinner and headed to Brixton on the tube. The Brixton Academy is a fantastic venue. It reminds me of the Powerstation in Auckland except it has more of a theater/arena look to it. The sloping floor means the wherever you stand you're sure to have a good view.

After starting at the bar for a quick Vodka and lemonade, we entered the crowed to the end of the set from 'Band of skulls' (Nothing special). We'd missed 'Tribes' and 'We are Augustines' and then had to sit through a very middle of the road acoustic set from a guy we'd never heard of.

The next band made the night worth every penny. The Maccabees are a band that I've heard only one song (Pelican) from, I think Pip's heard a few. It was like the whole vibe of the night changed and we were treated to a tight set from a band that have a lot of excitement about them.

After The Maccabees, we were ready to enjoy the rest of the acts but what followed was a bit of a let down. An awkward presentation of an Xfm award to James-Dean Bradford from the Manic Street Preachers who played a couple of acoustic songs. I guess it could be because we don't listen to Xfm but the whole thing seemed uncomfortable, almost as if he got an award because he was the only person they could get to turn up, and with the Manics splitting up I guess he wanted to remind a few people that he still had it. That may be a bit harsh as I don't mind one of the tunes he played 'Your love alone, is not enough' but this morning I woke up still feeling sorry for everyone who had to see that...

To end on a downer, Kaiser Chiefs came onstage to the intro of 'Money for nothing'...  They started with their best song 'Every day I love you less and less' which sounded a bit flat, and by mid-set, Pip and I realized that we were not enjoying Ricky and his band so we went home.

Don't get me wrong, we had fun but without The Horrors, it felt like a low budget Radio promotion. We do however walk away with a new favorite band. Thank you to The Maccabees for saving the night!

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