Michael Phoenix checks out Two Door Cinema Club and The Maccabees at the NME Tour
“We all thought it might have been shit tonight after the big gig last night. But it just ended up really, really good…” slurs Maccabees guitarist Hugo White following an electric night at Dublin’s Academy.
Everyone looks the same at these kinds of gigs – checked shirts and elaborate smirks fill the venue for this indie pilgrimage. Its Bangor-based up-and-comers Two Door Cinema Club who really kick things off; it’s all quick catches and neon lights as ‘I Can Talk’ sounds through the speakers, gliding between the crowd sounding just like the studio recording. Maybe that’s a problem: everyone looks bored and upset over the dangerously overpriced pints as they tentatively nod their heads and try to look cool. It seems as though something’s missing – the killer blow, the power chord. Even on the winner ‘Cigarettes In The Theatre’, you get the sense something’s being held back. However, as they exit you can’t help feeling there’s potential in these lads.
It seems harsh, but from the moment the Maccabees step from the spotlights, you can feel the excitement building. It’s a quick pint before the battle begins to grab the best vantage point as the roadies, who always seem to fit their stereotypical bill, look on. You push your way to the barrier and need the toilet badly but hold it for fear of being left behind in the push of the all-important first song. ‘William Powers’, pacey and powerful, precedes a cry of “Good evening!” and we know we’re in for a night to remember as the band burst into ‘Dinosaurs’.
Things around you start to get sweaty and it seems like there’s one too many guitars, but as ‘Precious Time’ is laid upon us you just don’t care. ‘Young Lions’ is a delightful surprise and you’re sure people are starting to shed their clothes to the beat of the album-crowning ‘Can You Give It’. Next up is ‘Toothpaste Kisses’ and the couples come out from their corners whilst the rest of us sway and laugh at the band’s failed attempts at a united whistle.
By the time ‘First Love’ and ‘No Kind Words’ have been played, the crowd seems to have entered some sort of trance from which only the pause before the encore can save them. The break’s short and the same could be said for the gig in its entirety if one criticism need be found. The fantastic ‘Love You Better’ compounds this: it’s the kind of song that leaves you gasping for breath, and your face painted with an unexplainably delirious grin.
On the basis of this performance, anything could be next for The Maccabees.