I heard someone at Truck Festival the other weekend say “Indie kids these days have grown up with bands like Swim Deep and Spector, Just like we grew up with the Maccabees” and I think this is a perfect comparison to draw, Across 4 flawless albums the Maccabees developed an intimacy and connection with their fans that only comes from working hard and letting the music speak for itself.
The London 5 piece manage to stand out amongst and astonishingly strong pier group of bands that emerged in the mid 00’s. They’re debut was full of life and astonishingly energetic, perfectly encapsulating the youthful rush that characterised the era. A song like Toothpaste Kisses and the popular attention it garners can leave a band as a one song wonder, I mean has anyone ever heard a Foster the People song that isn’t Pumped Up Kicks ? But the maturity and darkness shown on their sophomore album Wall of Arms, especially in the propulsive lead single No Kind Words, really showed the kind of band the Maccabees could be and were to become. The lush electronics of Given To The Wild and the gorgeous London inspired concept album Marks To Prove it earned the band two mercury nominations.
But you know all that, you can see the same Wikipedia page I used. What made the Maccabees so remarkable was there “Cult” status, intensely loved by all their fans they had a special affinity with each and every one which comes with their work ethic. I only managed to see the Maccabees once, and it was one of the most astonishing gigs of my life, frontman Orlando Weeks’ delicate voice wove perfectly with the intensely tight instrumentation.
This was my two cents, I wish the band the best of luck in future endeavours (Guitarist Felix White is an accomplished sports writer and has just started a Record Label//Club night already) and I fully respect their decision to call it quits at this stage. It’s always sad to see a band go, and rather heartbreaking to see one that you’ve loved especially. They leave behind an amazing legacy across 4 albums which is how we should remember them. Bring on the farewell shows.
It’s telling the last sung words on the last track on their last album read : “And break it up to make it better, it’s not for us to say, it’s not for us to say”.
By Harry James Harvey