They might have an obsession with the new and disdain for the old that borders on pompous, but when it comes to putting together well-matched gig line ups with hot headliners and high-flying support, NME are difficult to match. This tour’s support acts have included the likes of The Big Pink, The Drums and Bombay Bicycle Club, though for the Dublin date, Northern Ireland has lent us a treat in the form of Bangor’s Two Door Cinema Club.
Fresh from gracing the cover of this month’s AU Magazine, the youngsters pile on stage clad in true testicle-huggers and proceed to make a mockery of their role as a support act. Imaginative vocals, a vaguely experimental twist on run-off-the-mill indie and a sound so crisp it could be coming out of a store-demo stereo are all features of this impressive recent talent, whose new album will no doubt have indie kids jumping around like fools upon its release in early March. Tracks like -I Can Talk’ and -Something Good Can Work’ are loaded with potential; if Two Door Cinema Club lack only one thing, it’s that single stand-out track that blasts a set into orbit.
That track is certainly not something The Maccabees are struggling for, with closer -Love You Better’ and the outstandingly subtle -Toothpaste Kisses’ the highlights. The Londoners seem genuinely surprised by the rowdy reception on offer at The Academy, and strut about to a set of foot-stomping, hand-clapping crowd pleasers that are packed with far more power and poise than a typical indie anthem, and pushed to the fore by the unique, strained vocals of front man Orlando Weeks. Exceptionally tight drumming is another feature of The Maccabees. Replacement basher Sam Doyle assaults his kit like he’s paid per beat, producing a pelting backing track to the strutting guitar on offer from a hooded Huge White and his het-up brother Felix.
It’s a throbbing set accentuated by The Maccabees clever, quieter moments (Doyle’s chances to breath) and a genuine appreciation for their audience that’s more than a little charming. No doubt it’s the same attributes, combined with their sing-along, shout out loud anthems that have garnered The Maccabees such an impressive local following. They’re charismatic, vibrant and bordering on all-out messy: not bad for a Sunday night.
Photos by Sean Conroy.