Maximo Park (formed 2000) Maximo Park is a Tyne and Wear-based alternative rock band, signed to Warp Records. The line-up of the band consists of Paul Smith on vocals, Duncan Lloyd on guitar, Lukas Wooller on keyboard, Archus Tiku on bass and Tom English on drums. Both of their albums have achieved double-platinum status and their debut album was nominated for a Mercury Music Prize in 2005.
Formation: In 2000, Maximo Park formed, taking their name from Maximo Gomez Park in Cuba. In the early months of their inception, the band played a number of small shows in and around their home town, as well as an 'In the City' industry showcase in Manchester.
Originally, Archis and Duncan were the vocalists for the band but they decided that they wanted to recruit a singer so that they could concentrate on writing the songs. Smith was a friend of Tom English's and it was Tom's girlfriend that first spotted Paul singing along to 'Superstition' by Stevie Wonder and suggested that he joined the band.
In March 2004, Maximo Park released a limited edition "7 single, 'Graffiti' that was funded by a friend. They later released a number of home recorded tracks onto vinyl. One of these records made its way into the hands of Steve Beckett, of Warp Records, who promptly signed the band.
Maximo Park's debut album, A Certain Trigger was released in 2005 and sold over 300,000 copies. The album was also nominated for that year's Mercury Music Prize. Musically, Maximo Park are often compared to another band from the North-East, The Futureheads.
In August the next year, Maximo Park began recording their next album, which was produced by Gil Norton. Norton had previously worked with the likes of Throwing Muses, The Pixies, Foo Fighters and Patti Smith. The album was recorded in London. Entitled Our Earthly Pleasures, it was released in April 2007. The lead single from the album was 'Our Velocity'.
In October 2008, Maximo Park released a statement saying that they had started work in Los Angeles on their new album. This time, they had Nick Launay on board as producer. Launay was known for his work with Grinderman, Nick Cave, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Arcade Fire.
Quicken the Heart was released in May 2009. The lead single from the album was 'The 'Kids Are Sick Again'.
Andrew Lockwood’s Top Albums of 2014
10) Luke Sital-Singh - 'The Fire Inside'
A mixture of previous EP releases and new material 'The Fire Inside' is a fully loaded debut album from the short listed 'Sound Of 2014' artist. Luke wears his heart on his sleeve through tragedy, torment and failed relationships giving rise to some magical musical moments.
9) Deptford Goth - 'Songs'
The second album from Daniel Woolhouse is a thing of joy that needs to be appreciated without distraction, It's soft, smooth and oh so soothing, it can't fail but to relax and chill you out. If you need to wind down just let it wash over you, you'll feel all the better for it.
8) Perfume Genius - 'Too Bright'
Mike Hadreas has broadened his horizons on this, his fourth album. Here he not only deliveries on his signature piano ballads but also explores new sonic territory to great effect. Too Bright is a multifaceted album full of surprises that never fails to delight.
Continue reading: Andrew Lockwood’s Top Albums of 2014
The Libertines' first reunion gig in London for four years was a critical success but the crowd were particularly badly behaved. The band's performance was interrupted two songs in by a crowd surge and the concert managers were forced to ask the crowd to stop throwing fireworks at the beginning of the set.
The Libertines' first reunion gig on English soil got off to a rocky start when overzealous fans surged towards the stage whilst the band performed at the British Summer Time gig in Hyde Park, London. This is the first time in four years the group has performed in the capital and their appearance has been praised by critics.
Pete Doherty performing with The Libertines in Glasgow last week.
Continue reading: The Libertines' Highly Praised Hyde Park Gig Interrupted By Surging Fans
As the Barclaycard Mercury Music Prize 2012 draws near, we have a look at the shortlist and the likelihood of each act actually walking away with the prize. There’s no such thing as a done deal when it comes to the Mercury Music Prize; the ones that you think are the favourites never seem to walk away the title, the judging panel is very hard to second guess. But hey, that’s not going to stop us giving it a try!
Alt-J: An Awesome Wave
These quirky popsters have crept up on the public throughout 2012, and with their debut album garnering critical acclaim in all corners of the press, they’ve been pegged by many as the favourites to win. A recent survey conducted by Spotify showed that Alt-J’s tracks had been streamed more times that any other nominated artist. That doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re going to walk home with the prize though.
Continue reading: Barclaycard Mercury Music Prize 2012: Our Predictions
With The National Health indie rockers Maximo Park combine equal parts social angst with the hearty doses of romance and everyday commentary in what is very much the bands most true to life foray away from the cliche ridden world of daytime Radio 1 friendly guitar music. The latest album has so far been warmly received by the press and if this, along with the speed in which tickets for their upcoming shows went, is anything to go by then anyone doubting whether the band are still relevant should be replied to with a firm no.
We managed to catch up with frontman Paul Smith to discuss the writing process and his own opinions on the album and just how far he and the band have come since they first emerged on the scene all those years ago.
Continue reading: Maximo Park, Interview
2nd September, 2015