The Maccabees first came into my life in 2006, it was my first year living in London and my friend who was in a band and ran a club-night introduced me to them. I first listened to them via MySpace, the way I discovered almost every band back then. I can’t actually remember the first time I saw them – I think it was at Camden Barfly – but I do know I fell in love with them instantly. The energy they had on stage was so infectious and songs like X-Ray, Bicycles and Latchmere just seemed to capture it so perfectly, They looked a bit awkward and ‘uncool’,
One gig I do remember very well from 2006 is when they played in the upstairs room at Paradiso in Amsterdam during the London Calling festival, I just remember thinking it was so exciting that loads of bands I’d been watching in London for the past few months were all in Amsterdam and we’d get to spend a weekend watching them. Then there was Reading Festival in 2007 when they played the NME tent the same day as Jamie T and The Klaxons, that was probably the biggest crowd I’d watched them in and the atmosphere was incredible. Alongside the likes of Good Shoes, Jamie T, Jack Peñate and Mystery Jets, The Maccabees were always firm indie disco favourites at nights like Frog at The Astoria, Metro or the Barfly, you were either likely to be dancing to one of their songs or bumping into someone from one of the bands watching their mates.
I watched them at every opportunity I could in London and also often ended up meeting up with friends in different cities for their gigs. During one tour in 2009 we went to see them in Manchester one night and Leeds the next and ended up drinking with them after the gigs both nights. In Leeds I remember doing tequila shots with Hugo and Felix and even though I’d said hi to them before a couple of times it was that night I realised just how awesome, fun and friendly they all were. It’s probably a night so many of their fans shared with The Maccabees over the years in different cities/countries, they always had time for a chat/drink and made everybody feel like part of The Maccabees gang.
The love affair continued and gradually I was introduced – via Twitter (or mostly Mat Horne’s Twitter) – to a whole other bunch of people with a shared love of The Maccabees, many of whom are now some of the best friends I’ve made in London. In 2012 just after they’d released Given To The Wild I went back to Amsterdam to watch them headline at the Paradiso. To see them their again after that first London Calling gig back in 2006 was really special and it’s still one of my favourite memories.
From tiny, sweaty venues to headlining Latitude Festival last summer with a number one album, I’m so grateful that I got to share so many memories with them over the past 11 years. There are other bands I love and there are other gigs that have and will be amazing but I can’t imagine another band changing my life quite the way this one has.
Thank you The Maccabees x
A few photos from over the years & the farewell gigs: