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A HARD DAY'S SLOG,
This review is from: Maximo Park: Found On Film [DVD] (DVD)
Whatever Maximo Park's critics may say,I'm going to stick my neck out and call this unusual band the New Beatles for the 21st Century.This group of lads have made a promising start to their musical careers with "Apply Some Pressure",their first
successful single release,in 2005. Now their first DVD is a clever compilation of tour documentary,live shows,BBC studio
sessions and an online AOL session,plus a 16-page booklet containing nearly 100 photos of the band's travels during their
first year on the road.
I thoroughly enjoyed this DVD,which will appeal particularly to
the 16-30 year age group (and hopefully older mark, who will recall that other groundbreaking art rock band of the 70s,Roxy Music,who may have been a romantically-inclined influence on the
band.) Furthermore,when the Beatles started out,they had the same jokey approach and look what it did for them!
Paul Smith has the necessary charisma for a memorable frontman,
Duncan Lloyd provides the harmonious and melodic guitar accompaniment,Lukas Wooller is moody on keyboards,Archis Tiku
provides a solid bass and Tom English is the band's backbone
As Paul Smith quotes during a voiceover commentary in Brighton
"We're not crack demons or weirdos,we're just ordinary people,"
a description of the band which comes as refreshing in this day and age,with its uncertain future for the younger generation.
Maximo's intelligent and well-balanced approach in their songs
and lyrics are sometimes perceived as too harmless,I feel,for their own good(I don't mean that unkindly!)Fortunately they have
now established a strong fanbase since their inception just over
a year ago.
There are two Academy shows,Newcastle and Brixton,captured on
this DVD.The Newcastle one shows the band at their most powerful,filmed in their hometown on 10/12/05(error on DVD cover reads 10/12/06.)Six of their strongest songs,filmed at the
start in black and white,with all the band on excellent form
and Paul Smith's stage persona which is uniquely his own.Comparisons could be drawn to Bryan Ferry in his early years
but Smith's passionate stage performance cannot be compared with Ferry's aloof,detached approach.
The Brixton Academy film presents Maximo at their full power.
Wham!We get our money's worth with this set.
The backstage documentary is entertaining and lighthearted,
opening with backstage shots of the boys in the band in various
cameos.At the start,Paul Smith takes a Polaroid shot of the docu's title(his own handwriting),the letters of which are
superimposed on a handtowel draped over a hanger on the back of the dressing-room door.Clever stuff,which intrigues the viewer
to delve into this cosy film of life with the Maximo boys backstage.
The Promos section of the DVD is a selection of six promo video
films,starting with a b/w "Coast Is Always Changing"and an almost unrecognisable Paul Smith before the combover made an
appearance.But that passion is there,and the intensity of the
performance shows through.
Some lively studio sessions follow: "Aol Sessions" in crystal
clear resolution.These are my favourite filmed sessions on this DVD.
Then the audio CD "BBC Sessions" which is a compendium of the
Maximo songs which those fans of theirs will know and love,particularly the beautiful and moving "Shiver"with its moody cello and Paul Smith's yearning interpretation,and "Surrender",with its intriguing lyrics.
A lovely compilation of tunes.
This DVD is a generous slice of the cake for all Maximo fans.
Prior to the last song at the Brixton Academy film,Paul Smith announces "The name of this band is Maximo Park.....don't forget it", before an inflatable guitar and drumsticks are
thrown into the crowd.
How could we forget?
"The lies we tell
Are found on film
And you start to push
Your lips to mine"
Why aren't Maximo's songs afforded higher chart placings?
It's one of pop's mysteries.Perhaps their musical/lyrical talents lie beyond the Top 40 trivia.
Beg,borrow or steal a copy of this DVD at any cost,as soon as you can.It'll make your day.