I still can’t believe at one time I thought Maybeshewill were shit. Now, stay with me here – there were factors involved. A hip-flask filled with cherry whiskey and legs that weren’t able to support me from falling over were major factors the first time I saw them. This was at the first ArcTanGent Festival in 2013, and I was majorly drunk. People had been telling me of how great they were, but in my stupid, intoxicated brain I wasn’t having any of it. Not quite the best judge…
Move on a year and again I find myself in a field seeing Maybeshewill, this time at 2000 Trees, and you know what? They were really great. The kind of band you shut up and take notice of. The lack of cherry whiskey probably helped here…ArcTanGent 2014 rolled around and at this point I was now firmly backing Maybeshewill. They put on a sterling performance that evening. It’s hard to put into words how good that set was, I just remember being elated one minute and fucked off the next, as someone was knocking a beach ball about the crowd whilst these five guys on stage were playing this beautiful music. Niggles…
Last week, the Leicestershire quintet kicked off their UK Tour at The Deaf Institute in Manchester. Continuing on the mammoth tour for the release of their latest record ‘Fair Youth’, Maybeshewill are on the home straight to close out a tremendous year.
The line-up for this show was a bit of a stonker, with support coming from the massive Mutiny On The Bounty and Flood Of Red. Both bands were exceptionally good and incredibly well matched for Maybeshewill to headline. You can read a bit more about Mutiny On The Bounty and Flood Of Red through interviews that were conducted on the evening – found here and here.
After both supports smashed through wonderful sets, the stage was set for Maybeshewill. Coming out to tremendous applause, they kicked straight into ‘In Amber’ taken from the new record, a truly beautiful tune that really set the bar for what was to follow. One thing I’ve noticed and love about seeing Maybeshewill live is how much passion the bass player puts into his performance – it really hooks you in. Coupled with bursts of light on every big beat, and everything just clicks.
A couple of tunes in and a lad in the crowd shouted for an encore, getting a chuckle out of most of the audience – his crowning achievement. It was a pretty jovial crowd packed into The Deaf Institute that evening, with everyone completely lost in the moment. Halfway through the set I looked to my right and spied a couple in the crowd. The guy looked like he was having a great time, but the girl was something else. Purely elated to be there, it was like euphoria for her. She looked like she was high on life (or was it something else?) Much like how Amelie, in the film of the same name, likes looking back at people’s faces in the dark when she’s at the cinema, to see people’s joyful expressions, it was nice to look into the crowd and see everyone loving the show.
I think The Deaf Institute was the perfect venue for reasons like this, as the show felt so intimate, something that might have been lost had they played a bigger venue.
I was quite chuffed to have recognised a quote from Rules Of Attraction in ‘In Another Life, When We Are Both Cats’, something I’d not picked up on before. “Nobody knows anyone else, ever” is a cheesy as fuck line, but within this song (and within that film/book) it’s just brilliant. These references and film quotes are exceptional and work so well live, particularly the quote in ‘Not For Want Of Trying’ from the film Network, in which the main protagonist wants you to stand up, stick your head out the window and yell “I’M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!” The way it builds up is enough to start a riot, it’s fucking brilliant. It’s this track that leads us into the encore, and following another two tracks we’re out. ‘He Films The Clouds Part 2’ is the last track of the night and following a mass sing-along, everyone heads home in an uplifted, dream like state. Or at least I did. A truly captivating performance from a wonderful band.
As mentioned at the start of this piece, I still can’t believe at one time I thought Maybeshewill were shit. A tremendous live band who are on the run of their lives. 2014 was massive for them, one can only imagine what’s to come in 2015.