Photographer Alan Taylor-Shearer and I arrived at the venue in Manchester at 19:30. The doors opened at 21:00 so we had some time to wander around, get our passes and just chill out a bit and get accustomed to our surroundings.

The venue itself was a underground car park which at weekends was cleared out and used as a gig and events venue. It was a good space though for this sort of thing with plenty of room for stage and lights and sound desks and equipment and of course an audience.

We arrived during sound checking and final checks for the bands that were going to be on. Maximo Park had two support acts, Metronomy and Chapel Club, and a local DJ who played while the engineers were setting up for the next act to keep the mood and vibe going throughout the evening.

The first supporting act, Chapel Club, didn't do it for me. They spent a lot of their time looking down at the fret boards. The lead singer Lewis Bowman barely moved anand there was no energy in their performance at all. There was some crowd interaction but even that was minimal. It all just sounded like a lot of atmospheric effects. They were not at all what I expected.

Metronomy, however, were completely the opposite. They were full of energy. There was lots of interaction and they had a great stage presence. I think had they had as much room on stage as Maximo Park did they would of utilised it a lot more and put on an even better show. They are definitely a group to watch out for.

After the supporting bands had played, Maximo Park took to the stage. They certainly put on an energetic performance and lived up to their hype. I unfortunately wasn't able to stay for the whole set, but what I did see of them was brilliant.

They got the crowd riled up into what I can imagine was quite a storm and would have had them in for a good night. Lead singer Paul Smith was on fire, wearing his trademark hat and bounding about the stage like some crazed lunatic. You couldn't miss him. The band, however, seemed to be split. Drummer Tom English and bassist Archis Tiku,were shoved right to the back and from what I saw didn't seem to move from their designated spots which ruined the whole band bravado for me. I like to see everyone enjoying themselves on stage, even if the singer like Paul Smith is a showman. Keyboardist Lukas Wooler and guitarist Duncan Lloyd were in contrast also enjoying themselves and jumping around.

As a band, however, they were very tight. They couldn't of been more slick and there was a 100% energy being put into every single note and beate.

So Maximo Park Live to summarise, Lively, energetic and tight if at times some band members seem to distance themselves, but still definitely a force to be matched in the music scene.

The photographs that accompany this article were taken by Alan Taylor-Shearer.

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