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Maximo Park Make Demands

LONDON: Prepping for a U.K. tour in April, the Newcastle new-wavers road test new tunes.

“You’re a very demanding crowd, and I can’t give into demands I’m afraid,” scolded Paul Smith of Maximo Park when he took the stage last night. In a tailored suit and bowler hat, Smith looked like a cartoon image of a Suburban banker marching into the City of London. But the moment the music kicked in he left the bank behind and catapulted himself into an effervescent frontman,

The familiar melodies of “Graffiti” and “Apply Some Pressure” throbbed under the bright lights of the Astoria’s backdrop. “Our Velocity” brimmed over with Smith’s snappy enthusiasm, as he leapt into the air singing, “I’ll tell you some more about me!”

The band played some new material, too, explaining the neurosis of things close to the bone in Nosebleed, and the tension of passing the time in “I’m Annoyed,” which was faintly underscored with the nostalgic whisper of Lukas Wooller’s keyboard. But it was the synth intro and nervy lyrics of “Limassol” that lurched the band into rocketing territories.

After saying goodbye, the band retired from the stage. They returned again, storming through an electric version of “The Coast is Always Changing,” a reminder of just how many hits this Newcastle outfit has produced in its still-nascent career. Smith claimed he didn’t give into demands; indeed, he was making them. LISA WILLIAMS / PHOTOS BY AMI PATEL

>> Listen to Maximo Park on Napster

On the Web:
maximopark.com