REVIEW: Maximo Park, Hartlepool Borough Hall

Maximo Park celebrate the 10th anniversary of A Certain Trigger at Hartlepool Borough Hall, Pic: Marie Westmoreland.

Maximo Park celebrate the 10th anniversary of A Certain Trigger at Hartlepool Borough Hall, Pic: Marie Westmoreland.

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Maximo Park played their first gig in Hartlepool's Borough Hall last night to celebrate the 10th anniversary of their début album, A Certain Trigger.

Billingham-born frontman Paul Smith said he is a "big fan of Hartlepool" having spent a year at art college in the town, and it seems he's honed his craft to perfection, with spot-on vocals and energetic dancing throughout.

Backed by Duncan Lloyd on guitar, Lukas Wooller on keyboards, Archis Tiku on bass and Tom English on drums, the band, who have released five albums since they formed in 2000, sounded stronger than ever.

Smith, wearing his trademark bowler hat, and smartly dressed in a white shirt and black trousers, kicked off with Girls Who Play Guitar, from their second album Our Earthly Pleasures.

It was the same record which delivered the band's first UK Top 10 single, Our Velocity. It had a bit of a false start thanks to a blip with the intro. But Smith smoothed over the error with some great banter, and when the song finally got under way, fans were soon singing along.

One of my favourite Maximo songs, Books From Boxes, swiftly followed and it marked the end of the first half of the show.

Maximo Park celebrate the 10th anniversary of A Certain Trigger at Hartlepool Borough Hall, Pic: Marie Westmoreland.

Maximo Park celebrate the 10th anniversary of A Certain Trigger at Hartlepool Borough Hall, Pic: Marie Westmoreland.

For the second half of the show, Smith had aptly changed into a red shirt and black tie, in-keeping with the artwork colours on A Certain Trigger's sleeve.

And track after track from that critically acclaimed and Mercury Prize nominated album followed, as it was played in its entirety.

Apply Some Pressure sounded just as good as it did back in 2005, while references from Smith about the North Sea during The Coast Is Always Changing, received a ripple of cheers from fans.

Showing his theatrical side, he read from a book as he performed Acrobat.

Maximo Park celebrate the 10th anniversary of A Certain Trigger at Hartlepool Borough Hall, Pic: Marie Westmoreland.

Maximo Park celebrate the 10th anniversary of A Certain Trigger at Hartlepool Borough Hall, Pic: Marie Westmoreland.

Ending the show with Kiss You Better, Smith dedicated the song to the Hartlepool crowd and his parents, who were in the audience.

And far from slowing down, Smith hinted Maximo Park will be back very soon with some new material.

Here's to the next decade of music from one of the North East's best bands.

Maximo Park celebrate the 10th anniversary of A Certain Trigger at Hartlepool Borough Hall, Pic: Marie Westmoreland.

Maximo Park celebrate the 10th anniversary of A Certain Trigger at Hartlepool Borough Hall, Pic: Marie Westmoreland.

Maximo Park celebrate the 10th anniversary of A Certain Trigger at Hartlepool Borough Hall, Pic: Marie Westmoreland.

Maximo Park celebrate the 10th anniversary of A Certain Trigger at Hartlepool Borough Hall, Pic: Marie Westmoreland.

Maximo Park celebrate the 10th anniversary of A Certain Trigger at Hartlepool Borough Hall, Pic: Marie Westmoreland.

Maximo Park celebrate the 10th anniversary of A Certain Trigger at Hartlepool Borough Hall, Pic: Marie Westmoreland.