Just over a year after they released their fourth album ‘Marks To Prove It’, the news that The Maccabees have split shocked many, including us at The VLM. As we scuffle through our record collections and previous playlists, we piece together our favourite work from The Maccabees and the memories that go with them.
Every time the Given To The Wild intro creeps into ‘Child’ goosebumps arise and I’m transported back to Reading festival’s NME tent in 2012. Whilst many crammed themselves tight into the tent we lay back allowing the gentle intro to sweep us off our feet, dousing ourselves in beer. The ebb and flow of the track resonated with precarious 17-year-olds as we teetered on the verge of the most exciting years of our lives. The Maccabees did the same, with ‘Child’ being the gateway to their meticulously put together third album. To this day it still feels like we grew up with The Maccabees and they grew up with us. – Josh Shreeve
I first saw The Maccabees at a tiny club venue on Halloween Night 2011. They weren’t in fancy dress, nor acknowledged the significance of the day, until an eager member of the crowd threw a Pikachu hat onstage which Orlando decided to wear throughout the rest of the set. I next saw them on their tour testing out songs for their latest album Marks To Prove It. I was enthusiastic to hear new material yet at the same time I couldn’t help but jumping up and down frivolously chanting along to ’Precious Time’. A song about working things out and despite it being tough and heartbreaking, people needing time to get over situations. I think in time we’ll all come to terms with The Maccabees calling it a day. Similar to how I got over wondering what happened to that Pikachu hat. – Alex Walker
Given the circumstances this seems like a callous or baiting statement, but the Maccabees were never a band that I loved. Prior to Latitude 2013 I didn’t really get the group, but their sub-slot at dusk showed me what I was missing, the intimate numbers ramped up yet remaining intact. ‘River Song’ isn’t a classic by any stretch, but to me it represents the Maccabee’s USP: the marriage of brooding ceremony with aching beauty. Looking back now it’s also horribly prophetic, lamenting the ravages of time and how nothing can last. They’re a band that deserve massive respect, especially after deciding to bow out at their peak. – Ethan Weatherby
We’re driving through the mountains of northern Spain in a snug Nissan Micra following 8 days of music, sun and far too much fun at Benicassim. Nobody feels much like singing along to Wall of Arms as it’s blasted at full volume solely to keep the designated driver awake. I’d never been much of a Maccabees fan until then, having found little in the likes of “Toothpaste Kisses” to set them apart from the other indie bands of the time. But as the triumphant trumpets of “Dinosaurs” fills the car I’m transported back a couple of days to the main stage and a sense of euphoria as they play it live. The epic Arcade Fire-esque production of that song and all of Wall of Arms for that matter, turned them from post-Libertines indie-poppers into one of the best British bands of the last few years. They will be sorely missed.– Steve Woollett