It’s been just over a month since The Maccabees called it a day. When I read the letter to their fans breaking the news, I felt sick. Physically sick. ‘They’re just a band’ was echoed in numerous conversations, but to me they weren’t just a band. I’ve never felt so passionate about anyone, or anything, as much as I have about The Maccabees. Music is sometimes the best form of medicine, so whenever I’m feeling down I tend to turn to my iPod or records. The Maccabees were the band I always turned to no matter what, and in a way, I guess they’re like my comfort blanket. I’ve grown alongside their music, and they’ve basically been the soundtrack to my coming of age.
I first heard them when I was around 13 years old, and immediately fell in love. I didn’t get to see them live til I was 16, and I caught them twice in the space of a few months. Once at Evolution Weekender, and then at Leeds Festival. Leeds was one of my most memorable Maccabees shows for me. It was my first real festival, and I remember heading to the NME/Radio 1 tent a while before their set, edging further forward every half hour until I was right on the bar at the front, in the middle, ready for them to take to the stage. They came on and the crowd went wild! I’d never been to gig where there was so much energy. I felt so alive. I got pushed and kicked to the floor in a mosh pit during the latter half of the set and had to crawl out of the tent on my hands and knees. It was a crazy, ridiculous experience…one that I wanted to relive again, and again.
I saw The Maccabees live 21 times from 2009, to 2015. I have an absolutely terrible memory- I can walk into a room and immediately forget what I went in to do- but when it comes to these shows, I could easily tell you stories and anecdotes from each one. I have so many incredible memories seeing them live and I’ve made so many friendships because of them, which I’m so thankful for. Whenever I reflect on these memories (which has been a lot recently) they put a huge Cheshire Cat grin on my face.
Back in February 2013, I spent my whole student loan to see them in New York, and honestly? I’d do it all over again. To this day, it’s still in my top 5 happiest moments. Walking into Bowery Ballroom, on Valentine’s Day, seeing my favourite band. It was magical.
One of my favourite things about the band has always been how gracious they’ve been towards their fans. Such humble, genuine fellas who, after most gigs, were happy to sign autographs, take photos, and chat to their fans, which sadly, many artists can’t be bothered to do. I always loved them for that. Orlando wandering outside to my friend and I after said Bowery Ballroom show and recognising us from UK shows meant a lot, and it still makes me smile 3 years on.
A friend messaged me the day the band broke the news and said, ‘don’t be sad that it’s over, smile because it happened’.
The Maccabees will never stop being my favourite band, and will always hold a special place in my heart. I’m still so incredibly sad, but glad that they ended things on their terms, going out on a real high after some of their best, and biggest shows.
So fellas, I just wanted to say thanks for the memories…it’s been one hell of a journey.
‘Forever I’ve known, known nothing stays forever…’