'Reality check' helps English band

The Maccabees have released their third studio album.
The Maccabees have released their third studio album. Tom Oxley

BEHIND the scenes or backstage before a gig The Maccabees like to have a friendly game of ping pong and listen to some tunes.

The English outfit will be travelling to our wide brown land for the first time when they perform at the Groovin the Moo in Townsville.

Guitar and backing vocals Hugo White said the band were looking forward to their first trip to Australia and said it was about time they headed Down Under.

"We have travelled everywhere else and it sounds like this festival will be loads of fun.

"I am not sure how I will cope with the heat.

"But when we are on stage we always find the motivation to perform, I think it is because we never take anything for granted.

"We always have a reality check and it is always about making the most of it."

The Maccabees third album Given To The Wild is the culmination of two years of writing and recording.

Having followed Wall of Arms - 2009's critically-lauded second release - with main stage slots at Reading and Leeds Festivals, and two sell-out shows at Brixton Academy, the London five piece (singer Orlando Weeks, bassist Rupert Jarvis, guitarists Felix and Hugo White and drummer Sam Doyle) began work on its follow-up by dismantling their most creative of songwriting units.

For several months The Maccabees went their separate ways, individually sketching out the tracks that would make up their latest studio album.

Work on Given To The Wild first began in January 2011 when the band returned from headlining the NME Awards tour.

Armed with a handful of ideas - sketches for songs and lyrical snapshots - they avoided the rehearsal room and opted instead to retreat to their respective homes in South London to develop ideas individually.

Fractured chord progressions, hooks and drum loops were sent back and forth between them and months spent writing in twos or threes saw the band begin to touch upon what the benchmark sounds would be.

They spent a month there before enlisting friend and songwriter Jag Jago from Ghost of a Thousand to engineer the songs back in their own studio.

Final touches were made including placing some guitars and programming from the first demos back in.

"It's nice that parts that were recorded quickly in our bedrooms have made the record alongside the stuff that was recorded properly," White said.

White said The Maccabees success has been a steady climb.

"Each year it has gotten bigger and bigger.

"We want to be a band that keeps on making heaps of records and to keep evolving."

The Maccabees have always enjoyed a very hands-on approach to the creative aspects of their campaigns.

For 'Wall Of Arms', the band were painted by revered artist Boo Ritson and then photographed for the sleeve.

Keen to continue their collaborations with British artists they chose the work of Andy Goldsworthy, a sculptor and photographer they have admired for some time, to grace the cover of 'Given To The Wild'.

Catch The Maccabees at Groovin The Moo Sunday May 6, Murray Sports Complex - Townsville Cricket Grounds, for tickets and more information visit

Topics:  band groovin the moo music rock band rock music

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