Review: Maximo Park, Middlesbrough Event Centre

Maximo Park singer Paul Smith. Picture: Gary Welford.
Maximo Park singer Paul Smith. Picture: Gary Welford.

The region’s newest concert venue received a resounding launch night with a gig by local heroes Maximo Park.

The Middlesbrough Event Centre is a new addition to the North-East live music circuit, which has been previously known as Tees Valley Arena, Venue and TFM Soundworks.

Maximo Park at Middlesbrough Event Centre.

Maximo Park at Middlesbrough Event Centre.

And the spick-and-span-looking place was packed out to welcome local lads Maximo Park, fronted by Billingham-born singer Paul Smith.

The local connections don’t end there as Smith also attended Hartlepool Art College and the band formed when they all met at university in Newcastle.

The fact is not lost on the audience, who were in fine voice for a Sunday night, striking up the ‘Tees, Tees. Teessiders’ chant.

Smith even recounts that his brother was held up with a gun in this very venue when it was Riley’s pool hall!

The band themselves are in fine form, playing Teesside for the first time since December 2015, when they performed at Hartlepool Borough Hall.

After an opening salvo of What Did We Do To Deserve This? and the title track of their latest album, Risk To Exist, the boys really hit their stride with The Hero and impassioned The National Health.

Questing, Not Coasting is among the highlights of a set which ended with fan fave Girls Who Play Guitars.

The audience roared them back for an encore of the instant classic from the new album, Get High (No, I Don’t), before ending with the sonic Apply Some Pressure.

It was a great gig to launch this new venue - here’s to many more.