Maximo Park tonight. Formed in 2000 in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. The band consists of Paul Smith (vocals), Duncan Lloyd (guitar), Lukas Wooller (keyboard) and Tom English (drums). The band have released six studio albums: A Certain Trigger (2005), Our Earthly Pleasures (2007), Quicken The Heart (2009), The National Health (2012), Too Much Information (2014) and Risk to Exist (2017). The first two albums went gold in the UK and their debut was nominated for the Mercury Prize.
The band was created by guitarist Duncan Lloyd and is named after Máximo Gómez Park (also known as Domino Park), located in Little Havana, Miami. Initially, the four founding members played several small shows including Manchester’s ‘In the City’, which showcases unsigned bands in the UK. In 2003, the band decided they wanted a frontman as the original singers, Archis and Duncan, wanted to focus on writing the songs. The then-girlfriend of the drummer Tom English noticed his friend Paul Smith singing along to Stevie Wonder‘s “Superstition”. When Smith was found, the band did not know if he could sing: “When he first joined, we didn’t know if he could; just that he was a lunatic jumping around in a suit, it felt like the last piece of the jigsaw”. With Smith joining the band, gave him demos of their songs and from then on started writing as unit.
Around March 2004, a friend funded 300 copies of a 7″ red vinyl single (“Graffiti” / “Going Missing”) which was recorded by Duncan Lloyd in his and Thomas English’s flat in Fenham, Newcastle. The band’s second release was a 7″ single of their songs “The Coast Is Always Changing” and “The Night I Lost My Head“, recorded by Paul Epworth. After some time of doing gigs around their home town, Steve Beckett of the dance-electronic label Warp Records acquired one of these records and decided to sign the band to his label after also seeing the band perform at the Notting Hill Arts Club hosted by Creation Records founder Alan McGee.
In 2005, Maxïmo Park released their first album, A Certain Trigger, which sold over 300,000 copies and was nominated for the Mercury Prize in July 2005. In July, Maxïmo Park had the honour of being the first band to play the Ibiza Rocks festival on its opening event. This appearance at Glastonbury comes right around the time of the release of their debut album – and the extra added buzz certainly made for a very energetic performance.
Still together, with their sixth album Risk To Exist released in January of 2017. With a couple of personnel changes, the band are hitting the festival circuit again this summer, with dates booked so far at Oxford in May and Leipzig Germany in August.
Stay tuned for more – in the meantime, here they are in 2005.