The Maccabees biography
The Maccabees are an indie rock band from Brighton, England. They have released three albums so far, Colour It In in 2007, with a follow-up, Wall of Arms, released on 4 May 2009. Their most recent album Given to the Wild was released on 9 January 2012.
NameThe band came up with the name by flicking through the Bible and picking out a random word. Despite adopting a name with religious connotations, lead singer Orlando Weeks has more recently affirmed, in an interview on Steve Lamacq's BBC Radio 1 show, that none of the band is religious. Their lyrics often include an atheistic theme, in particular their second album's title track, "Wall of Arms" and "All in Your Rows" from their debut album.
2007-2009: Colour It InThe original lineup formed at University College School before relocating to Brighton to pursue a career in music. Their debut single, "X-Ray", was released on Promise records on 28 November 2005, and received some evening play on London radio station Xfm London. They received little significant exposure, however, until six months later, when they released their second single, "Latchmere", the subject of which is the wave machine at the Latchmere Leisure Centre in Battersea, South London, on Fierce Panda Records in April 2006. This was championed by Radio 1 DJ Steve Lamacq and received airtime on MTV2. The video, directed by Hugh Frost and Samuel Bebbington, also proved an internet hit after it was posted on YouTube.
The band are currently signed to major label Fiction Records, and released their début album Colour It In in May 2007. Because an early copy of the album appeared on the New York Times website, Colour It In became available to download exclusively from iTunes on 16 December, before its physical release on 14 May, in an effort to combat the leak. The single "First Love" was their first to chart in the UK top 40, and was followed by "About Your Dress", which peaked at #33. Their album fared much better, which was released to positive reviews, and charted at #24. They then toured the USA with fellow indie group Bloc Party. A full UK tour followed from October 2007, culminating in a sell-out show at the Roundhouse venue in London.
During late 2007, Samsung used the track "Toothpaste Kisses" in its advert campaign for its SGH-G800 mobile phone.
2009-2010: Wall of ArmsOn the run-up to the release of their second album, the band played two new songs to Steve Lamacq on his "In New Music We Trust" show on Radio 1 in May 2008, "No Kind Words" and "Young Lions". The band also played a string of small venues in the UK to test out new songs, in March and April 2008. The Maccabees performed at Offset Festival in London as well the Underage Festival in August 2008.
On Zane Lowe's Radio 1 show in February 2009, Felix confirmed the name of the follow-up album to be Wall of Arms, an announcement that coincided with the release of the free downloadable track, "No Kind Words". On 16 March, Radio 1 DJ Steve Lamacq played the band's first single from Wall of Arms entitled Love You Better, the video to which was posted exclusively on ClashMusic.com on 27 March.
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