The Maitlands: The Last Gang In Town

Maitlands frontman Carl Ingram was once described as “Manchester’s answer to Mark E Smith”… a particularly dopey bit of journalism considering Manchester already has a Mark E Smith, thank you very much. You can see where the deluded hack was coming from though, Carl does have a vague Mark E Smith quality in that he is clearly very conformable on a stage. That and he regularly assaults his musicians to instil discipline*. Witty and at ease he comes out with plenty of between song #banter (ick) such as: “If you can all imagine a great big sign saying ‘The Maitlands’ behind me, that would be helpful as it would save me £80 on a sign”.

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The Maitlands played that cornerstone of Manchester cool, Gullivers last week. They spit out swarthy, crunching guitar music that lies somewhere between indolent punk and gravelly garage rock. There’s a gritty vibe that counterpoints the fey elements found in the concurrent psych revival. They embody the band from a place where life comes down hard (Puressence, 2007). I may be totally skeewiff but there’s a hint of the Happy Mondays minus the funk and Paul Oakenfold. The mix of meat-and-potatoes riffs, plus witty words is also reminiscent of Half Man Half Biscuit. The band is nicely laid back, particular plaudits going to Jonty on drums. The slinky Gang Of Four riff on ‘Arrested Development’ impresses. The last track, the brand new ‘A Few Choice Words’ broadened their horizons with lots of cheeky cowbell and a bass solo. More please!

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The Maitlands: the last gang in town.

*Not true

Watch The Maitlands in rehearsal. Put a shirt on, Jonty.

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