Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Anything but Predictable ; Maximo Park Front Man Brings His Experimental New Project to Town

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Anything but Predictable ; Maximo Park Front Man Brings His Experimental New Project to Town

Article excerpt

ESTABLISHED rock bands can often, at a certain point in their careers, surrender to a cycle of cosy predictability. New album, tour, new album, tour - with each phase of that cycle greeted with ever diminishing returns.

To his credit, it's a T career cycle that Paul Smith - frontman of Teesside indie-rockers TMaximo Park - has avoided.

Indeed, just consider Smith's two musical engagements this week. Just three days ago, up in Newcastle, Smith was performing to a few thousand middle-aged mods when Maximo Park supported rock veterans The Who.

And this Thursday, he is Manchester's Band On The Wall, playing the first gig of a mini-tour with his brand new experimental project alongside Field Music's Peter Brewis.

"I enjoy the diversity of it all," says Smith.

"I couldn't imagine doing the same thing musically all the time.

"For me, I see what I do as two sides of the same coin - but it's a very multi-faceted coin. It's an easy transition for me: jumping around with Maximo Park one night, and then doing something more leftfield and experimental."

That Paul Smith hasn't fallen into mid-career lethargy should come as no surprise. As the decade-long frontman of Maximo Park, Smith's keen intellect, acutely observed lyrics and dapper dress sense have always stood him apart from his noughties indie-rock contemporaries.

Yet while all those qualities have kept Maximo Park an ongoing and artistically relevant concern (the band released their fifth album, Too Much T Information, to glowing reviews this year), they have also fuelled Smith's extracurricular projects to great success.

Outside of Maximo Park, he has released a solo album, 2010's Margins, and, last month, he unveiled a brand new project, Frozen By Sight, a collaboration with Peter Brewis of Sunderland's acclaimed Field Music.

As you'd expect from these two forwardthinking of contemporary musicians, the project defies categorisation: an album which takes Smith's travel diaries and sets them to minimalistic jazz and lush string arrangements written by Brewis. …

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