LIVE: Mae – The Bowery, London

By Tom Aylott

The last UK headline tour from MAE was a long time ago. Seven years and a hiatus ago, as it goes. Now they’re finally here, something which many thought they’d never get to see.

ROB LYNCH is something of a Punktastic favourite, and tonight’s set is no exception to his usual high standard. He demands the attention of the respectful crowd wonderfully and if the currently untitled new song is anything to go by, his next release looks will be another step up from his brilliant self-titled EP.

Up next is KYOTO DRIVE, a band who have gone a bit under the radar recently. They grab a crowd size second only to MAE tonight, but despite that; they’re not all that impressive. The use of the backing track for the introductions of their songs does go some way to enhancing their sound, but everything just seems a bit quiet and flat, with ‘Chapters’ as the highlight of an otherwise underwhelming set.

Main support tonight is ROOKIE OF THE YEAR and like the band before them, there was nothing wholly impressive about their set. They seem to dip in and out of tune without realising, which made it all the more difficult to enjoy. With the back catalogue that this band have, they should be the perfect support, but tonight that just isn’t the case.

Finally it was time for MAE, and by the time they take to the stage, the floor is packed. Kicking proceedings off at a relatively slow pace, they threatened to join the two bands before them in underwhelming, but thankfully everything just got better and better as the set progressed. The band truly captivate everyone in attendance, with each song resulting in a massively appreciative round of applause, and you wouldn’t think for a second that this is a band who have barely played together for the best part of a year and with an encore of ‘Sun’ and ‘Someone Else‘s Arms’, they provide a real sense of occasion to the climax of the show.

Despite the dodgy start, tonight’s show ended up being something exceptional, hopefully this isn’t the last we see of MAE, but if it is, tonight was a fine way to go out… again.