The Maccabees are a band that mean so much to me. Even now, a year after their demise. They soundtracked my 20's. Maybe it was fitting that they split just before I turned 30. Almost bookending those years of my life.
When it was announced they were splitting, it was a genuine sad moment in our household. I had a call from my wife "have you heard?"
I was blessed to get tickets to see them at Omeara, in one of their only warm up shows, and probably the smallest venues I saw them, which will stand out in years to come as one of THE great gigs I've been too (see Radiohead at Earls Court and Libertines at Astoria).
The Ally Pally gigs were the swan song. I've talked before about the power of live music, where gigs bring friends and strangers as one. Where there is an energy in the room, that you won't recreate. This night was one of those.
Every person singing every word (apart from my brothers girlfriend who'd been bought to her first ever gig, and realised very quickly, that she didn't like it). Strangers hugging. Friends hugging. Strangers on my shoulders. Me on my friends shoulders.
It was truly moving. A lot should be said about a band going out on a high... I still think the Maccabees would have achieved further greatness, but very few bands would ever, or have ever, left on a high much bigger The Maccabees achieved that night.
And that's why it was so perfectly emotional. We, fans and the band, had grown up together. We'd gone from dancing to songs about Swimming Pools when we were 20, to singing songs about growing older. Even now, I get goosebumps thinking about the final chorus of Pelican ringing out, as the band made their emotional wave goodbye.