The Maccabees (band)

The Maccabees were an English indie rock band, formed in 2004 in London.[1][2][3] They released four albums: Colour It In in 2007, followed by Wall of Arms in 2009, Given to the Wild which was released on 9 January 2012 and their last album Marks to Prove It released on 31 July 2015. The band announced that they decided to disband in August 2016, with farewell gigs in 2017.[4]

The Maccabees
The Maccabees 1.jpg
Background information
OriginLondon, England
GenresIndie rock
Years active2004–2017
LabelsFiction Records
Fierce Panda Records
Past members
  • Orlando Weeks
  • Hugo White
  • Felix White
  • Rupert Jarvis
  • Sam Doyle
  • Robert Dylan Thomas
  • Will White


The band came up with the name by flicking through the Bible and picking out a random word.[5] Despite adopting a name with perceived religious connotations, lead singer Orlando Weeks has more recently affirmed, in an interview on Steve Lamacq's BBC 6 Music show, that none of the band is religious.[disputed ]

Music careerEdit

2007–2009: Colour It InEdit

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,[6] 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. They had their first taste of festivals by playing on the Carling stage of the Leeds/Reading festival in 2006.[7]

The band were signed to major label Fiction Records, and released their debut 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 No. 33. Their album received positive reviews, and charted at No. 24. They then toured the United States 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.

2009–2010: Wall of ArmsEdit

On 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 on 27 March.[8]

Wall of Arms was released on 4 May 2009. It entered the UK albums chart at No. 13 and received positive reviews with the NME giving the album 8/10.[9] At the end of the year, Artrocker made the album joint No.1 Album of 2009 along with Yeah Yeah Yeahs' It's Blitz!.

In July 2009, second single "Can You Give It" was released. The Maccabees invited the Dodworth Colliery Band[10] of Barnsley to record a rousing brass version of the single for the B-side.[11] The Guardian interviewed Orlando and Felix during the recording session.[12] The accompanying video[13] for "Can You Give It" was filmed at the famous Coopers Hill annual cheese rolling race[14] in Gloucestershire.

Other performances in 2009 include Reading and Leeds Festivals on Friday 28th and Saturday 29 August respectively and Little Noise Sessions on 16 November.

On 3 October 2009, the five-piece band played a gig at Brixton Academy to finish off their Wall of Arms tour. The band pulled in a huge crowd for their homecoming show at the O2, as well as a brass section for many of their songs as they performed their entire 2009 album and a host of tracks from their 2007 debut Colour It In. During the set Felix White declared the Academy as 'the best venue in the world'.[15] The Guardian ran a five star live review of the gig.[16]

In November 2009, The Maccabees collaborated with rapper Roots Manuva on a heady re-working of Wall of Arms album track and live favourite "No Kind Words". The track, newly titled "Empty Vessels", features new lyrics and vocals from fellow south Londoner Roots. It was debuted on Zane Lowe's evening show on Radio One on 11 November. The single release of "Empty Vessels" was made available on iTunes from 24 November 2009 on Fiction Records.[17]

The Maccabees were named as headlines for the Shockwaves NME Awards Tour 2010 with Bombay Bicycle Club, The Big Pink and The Drums in February 2010.[18]

2012–2013: Given to the WildEdit

The Maccabees debuted new song "Child" in Brighton in August 2010, as well as playing the Main Stage at the Reading & Leeds festival 2010, debuting new song titled "Forever I've Known", displaying what seems to be a darker, deeper sound for the band.

They played new songs "Child", "Feel to Follow", "Pelican", "Ayla", "Went Away", "Forever I've Known" and "Grew Up at Midnight" at The Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth on 8 August 2011.

On 4 October 2011, the band announced via their blog that their third album, Given to the Wild, would be released on 9 January 2012.[19]

The first single from the album was "Pelican", it was first played on 15 November 2011 on BBC Radio 1 by Zane Lowe. It was released on 9 January 2012 to very favourable reviews, it currently holds a score of 72 on Metacritic.[20] At the 58th Ivor Novello Awards, held at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London on Thursday 16 May 2013, "Pelican" won Best Contemporary Song.

The album was at No. 1 on the midweek chart update, at the end of the week it debuted No. 4 on the UK Album Chart, the highest Maccabees release to date there.[21]

On 12 September 2012 the album was nominated for the 2012 Mercury Prize. On 24 October 2012 the album was certified gold in the UK.

In 2015 their song "Grew Up at Midnight" was featured in the film Steve Jobs.

2014–2017: Marks to Prove It and DisbandingEdit

In 2013 The Maccabees announced in an NME article that they were hoping to release a fourth album in early 2014.[22] However, in January 2014 in another article with NME, guitarist Felix White stated, "We started the record at the beginning of 2013. We went into the studio with the idea that it was going to be finished by now. And we've finished two songs. We've got a lot of songs but every time you write something new, it raises the standard." Frontman Orlando Weeks added, "we haven't really come across the songs that set the tone or mood for this record yet, we're kind of shooting in the dark. But I like that: there isn't a specific thing I'm trying to funnel stuff into." [23]

In March 2015, it was announced that The Maccabees were going to release new single "Marks To Prove It" on 11 May through Fiction Records.[24] In May 2015, the band confirmed that Marks To Prove It would feature eleven tracks.[25] The album was recorded in the band's studio in Elephant and Castle and pays tribute to the area.[26]

On 18 May, the band announced that the album would be released on 31 July 2015.[27] "Something Like Happiness" was released as the second single and streamed by the band on 11 June.[28] It was released on 31 July, to coincide with the album.[29]

In August 2016 the band released a statement stating that "After 14 years as a band we have decided to call it a day", with farewell shows to follow in summer 2017.[30][non-primary source needed][31]

After the break-upEdit

For the first time in January 2018, the founding member and the producer for Maccabees, Hugo White, talked of his memorable time working with the Maccabees and his life as a music producer after the Maccabees disbanded.[32]


  • Orlando Weeks[33] – (born 8 August 1983) – vocals, guitar, keyboards (2004–2017). He was educated at Highgate School[34] and the University of Brighton.
  • Hugo White – (born 9 March 1986) – guitars, backing vocals (2004–2017)
  • Felix White – (born 28 September 1984) guitars, piano, backing vocals (2004–2017).[35]
  • Rupert Jarvis[36] – (born 15 July 1986) – bass (2004–2017)
  • Sam Doyle – (born 20 July 1984) – drums (2008–2017)
  • Robert Dylan Thomas – drums (2004–2008)
  • Elliott (Everyone Makes Mistakes) Andrews – drums (2006-2007)
  • Will White – keyboards, synthesizer, samplers (2010–2013)



  1. ^ "The Maccabees at Fiction Records". Fiction Records. Retrieved 28 May 2013.
  2. ^ Hall, Duncan (20 March 2009). "The Maccabees Move Back to London". The Argus. Retrieved 28 May 2013.
  3. ^ Bray, Elisa (10 February 2012). "The Maccabees – The quiet men of guitar rock". The Independent. Archived from the original on 18 June 2022. Retrieved 28 May 2013.
  4. ^ Morgan, Luke (8 August 2016). "The Maccabees announce split – read their statement in full". NME. Retrieved 8 August 2016.
  5. ^ "Talking Shop: The Maccabees". BBC Entertainment. 7 January 2008. Retrieved 14 January 2008.
  6. ^ "NME Album Reviews – The Maccabees: Colour It In". NME. 27 April 2007. Retrieved 19 March 2012.
  7. ^ "Leeds Festival 2006 | Leeds Festival". Archived from the original on 7 July 2017. Retrieved 28 June 2017.
  8. ^ "Maccabees Video Exclusive | Clash Music Exclusive Video". Clash. 27 March 2009. Retrieved 19 March 2012.
  9. ^ "NME Album Reviews – Album review: The Maccabees". NME. 28 April 2009. Retrieved 19 March 2012.
  10. ^ "Dodworth Colliery MW Brass Band". 11 December 2011. Archived from the original on 5 March 2012. Retrieved 19 March 2012.
  11. ^ "Download the Maccabees and the Dodworth Colliery Band". The Guardian. London. 8 July 2009. Retrieved 25 May 2010.
  12. ^ Barton, Laura (7 July 2009). "Where there's Maccabees there's brass". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 25 May 2010.
  13. ^ "Can You Give It (Exclusive Brand New Video)". Archived from the original on 17 December 2021. Retrieved 19 March 2012 – via YouTube.
  14. ^ "The Official & Only Authoritative Site Of Cheese Rolling at Coopers Hill in Gloucestershire". 19 January 2012. Archived from the original on 15 March 2010. Retrieved 19 March 2012.
  15. ^ "The Maccabees play the 'best gig' of their lives in London". NME. 4 October 2009. Retrieved 19 March 2012.
  16. ^ Gittins, Ian (5 October 2009). "The Maccabees". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 25 May 2010.
  17. ^ [1][dead link]
  18. ^ "Maccabees, Bombay Bicycle Club, Big Pink, Drums for Shockwaves NME Awards Tour". NME. 9 November 2009. Retrieved 19 March 2012.
  19. ^ "The Maccabees Blog – "Given to the Wild" Released 9th January". 1 March 1994. Retrieved 19 March 2012.
  20. ^ vermas. "Given to the Wild Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More at Metacritic". Metacritic. Retrieved 19 March 2012.
  21. ^ "Radio 1 – Chart – The Official UK Top 40 Albums Chart". BBC. 24 February 2007. Retrieved 19 March 2012.
  22. ^ "The Maccabees outline plan to release fourth album in early 2014". NME. 14 August 2013. Retrieved 27 June 2014.
  23. ^ "The Maccabees reveal slow progress being made on new album". NME. 16 January 2014. Retrieved 27 June 2014.
  24. ^ "The Maccabees' share new video for 'Marks To Prove It'". 8 April 2015. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
  25. ^ "The Maccabees: Band Announce Fourth Album 'Marks To Prove It' Tracklisting". Inveterate. 18 May 2015. Archived from the original on 18 May 2015. Retrieved 18 May 2015.
  26. ^ "The Maccabees: Why we love Elephant and Castle". BBC News. 4 August 2015. Retrieved 19 October 2015.
  27. ^ "Home – The Maccabees". The Maccabees. Retrieved 8 August 2016.
  28. ^ "Never Enough Notes". Never Enough Notes. 18 May 2015. Retrieved 18 May 2015.
  29. ^ "The Maccabees' new single 'Something Like Happiness'". Never Enough Notes. Retrieved 12 June 2015.
  30. ^ "The Maccabees on Twitter". Retrieved 8 August 2016.
  31. ^ "The Maccabees Announce Breakup". Hot Press. 8 August 2016. Retrieved 8 August 2016.
  32. ^ Gumble, Daniel (4 January 2018). "'So much of producing is understanding that band dynamic': ex-Maccabees Hugo White on his new studio career". PSNEurope.
  33. ^ "BMI | Repertoire Search". Retrieved 8 August 2016.[permanent dead link]
  34. ^ Burgess, Kaya (21 October 2010). "How did my classmate become cooler than Gaga?". The Times (subscription needed). Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  35. ^ Smyth, David (8 May 2015). "The Maccabees". London Evening Standard. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  36. ^ "BMI | Repertoire Search". Retrieved 8 August 2016.[permanent dead link]

External linksEdit