Max Raptor@ Newcastle Think Tank, December 14 2013

This is a band who honoured a Facebook campaign and played a full set in the bedroom of a 16-year-old fan because it got 1,000 likes in three hours.

This is also a band who don’t like to play the only slow song from their debut album because it would complicate the set and put the brakes on a show which is always marked by its frenzied energy.

And if Max Raptor don’t like playing revolving headline tours because it throws their preparation and mindset to the mockers, they didn’t show it. 

And in a venue that has sometimes been criticised for its poor sound, they delivered an excellent set that could be heard and understood by all.

Heading onto stage as the second act, behind Attention Thieves and in front of We Are Fiction, lead singer Wil Rey and his boys kicked off their set with songs from Mothers’ Ruin – their excellent debut album, and played Breakers and Must Work Harder.

They are very well led by Rey, who incited the small crowd to sing back, fist pump and jump around in a manner that would have shamed larger gigs.

And they transfer the sound, energy and pace from Portraits and Mothers’ Ruin into a live setting seamlessly.

You get the feeling that playing in smaller venues suits Max Raptor just fine, and they get the chance to really come face to face with the people who enjoy their music.

Rey takes the opportunity to do just that as he hopped down from the stage and spent a good amount of time of the floor, screaming his lyrics right into the faces of those who had paid to watch him.

And despite the blistering energy and passion displayed by the lads from Midlands, they still had time for a quick turn of phrase and they make the crowd like them, laugh with them and ultimately, sing back at them.

As they finished things off with the beautifully simple and catchy The King Is Dead, even guitarist Ben Winnington joined in the action on the floor.

There have been a few gigs in Newcastle that weren’t as well turned out as they deserved to be and you can chalk this down as one of those.

But don’t let that put you off. Max Raptor are well worth a look in 2014 and they should be heading towards bigger and better things.

Russell Hughes