THERE is always a worry that new British bands with a critically acclaimed debut album might not be able to live up to the hype when they play before an audience.

The biggest compliment I could pay Maximo Park was that they sounded even better live than on their A Certain Trigger record.

"Sold-out" signs were placed on advertisements for the gig weeks before the Geordie five-piece took to the stage and it was easy to see why.

The majority of the country's record buying public still remain blissfully unaware of songs like Apply Some Pressure, Graffiti and The Coast is Always Changing.

How long that situation will last is another question and if there was any justice in the music world it would be a band like this and not X-Factor pop wannabes at the top of the charts.

The few hundred crammed into the intimate Black Country venue fed off the group's energy from the moment they stepped foot on the stage.

Driven by a punk/pop beat and front man, Paul Smith, the atmosphere never faltered throughout the blistering hour-and-a-half set.

Praise must also be given to the band for not simply churning out all the songs off the album, despite getting the impression this would have left the crowd happy.

Wasteland, which features on the new War Child charity album, was probably the pick of the new material played.

My two pieces of advice to anyone, who all this means nothing to, is listen to the album and try and see Maximo Park live because neither will disappoint.