History Formation and early releases Maximo Park (2000–2004) lineup Reading Festival

Maxïmo Park formed in Tyne and Wear in 2000. Their name was created by guitarist and founding member Duncan Lloyd with bass player Archis Tiku, adapted from Máximo Gómez Park in Cuba.Initially, the four founding members played several small shows including Manchester’s ‘In the City’, which showcases unsigned bands in the UK. In 2003, the band decided they wanted a frontman as original singers Archis and Duncan wanted to focus on writing the songs. The then-girlfriend of drummer Tom English, noticed his friend Paul Smith singing along to Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition”.When Smith was found, the band did not know if he could sing: “When he first joined we didn’t know if he could; just that he was a lunatic jumping around in a suit, it felt like the last piece of the jigsaw”. With Smith joining the band gave him demos of their songs and from then on started writing as unit.
Around March 2004, a friend funded 300 copies of a 7″ red vinyl single “Graffiti” and later released a vinyl of their tracks (“The Coast Is Always Changing” / “The Night I Lost My Head”) that they recorded in their house in Fenham. After some time of doing gigs around their home town, Steve Beckett of the dance-electronic label Warp Records got hold of one of these records and decided to sign the band to his label.

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