Sunday, August 28, 2005

The Magic Numbers, Cecil Sharp House, London

The Magic Numbers have taken the charts by storm with their feelgood melodies infusing the British Summer with a well-needed burst of sonic sunshine.

I saw them a couple of weeks ago at a small gig at Cecil Sharp House, near Regent's Park in London.

The gig was amazing. Not only did they play for over 2 hours but no one left the hall without a giant smile on their faces. For a band who have only released their debut album a few months ago, it was a feat to keep an audience enraptured for such a long time, but they achieved it with ease.

The songs were recreated with almost pitch-perfect effect and it was clear that the band were enjoying the performance as much as their fans. With a rapport created from their family bonds - the band consists of two pairs of brothers and sisters - they alternately rocked and moved the ecstatic crowd, who shouted all the words back at them with the air of songs that were already firm favourites.

A few imaginative covers propped up a set which ran through almost the entirety of their self-titled debut album. A magic 'Crazy for You' really pushed their abilities and showed Romeo to be a versatile singer, when he could remember Beyonce's words. An acoustic interlude allowed the drummer to retreat for a well-earned fag and a beer and the music was no less affecting for being rendered without electric effects.

Highlights for me, were the magnifcent 'I See You, You See Me', a bittersweet masterpiece of unrequited tension. Hits singles 'Forever Lost' and the new single 'Love Me Like You' went down a storm. Talent betrayed the recent controversial introduction by a Top of the Pops presenter, as the worthless witticism of a coke-snorting B-list wannabe, whose career prospects are as limited as his rather shallow musical perspective. Who cares if the band aren't twig-thin pop stars? The music is all that counts and on this night it lifted the spirits of a few hundred dedicated fans like the early days of a passion that will surely run and run....


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