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Live: The Magic Numbers @ Academy 2

3 stars


Despite having sustained a career that spans the last decade, and becoming something of a household name following their critically acclaimed eponymous debut album, family band The Magic Numbers have never really enjoyed the success that they deserve – either in terms of album sales or gig attendance. Maybe it’s because their unique brand of melodic, soul-infused pop fails to resonate with listeners, or because of the bands reluctance to conform to the conventional image that the public have come to expect of their pop stars. But whatever the reason, a performance to a small audience of dedicated followers in the intimate setting of Academy 2 last week made for a special evening.

The gig got off to a disappointingly slow start as the band showcased material from new album The Runaway, although the a capella vocal harmonies on opener ‘The Pulse’ seemed to successfully capture the audiences attention.

Later, the show seemed to grind to a musical halt altogether as guitarist/singer Romeo Stodart lead the band through ten minutes of aimless meandering on ‘A Start With No Ending’, a track which aroused the inevitable concern that it might live up to its name, and ‘The Song That No One Knows’, which nobody knew and most will have forgotten due to its distinct lack of any memorable musical qualities.

However, it was during more familiar tracks such as ‘Forever Lost’ and ‘Love Me Like You’ and that the band really seemed to engage with the crowd and come into their own. The rich mix of guitars and vocals on encore ‘This Is A Song’ was genuinely impressive and doubtless reminded many why they had bothered coming in the first place and, although being a somewhat awkward and surprise addition to an otherwise coherent set, a cover of Ian Brown’s ‘F.E.A.R’ rounded the evening off well.

Eoghan Bennett, Music Editor

Tags: Academy 2, Eoghan Bennett, Live, Magic Numbers, Music

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