17th October 2019

Live Review: The Magic Gang at YES

Beloved indie-pop band The Magic Gang performed a warm up show before Neighbourhood Festival in the intimate setting of the Pink Room at YES
Live Review: The Magic Gang at YES
Photo: Laura Davies @ The Mancunion

The Magic Gang performed a warm-up show in the pink room at YES to kick off the Neighbourhood Festival.

Due to being added to the line-up with short notice, the launch party created anticipation. It presented itself as a warmup for the bands next-day performance, to a no doubt larger crowd at Gorilla, compared to the 200 capacity Pink Room at YES.

The intimacy of the venue allowed the crowd to feel much more connected to the band than in most of Manchester’s other venues. As they opened with some of their biggest hits ‘Getting Along’ and ‘All This Way’, I think every member of the crowd felt a personal connection with the lead singer, Jack Kaye.

The consistent talking to the crowd also added to this, engaging the audience. Something that really shone from the outset of the performance was the love the band clearly have for performing, with the joy and excitement seen on the faces of all the members.

The Magic Gang’s new music was undeniably the highlight of the night; the excitement they roused from the crowd with classics such as ‘Jasmine’ was almost matched when they debuted the new melancholy hit ‘Death of the Party.’ Of all new songs played this track presented itself as the standout, with harmonies that could be easily picked up, commanding the crowd to sing along in the chorus. ‘Death of the Party’ encapsulated everything good about The Magic Gang, breaking away from the repetitiveness of their debut EPs and album, it offered a refreshing change.

‘What Have You Got Lose’ also deserves a mention, with bassist Gus Taylor leading vocals. This track had more of a chatty tone to it, again adding to the relatability of the band’s music.

The themes in The Magic Gang’s music are relatable to their millennial and Gen-Z heavy fanbase, who dominated the crowd in YES’s Pink Room, opening up mosh pits and sacrificing their drinks in order to have a dance. Tackling topics such as hopeless romance, moving back in with your parents and feelings of inadequacy, the band match the sentiment of their lyrics with an energised stage presence creating an atmosphere powered by mid-20’s angst.

Having initially appeared to have finished and left the stage after performing one of their biggest hits ‘How Can I Compete’, the band returned for an encore after chants from the crowd. They then ended the night with a rendition of ‘All That I Want is You’, a chilled and positive track that closed the performance on a relaxed note.

Despite the mellow feel of The Magic Gang’s music they never fail to put on an energetic performance and to an always-eager crowd, leaving us in excited anticipation for the release of the new tracks.


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