metal talk
facebook
Type band name, album name, artists name etc here...
Search all our articles by typing band name, album name, artists name etc here...
news now
metal talk






  MAGNUM/NEONFLY
LONDON ISLINGTON ASSEMBLY HALL
Sunday 4th May 2014


Roger Berzerk Fauske

Roger Berzerk Fauske

Pin It
Share |


magnum

The Islington Assembly hall seemed as good a place as any to be on a Sunday evening, especially when Magnum come to town. Their latest album 'Escape From The Shadow Garden' came out in March and was more than well received - possibly their finest album yet some have said.

So time to see how the 2014 live show sits in their long and successful career. Before getting onto them, naturally enough the first order of the day was the support, Neonfly. Just a quick word about them - after having their gear half inched in Bradford, they have done well to even make it through the tour.

They are without doubt more than competent musicians with a charismatic vocalist, definitely an upgrade on some of the less musically gifted supports that you encounter on occasion. My main gripe with them is the fact they seemed to be missing that spark, that inspiration that grabs your attention. Maybe it was nicked along with their gear.

Article continues below...

   


The other problem I had is the fact that whilst there were more than a few keyboard / synth parts coming out of the mix, there was neither an instrument nor player of said instrument to be seen anywhere. It may be a personal viewpoint, but that to me is a big no no at a rock gig. Don't let me stop you making up your own minds though - they are worth a second look so go and check them out if they are at a venue near you.

So to the reason everyone was there, and there were a lot. The room was just about packed so it was fortunate the gig was at the Assembly Hall rather than the Academy up the road or there would have been a few disappointed ticketless people.

9pm and Magnum hit the stage and colourful it was too – although musically their talent has been well known for years, their status as fashion icons is not so widely appreciated. Keyboard player Mark Stanway in a natty red shirt, vocalist Bob Catley in a bright blue jacket, bassist Al Barrow bedecked in a long black coat, glistening in the light, guitarist and songwriter Tony Clarkin in black shirt and silver jacket. Drummer Harry James was a little less dazzling in clothage, armed with a black shirt and customary dark glasses, but when it comes to drumming he is about as good as it gets.

The set kicked off with a new one 'Live Til You Die', keyboard leading the way before the rest of the band hit, Bob Catley in the middle of the stage immediately showing he hasn't lost any of his stagecraft – as a frontman he is, to put it simply, just damn good. A couple of songs from 'The Visitation' are next in line for the crowd to feast upon 'Black Skies' and 'Freedom Day'.

They were accompanied by a PA crackle, swiftly sorted out by the engineer and that was about the only unplanned noise all night. 'Dance Of The Black Tattoo' and 'Blood Red Laughter' from the 2012 release 'On The Thirteenth Day' were next to enthral and the crowd lapped it up, making a lot of noise in the process before they went back to the current album for 'Unwritten Sacrifice' and judging by the number of people mouthing the words, the album is one as appreciated as the press said it would be.

magnum

Classics corner arrives next in the shape of 'How Far Jerusalem', a live staple since its release in 1985 (is it really that long..ouch). Keyboard wiz Mark Stanway in his element introducing the song musically, Bob Catley leaning on the synth, crowd cheering.

Bob's strains take over, the band in perfect harmony before the chorus to the song signals just about the whole crowd to leap up and down. This song has almost become a showpiece for the guys to show what they can do, a microcosm of the whole show. Bob Catley as mentioned before is a supreme frontman, engaging the crowd with his charisma and natural self without seemingly having to try too hard. As a vocalist he is still up there and has a tone all of his own.

As Bob wanders stage left to divest himself of the blue number (fear not fashion conscious headbangers, his shirt is the height of fashion as well), guitarist, songwriter and all round musical maestro Tony Clarkin takes centre stage with some virtuoso guitar playing. He really is underrated as a guitarist in some quarters due in no small part to the fact that he isn't showy about what he does and his brilliant songwriting garners so much attention.

Those two are of course, and have always been, the backbone to the band but the others on board probably make this the finest incarnation of the band. Keyboard player Mark Stanway debuted with the band in 1980 so is steeped in all things Magnum (ice creams and suspicious moustachioed private investigators aside). He is without doubt one of the finest ivory tinklers on the circuit, mixing the obvious formal training with the rocker inside and the result is about as good as you can get, both musically and feel.

Bassist Al Barrow, a more than accomplished player, patrols the stage with an almost constant smile on his face, pulling the music along and settling back down when required. Last but by no means least of course is drummer Harry James. Over the years this band have had some fine drummers, but Harry is probably the best of the lot – full of power, he can beat the skins with the best of them but to my ears what makes him stand out is the restrain. He doesn't feel the need to draw attention to his art at every given opportunity yet when the need arises and the space is there waiting, boy does he deliver. Not to do him a disservice, but it almost seems far too easy for him and that's what makes it so good.

magnum

After the ten minute version of '...Jerusalem', another classic got an airing 'Les Morts Dansant', before they went again to this year's release for 'Falling For The Big Plan'. As they headed for the last half hour the best was yet to come, starting with 'The Spirit', which of course comes from the 'Chase The Dragon' album released way back in 1982. Live this has for a fair few years been a mainly acoustic affair with Bob and Tony in charge of proceedings, with a choir of a thousand.

But after they reinstated the heavier finale to the song, a la studio version, a while back it is even more impressive. 'All My Bridges and 'All England's Eyes' followed before the whole place started shaking almost the instant the keyboard intro to 'Vigilante' hit - it is after all the title track of one of the band's finest albums, released in their pomp and a standout track in its own right, perfectly suited to the live arena.

How on earth do you follow the jaw dropping, crowd stimulating heights of a song like that? Well, quite easily when your first album has 'Kingdom Of Madness' on it. It may be more than 30 years old but it still rocks in a way that a lot of bands can only dream of – it isn't a case of the crowd singing the chorus, the whole song is voiced by most of the crowd and Bob Catley looked genuinely humbled, full of appreciation for what he was seeing and hearing. In fact the whole band had a grin a mile wide on their faces. The audience did too.

So to the encores – 'Too Many Clowns', another one taken from the new album, and then another one off 'Chase The Dragon'. This one was a live staple but hasn't been in the live set recently – I am of course talking about the highly impressive 'Sacred Hour', a song I first heard at school (yes I did go to school) and one that still gets me going in all the right ways now. The keyboard intro is a classic piece on its own, but for this version Mark Stanway has added even more colour to it, a truly memorable way to end a gig. Not so much sacred hour, more sacred hour and fourty minutes.

magnum

So that was it for this tour, UK leg at any rate. Having seen the band on numerous occasions over the last 30 years, I can safely say that a fine wine has nothing on this lot. Musically it has all been said, but the aspect that is most impressive is that after all this time, the sheer enthusiasm they all have and the enjoyment they get out of it just doesn't diminish.

No doubt Tony Clarkin has already started work on the next album, such is his way, but for now the band has reverted to the hard working live band (they were straight off from the venue to catch a ferry at 4.30 in the morning to start the Dutch leg of the tour). For those of you that missed it this time around, do yourself a favour and book a holiday that happens to coincide with one of their gigs abroad, I'm sure the other half will understand.

Just one more thing. I was thinking after the gig how come bands such as Magnum who have been treading the boards for such a long time still deliver in a way that so many of the younger crop can't. Answers on a postcard please.

Pictures by Solange Moreira-Yeoell


12.5.14





Pin It
Share |






 
nicko mcbrain AN AUDIENCE WITH NICKO McBRAIN ANNOUNCED FOR THIS SUNDAY IN LONDON
Nicko will not be doing any drumming at the event but it will a chance for fans to meet the legend up close and personal...

lemmy MOTORHEAD 40th ANNIVERSARY TOUR ALL GOING WRONG AS ANOTHER GIG IS PULLED AFTER THREE SONGS
Lemmy let out a sigh and announced: "I can't do it", before leaving the stage with the rest of the band...

edagr winter EDGAR WINTER ANNOUNCES EUROPEAN TOUR
"Are Y'all ready for The Monster?" Edgar Winter hits European shores including a UK date in December...

ghost GHOST ANNOUNCE UK LEG OF EUROPEAN HEADLINE TOUR
Prepare for the full Ghost experience with tickets available from 4th September...

iron maiden IRON MAIDEN RELEASE VIDEO GAME BASED ON 'SPEED OF LIGHT'
This is your chance to control Eddie Donkey Kong style...

lemmy MOTORHEAD PULL SALT LAKE CITY CONCERT AFTER FOUR SONGS
A statement on the official Motorhead Facebook page said: "The people are great, but the air is just too thin..."

heavy metal kids HEAVY METAL KIDS ANNOUNCE GARY HOLTON TRIBUTE GIG
The show marks the 30th anniversary of Gary's death. He passed away at the age of 33 due to his excessive rock 'n roll lifestyle...

the sword THE SWORD TO COMMENCE UK TOUR IN SEPTEMBER
The tour is in support of their fifth album 'High Country'...

wolf GENTLEMANS PISTOLS ANNOUNCE LONDON SHOW AT THE UNDERWORLD
"We hope you can dust off the Monday blues and join us for a debauched evening of wine, whiskey and song..."

wolf WOLF ANNOUNCE TOUR WITH ENFORCER
"This package is so much Metal that everyone coming to the shows will have a hard time passing airport security and metal detectors for a foreseeable future..."

jared james nichols JARED JAMES NICHOLS TO RELEASE 'HIGHWAYMAN' EP
The EP features the new single 'We're An American Band'...

michael monroe MICHAEL MONROE REVEALS 'BLACKOUT STATES' ARTWORK + CO-HEADLINE TOUR WITH HARDCORE SUPERSTAR
"It has all the ingredients of a perfect rock n' roll record - strong melodic songs with great meaningful lyrics that defy all clichés..."

turbowolf TURBOWOLF ANNOUNCE UK, EUROPE & US TOUR DATES
"Seeing all your wonderful faces, staring into those expectant eyes, and giving you all exactly what you're looking for, and maybe a little bit more..."

mike shinoda MIKE SHINODA'S FORT MINOR TO PLAY FIRST LONDON SHOW IN 10 YEARS
Shinoda will fit in these special one man shows around Linkin Park's European tour...

babymetal BABYMETAL TO HEADLINE WEMBLEY ARENA NEXT APRIL
Can't wait till April? Two new live DVD releases have also been confirmed for October release...

cats in space CATS IN SPACE ANNOUNCE THE RELEASE OF DEBUT ALBUM 'TOO MANY GODS' FOR OCTOBER 2015
Welcome to a new brand of Power Pop Rock from a band with a stellar CV...

nightwish NIGHTWISH TO RELEASE 'ENDLESS FORMS MOST BEAUTIFUL' TOUR EDITION
The special edition is released on October 30th and comes with a DVD stuffed to the brim with bonus features...

iron maiden IRON MAIDEN ANNOUNCE MASSIVE 2016 WORLD TOUR
The new Ed Force One will take the band, crew and over 12 tons of equipment more than 55,000 miles (88,500km) around the planet...

glenn hughes BREAKING NEWS: GENE SIMMONS' HOME SEARCHED UNDER WARRANT IN CONNECTION WITH CHILD PORNOGRAPHY INVESTIGATION
Police have confirmed that neither the Kiss bass player or any members of his family are considered to be suspects in the investigation...

glenn hughes GLENN HUGHES UNVEILS OFFICIAL PHOTO OF NEW BAND
Glenn hits the UK for live shows in October. "There is no greater high than performing and to reach out to my fans..."

gentlemans pistols GENTLEMANS PISTOLS PREMIERE NEW TRACK 'THE SEARCHER' ONLINE
"The song is about becoming apathetic towards things you once enjoyed and searching for where you are going in life..."

vreid NEW ALBUM FROM NORWEGIAN METALLERS VREID IS RELEASED IN OCTOBER
"This is the definition of our lives and heritage...the fire burns stronger than ever..."

napalm death NAPALM DEATH JOIN UK LEG OF "DEATHCRUSHER" TOUR
The Deathcrusher tour contains the very best in Grindcore...

blitzkrieg EXCLUSIVE: BLITZKRIEG RELEASE 30TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION OF 'A TIME OF CHANGES'
The classic album has been completely re-recorded and contains two bonus tracks...

w.a.s.p. W.A.S.P. PREMIERE NEW SONG - 'LAST RUNAWAY'
"The song is an intensely personal account of what happened to me, not only then but over the years and the success that followed after..."

nervosa NERVOSA UNLEASH NEW VIDEO FOR 'INTO MOSHPIT'
The band are currently on tour in the UK...

metal allegiance METAL ALLEGIANCE POST STUDIO TRAILER FOR 'DESTINATION: NOWHERE'
The track features Matt Heafy on vocals and guitar. A special launch show has been arranged to celebrate the album release...

uriah heep URIAH HEEP STAGE CLASSIC REUNION WITH CORE MEMBERS OF THE CLASSIC 1970S LINE-UP
Ken Hensley and Lee Kerslake are welcomed to the Moscow Crocus in October for the exclusive event...

rage against the machine RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE 'LIVE AT FINSBURY PARK' TO BE RELEASED
The free concert held after the success of the Christmas Number One campaign is now available in a quality package...

helloween HELLOWEEN ANNOUNCE LONDON FORUM SHOW FOR FEBRUARY 2016
"We feel pleased and honoured to yet again come to London UK..."

monkees THE MONKEES PLAY LONDON HAMMERSMITH EVENTIM APOLLO ON SEPTEMBER 4th
The set will include selections from the pyschedelic cult classic 'Head'...

rammstein RAMMSTEIN UNLEASH NEW 'RAMMSTEIN IN AMERIKA' DOCUMENTARY AND 'LIVE FROM MADISON SQUARE GARDEN' DVD
The incredible package is immaculately filmed and bursting with content...

amulet AMULET LAUNCH VIDEO FOR 'BLOODY NIGHT' & ANNOUNCE TOUR DATES
Be prepared for a Heavy Metal attack...

guitar of your dreams MAKE'N MUSIC ANNOUNCES $3,250 GUITAR GIVEAWAY
Calling all guitarists - there isn't a cooler giveaway throughout the entire industry...

dan patlansky JOE SATRIANI EXTENDS EUROPEAN TOUR WITH DAN PATLANSKY AS SPECIAL GUEST
This part of the tour now encompasses 10 countries, 25 shows and 33 days...

tad morose TAD MOROSE TO TOUR EUROPE IN SEPTEMBER WITH SILENT CALL
The Swedish double bill celebrates the release of Tad Morose's new album 'St Demonius'...

iron maiden IRON MAIDEN PREMIERE VIDEO FOR 'SPEED OF LIGHT'
The brand new track is taken from 'The Book Of Souls' double album due out on September 4th...

pentagram PENTAGRAM ANNOUNCE UK AND EUROPE SHOWS
"We all are itching to perform some of our songs off of our new album 'Curious Volume' for you..."

born again BORN AGAIN - HEAVY METAL SOUNDHOUSE DAYS REVISTED AT THE BLACK HEART CAMDEN
Relive the glory days on the 22nd August with the best music around...

wildfire FIRST BANDS ANNOUNCED FOR WILDFIRE FESTIVAL 2016
Scotland's stellar Rock and Metal festival starts the buzz for 2016 with six quality names...

hotei HOTEI TO RELEASE DEBUT INTERNATIONAL ALBUM 'STRANGERS' ON OCTOBER 16TH
With an impressive range of guests, the world renowned Japanese guitarist and songwriter unleashes an epic album...

rich robinson RICH ROBINSON ANNOUNCES ACOUSTIC TOUR FOR SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2015
The Black Crowes' guitarist presents a stripped down, storytelling evening...

sonic syndicate SONIC SYNDICATE ANNOUNCE NEW BASS PLAYER AFTER THE DEPARTURE OF KARIN AXELSSON
The band premiere the new line up with the profound video for 'Diabolical Work Of Art'...

motorhead MOTÖRHEAD ADD EXTRA LONDON SHOW TO 2016 EUROPEAN TOUR WITH SAXON AND GIRLSCHOOL
We suggest ear-plugs and fortitude, because Lemmy, Phil and Mikkey are more intent than ever on showing at great volume that they are Motörhead and they play rock n' roll...

venrez VENREZ PREMIERE NEW LYRIC VIDEO AHEAD OF MICHAEL SCHENKER EUROPEAN TOUR
'Children Of The Drones' is the title track of the new album...

majesty GHOST PREMIERE 'MAJESTY' FROM FORTHCOMING ALBUM 'MELIORA'
Papa Emeritus III and his nameless ghouls will return to North America and Europe with a tour this autumn...

imperial state electric IMPERIAL STATE ELECTRIC SUPPORT GRAVEYARD & RELEASE NEW ALBUM
The release of Imperial State Electric's 'Honk Machine' brings their live show to the UK for the first time...

chantel mcgregor CHANTEL McGREGOR ANNOUNCES HER NEW ALBUM 'LOSE CONTROL' AND UK TOUR DATES
After four years of touring and festival appearances, Chantel returns with a vengeance with ten new songs...

lynne jackaman SOUL-ROCK SONGSTRESS JACKAMAN PERFORMS NEW EP 'NO HALO' LIVE IN LONDON
The show at Camden's Barfly on September 24th is set to be memorable for all the right reasons...

steve hackett STEVE HACKETT RELEASES THIRD REHEARSAL VIDEO CLIP FOR 40TH ANNIVERSARY TOUR IN OCTOBER
Preparations appear to be going very well indeed...

steve n seagulls STEVE'N'SEAGULLS ANNOUNCE THE SEAGULL HAS LANDED UK TOUR & NEW VIDEO
Anyone for hillbillified Iron Maiden...?

gentlemans pistols GENTLEMANS PISTOLS ANNOUNCE TRACK LISTING AND UNVEIL THE ARTWORK FOR 'HUSTLER'S ROW'
"A turbulent voyage of the sweetest sufferings and the most inexpensive of thrills..."

queensryche QUEENSRŸCHE REVEAL ALBUM COVER ART AND TRACK-LISTING FOR 'CONDITION HÜMAN'
The hard rock giants continue to thrill with their latest offering...

udo U.D.O. SAYS FINAL FAREWELL TO ACCEPT'S CATALOGUE
In a surprise announcement Udo Dirkschneider has confirmed that he will no longer play songs from the Accept library after one final tour...

operation mindcrime OPERATION: MINDCRIME REVEAL 'RE-INVENTING THE FUTURE', THE FIRST SINGLE FROM NEW ALBUM
The release from Geoff Tate's current project marks the first of a trilogy of albums...


metal talk
© All written site content is copyright MetalTalk.net 2008-2015, unless otherwise stated, and is not to be used without prior permission.
Ads raid data recovery