Entertainment, Music

Interview and Live Review: The Magic Gang @ Manchester Academy 2

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By Finn Black
Photography: Georgina Hurdsfield

It’s been a busy year for Brighton four-piece The Magic Gang. The band are now seem to be warming up for a full summer of festival appearances. It’s clear the volume of sets performed has had an effect. It’s easy to appreciate how well rehearsed they seem, each member having no issue to keep up with the rest. They play the majority of their new album, released earlier this year by Warner Bros to a mostly positive critical reception.

They’re a type of band you don’t see very often, unashamedly poppy, guitar centric, lively. They don’t take themselves too seriously, there is an atmosphere of fun, something missing quite often in live music. In fact during ‘Jasmine’, the band began throwing cupcakes full force at people in the crowd.

The word ‘Pop’ is often seen as some kind of omen in terms of being uncool. But well written pop is so often unappreciated. The crowd have no issue singing along. There’s no doubt that they will be well received at Reading and Leeds this year, judging by the average age of the crowd at the Academy.

Their harmonies are very charming, they’re lively and bright sounding, they’re difficult to dislike. They do what they do very well. If you like their album, go and see them.

To find out more, we catch up with band member Kris.

How does it feel to have finally put out a debut album after your first single release in 2015?

“It feels really good to finally have an album out! Felt like it was a long time coming. It’s a bit of a relief and we are excited for people to able to enjoy it.”

How come there was such a long wait for the debut album? Did 2018 just feel like the right time?

“I suppose it felt like the right time to put an album out. But also we’ve taken our time to hone our sound and spend time channeling the correct energy we wanted into our recordings. You should never rush anything!”

Which genres of music influence The Magic Gang’s sound?

“The band’s collective music taste is very eclectic. All different types of sounds and styles end up infiltrating our songwriting, but probably in a less direct or abstract way. We are very fond of bands who have a refined and well crafted approach to songwriting, such as the Beatles, The beach boys, Fleetwood mac, ABBA etc.”

What do you think the best composed song of all time is?

“That’s an incredibly tough one. God only knows by the beach boys, probably.”

You’ve been touring for years now, do you still get nervous when performing on stage?

To be honest we sometimes get more nervous playing shows when there s loads of people we know there or the setting is more intimate. playing to a sea of heads is sometimes way less terrifying.

What is your favourite thing about touring?

“My favourite thing about touring is hearing people sing along with our songs. It s so much fun singing with the crowd.”

Which festivals are you most excited about this year?

“Benicassim cos we’ve never played in Spain before!”

What is next for The Magic Gang?

“More touring, festivals and hopefully starting album number 2!”

Gallery: Georgina Hurdsfield


About the author / 

Georgina Hurdsfield

Masters student in Psychological Wellbeing in Clinical Practice at Manchester Metropolitan University. Keen photographer and music enthusiast.

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