The Magic Numbers - Buffalo Bar London
The Magic Numbers celebrate the release of their second album in November by playing several dates in large venues across the UK.
I was lucky enough to see them recently in far smaller enviroment as approximately 150 people squeezed in to the tiny Buffalo Bar in London to watch the band perform a headline set as part of website rockfeedback.com's sixth anniversary celebrations.
I had watched the band play a short six song acoustic set as part of a Big Issue party a few days earlier.it was the dullest evening I've had in ages,waiting for the band to come on as I sat through a stream of uninspiring acts who played to an almost empty Shepherds Bush Empire.Although I enjoyed the bands performance my enthusiasim
for the evening had long since vanished leaving me wondering if it had been worth the wait.
This actually made me more determined to see the band play at the Buffalo Bar and as the entrance was by club guest list only it was hit and miss whether I would get in or not.Luckily things worked out for me so I made my way down the front.
Both support bands - Mr Hudson & The Library and Horsebox played decent sets but it was the Numbers that most people had come to see.
As I was taking photographs I had positioned myself front row but I actually ended up too near the band, sandwiched between Romeo and Michelle,the end of their guitars only inches from my face!
The band played a full length set taking in tracks from their debut album alongside a sprinkling of new tunes.The Magic Numbers have been previewing new material for a while now so some of the tracks, including the two opening songs "This is a song" and "You never had it", already sound like old favourites.
"Long legs" was next on the set list alongside singles "Forever lost" and "Love is a game" causing the audience to begin singing along to the more popular set additions.
It appears that new single "Take a chance" has already wormed it's way into the hearts of the Numbers fans making up the front few rows.It's a great song with the same manic tempo as "Love me like you".
The set slowed down a bit starting with "I see you,you see me" where Angela Gannon had her moment in the spotlight as her gorgeous voice carries one of the versus.
Hopefully Angela's voice will feature more on new album "Those the brokes".A couple of slower new songs were next in line causing a bit of chatter from the general club goers who made up about half of the audience.The band tried to get people to stay quite but it was a bit of a losing battle.
After a slightly more rousing "Don't give up the fight" a further two new slow tracks appeared.This was the only time of the night where I thought the evening dipped slightly as both songs were fairly lengthy and the chatter had reappeared causing the band to slightly lose focus.I was glad they played them though as I enjoy hearing the new material.
One of my favourites appeared next - the "B side" "Keep it in the pocket".The song was played a lot on their tour at the end of last year and was always a highlight for me.It's not been a fixture of their regular set for a while but I hope after the reaction it got the band will reconsider and put it back where it deserves to be!
"Love me like you" and Mornings eleven" came next.By this time the audience were in full singalong mode and it was a great feeling watching the songs played in such an intimate setting.The band didn't bother leaving the stage for an encore and after a bit of discussion decided to risk another quiet track "Wheels on fire" which managed to hold the more talkative part of the audience's attention.
The bands final song was their usual set closer,the unrecorded (as yet) country stomp - "The Beard".It always makes a fitting end to the band's show but I hope they don't recorded it as it would never capture the spirit of the live performance.
This was a truly stunning evening for me.I have seen the band play live countless times but never playing a full length show in such an intimate setting.Bass player Michelle Stodart is one of the best bass players in bands today and it was a pleasure watching her play alongside her brother Romeo close up.
The band play a full UK tour during November and December.
The single "Take a chance" is available from October the 23rd with the album "Those the brokes" hitting the shops on November the 6th.
A special Big Issue bonus!
Pictures from the Shepherds Bush Empire show...