|» Magnum 2014 04 12||
After seeing Pretty Maids at the Backstage club in Sandviken, Sweden last October, one was looking forward to another mouth-watering performance at the same place: none other than Magnum. That they were to appear at this small but very nice and cosy venue felt almost too good to be true, but now they were here. It must be rare for the Englishmen to play at a stage like this one, which is quite tiny actually, and it presented their crew with a bit of a challenge, but when the show starts it is nothing but a highly professional and competent performance that is witnessed.
Unlike many of their experienced peers in the business, Magnum base a big portion of their set around their latest albums, and rightly so as it is quality material throughout. From the latest excellent full-length, Escape From The Shadow Garden, we get three tracks. The more up-tempo Live 'Til You Die opens the set brilliantly while Unwritten Sacrifice and Falling For The Big Plan are just as enjoyable. Black Skies and Dance Of The Black Tattoo, both from recent albums, bring some real heaviness to the show, and all the newer material goes down very well with the audience, who together with the band create a warm and cheerful mood.
Musically, this Magnum line-up is a tight unit who clearly enjoy playing together. Rhythm section Al Barrow and Harry James keep it steady while guitarist Tony Clarkin and keyboardist Mark Stanway deliver great melody work. Bob Catley's voice is as great and soulful as always, and his frontmanship and interaction with the audience is natural and reveals tons of experience.
Although the crowd definitely appreciates the performance so far, clapping and cheering, the delight cannot be mistaken when the older material appear mid-set. Indeed, How Far Jerusalem and Les Mort Dansant are magnificent and raise the mood further. After another couple of more recent tracks, the show is brought home with some golden Magnum classics which generate wide grins on everyone's faces and pure love greeting the band and its wonderful music.
This is simply another excellent show by Magnum for their supporters
in Sweden, and seeing the English legends in this intimate venue will
be something to remember indeed.
Performance: 8 chalices