Magnum Manchester HMV Ritz 24/11/2012

Trillium, the band fronted by Amanda Somerville, are the special guests on the UK part of Magnums current tour. They had a good half hour set to show the crowd what they were all about. Playing Symphonic metal at a Magnum gig might have sounded like a strange idea to some of the crowd, but the band easily won them over, mainly down to Amanda’s huge stage presence and stunning voice.
Magnum took to the stage to a thunderous reception, and kicked straight off with ‘All the dreamers’, taken from the newly released ‘On the 13th Day’, which is already being regarded as one of their greatest albums to date, a quick trip to 2007 for “When We Were Younger” from the ‘Princess Alice and the Broken Arrow’ record, then back to ‘On the 13th Day’ for the current single ‘Blood red letters’.
Legendary frontman Bob Catley was at the forefront of the stage, never staying still for very long, he works the stage and the crowd with more grace than of someone half his age. His voice is standing up very well, and on some tracks he sings better than he has ever done.

The band we’re clearly enjoying themselves, and that generated a feedback from the crowd that Bob thrives on, with the solid backbone of drummer ‘Harry’ James and Bassist Al Barrow keeping the rhythm section tight, it was left to Keyboardist Mark Stanway and Guitarist Tony Clarkin to fill in the gaps.
Tony is a criminally under rated guitarist and songwriter, from the simple but effective riff of crowd pleaser “Kingdom of Madness’ to the moving “Les Morts Dansant”, Tony has an uncanny ability of being able write a song that sticks with you, long after hearing it for the first time.
Hearing ‘Dance of the Black Tatoo’ played live for the first time was brilliant, who knew Tony had such heavy riffs in his arsenal, maybe a sign of things to come with Magnum, it certainly works on record and it certainly worked live.
One of the highlights of the set for me was ‘Vigilante’ closely followed by ‘The Spirit’, it was also great to hear the radio friendly ‘Rockin’ Chair’, this really got the crowd rocking along with Bob leading the crowd in singing the chorus.The set ended with a rousing version of ‘Days of No Trust’.
Ageing like a fine wine, Magnum just get better and better with time.

All The Dreamers
When We Were Younger
Blood Red Laughter
Wild Angels
Brand New Morning
How far Jerusalem
The Flood
Les Morts Dansant
The Spirit
Dance of the Black Tattoo
All My Bridge
All England’s Eyes
Kingdom of madness
See How They Fall
Rockin’ Chair
Days of no trust.
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About David Farrell

General Manager and 'THE' competition guy at Manager of The Goddanm Electric, Tour manager for Serpentine, and ex-general Dogsbody at Media partner to numerous bands. Also takes photos, writes reviews and likes classic rock, with a touch of thrash to get the blood flowing.