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I Have Never...

Thursday, May 19, 2005

The Magic Numbers @ The Cockpit

"I Have Never reviewed a gig before."

'Three. That's the magic number.'

So sang/rapped De La Soul way back in '89. They were in Leeds tonight, too. I wasn't going to see some past it rappers, though (come on! They've had their time).

Tonight I was to see The Magic Numbers.

My workmate Matt had seen them a couple of months back supporting Travis and had been profusely singing their praises. Matt, having studied music at Uni (and a bit of a Beach Boys fanatic) should know what he's on about.

Unfortunately, due to my work commitments I'd missed the first support band, but caught up with Matt and a couple of others in time to catch The Pippettes.

Imagine a cross between The Ronnettes and Belle & Sebastian with a bit of the B52's thrown in. Fronted by 3 girls in coordinated black with white polka dot outfits, the rest of the band lurking in the shadows (and in faux school uniform). Regimented cheerleader style hand movement accompaniement to all the tunes. A way with a one liner-between-song banter.

A bit of work on the harmonies and they could be onto something.

Popped to the bar. Got buffeted about. Secured a pint of Guinness then back for the main attraction.

We'd definitely picked the right night to see The 'Numbers. All four came on beaming, presumably aware that NME had given them the precious accolade 'Track Of The Week' for new single Forever Lost that very day. Yet here were a band confident enough to throw in said track as early as fifth on the bill.

This confidence was not unfounded. During the gig I reckon I racked up a higher 'hairs on the back of my neck-raising' per hour ratio than I have in a long while. They may look like the bastard offspring of Abba, The Mamas & Papas and that mad West Coast Scientist character from The Fast Show, but they sure pack the tunes in.

Of particular note was 'Hymn for Her', in which duelling xylophones were employed. Yes. Duelling. Xylophones. And this was a good thing.

Oh, and they also had a song with the recurring motif "You're living in denial..." How could I do anything but love them?

They wrapped up with a hoe down which some wag from a gig two nights previously had decided to name 'The Beard'. I wonder if that name will hold... This was a gig which, like the T-Shirt I couldn't stop myself from buying from the merchandise stall, was tight in all the right places.

Tonight, The Magic Number was most definitely these four.

Note to self: Must buy the single on Monday...

"What's your favourite band of the moment?"

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