Having only formed in 2014, The Magic Gang released their eponymous debut album in March this year, embarking on their biggest tour to date in September. They headlined The Leadmill, upgrading from Plug back in August after the Sheffield date of the tour became the first to sell out.
Indie veterans Spector saw a role reversal; they took The Magic Gang on the road with them for their 2015 ‘Moth Boys’ tour but this time they were the ones supporting. They played an all-killer-no-filler half hour slot rolling out hits such as ‘Celestine’, ‘All The Sad Young Men’ and ‘Chevy Thunder’ to the packed out room.
The crowd was very much warmed up by the time Fred Macpherson and co left the stage, walking off to chants of ‘Oh Jeremy Corbyn’ which continued throughout the changeover.
Clearly still men of the people, The Magic Gang took to the stage one minute early, opening with the first song they released, ‘Alright’. It was obvious they were taken aback by the crowd reaction and straight away they launched into another old one, ‘All This Way’.
After briefly introducing themselves they played ‘Only Waiting’ from their second EP, one of only two tracks in the setlist to not make the album. ‘Jasmine’, piano ballad ‘I’ll Show You’, ‘Slippin’ and ‘Caroline’ followed, the crowd singing along to every word.
Before taking his place on the piano for the vibey ‘Take Care’, bassist Gus said “Thank you so much for coming out tonight Sheffield. It’s mental that four boys like us from Brighton can come up north and headline such an iconic venue”.
‘Take Care’, a song that shows off the band’s talent for harmonies and multi-instrumentalist, and with lead guitarist Kristian replacing the otherwise occupied Gus on bass, was followed by album opener ‘Oh Saki’. Finishing off with ‘Your Love’, the ever popular ‘How Can I Compete’ and finally ‘Getting Along’, the band walked off stage to loud applause and shouts of “one more song”.
Five minutes later the crowd got what they wanted, the band coming back on to play the second non-album track of the evening, the Beach Boys-esque ‘Life Without You’. They thanked the crowd once again before sending The Leadmill into a frenzy with album closer ‘All That I Want Is You’.
It’s hard to believe The Magic Gang have only been around for four years, and it’s even harder to believe that they already have bands like Spector supporting them. But their live performances are tight and excellent in every way, especially when it comes to vocals. If you get any chance to check them out, do.
Image: Paul Hudson