Abel Tesfaye's dark, twisted album is at odds with the glossy pop world he's been thrust into
The Magic Numbers/Shout Out Louds : Kentish Town Forum, London, Thurs May 12
No-hit wonders give London a sneak preview of this summer’s sunshine ‘shroomadelics
It’s not exactly Doomsday for the support band, either. With folk-croaked anthems ‘Little By Little’ and ‘The Comeback’ sounding like euphoric future hits, a nymph-like keyboardist called Bebban and singer Adam looking like a Backbeat-era Stephen Dorff, we offer you the Shout Out Louds from Sweden: the festival band. Next year.
For 2005, that accolade will be going to The Magic Numbers. Months of touring with Doves and Athlete and ever-increasing word-of-mouth have propelled their live show from a fumbling, shuffly affair to a stomping rodeo, as exemplified by bassist Michele’s gleeful dancing. Like any family, there are traces of intimacy and tension and it’s an evening of tiny moments – in boozy ballad opener ‘The Mule’, Romeo sings the line “You just might see me smile”, before launching a 10,000-watt grin. During radio favourite ‘Forever Lost’, people sing and clap along with Angela’s tambourine, while ‘I See You, You See Me’, a delicate duet between Romeo and Angela, is so intoxicating it makes the upstairs bar redundant. Stepping up to sing her verse like a nervous child playing Mary in a nativity play, a cheer goes up for Angela, who consequently forgets her words and falls apart laughing. When she finally pulls it off, her voice is like gospel. There’s a celebration of life going on tonight and If you haven’t been converted yet you might find the church is nearly full.
The Cavan teenagers attack album two with abandon, largely at the expense of quality
A still-vital John Lydon rages towards retirement on a saucy, scuzzy new album
10 Tracks You Need To Hear This Week (26/8/2015)
Oxford's finest flit between gnarly rock and frustrating slickness on an often-brilliant fourth album