- READ MORE: The Magic Gang – ‘Death Of The Party’ review: indie’s chirpy chappies channel Northern Soul
Tonight (August 30), the Brighton four-piece perform at Hull’s Bonus Arena to kick off the first of a handful of rescheduled dates on Blossoms’ UK tour which was postponed after its Bournemouth date in March last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“We’re more keen than ever to connect with people,” frontman Jack Kaye told NME at this month’s Boardmasters Festival, explaining what fans can expect from the upcoming gigs. “We’ve always been about including the audience, but now more than ever the idea of getting a sing-a-long going and stuff like that feels way more important.”
Plans to connect with gig-goers extend to meet and greets, which the band said they are happy to do providing fans feel comfortable enough to step forward following the recent rise in UK COVID rates.
“Whoever’s comfortable and feels safe coming forward to say hello, we’ll be there; that’s just the way we are,” Kaye said. “I don’t think we can shy away from that because when you’re there and it’s happening it feels unnatural to hide away and not say hello to the people that have come to see you.”
Kaye added: “We’re being responsible. We’re testing every morning so we’re doing what we can to be safe.”
The Blossoms tour, which concludes at Manchester’s AO Arena on September 18, will include stops in Leeds, Birmingham, Leicester, with three nights scheduled at London’s O2 Forum Kentish Town.
“I think there’s a bit more appreciation for where we’re actually playing because they’re such big venues,” Magic Gang drummer Paeris Giles told NME. “It’s like, wow, we’re playing three nights at Kentish Town Forum and then the big show at Manchester Arena. We feel very grateful to be able to do that.”
Kaye added: “The idea of playing venues to that many people feels like a dream.”
After the run of Blossoms dates, The Magic Gang will head out on their own UK and Ireland tour in October to support their second album, ‘Death Of The Party’, which was released in August last year. Speaking on the difficulty of not being able to tour the album until now, Kaye said the whole process was tough but that he found joy in other things.
“I find being a musician when you’re not touring is a little tough anyway because you have to maintain a bit of discipline and structure in your day-to-day. Whether you’re writing music consistently or whatever it is, you have to implement your own structure,” he said. “So being in that period for a year and a half was pretty stressful and you do a lot of navel-gazing and thinking about yourself.
“You’ve got to find purpose in other things really. I definitely started to find joy in other day-to-day things.”
Having already played a few pre-tour gigs at Tramlines Festival and Boardmasters Festival, as well as a run of National Lottery funded shows, Kaye said the band’s new material is going down better than he thought it would with the fans.
“When we were rehearsing for these early shows I was a little bit nervous about playing the newer stuff,” he admitted. “I was like, ‘Maybe we should put a few more old ones in there.’ But as soon as we started playing the shows the response was really warm for the new ones. Weirdly they’ve been going off more than the first album, which is really cool.”
To follow on from the album, The Magic Gang have revealed that they’re about to start work on another new project. “We’re writing,” Kaye revealed. “I think the next thing’s gonna be an EP.
“We’ve written loads but what we’re trying to figure out – because pretty much all of us write – is what the sound is going to be moving forward and what we wanna do.
He continued: “So it’s not that we need more time to write, we need more time to figure out what we like about what we’ve already written. So rather than just coming out and doing another album straight away we wanna find our feet a little bit within the band.”
The forthcoming EP will be the band’s fourth and the follow-up to 2017’s ‘EP Three’, which they put out to whet the appetites of fans ahead of their self-titled debut LP. “That was sort of our strategy in order to build a following for the first album – and it worked,” explained Giles.
Asked when they hope to start recording the new EP, Kaye replied: “We’re gonna start in September.”
Blossoms UK tour dates can be seen below. The Magic Gang will support on August 30-31, September 9-15 and 18.
30 – Bonus Arena, Hull
31 – O2 Academy, Glasgow
2 – Engine Shed, Lincoln
3 – Victoria Hall, Stoke-On-Trent
4 – O2 Academy, Birmingham
7 – Junction, Cambridge
9 – O2 Academy, Leeds
11 – O2 Academy, Newcastle
13 – O2 Forum Kentish Town, London
14 – O2 Forum Kentish Town, London
15 – O2 Forum Kentish Town, London
17 – O2 Academy, Leicester
18 – AO Arena, Manchester
See The Magic Gang’s own upcoming tour dates below. You can get more information and buy tickets here.
6 – Academy 2, Dublin, Ireland
7 – Old Fire Station, Carlisle, UK
8 – Arts Club, Liverpool, UK
10 – Tramshed, Cardiff, UK
11 – O2 Academy Oxford, Oxford, UK
12 – The 1865, Southampton, UK
13 – Chalk, Brighton, Brighton, UK
14 – Rock City, Nottingham, UK
15 – Gloucester Guildhall, Gloucester, UK
17 – O2 Institute2 Birmingham, Birmingham, UK
18 – Riverside, Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK
19 – Beat Generator, Dundee, UK
20 – The Lemon Tree, Aberdeen, UK
21 – SWG3, Glasgow, UK
22 – Waterfront, Norwich, UK
24 – Leadmill, Sheffield, UK
25 – O2 Ritz Manchester, Manchester, UK
26 – London EartH, London, UK
In a four-star review of ‘Death Of The Party’, NME‘s Will Richards wrote: “Here The Magic Gang have acted on pure instinct and feeling. This is an album that, despite its recognition of the downside of things, ends up as a more reassuring – and more real – listen than their debut. With its collage of genres and refusal to co-opt modern trends, album two finds the band moving towards something timeless.”