The Magic Numbers : WC2 Borderline, Tuesday November 23
Some enchanted evening with the brothers and sisters…
Tonight, inside this cosy Soho venue, something truly magical is happening. This, you see, is the first date of a three-night residency for The Magic Numbers. Not since the flower-power ’60s folkies used to settle down in coffee houses has a gig felt so intimate. That suits The Magic Numbers vibe just fine.
Because right now, a word-of-mouth buzz surrounding this band is spreading through the capital like a particularly virulent Followill rash, building up a gang of fans so devoted they’d waltz blindly up the aisle with the Numbers given the chance. And no wonder. The Magic Numbers take West Coast pop as their template and sprinkle it with sumptuous vocal harmonies. But what makes them so special can’t be boiled down to a list of trad influences: rather, it’s the way they effortlessly connect with all that is good about the human spirit that separates them from their peers.
The glockenspiel-heavy debut single ‘Hymn For Her’ prompts the audience to sing along with every word, despite the fact it was only released that same morning. Other songs begin as fragile shells, only to blossom into spiralling romantic crescendos. Without the need for a single loon to risk life and limb leaping headfirst from the stage, boundaries between the band and crowd evaporate into thin air, making this truly one of the most amazing shows this writer has ever seen.
Not everyone will love The Magic Numbers. War-mongering dictators might find it tricky connecting with their love-is-all philosophy. People who’ve been rushed by ambulance to the nearest A&E, only to be pronounced dead on arrival, might struggle to get bowled over by the sublime melodies. But everyone else? You’d need innards of lead not to be moved.