Concert Buzz



Wolverhampton Civic Hall-UK

October 31, 2009

1 out of 5 2 out of 5 3 out of 5 4 out of 5 5 out of 5

by Dave Evans

As a Magnum fan i always have High Expectations for their Live Shows-and with the recenlty released 'Into the Valley of the moonking'' on the shelves and with critical acclaim bestowed on it-the pressure was on.

The band came on to an affectionatley rowdly and gleeful response from the crowd-a welcome usually the reserve of a close friend or family-it becomes immediately apparent that the band are musically on top form-Bob Catleys vocals are Clear and sharp-a voice that filled the hall with ease-the vocals of a man that has 30 years of touring under his belt...He literally has the crowd eating out of his hands-every note translated into a flick of the
hand,just like a conducter,every keyboard swathe powering him up as if to recharge him for Battle!!.

The set list predictably leaned heavily towards the new album-tracks such as 'Take me away',the bluesy 'The Moonking' and 'All my bridges' all making an early appearance but sitting happily with more seasoned tunes such as the Epic 'les morts dansant' and 'All Englands Eyes' from the Legendary On a storytellers night album. Also in the mix were the relatively youthful 'Brand new Morning' ,'we all run' and the Magestically tongue in cheek of 'Dragons are real' from the previous release 'Princess Alice and the Broken arrow'-an album that i believe has musically re-energised the band.

The band itself as the music seems visually re-energised-none more so than the Slimmed down Tony Clarkin-who seemed genually stunned at the crowds response to his songs especailly the newer offerings-Clarkin is not a guitarist known for his frills or fancy playing-he carries the songs with Economic riffing and chord selection-leaving Keyboardist Mark Stanway to add the spice and washes of colour to the images he has set down-best examples of this being the afore mentioned 'Dragons are real' and the encore opener 'Dont wake the lion' adds to a spectacular Tapestry of sight and sound. The Rythmn section of the realtively youthful Al Barrow and Harry H James (himself just off tour from the criminally overlooked Thunder who have just decided to sadly dispand) really do add a telepathic understanding that nails down that back beat perfectly!!.

The band played to their strengths and crowd favourites like 'All englands Eyes' and the superb 'Vigilante' with its rally calling imagery left the crowd wanting more...and furious chants of 'Magnum Magnum..' were met with a much deseved Encore, the seldom played 'Dont Wake the lion' was a real treat-Played in its entirety-a 10 minute epic,that is surely Clarkins greatest work,from their Top of the Pops heyday!!!, and we were left in ecstacy with the ever popular ''Kingdom of Madness' with the Signature Clarkin barre chord riffing intro..a fitting end as it was this track and the album of the same name that really propelled Magnum into the Major league.My only gripe is the omission of 'Just like an Arrow-but with a back catalogue spanning 30 years-i can let that pass!

Magnum are as Strong as ever....did we ever have any doubt!!.

This review is the subjective opinion of the individual reviewer and not of ConcertBuzz

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Rating: 2.2/5 (56 votes cast)

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