Published on December 5th, 2014 | by Loreana0
The Magic Numbers Irish Tour
Pop-rock juggernauts The Magic Numbers were in Ireland this week, for a tour rescheduled from September after an ill-timed throat issue afflicted vocalist Romeo Stodart. Undaunted, they traversed the country, with The Thin Air in tow at various tour stops. With fourth album ‘Alias’ in the can, and on the home stretch for pre-Xmas touring, the band were in rare form, and we were there for all of it with access-all-areas photography, and our thoughts from each night.
MONDAY DEC. 1ST – GALWAY @ THE ROISÍN DUBH:
Not Faemous took to the stage to a small crowd, and played quite pleasing numbers. Plenty of potential in their songs, though let down a little by guitar tunings and occasional voice wobbles. The harmonies were very reminiscent of Alt-J in style. A good producer would really make them shine.
The Goat Roper Rodeo Band were a fun bluegrass trio-and the merch sellers. If you missed that after the first song, you’d needn’t have worried, they reminded us after most songs with dry humour, encouraging everyone to pay them a visit. The wit extended to the songs too, with loads of energetic pizzaz onstage. Quite a big sound for 2 acoustic guitars and a double bass, especially after a rock band.
Romeo and co took to the stage, straight into what I was told would be the loudest song of the set. Had I known I’d be writing, I’d have grabbed a setlist! Having not seen them live before, I was delighted to see that the band are quite active onstage, especially Michelle on bass. Although the lighting was static, the movement in the band does help make for a nice range of photos. There was even an extended guitar solo for which Romeo apologised for going all ‘Axl Rose’ on you. Fair play. The crowd had built up more at this stage and there was a great atmosphere in the room. Unfortunately I had to leave early due to other commitments, but still, I was well impressed by what I heard and saw in the songs I was there for. Sean McCormack
TUESDAY DEC. 2ND – CORK @ THE HALF MOON
The Goat Roper Rodeo Band hit stage in a near-empty Half Moon and keep the merch-selling schtick up to stifled laughter that grows as the venue slowly fills up. Armed with the authentic Southern accents and world-weary blues of the rodeo heartland of North Wales, their stocky, harmony-infused bluegrass does well with tonight’s mostly older crowd and indeed, their appeals for merch are recited back at them by some of the punters. Good craic. A few minutes later, the floor fills up and people impatiently plant themselves in the front row, seemingly coming from the woodworks as Michele Stodart steps onto stage for a sultry solo set, with songs from her debut album reaching a warm reception. Achingly lonesome in places, Stodart’s tense set is met with singalongs and the applause of a devoted Magic Numbers crowd poised and ready for the headliners.
And boy howdy, are the crowd ready, with a now-packed Half Moon greeting the Numbers enthusiastically. The band seem genuinely humbled by the reception and dig straight into a set of big hits and new cuts, welcomed equally, though of course the big singalongs happen for ‘Forever Lost’, ‘Love’s a Game’, and ‘Love Me Like You’. In their element, the band kick out new, more confident and assured jams like the likeable ‘Roy Orbison’ and ‘Shot in the Dark’ and hammer home a strident evening of pop-rock prowess, but not before coralling the Goat Ropers to stage for a double whammy of covers, including a swaying, smiling ‘Harvest Moon’, and a blast of ‘Mornings Eleven’ to send ’em home happy. Mike McGrath Bryan
WEDNESDAY DEC. 3RD – DUBLIN @ THE ACADEMY:
I honestly can’t say that I’ve ever had a bad time working alongside a crew when covering AAA’s, and this one was no exception. One of the notable surprises, is that one of the crew members is current Pop Will Eat Itself bassist, Davey Bennett, while he was all business, he also knows how to have a laugh while doing his job. He was able to cater to both mine and the band’s requests to the point where everyone got what they wanted and needed. As I always say, you know a AAA shoot has gone well when the photographer is treated as part of the crew for the day, and I definitely was.
The Magic Numbers are on stage at 8.40pm. After a minor technical hiccup (during the intro, the sound had cut out), the band plug in and continue on with very little disruption. These are the last dates of the tour, and the band, despite getting a little tired as the tour comes to a close, are still in great spirits, on and off the stage. From my own standpoint, I had a really fun time working with the band. The paying fans definitely got their money’s worth as the band played for almost two hours with minimal interruption. In between the singalongs and new material, the band apologise for having to reschedule their show from September due to Romeo’s throat playing havoc with him. They also announce they’ll be doing an acoustic show outside the Gin Palace next door after the show.
Michele, Angela and Romeo all took their turns when it came not only to performing lead vocal duties, as well as interacting with the crowd. The group encores of previous nights were given their last airing, with the Numbers being joined by the Goat Ropers for ‘Anyhow’ and local supports Morrissey and Marshall for ‘Harvest Moon’. And then if that wasn’t enough, they went out and busked in freezing cold Dublin City five minutes after they got off stage, quickly freshening up before leaving through the back door by The Lotts, to return to the corner of Abbey Street and Liffey Street. Shaun Neary
THURSDAY DEC. 4TH – BELFAST @ THE LIMELIGHT:
I arrived at 4pm and the guys are setting up the instruments, it’s all done and dusted pretty quickly and so the tech sound checks commence. It takes quite a while, problems with some leads and boxes etc. The Magic Numbers come out and do their sound check and head off to Nando’s. The Goat Roper Rodeo Band come out and do their sound check, and pretty soon after that the doors open, as the problems earlier caused some delays.
The Goat Roper Rodeo Band are brilliant, instant toe-tapping music. Shame their wasn’t much of an audience on the floor to get into it. Crowds begin to gather for the Magic Numbers, and as they come on stage there is an absolute uproar. It’s a crowd of dedicated fans shouting out requests for their favourites and “we love you” and such. The band laugh and joke with the crowd, giving it their all for the last night of the tour. The audience goes mental, and I mean completely mental, for the classics. It’s an incredibly happy feeling that falls over the crowd as the gig comes to its peak. Duke Special, who happened to be at the gig, is invited to come up on the stage during encore to perform a number with the Numbers. They stay at the merch desk after the gig, chatting and signing CDs, and taking pictures with fans. Sara Marsden
Photos: Galway- Sean McCormack, Cork- Rory Coomey, Dublin– Shaun Neary, Belfast– Sara Marsden.