Saturday, 31 October 2009

Gig Review: MAGNUM at the Holmfirth Picturedome 30th October 2009

MAGNUM ARE: Bob Catley (Vocals) – Tony Clarkin (Guitar & Vocals) – Al Barrow (Bass & Vocals) – Harry James (Drums & Percussion) - Mark Stanway (Keyboards)

I have been following Magnum on & off for over 25 years, ever since I first saw them at the Reading Festival in 1983 (Wow, that makes me feel old!). Even through the ‘Hard Rain’ incarnation, and Bob Catley’s solo career. So no surprise, when my best buddy Simon asks if I’m up for seeing them, that I’m the first one to say “You bet!”

After a pretty long and dark journey, we finally arrive in Holmfirth, a pretty little town just outside Huddersfield. It’s better known as the location for the BBC comedy “The Last of the Summer Wine”, but I hear it also has a growing reputation as a concert venue. The Picturedome is a pretty compact venue and, as you can probably guess from the name; it doubles as the local cinema. It does have the advantage, though, that the floor gently slopes towards the stage, making it much easier to see the action.

With the support act Decadenze done and dusted, we eagerly awaited the arrival of Magnum on stage. The finally arrive to a tremendous applause from the crowd and start the show with a couple of more recent numbers. In fact, quite a lot of the show consisted of more recent material. When I say more recent, I mean from since the band reformed in 2000. The tour was to promote the new album “Into the Valley of the Moonking” and, as you might expect, a few tracks from this album put in an appearance. Sounded pretty good too! Towards the end of the show some of the classics got an airing. It was great to hear the likes of “Les Mort Dansant”, “All England’s Eyes” and “Vigilante”, but they save the best 'til last, the all time classic “Kingdom of Madness” closed the show.

All in all a most satisfying show, Bob and Tony really on top form and they were ably backed by Al and Harry. A special mention for Mark Stanway, I must have seen Magnum about twenty or more times and last night was the first time I’ve seen Mark really engage with the crowd. I know he’s had his problems and it was really nice to see him coming out of his shell a little. I will be buying the new album and you can guarantee I’ll be seeing Magnum again, assuming they don’t do something daft!

My score: 9/10

No comments: