So last night was the best gig I have ever been to. The Magic Gang at Roundhouse Studio Space- a small, all standing room underneath the main space- you can imagine the sublime level of intimacy and insane moshing that occurred. The gig was part of the Roundhouse Rising Festival, where different up and coming bands perform every night of that week. Friday 18th March featured Inheaven, Gillbanks and The Magic Gang. Words cannot describe the amazing vibes that I experienced throughout these three acts, especially the headlining Magic Gang, not to mention the breaks between the sets when music played and everyone was STILL moshing.
When the venue was not yet full, Gillbanks and Inheaven performed. Both had excellent stage presence, made beautiful music and instilled a chill atmosphere in preparation for the main boys. You know that a support is good when you follow them on Spotify after the gig, and that is what I did. Despite the room not being full, both acts brought confidence to their set and definitely warmed us up!
During the break between Inheaven and the Magic Gang guys, I remember The Killers ‘Mr Brightside’ coming on the speakers- hard as you may try, it’s a classic- and the whole room erupted into moshing and singing, which was amazing to be apart of. I was already dripping with sweat before The Magic Gang had even come on!
They opened with ‘Lady, please’ and from that moment on the crowd was incredible. The whole floor was filled with a huge mosh pit of people jumping on each other and dancing, whilst also singing the iconic lyrics ‘You think I’m a lover, ain’t that strange’ at the top of their lungs. It was strange how a venue with a capacity of a couple of hundred could feel as though it was packed with thousands, simply because of the energy buzzing in the room. It was also amazing to witness and be part of a mosh pit that continued throughout the entire set, without stopping at all! You can imagine how exhausted I was by the end.
Onto the music itself, the boys exceeded my high expectations! As a dedicated listener to The Magic Gang for some time now, I’ve become accustom to their smooth, distinct sound of old school indie merged with fresh riffs and beats- hearing them live for the first time replicated everything I love about their tracks and more. It was when they played ‘She Doesn’t See’ near the middle of their set, that I was already fully immersed in their unique sound and the atmosphere of the gig, and it was as though its only that moment that mattered to me. As I have always heard on their singles, Jack Kaye’s vocals are insane live; still soft yet powerful to draw you into his performance. The infamous opening guitar riff in ‘No Fun’ was just as I have always imagined it to be, with Kristian Smith executing his role as guitarist with precision, giving all hard core Magic fans their satisfaction.
I loved it when two guys who were in the audience climbed up on stage briefly and was singing with the band. Having no barrier like larger gigs, in my opinion, is so much more enjoyable because you feel at one with the band. I had never been to the studio space at Roundhouse, but I loved it! It feels so intimate which is exactly what you want at an indie gig. The band played a few new tracks, including ‘She Won’t Ghost’ which went down so well with the crowd. Despite the majority of people not knowing the words to all songs, it didn’t hinder everyone’s ability to dance, sing and mosh so hard at every given moment. It astounded me how we could all sense a beat-drop without even knowing the tune, and make a circle pit at exactly the right moment.
All tracks on their EP were played, so there were a lot of tunes that the crowd did recognise. ‘All That I Want Is You’ and ‘Jasmine’ seemed to be our favourites in terms of how loud everyone sang along and even though they are not stereotypically ‘mosh-worthy’ songs- we found a way.
Words are not enough to explain how amazing last night was for me. The band’s closing track was a new one ‘Shallow’, yet everyone quickly picked up the statement line ‘I’m so shallow’ and by the end of the song every single person was screaming this line over and over again with Jack. It was at that moment I realised it was over, but I was so elated that it didn’t seem real. For those few hours, it was just the bands and the incredible collection of people I met and shared a highlight of my life with- nothing else tainted that.
After the gig, I met Paeris, the band’s drummer, and he was so lovely and modest. He signed my ticket and we had a brief chat, but I think we were both too exhausted to have a stimulating conversation! As I’ve said, I will never be able to sufficiently explain how much I love The Magic Gang, or how incredible their gig was- all I can say is you must see them live. There was no moment when I wasn’t smiling, dancing or moshing, and I have serious post-gig depression! If the band are playing anywhere near you, nab tickets quick because after a long career of being a support band, The Magic Gang are on their way to stardom so catch them at small venues while you can.