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MAGNUM
London, Astoria 1 October 2004

Another hot night in the Astoria; smokey too. If you want a reason to ban smoking in public places this is it.

With the upstairs roped off for guests, we were all packed downstairs but it wasnít as packed as Iíd expected.

Still, the crowd (or was is it a bad mullet convention?) were enthusiastic for Magnumís return in the wake of their excellent new Brand New Morning CD.

The band were on tight and top form, the onstage mix superb, with singer Bob Catley often waving his arms as if heís about to cast a spell, and looking windswept with the onstage fan.

Windswept is not an option for the shaven headed Clarkin. A guitar maestro he is for sure. The welcome return of pianist Mark Stanway was a crowd pleaser, and drummer Harry James (formerly of Thunder) fits in like a hand in a glove.

Kicking off with 'All Englandís Eyes' from the classic On A Story Tellerís Night (from which we got several tracks), the crowd were soon in suitable mood, and noisy too. Then we get the new albumís title track.

The new material fits in seamlessly and is well appreciated. And given the current popularity for either playing a new album in full or ignoring it completely for a greatest hits package, the 4 tracks from the new album made for a good balance.

Tracks from Vigilante and the top 40 hit 'Days Of No Trust' added to the balance nicely, but the time restrictions meant the 90s were pretty much ignored and not a great deal of early material, but for the given setlist there really were no complaints.

Finishing with the classic epic 'Kingdom Of Madness' was a real treat for all.

Just the one encore in 'Sacred Hour' for the enthusiastic crowd, and Jamesí ludicrous wig bringing many a cheer.

All in all, we got the early pomp and prog, the anthemic rock and the modern heavier material. The complete works.

Magnum at the Astoria - one of lifeís great pleasures.

Setlist:

All Englandís Eyes
Wild Swan
Brand New Morning
Back Street Kids
Last Goodbye
We All Run
How Far Jerusalem
The Blue And The Grey
Days Of No Trust
Vigilante
Kingdom Of Madness
Encore:- Keyboard/Guitar solo
Sacred Hour

Review: Joe Geesin


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