They’ve been a bit quiet since the release of their third album “The Runaway”, but tonight The Magic Numbers are playing in one of my favourite London venues, the Union Chapel. Bass player Michelle Stoddart comes on as support act to play some songs she says were written while they were on tour. These songs have been released as her solo album “Wide-Eyed Crossing” and are acoustic and Country in feel. One of the hallmarks of The Magic Numbers is that they all possess pretty decent singing voices, and Michelle’s is in a similar range to Joan Armatrading. Pleasant enough to hear in this setting but nothing standing out in the same way as a Magic Numbers song does.
After a short break, The Magic Numbers appear and launch into a stripped down acoustic version of “Forever Lost”. It’s one of my favourite Magic Number songs, appearing on their debut album from 2005, and still sounds as good as when I first heard it back then. They go on to perform a selection of songs from their three albums to date and play a couple of new songs that Romeo says will be on their new aolbum for 2014 which has alrewady been completed. The Union Chapel is such a great venue to see a band, and it’s a space that suits The Magic Numbers brand of pop rock. The acoustics of the venue are perfect for their close harmonies, and at times their folky vocals sound a but like The Mamas and The Papas.
For the encore they invite Ed Harcourt on to play piano whilst David McAlmont comes out to sing “Love Is Just A Game”, again from the first album, as well as a version of Neil Young’s “Harvest Moon”. Right at the end of the song, Romeo’s son toddles on and waves to the crowd. A cute ending to a great set.