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The Magic Gang & Vitamin Live Review – 23/04/16

The new Pete and Carl?

A Saturday night in Leeds. Gulp. Either my life is spiralling towards a sordid gravy soaked chips anarchy or I’m seeing two of the hottest prospects in UK indie under one roof. Thankfully it’s the latter, as VITAMIN and THE MAGIC GANG grace the Brudenell Social Club Games Room. It’s result, perhaps unsurprisingly, is a night packed full of fun and games…


Leeds quartet, Vitamin are steadily climbing up the indie ranks with an array of singles which enlightens and improves anyone’s mood.

In the small space of the games room in the Brudenell Social Club, Vitamin created a bright and blissful setting crying summer, the crowd whooped and cheered as the band casually stepped up to the stage and opened with their smooth, 80s inspired song Dancing on the Sun.


Upon the introduction of the next song, Did it For You, Jared told the crowd to get up close and personal and embrace the person they came with. The request left people arm-in-arm swaying in time to the beat. Jared played the front man role as he interacted with the fans grinning and looking thrilled as they excitedly exclaimed the lyrics. Next up was To Believe, a song which combined sun-kissed vocals and an uplifting infectious riff which elevated the crowd and caused symptoms of tapping feet and swinging hips to the sweetened pop song.

A lively and euphoric ending to the set was created with new single Waterfall. Jared entered the crowd, they created a circle around him and together, they fashioned a groovy group of bopping heads and flowing arms in the air. Just when you thought the band couldn’t get any closer, Jared embraced the crowd, hugging and clasping hands.It truly was a special and intimate atmosphere.

As the music faded out and the fans were all bounced out, the band encouraged the crowd to come over for a chat. As they moved through the sea of cheers, they shook hands with the fans and what appeared to be family and friends. (They later informed their old teachers had even come to support the lads.) They were a lovely, humble group of best friends showing a real appreciation for the support, later tweeting “Leeds we will always love you.” Their interaction gave that special touch to the gig as fans had a chance to chill and chat with the band.


Finally, the lights go down for up and coming starlets of The Magic Gang. No, sooty hasn’t gone rogue, it’s the Brighton quartet’s turn to grace the stage. 

They’ve won an array of plaudits from famous faces, recorded Tuff Gong studios and even toured with Wolf Alice. Quite a CV, resulting in a devout national following. Consequently, I was intrigued how such a hyped band translates live. Thankfully though, you can ‘believe the hype’ with The Magic Gang.

The new Pete and Carl?
The new Pete and Carl?

In fact, it was such a pleasure to see such a band all be enjoying their music so much. Frontman, and the glasses wearing idol, Jack Kaye’s pearly white grin resonates throughout the room, it infects the tiny venue. Tonight, it seems like there is nowhere else on the planet Red Striped drinking hipsters would would rather be. Frontman Kaye yelps every word with conviction, and Leeds responds with an enthusiastic response – they scream along to every word of the Magic Gang’s EP, and even earlier number “Shallow”.

Notably, the band have been consistently compared to post grunge titans Weezer, however judging by tonights performance, this is a rather unsubstantiated claim. The Magic Gang’s EP bearing no resemblance to Weezer’s “Pinkerton” drivel, rather their EP brandishes a rather honest brand of indie pop.

The result of the relentless touring with Wolf Alice and Swim Deep has payed off. As well as Swim Deep’s Austin Williams persistently hyping the Brighton quartet on twitter, The Magic Gang have become incredibly tight live. Gus Taylor’s slacker pop bass lines laying the foundation of the live set.

There’s only one criticism tonight, that after Vitamin the crowd quickly depleted and went and topped up their dosage of Red Stripe. They never did return. Consequently, resulting in the anti-climatical occurrence where the support band draws a greater crowd. Although, the Magic Gang’s enthusiasm by far makes up for this, it’s just the already tiny venue feels a little sparse.

The band’s biggest song of the night “No Fun”, results in a culmination of jovial teenagers jumping. No Fun? pfft… think again.

The Magic Gang played:

  1. Lady, Please
  2. She Doesn’t See
  3. Jasmine
  4. Isn’t Easy
  5. She Won’t Ghost
  6. All This Way
  7. Only Waiting
  8. All that I Want Is You
  9. Blue for you
  10. Alright
  11. Feeling Better
  12. No Fun
  13. Shallow

Words by Kate Brennan and Tyler Hilborne