Tramlines 2018: Magic Gang Review

Festivals are good for discovering new bands aren’t they?

When it comes to The Magic Gang I plead, prior to their rambunctious set on the Leadmill Live Stage, utter ignorance.

But after witnessing their 45 minute slot and carrying out some handheld research, I declare myself a fan of The Magic Gang.

The vintage shop-clothed group channel refreshing elements of the likes of old favourites Weezer and Teenage Fanclub with a dash of Beatles-like harmonies. To say that the largely shoulder-perched and freshly faced revellers in the tent love it would be an understatement.

After a slew of anthemic songs, a disproportionate amount of which are named after girls, the group practice a cover of ‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off You’ in preparation for guitarist Christian’s brother’s wedding the following day. The crowd goes berserk in a way that is unsuitable for a day of that calibre but is fittingly marvellous.

Singer Kris Smith, without a hint of faux, bullshit enthusiasm, declares Tramlines the best festival they’ve played so far and promises to see the Sheffield crowd again when they play Plug in September. They play their last song, which invokes the understated pop brilliance of Elvis Costello (a comparison that’s not just coming from Kris’ striking resemblance) before departing the stage.

So, with that, my advice would be to keep an eye out for groups you’ve never heard of and watch this space for when The Magic Gang come back to The Plug for a further review. Song titles and all!

Words: Charles Gray
Pics: Matt Crowder

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