The Magic Gang @ Albert Hall, Manchester


Deep breath, eyes closed, take yourself back to the early 2000s. Indie music pulsing through your veins, the radios bleed Arctic Monkeys, The Strokes, The White Stripes and Franz Ferdinand, the bands who defined indie rock. Now, snap back to 2018, radios have somewhat become something of the past, but indie music most certainly has not. Over the last year or so, The Magic Gang have been one of the worst kept secrets in terms of up and coming indie bands, but tonight they grace the stage of Manchester’s Albert Hall. It’s been six extraordinary months since The Magic Gang released their self-titled debut album, and tonight they return to Manchester for “what might have to be one of the best crowds we have ever performed to”.

The gang open with ‘Alright’ and instantaneously the whole room is backing the band, the venue is bouncing, and I mean you can feel the floor bouncing, questioning whether Albert Hall could actually strain the weight of a packed, energetic and frantic crowd, and what would give way first, the crowd’s stamina or the venue’s structure. The previous anticipation of the show has been converted into raw emotion, that energy motivating the magical musicians to power through a setlist which only provides big hit after big hit.

It is hard for Jack Kaye not to steal all the spotlight at times with his brilliant stage presence and crowd interaction, mixed with charismatic charm and vibrant presence, but moments of beauty have to be appreciated when the night is slowed down a little for Kristian Smith’s delicate and dazzling tracks.

When returning to the stage for their encore, the act of opening a bottle of champagne takes place, which only solidifies the feeling of a very well-deserved celebration for the band. The whole night marks an amazing accomplishment, notably coming a very long way in such a surprisingly short amount of time.

With this much hype and excitement behind a band that have only released one album, it really does raise the question of where this band could end up, but only time will tell if the magnificent Magic Gang can fill the boots that critics have handed them.

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