Gig Review by Zak Edwards with Photography by Bianca Barrett

The Magic Numbers

The drive into Buxton in North Derbyshire is a beautiful picturesque one. Situated deep in the trawling expanse of near mountainous hillsides which are the Pennines, it has a particularly relaxed feeling as you then arrive in the isolated town. The visual glory continues with quaint houses, shops and a plethora of little eateries. In amongst this is the grandly named Buxton Opera House a delightful building which hails from the early 1900s and was obviously built for theatrical displays.

Everything was very Zen. Very chilled. Lovely.

The Magic Numbers

As the lights dimmed, violins strummed and the particularly dapper Magic Numbers made their way to the stage to serve the small band of seated fans up an acoustic treat, it seemed that the venue, the artists and the set they were about to embark on, were the perfect marriage. Nice one promoters.

What immediately strikes you with the softly, well-spoken Numbers is their angelic, somewhat perfect three-way harmonies. Haunting and mesmerising are two adjectives which spring to mind.

The Magic Numbers

“Good evening Buxton thanks for coming to see us tonight” whispered Romeo Stoddart as the two pairs of siblings burst into a stripped back version of ‘You Never Had it’.

Harmonies became a staple of every song as did the adoption of other instruments – from mini Xylophone to those 80s throwback type keyboards which you blew in to. They even popped out a Glockenspiel. Splendid!

The Magic Numbers

It seems weird saying that the already minimalist songs were cut back, but they really were – the emphasis was on this being an acoustic set – and it really worked.

“Here’s a new song off our next album called Roy Orbison. We want you to cheer every time we mention his name” stated the singer. The crowd duly obliged.

The Magic Numbers

Having only seen The Magic Numbers previously at V Festival (2010), it became apparent, upon seeing them in a more intimate venue, just how nice they actually are as they wished Dean and Lisa (from the hotel where they were staying) a happy 23rd Wedding Anniversary, to which the gleeful couple boogied down the aisle, along with some other revellers.

As both girls, swapped instruments with obvious ease, the band introduced another new song – ‘Out on the Streets – which was equally as well received as the aforementioned Big O.

The Magic Numbers

Cover versions followed from their not so ingeniously entitled ‘Undercover’ and then Bob, the Double Bass was introduced to the audience, which encouraged more Dad dancing in the crowd.

The only small critique I have of the Magic Numbers is that their songs seemed to go on a wee bit too long. I don’t know of this is indicative of the genre, but it seemed a common theme for all of their songs, many of which could have finished 90 seconds earlier. This however, seemed not to matter a jot to their appreciative audience.

The Magic Numbers

They finished on a glorious version of Fleetwood Macs ‘Rhianna’ and then their signature song for the finale ‘Love Me Like You’ which had the audience in raptures which then led on to another cover, the jolly Harvest Moon by their obvious influence Mr Neil Young, ably assisted by two of their slightly inebriated support act on percussion.

Then that was that. A big drive home amongst the fog and the winding roads of the Pennines, but with our hearts warmed by the glorious 90 minutes we had just witnessed.

The Magic Numbers

Leave a Reply