The Magic Numbers are back in town this month. The harmony-drenched four piece bring their brilliant new album to Seel Street for a gig at Arts Club soon and memories of the last time they played there are still alive with the electricity of it all. This time? The guitars are raging. By Alan O’Hare.
“It was the time of skinny indie boys like The Strokes and The Libertines – and then there we stood.” Michele Stodart, bass playing and singing Magic Number, is talking about the four-piece’s first brush with fame back in 2005. “We’ve always been an outsider band never trying to fit in to any musical trend, but I think there’s a sense of confidence in being an outsider once you realise you can be at peace with it in yourself.”
She’s right. The Magic Numbers are a band who’ve defied expectation since day one and continue to release and tour great music. New album, ‘Outsiders’, is their fifth record and the first released on their own label, Role Play. “We’re no longer following the ‘standard’ of major labels and no longer on this conveyor belt following a certain formula,” she reveals. “We’re in the long grass creating a new path for ourselves!” It’s a path that’s led to the Neil Young-meets-Fleetwood Mac sound of ‘Outsiders’. It’s a cracking listen, alive with electric guitars and beautiful melodies, alongside some of the best singing you’ll hear this year. “I think the record has definitely stepped up in gear… it’s the closest to how we play live and it captures the wild, crazy and delicate sides to all of us.”
The Magic Numbers will be bringing their magic to Seel Street next week, when they play Arts Club as part of a massive UK tour to launch the album. The last time I saw the harmony-drenched group in that building, they were everything a live band should be and left the sold-out crowd breathless. “We love playing Liverpool and yeah we’ve had some killer shows there over the years,” laughs Michele.
I love the new album…
… it’s raw, real and ALIVE!
Fair enough! The guitars sound great. Looking forward to playing it live?
Hell yeah! Romeo absolutely nails it on the guitars and we had so much fun recording this album. We love being on the road and playing every night, our live shows are pretty electric, and every show is really different… a bit like Neil Young (when we went on tour with him) we do our own thing and lose ourselves in the moment. I can’t wait!
You guys have always been outsiders. Would you say it’s a role that suits you?
As people, we’ve come from very unorthodox family lives where music has been a constant for us. It’s pretty powerful stuff and we’ve realised a lot of things about ourselves over the years.
Is it good to be back at ‘the day job’?
I never quite looked at it like that… but I know what you mean. I think it’s been really healthy for us as individuals to step away and create, learn, grow and just live really. Now we’ve got this new lease of life and energy to inject into the band – there’s nothing quite like it when the four of us are in a room playing music together.
What’s changed about putting a record out now to when you first did it?
Everything! Every step is different and new; we’re all trying to do things differently… which suits us, really! It’s exciting yet terrifying all at the same time, because the ultimate goal hasn’t changed: we still want as many people as possible to hear our music, spend time with it and let the songs get under your skin and into your heart.
Tell me about your hopes for ‘Outsiders’…
We fucking love this record so much and it’s more than a collection of songs. This record goes a lot deeper for us, it’s been a long time being in a band together and we’re two sets of families… this is who we are. Hopes? We can’t make people like it, but we hope that they get it. We want to take this record all over the world and spread the word. We’re off to Japan soon and the States, South America as well… we’re putting in all we’ve got and more because we believe in this album.
Lovely! And Liverpool?
It’ll be great to come back, have a drink and play music for you guys.
What are Wednesday afternoons like on tour with The Magic Numbers?
Ha, ha! Well, no doubt hungover from our Tuesday shenanigans: shades, hoodies and playing tunes in the van.
The Magic Numbers
Tuesday June 12th 2018, 7pm
Arts Club, Seel Street, Liverpool
Pic by Niamh Murray