A cappella six-piece The Magnets have nothing to declare but their voices. Everything is live, everything is them and tonight’s gig, the last in a trio of hometown shows to kick off their autumn tour, is another chance to prove it.
Laden with a range of carefully chosen covers, The Magnets take turns to lead their well-crafted arrangements that span genres and eras. Every song they pull out of the hat is unexpected as they sidestep obvious selections: the boyband number is A-ha's Hunting High and Low and the Jacko tribute is Working Day and Night. Even their crowd-pleasing movie medley, which sees the group perform an A-Z of soundtracks, includes a few surprises – they plump for Sex and the City, not Star Wars or Superman.
It all makes for a show of interesting twists and turns. Fatboy Slim’s Weapon of Choice meets Lenny Kravitz’s Are You Gonna Go My Way? in a highly energised mash-up, Queen’s Dreamer’s Ball gets a doo-wop makeover complete with Nic Doodson’s mimic trumpet and Fraser Collins' rich bass, and Adele's Rolling in the Deep segues into a ‘drum solo’ from beatbox supremo Andy Frost, whose literal performance summons the notion of listening with your eyes.
Above all, The Magnets are absolute showmen. Their polished choreography and scripting is laced with comic timing and a little flirtation, and every last drop of performance has been filtered. These guys know exactly what they’re doing, which is why they are riding the vocal harmony wave, garnering more media attention and getting standing ovations, such as tonight.
Nothing really qualifies as original in today's music industry, but The Magnets’ inspired shows - this being their best production yet - come very close. Where else would you hear a bossa nova rendition of Bon Jovi’s Living on a Prayer? Believe me, it happened.On tour now