The Brook, Southampton

I have been a fan of Magnum since 1986 when I first saw them at Poole Arts Centre on their ‘Vigilante’ tour. The production was brilliant and the band pulled off an impressive performance that added another young fan to their legion of admirers and I have followed the band’s career ever since. Fast Forward to 2011 and Magnum are back on the road promoting their 16th studio album ‘The Visitation’ with the Southampton date being part of a 15 date UK tour.

Gywn Ashton

Tonight’s support is Gwyn Ashton who is originally from Wales and emigrated to Australia in the 1960’s. He comes in the form a Two Man Blues Army together with drummer Kev Hickman, a sort of blues White Stripes. Gwyn has a fair array of guitars and shows versatiity adapting with many different styles, using lots of pedal effects to create an original sound made up of lots of different influences. One song ‘When We Need Your Help’ Gwyn brings out a lap steel guitar and he plays it with supreme excellence working extremely well with Kev’s drumming. The set ends with a ‘love song’ called ‘Mad Dog’ which he dedicates to all the ladies in the audience. After a fine 45 minute set the 2 guys leave the stage with the applause that they deserved.

It is Easter Sunday and the weather is unusually warm for the time of year and the packed Brook is feeling the heat, the venue’s staff put on the air conditioning and a comfortable temperature is soon resumed. The lights soon dim and the intro music starts, Magnum are straight out of the blocks with the classic ‘Back To Earth’. Despite his years lead singer Bob Catley’s voice still sounds good, with his trade mark hand gestures still there.


The band put together a well rehearsed set of mainly newer material from the last three albums coupled with a few classic for good measure. The new album material such as ‘Wild Angels’, ‘Mother Nature’s Final Dance’ and the epic sounding ‘Black Skies’ all follow the classic Magnum formula and sound as good live as they do on record. The colossal opening intro of ‘Vigilante’ took me back 25 years to the first time I saw them and as I looked around there were many ageing rockers feeling the same way. This continued into the encores with ‘Kingdom Of Madness’ showing guitarist Tony Clarkin’s expertise at his craft. The night ended with the band all coming to the front of the stage to take their bows, with the audience going wild with delight showing their appreciation for a fine night of music by rock legends who continue to thrill.

Set -List
Back To Earth
When We Were Younger
Wild Angels
Brand New Morning
Mother Nature’s Final Dance
How Far Jerusalem
Spin Like A Wheel
The Moon King
Freedom Day
Les Morts Dansant
Black Skies
All My Bridges
All England’s Eyes

Kingdom Of Madness
On A Storytellers Night


Word and Pictures by;

Dave Chinery(Chinners)

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