The Engine Rooms, Southampton


Birmingham rockers Magnum were formed back in 1972 by Bob Catley and Tony Clarkin, a pair who have formed a lifelong relationship creating music of the highest calibre. Their partnership has brought their hordes of fans many classic albums that have been loved for decades. The pair though now in the early 70’s are still touring and creating credible, relevant music. The band have just released their 20th studio album “Lost on the Road to Eternity”; the album is the first to feature two new members, Lee Morris on drums and Rick Benton on keyboards. The album was released to very positive reviews and the band are once again out on the road delivering the new line up and the new tunes to their adoring fans. Tonight the tour rolls into the Engine Rooms and this old roller disco hall is packed with anticipation.

Rebecca Downes
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Tonight’s hand-picked support is fellow West Midlander Rebecca Downes who arrives on stage with some instant energy and a clear determination in getting this crowd warmed up for the headliners. Rebecca is joined by her band featuring Steve Birkett on guitar, Dan Clark on bass, Nigel Darvill on Keyboards and the ever smiling youngest member of the band drummer Lloyd Daker. The band really entertain with tunes like the soul-soothing “Night Train” which features some impressive slide guitar and the latest single “Sailing on a Pool of Tears”. The tune combines a strong blues lineage with Rebecca’s emotionally delivered powerful vocals, which beautifully fill this large room along with the band’s generous musical chemistry. You also cannot help to be moved by a track called “Believe” which provides some incredibly uplifting lyrics. The band ends with a celebratory cover of a song that needs very little introduction; “With a Little Help from My Friends” which gets the crowd readily singing along with the band. The band leave the stage to plenty of positive support after a splendid opening set.

At precisely 9:15pm, after a quick changeover, the headliners take to the stage to an enthusiastic welcome from this excited Southampton crowd. With a look over their shoulders back in time, the band kick off with “When We Were Younger”. A typical guitar-led tune which showcases all that is great about the British under-rated institution that is called “Magnum”. The two new boys Rick and Lee stunningly fit into the band set-up so well, ably creating the band’s unique sound. Tonight many of us are waiting to hear for the first time some of the new tracks from the latest album. The band do not disappoint with some excellent versions of the radio played “Without You” and the deliciously tasty “Peaches and Cream”. You cannot fault Bob and Tony’s commitment to their trade, they never fail to deliver and bring to Southampton an excited and varied setlist with something for everyone.

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The energy levels are increased when old favourite “How Far Jerusalem” is belted out with the audience assisting Bob with a near perfect chorus sing-a-long. Bassist ‘Al Barrow’ lifts his hands high in the air encouraging most of the audience to clap along. You cannot fail to be uplifted by these tunes with both past and present standing equally side by side, delivering in all areas. There is no slowing of momentum as tunes like “All England’s Eyes”, “Vigilante” and the epic “Don’t Wake the Lion” keep us all thrilled throughout. The band briefly leave the stage before returning with big smiles on their faces after this very demanding audience insists on an encore. The two-song encore features the ever popular sing-a-long “The Spirit” and the monumental last tune “When the World Comes Down” which brings the evening to a fantastic end.

When We Were Younger
Sacred Blood ìDivineî Lies
Lost on the Road to Eternity
Crazy Old Mothers
Without Love
Your Dreams Won’t Die
Peaches and Cream
How Far Jerusalem
Les Morts Dansant
Show Me Youíre Hands
Twelve Men Wise and Just
All England’s Eyes
Don’t Wake the Lion (Too Old to Die Young)

The Spirit
When the World Comes Down

Rebecca Downes
Never Gonna Learn
Take Me Higher
Night Train
Sailing on a Pool of Tears
If I Go to Sleep
With a Little Help from My Friends


Words & Pictures by Dave Chinery (Chinners)

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