Opening up for The Magic Numbers at Brighton’s Old Market are a starry-eyed young band called Penelope Isles. Somewhat confusingly none of the band members are called Penelope Isles – but two of them are called Jack. One of the Jacks is the brother of Lily, and then there’s Becky to make up the magic number four.
Penelope Isles have a strong Brighton following, but the hark from the Isle of Man – until now best known as the birthplace of The Bee Gees.
As well as the brother/sister thing, musically they share a lot in common with the Magic Numbers. Tight harmonies, sonic shapes, crafty lyrical hooks, and an ever-changing atmosphere as they wind the tempo up and down to keep the audience engaged throughout their set.
Definitely a band to look out for.
The Magic Numbers themselves need no real introduction or description – they are becoming a perennial mainstay of the touring and festival circuit, and we always hear them referred to in terms such as ‘the best live band I’ve ever seen – and I’ve seen a lot!’ or ‘a genuine slice of summer sunshine.’
You can’t really say any more than that.
However what is worth taking note of is their new album, ‘Outsiders’.
This is a really good listen, and plenty of the new tracks have instantly made it onto the live setlist.
We particularly like the Fleetwood Mac-meets-Florence and the Machine vibe of ‘Shotgun Wedding‘, the baggy Manchester drums of ‘Ride Against the Wind’ and the T-Rex-influences scattered through ‘The Keeper‘.
Other musical references aside, this is far from a derivative album – it’s pure Magic Numbers through and through, and if you are a fan of the band you need it in your collection.
You can still catch the band on tour at the following venues:
May 22 | Colchester Arts Centre, Colchester
May 23 | West End Arts Centre, Aldershot
May 28 | Hare & Hounds, Birmingham
May 29 | Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
May 30 | Arts Centre, Pocklington
May 31 | The Trades Club, Hebden Bridge
June 2 | The Cluny, Newcastle
June 3 | The Caves, Edinburgh
June 4 | The Old Fire Station, Carlisle
June 5 | The Georgian Theatre, Stockton
June 7 | Empire, Belfast
June 8 | Cyprus Avenue, Cork, IRE
June 9 | Roisin Dubh, Galway, IRE
June 10 | Whelans, Dublin, IRE
June 12 | Arts Club, Liverpool
June 13 | Norwich Arts Centre, Norwich
Photos by Sara Bowrey