Magic Kids - Nation of Shop Keepers, Leeds - Gigs - Reviews - Soundblab

Magic Kids - Nation of Shop Keepers, Leeds

by Rich Morris Rating: Release Date:

Ben from The Lodger apologises for the unexplained absence of his band-mates and rather sweetly says he hopes we don't mind him playing a solo set. To be fair to Ben, it takes guts to play on your own at what must be short notice. Honestly, though, his set is a chore to get through. The Lodger's winsome pop, often embellished with horns and other instruments, is reduced to a mundane strum-along which non-descript lyrics. Also, Ben's vocal limitations are revealed for all to hear. This, plus Ben's side-parting and cricket white jumper, unfortunately mean that Soundblab can't help imagining it's Alan Partridge on stage about to launch into his Kate Bush medley.

Magic Kids sound like they're in a musical. Their knowingly kooky, sunshiny chamber pop gems are delivered with widescreen panache despite six of them being crammed onto a small stage. Songs like 'Candy', from their album Memphis, are stuffed full of sugary harmonies, whimsical twists and tempo changes. On the super cheesy 'Hey Boy' or 'Skateland', which suddenly bursts from wistful revere to Technicolor pop, you almost expect the band to start jiving like the cast Summer Holiday. Thankfully they don't, since Magic Kids already have a weakness for over-egging the pudding. Some songs feel like little more than exercises in how many tempo changes and harmonies you can cram into a decent pop song before it loses all structure. However, for the most part, the band pulls it off. The funny is funny, cute and super-sweet. So sweet, in fact, it could probably rot your teeth.

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