HAL & THE MAGIC NUMBERS ( LIVERPOOL BARFLY 11/02/05) - Live Review
HAL & THE MAGIC NUMBERS ( LIVERPOOL BARFLY 11/02/05)
The calming and uplifting nature of the down to earth and tantalizingly talented mixed gender New York quartet; The Magic Numbers massaged minds and swayed bodies from the outset. The cutting folk casually meeting with hillbilly rock opening number “The Mule” reminiscent of Mamas And Papas ingratiated the twopairs of siblings on stage to the crowd, as a friendly family atmosphere was created. The good folk of Liverpool responded with kindness to the amiable and humble Trinidad raised front man Romeo Stoddart early on in; ‘Lost Forever’. Romeo, who captures the soulfulness and passion of Tim DeLaughter and encases it with the rustiness Ebbot Lundberg (The Soundtrack Of Our Lives) simply exuded enthusiasm and passion throughout.
The set soon opened out like a thrilling football match, as variety proffered by the soothing and soaring vocals of the two femmes of the group; Angela Stoddart (melodica) and Michelle Gannon (Bass) peppered tracks like old single ‘Hymn For Her’ and ‘Love’s A Game’ with an ethereally calming touch that incorporated tingling accompaniments. The set highlight was the tantalizingly compelling “I See You, You See Me” that saw a delicious vocal dialogue taking
place between Romeo and Angela to a background of cushioning instrumentals. With the debut album due out in May and tours with Athlete and Doves on the horizon; The Magic Numbers will be inthe musical equation quite a lot this coming spring.
To top the evening off Ireland’s heartwarming quartet; HAL sprinkled the dust of a combination of Mercury Rev and The Byrds around the room, as the unassuming guys fronted by Dave Allen, dissected the topic of love in this prelude to valentines day. The label of the new The Thrills has not so much been placed on this band, but tattooed onto them and will be difficult to shift especially as they head out on tour with them soon.
The tingling instrumentals of ‘Make Love Your Golden Rule’ and previous B-side ‘Out Tonight’ enchanted a Friday night crowd to produce a mood a restful tranquility. Smiles and jigs came towards the end of the set as favourite; ‘What A Lovely Dance’ demonstrated that passion and romance without sappy cheese are still alive in modern indie/pop, as Allen’s alluring voice sent the hordes home contented.