Kingdom Of Madness -
Maddergate Theatre, Norwich, Saturday, October 1st 2022
Set List: Changes/Back to Earth/Just Like An Arrow/Wild Swan/The Prize/Need A Lot Of Love/Les Morts Dansant/Loves A Stranger/Rocking Chair/Soldier On The Line/Tall Ships/Only In America/Midnight.
Encore: Storytellers Night/Kingdom Of Madness/Lights Burned Out/Sacred Hour.
I must start by mentioning this stunning Theatre set in the heart of the historic city centre of Norwich. Everything about it was magical from the staff to the wonderful auditorium, the stage has both breadth and depth it is illuminated and ready for Kingdom Of Madness, who kicked things off with ‘Changes’.
Mark Stanway joined the above in 1980, 2 years before the 'Chase The Dragon' album and spent the next 36 years recording 19 studio albums embellishing this glorious music, making himself an integral and vital part of the classic sound.
First and foremost, comes Tony Clarkin then Bob Catley, but without the dexterous fluidity of Mark’s playing something would surely be missing. I know Mark was not part of the original line-up but his tenure with the group gives him every right to pursue the cause of Kingdom Of Madness, along with a few others who were there at the beginning.
I was there that fateful night at Cambridge Junction in 2016, when Mark made his decision to leave, you will be able to read about the reasons in his new book, which is coming soon.
You can see the set list above, personally I would like more material pre-Storyteller, especially ‘All Of My Life’. But that is not a complaint, just personal taste. Mark was clearly in his element, his smiles lighting up the venue. Mo Birch had a lovely pair of Congas, well that’s what I am calling them and strutted the stage in her high heels and what a voice!
The same can be said of Vocalist, Mark Pascall, no he wasn’t wearing high heels, but together they created a wonderful sound and gave the songs a new twist for the devoted fans who were in attendance at this ambient Theatre.
As for highlights, there were many! Mickey Barker's drum solo was outstanding! Mickey had joined Magnum in time for the release of ‘Vigilante’ in 1986 and remained on the drum stool until the release of ‘Rock Art’ and the break-up of the band in 1994.
Kingdom of Madness took a few songs to hit their stride but by the interval they were clearly enjoying themselves, like a pulsating football match, sometimes the enforced break can ruin the spectacle, however when they returned the positivity and excitement was quickly restored.
It was during the second set and the ensuing encore that for me came the nights highlight ‘The Lights Burned Out' which was the emotional high point, ‘What am I gonna do without you baby, what am I gonna do without you now’? Mo handling the vocals superbly.
On lead guitar, the amazing Alan Bell interpreted the songs with subtle stunning brilliance, while bass player, Brian Badhams kept it together with an almost constant smile. Tonight, the only thing missing was the sound of the flute, as Richard Bailey, also the original keyboard player, was unable to perform.
The links to the historic past of Magnum gives every justification for Kingdom Of Madness to perform these songs. We should think ourselves lucky that we have two bands performing this amazing material.
The night finished in the only way it could with ‘Sacred Hour’. Those who were there were ecstatic! After the show Mark Stanway and Mo Birch met everyone who wanted a photo or simply wanted to say hello.
Review by Paul 'Rhino' Mace
Concert Photographs by Paul 'Animal' Hampson
Photograph of Paul H & Paul M with Mark & Mo by Jane Mace