Magnum/Theia/Vega -

Cambridge Juction, Cambridge Tuesday, 28th March, 2022

Set List: Fire/Blue Heart/Back In Line/No Crisis/There’s A Boy/Eyes Like Fire/The Day.

Excitement was in the air at the prospect of seeing this show. Burton On Trent based Theia kicked things off and got a great reaction from the crowd at the Junction. I had seen them support Magnum before at the Apex in Bury St Edmunds. They were excellent then! Kyle Lamley (Guitar/Vocals) is a dynamic frontman and engaged brilliantly with the audience.

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Here at the Junction things had changed with only Kyle and his brother, Ash (Drums), appearing on stage. Kyle was very restricted as he performed, having to return constantly to a lap top in order to sync in the bass. Nevertheless, it was still a good performance as Kyle’s enigmatic personality still came to the fore. Highlights of the set were the ballad ‘Over The City’ which Kyle described as being very personal to him.

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In a recent Zoom meeting, he said it was about a young girl who had died, the song was written with the blessing of her bereaved family, very emotional… Tony Clarkin had given ‘Eyes Like Fire’ to the band and Theia make it their own, though it is obviously a Clarkin song due to its lyrical feel. It was a great start to a promising nights entertainment. So ‘Whoop Dee F*ck*ng Doo’.

Set List: Worth dying for/Every Little monster/Kneel To You/Live For Me/Kiss Of lLfe/White Flag/Sooner Or later/Animal.

Next up were seemingly perennial support band Vega, from the home of William Shakespeare. They are a quality act with boundless energy, enthusiasm, catchy hooks and songs.

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Nick Workman patrols the stage like a Rock God, somewhere between Jon Bon Jovi and Joe Elliot, encouraging the crowd to join in at every possible moment. The other members, James Martin (Keyboards), Tom Martin (Bass), Marcus Thurston & Billy Taylor (Guitars) and of course, Pete Newdeck (Drums) are no slouches each one adding something special to this six-piece band that really does have it all.

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I have seen Vega several times and their brand of melodic rock gets better every time, quite why they haven’t got to headline status in their own right is a mystery. Their set gets everyone bouncing from openers ‘Worth Dying For’, ‘Every Little Monster’ and ‘Kneel To You’, by the final song, a cover of Def Leppard’s ‘Animal,’ we are all in the mood to rock and party all night long, with Magnum.

Set List: Days of No Trust/ Lost on the Road to Eternity/ The Monster Roars/ The Archway of Tears/Dance of the Black Tattoo/ Where Are You Eden?/ The Flood (Red Cloud's War)/The Day After the Night Before/Wild Swan/Les Morts Dansant/Rockin' Chair/All England's Eyes/Vigilante/ Kingdom of Madness.

 

Encore: On a Storyteller's Night/Sacred Hour (Followed by a short reprise…)

It has been a long time, well two years plus since I last saw the mighty Magnum live at Bury St Edmunds Apex. In that time, we have had 'The SERPENT RINGS' and the recently released 'The MONSTER ROARS'.

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With a new line up I have high hopes for a much-overhauled set list. Opener ‘Days Of No Trust’ sets the tone for the show which is high on energy and is a perfect start in these times of uncertainty, it is greeted with joy by the Magnum faithful, new Bassist, Dennis Ward slots in perfectly and Keyboard Maestro, Rick Benton looks so much better placed further back on the stage. To me he looked out of place up front, though I am aware of the reasoning for his previous on-stage positioning.

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‘Lost On The Road To Eternity’ follows then we hear the title track of the new album. The band may be getting on a bit but the monster still roars! With the exception of ‘Days Of No Trust’ the opening six songs are all from since the reunion which is a brave statement of intent. As a group they look at ease and delighted to be performing live again on this the opening night of the tour.

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‘The Flood’ from Sleepwalking comes next and gets a magnificent response. Personally, I think we needed something a bit more singalong at this part of the show, something like ‘Just Like An Arrow’ or ‘Lonely Night’ would have been great to have broken up the newer songs, but that is just a minor gripe.

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‘The Day After The Night Before’ gets the crowd singing in unison and shows the depth of the new album, though again I would have liked to hear either ‘I Won’t Let You Down’ or the single ‘No Steppin’ Stone’. ‘Wild Swan’ gets a welcome airing and is greeted wildly!

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This is followed by ‘Les Mort’s Dansant’ which is especially poignant with the on-going atrocities in Ukraine… Two or three notes in to the next song and exclaim in total surprise, that it really can’t be ‘Rocking Chair’ but it is and I feel euphoric as does the sound of the voices around me. An incredible ‘All England’s Eyes’ is offered next and the place goes mental.

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‘Vigilante’ and ‘Kingdom Of Madness’ bring the main set to a close, the exploding smiles and dancing, well jumping around tell you all you need to know for this most welcome of returns. Now is encore time which features the monumental ‘On A Storytellers Night’ and ‘Sacred Hour’ which are both spell binding and stunning, provoking the crowd into frenzied joy and hysteria.

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The show ends with a reprise of ‘Days Of No Trust’ which we all sing with stunning passion and emotion. What a return, what show! Bob, Tony, Rick, Lee and Dennis you are legends, I know it has been hard, but long may you reign! From the beginning to now it has been a ‘Great Adventure’!

Review & Photographs

 

By Paul 'Rhino' Mace