Gig review: The Magic Numbers, Edinburgh

Their star has dimmed since the self-titled debut album gathered a Mercury nomination in 2005, but it was pleasing to note at this show that the London-formed Magic Numbers seem to retain a committed following from a sizeable hardcore of fans.

The Magic Numbers performed a special acoustic set at the Edinburgh Oxfam Music shop before the gig. Picture: Ian Georgeson

The Magic Numbers, Pleasance, Edinburgh

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Playing acoustically, the format best allowed them to transmit the sense of warmth that wraps itself around both their music and their onstage personae.

In this setting, what also rang out was the sublime quality of the three voices at the heart of the group, with the bearded Romeo Stodart offering a reedy, folk-infused tone, his sister Michele specialising in winsome, crystalline balladeering (the best example of which was her own Will You Wait from last year’s solo record Wide-Eyed Crossing) and Angela Gannon belting out a truly striking soul singer’s holler. The point at which the group’s Take a Chance roared into her own take on Fleetwood Mac’s Rhiannon won’t fade easily from the memory, while some of the harmonies between all three were sublime.

Drummer Sean Gannon (Angela’s brother) also took a turn on the main mic with a harmonica solo during a cover of Neil Young’s Harvest Moon, a song that enjoyed vocal and percussive assistance from James Dale and John Herbert from support act Goldheart Assembly. If the new songs played from the forthcoming, as yet untitled, LP didn’t quite match the sublime country-pop rush of early hits Love Me Like You and Morning’s Eleven, we should be thankful at least that this resoundingly talented band have chosen to flex their skills with more epic and progressive styles.