Gig review: Magazine - Glasgow ABC

DESPITE the recent departure of much-loved bassist Barry Adamson to concentrate on soundtrack work, Magazine have proved that their reunion has legs by producing their first new album in three decades.

The scattering of tracks from No Thyself throughout this set collapsed the intervening years, but Magazine have always played to the beat of their own drum… and the urgent surge of their own guitar and the mammoth quake of their own keyboards.

Some of these elements seemed to lack their intrinsic firepower in the early stages of the show, partly down to the choice of broodier material, but mainly because of the relatively polite sound levels.

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Magazine are more than capable of an erudite onslaught but their set didn’t really take off as it might until they whacked up the volume for Rhythm Of Cruelty, and that melodic fuzz guitar and new wave keyboard sprinted from the traps.

Adamson’s replacement, Jon “Stan” White did the job as anchorman, minus the flamboyant stage presence, but that was covered by the joyful sight of Howard Devoto having a ball out front, brandishing placards, making pithy inter-song banter and pondering aloud if they had played “enough songs about the wrong kind of sex” before delivering a blisteringly nasty Permafrost.

Having shifted a gear, their playful covers of Sly Stone’s Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin) and Captain Beefheart’s I Love You You Big Dummy plus an exultant The Light Pours Out Of Me and that orgasmic, ascending guitar riff of Shot By Both Sides all lived up to their superior standards.

Rating: ****