THE RECOMMENDER: Wolf Alice on The Magic Gang

07 Apr 2016

Wolf Alice drummer Joel Amey on The Magic Gang's "perfect pop songs"


The Recommender is a regular RFB feature where we get established musical hotshots to tip their favourite, less well-known acts: an internet-based passing on of the baton, if you will.

This week, Wolf Alice drummer Joel Amey is waxing lyrical on Brighton quartet The Magic Gang. Over the last two years, Wolf Alice have grown from fledgling London newbies to one of the biggest indie success stories in recent memory, recently selling out four nights on the trot at London's Forum. Their tricks? Hard graft, an incendiary (award-winning no less) live show and an ear for a bloody great tune. It means that Joel's well placed to spot these qualities in his peers and none deserve the recognition more than friends and former tourmates The Magic Gang, who certainly know how to write a throw-your-arm-round-your-mate anthem themselves. We'll hand over to Joel to elaborate...

"I'd heard rumours of this band from Brighton who were making perfect pop songs that everyone thought were covers of classic songs, but actually they were writing them themselves in their shared house in Brighton. I can't remember the exact moment we met but I think it was through the Swim Deep boys and every time we went to Brighton they would take us out on an adventure.

We took them out on tour and watching them play in Bournemouth was like watching them play their own headline show; everyone there loved them and was going suitably nuts and watching the band react and build upon the energy was so much fun that I forgot I had to get ready to do my own show. Another highlight of that tour was us and Bloody Knees, Abattoir Blues and Birdskulls in Brighton at about 4am, all in Gus [Taylor, Magic Gang bassist]' room while he was trying sleep, singing their song 'Jasmine' and 'Don't Look Back in Anger' for about six hours like some sort of terrible loop. But it was at that moment, while slumped on a pile of clothes in the corner while Joff twanged away on the broken acoustic, that I realised 'Jasmine' might be the greatest song I've ever heard.

Annoyingly I haven't seen them in ages, but everyone I know who was at the recent 100 Club show said it was chaos and I'm gutted to have missed it. I think they're finding their sound and making a move away from the pack; you can't argue with those choruses, it makes me mad to not hear them on the radio. Also Paeris [Giles, drummer] knows a drum beat better than most: a wonderful drummer. If you haven't heard The Magic Gang, then I think start at the beginning! It's a good a point as any. Get 'Shallow' on and then work your way through to their recent 'Walk On By' cover. Then repeat.

You should be getting excited about as many bands as possible (Fish, The Orielles, Japanese Breakfast, Daywave, A.K Paul), but The Magic Gang stick out as songwriters. There are no gimmicks with these boys; they've crafted some perfect pop gems and are going to soundtrack some of your favourite summers - even if you don't know it yet."


The Magic Gang will support Spring King at the Scala on May 26th. Tickets on sale now

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