Concert Reviews

The Magpie Salute / Maker Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     December 26, 2018    
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The Magpie Salute / Maker - O2 Academy 2, Manchester (UK) - 03 December 2018

The Magpie Salute will not be what you expect them to be. Seeing Rich Robinson last year in Manchester, he told a Black Crowes shouting gent that he didn't have to prove himself and that's clearly the case, when we chatted it was about art, music and making a connection, not sales and demographics. The Magpie Salute are here to celebrate sounds that have inspired them, here they showed just how well they can take that trip.

Firstly to Maker, who have a souped-up Faces sound and a confidence their hip-shaking tunes engender. Mainman Alessandro Marinelli wore a cape that looked like his mum's curtains, but he covered the stage and struck poses well, the noise was big and that sass made us think there's something under all those hats and hair. There is; the new album, 'Dead Ends & Avenues', which is stupendous.

Every night has been different for the headliners. They're rather like a seventies troubadour combo, playing a wide selection of music, their connection together giving you the feel you need. And so they can resemble the Eagles, lined up for us and a little static; not going to gloss over the appalling mix either, far too trebly, that they came through is testament to them. We began with a gorgeously laying back 'High Water', but when John Hogg stepped from behind his guitar and shook his maracas, his emotive voice started to open up. 'Omission' grew beautifully, Matt Slocum apparent behind his electric keys

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They favoured us with a gorgeously rolling 'Look Out Cleveland' from The Band, 'For The Wind' appropriately took off in the chorus and Hogg doesn't half look like he's cribbed moves from Ian Brown when shaking his maracas. They can harden up too, like the Hookah Brown cover 'Black Cloud', but they don't half love to extemporise - you get these fretboard forays and if you fancy something tighter, the riffs will serve you well.

When the acoustic guitars came out, you could almost see some shoulders slump but, despite punters at the bar who seemed to want the band to hear about their lives, created a spellbinding atmosphere. Their close harmonies, their connection, their love of the music made 'Sister Moon', Gram Parsons' 'She' and 'How Much For Your Wings' the highlights tonight.

The acoustic section segued wonderfully into an electric wig-out, 'Mary The Gypsy' fecund and rounded. And this is what the Magpie Salute do, open up, bathe in the music that comes to them and allow it to take them wherever they need. If you want to go with them, those notes will take you to the stratosphere, if not, just breeze on by, man.
This is the closest to a seventies Rock review, Ronnie Laine's Slim Chance freewheeler you're likely to get these days; drink it in.

Steve Swift

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