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The Assembly, Leamington Spa, 7 November 2009

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A good sized turnout at The Assembly for a show by the much loved midlands classic rock band Magnum now into their forth decade of making great music.

The support band for the evening was the very impressive Cambridge based progressive metal band Awake bringing their full on wall of sound and hi-energy show to a responsive crowd.

As well as a few older numbers Awake performed a few tracks from their impressive latest album Illumination including the rocking Dream Within the Symphonic rock of The Price You have to Pay and the Sabbath like riffs of the title track.

Magnum, photo by Andrew Lock
Photo by Andrew Lock

Headliners Magnum always a favourite of classic rock lovers have been performing and recording now for well over 30 years and have a wealth of material from which to form a set.

This summer they released Into the Valley of the Moonking and from the quality of this album it is obvious that the band have last none of their power, splendour and song craft.

The set included a large selection from the new release with the atmospheric intro tape leading into the album opener Cry to Yourself followed by the outstanding rocker from the album Take Me To The Edge. The band performed six tracks in total from the album including the power ballad A Face in the Crowd and the epic The Moon King.

Magnum, photo by Andrew Lock
Photo by Andrew Lock

With such a back catalogue the band are surely spoiled for choice when it comes to the older material and the set included material from at least six of their earlier albums.

Stand out tracks from the main set included the anti-war classic Les Morts Dansant from their best known album On a Story Tellers Night, Dragons Are Real from the 2007 album 'Princess Alice and the Broken Arrow' and the sheer power of the all time classic Vigilante.

Magnum, photo by Andrew Lock
Photo by Andrew Lock

The encores two absolute gems the 10-minute epic that is Don't Wake the Lion and the equally epic and regular closing number Kingdom of Madness.

Band on great form with frontman Bob Catley in great voice commanding centre stage with the ridiculously talented guitarist and songwriter Tony Clarkin to one side and Al Barrow on bass on the other. On keyboards was the excellent Mark Stanway and on drums as well as one of rocks greatest characters one of the masters of the art ex-Thunder sticks man Harry James.

The venue again did the town proud and the sound especially on the vocals was spot on and the lighting as always top notch another great Leamington gig.

Review and photos by Andrew Lock


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