Words and Photography: Kieran Webber
Whenever I get sent the tour dates of a band i will scour it for a Cornwall show, or at the very least a Plymouth slot. A lot of the times i’m left disappointed and normally have to venture to cities such as Bristol. So you can imagine my delight when nestled between Bristol and Brighton slots was the Regal Theatre in Redruth! I was elated to say the least that Penelope Isles and The Magic Numbers would be playing on home turf.
The Regal Theatre in Redruth is an interesting venue with multiple functions. It’s a cinema, restaurant, music venue and comedy club and probably has other functions. It’s very strange watching a band perform on a theatre stage whilst having the delicious smell of popcorn invade your nostrils on occasion. However, the old theatre provided a unique but brilliant platform for both bands.
Opening things up was the brilliant Penelope Isles, whom we first came in contact with at Knee Deep Festival 2016. To say the band have developed since then would be an understatement. They have fully grown into their sound and carry themselves with an excellent amount of confidence. As a band they are incredibly tight, with the anchors being Jack and Lily Wolter. Both maintain the bands sound through keyboard, synth and guitar. As always they were incredibly humble but the truth is they are well deserved of their position as an opening slot for The Magic Numbers and soon they will be headlining sold out shows across the country.
Following Penelope Isles was a special guest Ren Harvieu, an artist Romeo Stodart (The Magic Numbers) had been working with for a year or so. She came out donned in black head to toe, looking like a Noir femme-fatal. There is only one word to explain her music, captivating. Her voice hovered across the crowd with majestic flight, bringing the theatre to a silence. The only time the theatre would make a noise was to applaud. Although layered in beauty her music has an element of harrowing darkness through it, especially the opening track. She also had a certain level of sassy confidence that was hard not to be admired, she spoke of positivity in the face of heartbreak. Put simply the performance was beautiful.
After a short interval The Magic Numbers took the stage and without further adieu blasted out ‘Shotgun Wedding’, the opening track from their latest album ‘Outsiders’. Across their set they played a mix of songs old and new, some fast some slow but no matter what their sound was impeccable. It was a delight to watch this band in action and listening to the more emotive tracks such as ‘Sing Me A Rebel Song’ and ‘Love’s A Game’ was beautiful. They are masters of their craft.
It was particularly interesting seeing them dabble in the realm of psychedlia too, their second to last track ‘Sweet Divide’ was a far out adventure that pushed the bands sound. The introduction of saxophone and swirling guitars created an aura of psych that was very much welcomed.
Closing the night off they did a cover of Portisheads ‘The Rip’, a beautiful rendition of a deeply moving track. They lifted us higher and higher with the crescendo and then dropped us as it all came to a halt. As they waved and left stage the roar of encore blew through the crowd and thankfully they obliged. Their final song was in the form of arguably their most popular, ‘Love Me Like You Do’. It was a splendid closer that had the whole theatre singing and dancing a long to what is a classic.
If you get the opportunity to catch these guys on their ‘Outsiders’ tour then i strongly recommend you go, you will not be disappointed.
By Kieran Webber