The Magnets

Cabaret Festival. Dunstan Playhouse - 10 to 12 Jun

Launching their unique style onto the Adelaide Festival Centre’s Dunstan Playhouse, The Magnets wowed the audience with their “six man sound machine” making all of the pop music they performed with their mouths only.

The group includes beat boxer Andy Frost, vocal bassist Fraser Collins (aka Colin Fraser) and the vocal styling’s of James Fortune, Steve Trowell, Patrick Smith and Nic Doodson. The UK pop group perform their own unique arrangements of hit songs including ’Girls and Boys’ by Blur, ‘Poker Face’ by Lady Gaga and ‘Call Me’ by Blondie. Smith’s version of the Bonjovi hit ‘Living on a Prayer’ was an audience favourite as was Frost’s beat boxing solo, which was as much performance art as vocal dexterity.

Most impressive was the combination of skills demonstrated by these performers as they executed incredibly complex choreography whilst singing their equally intricate parts. It is difficult not to sit there completely astonished as Frost beat boxes and grooves simultaneously.

With a healthy dose of audience participation the group were interactive from the beginning. Breaking the audience into 3-part harmonies to sing along was just the start, they soon moved to a complicated medley of 26 songs showcasing bands from A - Z. Most of the audience gave up guessing the artists after the first few songs, completely enraptured by the skill of these vocal geniuses.

Sticking it to the boy bands with some classic movies taken straight out of video clips of the 90s the boys were always having a joke and keeping the atmosphere light. Fraser was a favourite with the ladies with his unnaturally low voice and cheeky hips in full swing.

This is cabaret for the 21st century and what the next generation will be talking about at festivals 10 years from now – forget crooners and fishnet stockings, this group had the audience popping and locking in their seats. An awesome performance which should not be missed! Just try and avoid buying the token promotional CD after the show. 

Paul Rodda