The Magnets - Homegrown

I’ve always thought ‘The Magnets’ was a somewhat corny and uninspired choice of name for such an awesomely cool ensemble, but after seeing them for the second time I’ve discovered I was wrong.  Quite wrong. 

These guys are, indeed, magnetic.

On their third visit to Adelaide, The Magnets present a set list of celebrated British musicians, all in honour of the motherland’s extraordinarily eventful 2012 - think Olympics, Golden Jubilee and of course, Prince Harry. 

‘Homegrown’ sees them reinterpreting the likes of Led Zeppelin, George Michael, Paul Weller and Adele.  It’s worth emphasising that this is a selection of their favourite songs (not necessarily a selection of the best-known British songs) from the past 30 years or so. Whether you know them all will of course depend on your own musical preferences. 

Some are just obscure enough, by Australian standards, to be unknown to at least part of the audience, which may or may not dampen the experience.  While there is something to be said for how much being able to sing along (ideally in your head) adds to the experience, in my opinion it doesn’t.

These guys are awesome with a capital A.  Bursting with talent, tenors Nic Doodson and Steve Trowell, baritones Callum Mcintosh and Michael Welton, vocal bassist C G Fraser and vocal percussionist Andy Frost are each fantastic in their own right and will charm your pants off with cute accents, funny banter and funky dance moves aplenty.  Together, they perform in perfect harmony.

Taking the newly fashionable a capella style to another level, the full sound produced by the group is impressive; even with only three members on stage, you won’t notice the lack of instrumentation.

Frost, in particular, is insanely talented and will blow your mind with the number of layered sounds he can produce.  His solo beat-boxing set mid-show is a definite highlight.  The mental dexterity required to do what he does, and the sheer respiratory fitness to continue for as long as he does, will floor you.

The show finishes on a killer note with The Magnets throwing their last number out for the audience to decide.  Providing us with a set of paired options, the band allows the crowd to pick from the absolute classics, such as The Beatles vs The Rolling Stones, as well as some less obvious contemporaries, such as Bob The Builder vs Oasis.  The resulting medley is very funny and flawlessly performed.

This could only be topped by an encore medley that was a nod to Australian classics, including Jimmy Barnes’s ‘Working Class Man’, Olivia Newton John’s ‘Physical’ and, embarrassingly, Peter Andre’s ‘Mysterious Girl’.

All up - a fantastic show that should not be missed.

Nicole Russo

When: 17 Feb to 17 Mar
Where: The Garden of Unearthly Delights – Vagabond