Magnum

City Hall, Newcastle

3 October 1986

(Twenty-Nine Years Later)

The second time I saw Magnum, and my first time at City Hall. City Hall was the big music venue in Newcastle at the time. (And I suppose it still is, though a lot of bands go over the water to the Sage now). So while Magnum were nowhere near megastars, they had a sizeable following. This tour was to support the Vigilante album, their follow-up to their first big hit On a Storyteller's Night. Consequently the set featured a lot of material from both those albums. Which was fine for me, because I still didn't know a huge amount of Magnum's back catalogue, but I knew and loved both of those albums and could sing along to everything they played from them.

And I vowed that I would never again by the only person in the hall who couldn't sing all the words to The Spirit.

We had seats at the front of the balcony, which was great for a view of the stage.

Even though the details are now dim in my memory, images stand out.

The stage set was simple, a couple of mock-Grecian pillars at the back, with steps leading up to them. Bob Catley seemed to spend the whole show racing up and down the steps to deliver songs from different positions.

The band was never the most image-conscious and the stage production never overpowered the music. But the lights were beautiful. And for several minutes before the band came on, smoke was pumped out so that it filled the stage (and most of the hall), complementing the lights and heightening the expectation that the band was about to hit the stage.

But the main thing that stood out was that this concert cemented my love of the band, and I knew that I would come back to see them again and again. The atmosphere at a Magnum gig was something special, and still is to this day.

Magnum t-shirt front
Magnum t-shirt back