Adelaide Fringe 2019
Fringe favourites The Magnets explore the Naked 80’s at the Fringe.
The Magnets have always been an Adelaide Fringe favourite. I first saw them in the 2012 in the Garden of Unearthly delights, with their show Gobsmacked, although I’ve been a fan for much longer than that.
Their current show, The Naked 80’s, is exactly as described. All the fantastic hits you (I) remember from the school disco, or evening at the Ice Arena, done in the traditional Magnet’s style. Stripped back, vocalised musical gymnastics and a kind of charm these boys from Britain have managed to perfect over the years.
This year’s Magnets have downsized since the last time they were in Adelaide. 6 have become 5, and they’re slightly younger. They’re still led by veteran and fan favourite, Callum McIntosh, and still know how to charm audiences with their smooth style, witty banter, and voices that would get any audience on their feet.
Performing in the Wonderland Spiegeltentwithin the heart of Gluttony, The Magnet’s perform a range of classics such as ‘Here I Go Again’, by Whitesnakes, ‘Walk This Way’ by Run DMC, ‘Ain’t Nobody’ by Chaka Kahn and ‘Call Me’ by Blondie. Interspersed with audience chit chat, some lessons on how to beat box (be prepared to participate if you’re heading to the show), and history on their heritage and the audience is taken effortlessly on a musical and harmonious journey.
While these gentlemen have all been performers for years, it’s easy to take for granted how skilled they actually are. While they do utilize some looping (recorded sounds that loop across the back of their vocals) every sound that comes off the stage is produced by their own voices. It’s so incredibly well done you would think there are instruments somewhere on the stage.
What also compliments their talent, is slick choreography and a spectacular light show both worthy of any 80’s video clip. The stage is fully utilized and these gentlemen know exactly how to work a room. They truly are leaders of their a cappella field – and with four supreme vocalists and a world-class beat boxer (US born Nick Girard) it’s no wonder they continue to tour world wide and delight audiences everywhere they travel.
Towards the end of the show, you truly get to experience their sheer talent, as they mix up a medley of hits blended seamlessly into 4 or so minutes of musical bliss. It’s as much fun trying to guess which song is coming up next by the lead in, as it is to try and remember the words based on where the boys start the song from.
The second last song of the performance was the highlight for me, and – despite the 38-degree heat – gave me goose-bumps. Their rendition of John Farnham’s ‘You’re the Voice’ was just so incredibly well done, I would have been happy listening to just that song alone.
This show is fun-filled talent from beginning to end.