The Incredible Magpie Band
‘Talent borrows; genius steals’ said a clever chap with a fondness for beautiful things and a habit of getting himself into trouble. Nice one liner, but the truth, as any lover of music knows, is far more complex than that. You know the score: some old pub bore who saw Led Zep in ’68 trots out the following arguments. Music is rubbish these days. There are only so many melodies and chords to go round. All modern bands do is take a pick ‘n’ mix approach to all that has gone before.
This is not an opinion I share. Download an Mp3, press a sweaty play button on the Iphone, or god forbid, even stick a record on and the immediate question for any self-respecting fan of music is not Who does this sound like? Instead it is – or should be anyway – Does it make me feel good to be alive?
Magpies, you see, know a great deal about thievery and The Incredible Magpie Band, a majestically rocking and rolling, criminally unsigned, Wakefield five piece, will no doubt be accused by old duffers of a larcenous approach to songwriting. The magpie, you see, is attracted by shiny, beautiful things and the 1960s soaked melodies of his incredible, eponymous band offer a kaleidoscope of glittery delights for him to pilfer.
Whilst there is a definitely delicious hint of 60s psychedelia and a discernible splash of their (obscenely life-affirming) Scouse descendants The Las and The Coral here, you are mere seconds into a Magpie track before the attempts at pigeonholing ends and hair standing up on skin begins. In their short time together they’ve created an alchemic freshness that revives the tired senses, like a slug of cold cider on a hot July afternoon.
So what else do I need to tell you? Nothing much really. I could go on about the stonkingly good debut album ‘Introducing’ The Incredible Magpie Band (self-released 29th March 2013 and available via the usual social media channels) or I could rattle off fascinating facts about the vintage recording process at Leeds’ legendary Greenmount Studios. But you don’t want to hear about all that do you? No, at this point, the shimmering songs are all you need.
The small print: Formed Feb 2012, Wakefield.
Lee Knowles (vox / guitar), Lou Taylor (bass / vox), Ben Hardcastle (lead guitar / vox), Matty Davey (guitar), Ewok Layton (drums / percussion).