Over the past few years, something special has been building by the sea.
Over the past few years, something special has been building by the sea. The Magic Gang long since established themselves as one of the most exciting new bands on the planet. Next year, they’re set to drop their debut album. Excited? yeah. thought so.
The Magic Gang trade in those joyous indie moments. The ones where any sense of ‘looking cool’ is thrown squarely out the window, leaving behind a barrage of delicious hooks and melodies. Thrusting their marker in the ground, as 2018 comes around it’s time for the full-blown show to begin.
“There’s been a lot more craziness around the band this year,” points out bassist Gus Taylor. “I don’t know if there’s been a snowball effect where we’ve suddenly got to this point - it feels like people are catching on with the momentum of all these shows we’ve been doing.”
For frontman Jack Kaye, it’s been a measured progression - allowing four best mates from Brighton to grow and embrace the stages they’re about to reach. “It’s been a steady climb since we’ve started doing all these support tours. It feels like it’s been worked on and hasn’t just suddenly gone up in the space of a year, which is good.”
The hunger for a Magic Gang album is huge. Working their way through the bars, late night parties and festivals, they’ve always felt like a band primed for the big leagues. Not just another happy-go-lucky quick fix, but something more. It’s all been leading to this. 2018 is The Magic Gang’s coronation year, and boy, is it going to be glorious.
“It feels like the perfect time to do an album now,” notes Jack, met with nods and smiles from a band who’ve taken every step-up so far in their stride. “With the three EPs, for us, it felt like finding our feet - especially with production and stuff like that. We’ve found our sound a bit more and [record label] YALA coming along has been really encouraging too.”
To look at the future, there’s always a glimpse to the past, and YALA Records are undeniably that. Headed up by Felix White of The Maccabees, it feels like a hand over of the keys to the indie lock-up.
“For a long time, it was just us unsigned, so it’s good to have that boost now,” rounds out Jack.
“Still skint, though,” throws in Gus.
If their bank balance was mirrored by the sheer adoration they provoke, then The Magic Gang would already be millionaires. There are few experiences quite like their live show. Simple and natural, yet with an impossible to define - erm - magic, their rise has been staggering. No matter the town, no matter the slot on the bill - they deliver, and in a big way. At every moment, they pour out that essence of huge moments, free from any restraints or fears, shared with as many people as possible.
“I always find it surprising that people are able to react like that,” states drummer Paeris Giles, “purely because the songs are so slow. Like, how do you manage to go for it like that?”
“When they sing along it’s really nice,” adds guitarist Kris Smith.
“Seeing crowds get excited by a groove is mad,” picks up Jack. “Like, when you hear a drum beat and suddenly they know exactly what it is and are throwing themselves into it. That’s mad.”
Gus has his eye firmly set on history, knowing that role The Magic Gang could very well fill. “There were only a handful of bands growing up that I knew all the words to. The Maccabees were one of them for sure; it’s funny how it’s all turned out. I’m not comparing ourselves to them, but that was how I felt about them, and hopefully, some of our fans feel that way about us and what we do.”
Now, The Magic Gang are looking to their debut album. Taking the time to get it right, and conscious of not only that pressure but also the expectations of a growing legion of fans across the UK and beyond - there’s a lot to think about.
“It’s about trying to showcase everything that the band are about, and have been about, in 10 to 12 tracks - which is quite difficult,” elaborates Gus. “You want all the bangers on there, but at the same time, you want t to have the moodier numbers too and get the balance right. There’s pressure from that old material, for the benefit of old bands and new fans too - but it’s got to be a documentation of the band up to this point. I think we’re feeling the pressure…”
“It’s being aware of the expectation that our fans have,” says Kris. “I think it’ll be good; it’s just getting it right.”
“In the position we’re in it’d be silly not to go for the jugular,” states Paeris. “We could have been a lot of things when we first started, and we’ve decided to go down a certain avenue, so we might as well pursue that as far as we can.”
Picking up where his bandmate left off, Gus is keen to point out those down to earth realities that make The Magic Gang resonate so well. “Doing all that, but of course staying very true to what we believe is right and wrong and how we want people to consume our music. Whether that’s music videos or t-shirts, it has to be 100% controlled by us.”
“I mean, let’s see how far we can take it,” he offers.
“Yeah,” laughs Kris. “Let’s see how far we can take this joke! And how many more people we can fool.”
Taken from the December 2017 / January 2018 issue of Dork, out now. Order a copy here.