Billy Seagrave was back at Manchester Academy, to cover Birmingham rockers Magnum, who had packed out the venue, for a night of nostalgic finely crafted metal.

Describing themselves as ‘the bastard sons of Royal Blood and Twenty-One Pilots’, THEIA blend the viscous sound of alternative music with a stark lyrical honesty that reflects their cynically optimistic outlook. It’s unapologetic, forward-thinking, anxiety trapped in the strings of a guitar and serotonin released through the desperate grip of a pair of drumsticks.

Frontman Kyle is the creative soul of the band and is responsible for guitar stunts, vocal acrobatics, and lyrical ponderings, but not necessarily in that order. Younger brother Ash Lamely started his THEIA journey as their roadie at the tender age of eleven. He turned down a position in the band three years ago but decided to spend a small fortune on a drama degree. He has now found his feet and is back in the groove, “I can remember 60% of the songs 40% of the time”, he says.

Having lost bass player Paul Edwards last year, brothers Kyle and Ash take the stage as a two piece and showed that Theia are just as much full of youthful fire and fun as they always have been. The stuttering ‘Blue Heart’, Tony Clarkin penned single ‘Eyes Like Fire’ and the sugar rush of ‘The Day’ all point to a bright future for the Lamleys, their stripped-down form not detracting one iota from their ability to rock the house.

Set List

1/ Eyes like fire

2/ Blue heart

3/ The day

4/ No crisis

5/ There’s a boy

6/ Electric witness

7/ Hoo hoo

8/ Back in Line.



Arguably one of the most underrated bands in UK rock history, despite their consistently sold-out tours and perpetually gold standard albums, Magnum are still as focussed and hungry as ever.

It’s a sign of definite quality when a band can look back at a career which started as early as 1972 (!) and are still capable of thoroughly awing their fans with every new album. Magnum deliver this kind of quality on a regular basis and are set to prove their outstanding position once again with their latest studio offering ‘The Monster Roars’. Even after difficult months marked by pandemic-related concert cancellations, contact restrictions and uncertain perspectives for the whole music industry, the English rock act have succeeded in creating a vibrant, homogeneous work that impresses its listeners from the first to the last note and includes several surprises.

They hit the stage at Manchester Academy to a hero’s welcome with 1988’s breakthrough hit ‘Days of No Trust’. Not only a career milestone for them, lyrically it is rather apt too considering current events around the world. “In these days of no trust, evermore hostility.” Is it really 50 years since Guitarist and songwriter Tony Clarkin has been working alongside Vocalist and partner in crime Bob Catley?

This was the first-time seeing Magnum with their latest incarnation Rick Benton and Lee Morris on keys and drums respectively. What a performance they delivered, the band seems fresh and better than I have seen them in many years. Listening to Bob deliver a vocally pitch perfect performance that clearly belies his age, is as much a testament to his longevity as it is to Tony Clarkin’s writing.



The powerful ‘Lost on the road of eternity’, and ‘The monsters roar’ firmly define Magnums, musical journey perfectly. Effortlessly shifting through the gears and the empathic ‘Dance of the black tattoo’, thunders to life. Deep and cathartic tracks ‘Wild Swan’ and ‘The Flood’ receive greatly by the packed crowd, who embraced the new in ‘The Day After the Night Before’ seemed to span the generations, predominately an older age group, a run through the ages, showing once again the pulling power of Magnum.

‘All England’s eyes and ‘Vigilante’ close out the set to a fabulous appreciation from a very appreciative crowd. A trio of songs are delivered for the encore, ‘Kingdom of madness’, continues were they left off. ‘On a storyteller’s night’, makes way for the final song, ‘Sacred hour’.

22 albums of telling stories that still have the crowds coming out to listen must be the benchmark and legacy their music so rightly deserves.



Set list

1/ Days of No Trust

2/ Lost on the Road to Eternity

3/ The Monster Roars

4/ The Archway of Tears

5/ Dance of the Black Tattoo

6/ Where Are You Eden?

7/ The Flood (Red Cloud’s War)

8/ The Day After the Night Before

9/ Wild Swan

10/ Les morts dansant

11/ Rockin’ Chair

12/ All England’s Eyes

13/ Vigilante


14/ Kingdom of Madness

15/ On a Storyteller’s Night

16/ Sacred Hour