4 Or 5 Magicians Live

"Moving from being "hotly tipped" to the bedroom speakers of every slacker in the country."

Dan Ormsby, the creative centre of this local outfit, introduces us to 4 or 5 Magicians by kneeling over his effects pedals, crushing the rising guitars and drums with a swooping, swirling barrier of feedback. One he rises the band settle into their usual stream of catchy melodies and frantic drumming, heavily influenced by the 80s and 90s American alternative scene, drawing main comparison to the likes of the iconic Guided by Voices and Pavement.

Since formation in October 2005 the band has frequently altered its lineup, but 2009 bought an intention to progress with a fixed live lineup. This set up includes songwriter Dan Ormsby (vocals and guitar), Sam Clarke (bass), Graham Pembrey (guitar and keyboards), and Alex Wilkinson (drums).

The decision to stick with one live outfit seems to have paid off tonight with an incredibly tight performance. The key to this was Alex, whose drumming stole the show. The eye often lingered on his hard hitting, frantic snare style, which held the band together well and really pushed them forward. Another highly impressive aspect, which has in the past drawn plaudits from the likes of Huw Stephens and NME, is the relentless catchyness of the melodies. These are never ending, and could easily have continue well past last orders and keep working there ways into ears drums through the turn of the year.


On the down side, one disappointment was the vocal level. This left the lyrical content out of reach, an aspect eagerly anticipated and, yet another, which has gained many a rave review.


Lets hope 4 or 5 Magicians will continue to progress in 2010 and move from being ‘hotly tipped’ to the bedroom speakers of every slacker in the country.

- James, The New Current