Magazine, who I last saw on the opening night of the Secondhand Daylight tour in Brighton, when they played as far as I know for the first time the truly scary “Permafrost”, a song Howard Devoto spent most of the drive down to the south coast describing to me , and I think I’ve got this right all these years on, as an essay in sheer terror.
As a fan of such things I am looking forward to it being played tonight, which is the first opportunity I’ve had to see the band since they reformed. When it comes, though, like much else in a set that made me wish they had left the legend to speak for itself, it is crushingly disappointing, no point in trying to hide a conspicuous fact, expressed to me by a number of Uncut readers on their way to see Nick Cave earlier than they’d planned.
Basically, and it gives me no great pleasure to say it, Magazine, great as they once were, and on another night may be again, sound no more impressive tonight than a baffling cross between Chas & Dave and Erasure, a grating mix of cheeky chappiness I would never have expected of Devoto and a cheesy musical melodrama that wholly undermines what I remember from concerts back in the day that were monuments to a vast and compelling vision.
And when exactly did Devoto turn into Vern Troyer of Austin Powers and Celebrity Big Brother fame?
It’s all very worrying. And the only major disappointment of what’s otherwise been a fantastic weekend.