At The Riverside, Newcastle, U.K., November 24, 2018

MAGNUM (Live at The Riverside, Newcastle, U.K., November 24, 2018)
Photo: Mick Burgess

Forty years and twenty albums on from their Kingdom of Madness debut album, British Melodic Rock stalwarts Magnum show no signs of slowing down, indeed their latest release, Lost On The Road To Eternity, has been hailed as their best in years.

Taking into account the break after the Eleventh Hour album in 1983 and the sabbatical with Hard Rain between 1996-2000, Magnum have barely been off the road in their 40-year career and their enduring appeal as a live act, even when the fickle whims of fashion have been blasting against them, has never diminished.

Many bands with such a long pedigree tend to have a setlist cast in stone and those classics cannot be removed under any circumstances, this often leads to dull, predictable shows. Magnum on the other hand simply thrive in their creativity. Songwriter and guitarist Tony Clarkin being the master craftsman, wants his songs to come alive on stage meaning that each subsequent tour features a fair degree of new songs, some long lost nuggets as well as a smattering of fan favourites. This formula has certainly served them well over the years as fans have returned year after year for a different show each time.

The first big surprise of the night was opener, Wild Swan. A soaring epic from the Wings of Heaven album, not performed in years and one of the finest in their catalogue and lead singer Bob Catley duly delivered the towering performance the song demanded.

With Sacred Blood “Divine” Lies and Lost On The Road To Eternity, the latter the title track from their latest opus, Magnum continued with their live blue print by cherry picking the very best from across their more recent albums. Your Dreams Won’t Die with its beautiful chorus, followed closely, a particularly powerful ballad that matches any from their past.

As well as the songs of love and hope Clarkin has always penned some biting anti-war songs and Les Morts Dansant’s tale of a soldier shot at dawn was passionately delivered by a tearful Catley. Don’t Wake The Lion (Too Old To Die Young), arguably Magnum’s grandest of epics felt even more poignant on the 100th anniversary of the end of World War 1.

Of course, the classics How Far Jerusalem and Vigilante were all present and correct and alongside the new and the vintage rarities, sounded as vibrant and dramatic as ever.

How could anyone possibly complain with a closing duo of the Spirit and Sacred Hour from the glorious Chase The Dragon album both of which epitomise the sheer class and quality that Magnum have produced and continue to produce, over the years. A fine night of quality music of the highest order.

Review and Photos By Mick Burgess


  • Mick Burgess

    Mick is a reviewer and photographer here at Metal Express Radio, based in the North-East of England. He first fell in love with music after hearing Jeff Wayne's spectacular The War of the Worlds in the cold winter of 1978. Then in the summer of '79 he discovered a copy of Kiss Alive II amongst his sister’s record collection, which literally blew him away! He then quickly found Van Halen I and Rainbow's Down To Earth, and he was well on the way to being rescued from Top 40 radio hell!   Over the ensuing years, he's enjoyed the Classic Rock music of Rush, Blue Oyster Cult, and Deep Purple; the AOR of Journey and Foreigner; the Pomp of Styx and Kansas; the Progressive Metal of Dream Theater, Queensrÿche, and Symphony X; the Goth Metal of Nightwish, Within Temptation, and Epica, and a whole host of other great bands that are too numerous to mention. When he's not listening to music, he watches Sunderland lose more football (soccer) matches than they win, and occasionally, if he has to, he goes to work as a property lawyer.

    View all posts

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.