When the lights come up on the six posed figures, dressed sharply yet casually, individually yet conforming with the Group Look, something deep in the stomachs of the Australian audience shudders as we think in unison “Crap, it's a Boy Band”.
As they launch into their opening numbers, we are impressed by the acapella vocals, yet suspicious of the beat – Is that guy in the skinny jeans really doing all that backing? No way, he's not pausing for breath... just doing some funky moves with his tongue.
Then it slowly dawns – half the beat is on the breath in. Wow! Okay, so someone's not a big beat-boxing fan, but that's mostly because it's “not my kind of music”. Well hello Andy 'Lips' Frost, I just changed my mind.
It takes a while to realise the full brilliance of this group. It happens progressively, through the dozens of little moments of “Did he just do that?” It soon becomes apparent they're taking the piss out of themselves, while at the same time delighting in their slick image and in-sync legwork. They're here, they're a Boy Band, and they're proud of it. Not to mention damn good at it. Gyrating hips, gorgeous acapella sounds, smooth choreography, and some cheeky audience interaction leaves the middle-aged women throughout the building in hysterics.
The Magnets epitomise 'triple threat' performers – beautiful voices, great dancing, and the acting skills necessary to pull the act off. Then there's Andy, who must be at least 3.5 times talented with his percussionist genius. Did I mention they're fit? Aside from being able to sing and dance for an hour straight, they're also 'fit' in that Pommy use of the word – read, Hot.
For their first Australian show, these UK boys are looking very comfortable. This group is flying at their peak, with a seriously solid and entertaining show built around their intriguing sound. They take on Lady Gaga, Bon Jovi, The Beatles, Michael Jackson, and that's not even starting on the 26 Song Medley Quiz, which all music geeks will delight in. They even get us singing three part harmonies to a Hendrix classic. You'll be amazed at how much they pack into a one hour show. The Magnets are a pop-rock performance phenomenon, and best enjoyed live in all their booty waggling vibrance.
2011 Adelaide Cabaret Festival
Venue: Dunstan Playhouse
Dates: 10 – 12 June 2011
Tickets: Adult $40.00, Concession $36.00