Today I present you a band until five days ago I had never heard of, Artmagic. The title does as it suggests ‘Live With Strings‘ which was recorded at St. George Church, Bloomsbury, London. Considering this a live recording that shows warts and all, this is a pretty decent piece of music. Their debut album ‘Become The One You Love‘ is also available and this leads me to wonder how did I miss this band before. Also check out the artwork too, as it adds something to their output, a bit of class.
The show kicks of with ‘Half-Life‘, a slow piece of work dominated by the powerful vocals of Sean McGhee and rich sounding guitar played by Richard Oakes of Suede fame. It’s definitely a great way to start proceedings. When ‘Forever In Negative‘ kicks in next you get more of the same with added piano played by Gordana Jovkovic. The line ‘You will always be there posing patiently‘ defines this perfectly as this makes your ears pick up on every note. Live recordings have come a long way as this is crystal clear. Next is ‘The Spark‘ and this is where everything picks up a notch with vocal harmonies and a bit of gusto too. Here I feel the strings that were provided by Georgina Melling on viola and George Ross with his cello really do add something to the show.
A particularly splendid piano rendition opens ‘The Choice‘, the right choice in fact. This is a sparse sound than the last song, but still manages to keep your ears peeled. Sean sings ‘Let it go, let it go, let it go’, but that’s the last thing you want to do listening to this. Unlike its title ‘Submerged’ is far from sinking in this set. The twang of Richard’s guitar blends in so well with the strings. Having not attended this concert I conjured up a picture them playing next to a lit fireplace with the audience huddled round listening to every note with bated breath.
‘I Keep Walking‘ is a romantic song which sounds like it’s sung from the heart. Really liked the line ‘...the scent of heaven on your wind cracked lips‘, is a perfect example of the detail that Artmagic like to display. As the story progresses so does the intensity of the performance. Being as this only an E.P. the final song ‘Up‘ seems to arrive to quickly, though repeat all is a great thing. Certainly up is the way that Artmagic should strive for as musically they present a worthy shop window. So please go download ‘Live With Strings‘ today, in fact you can pay what you like for it before Christmas, but do please pay something. Simply this is an acoustic joy to behold and thus keeps your mind hooked 8/10.