Magenta returned to the unique Acapela Studios just outside Cardiff for what is fast becoming an annual visit to perform a very different set to their standard concert.
The set included the full Magenta line up with Rob Reed minus his electronic keyboard playing grand piano, together with assorted guest musicians including cello and oboe.
The concert commenced with a guest appearance by Les Penning best known for his work with Mike Oldfield on the album Ommadawn, playing an amazing series of pieces with Magenta from the incredible Ommadawn and Rob Reed’s Sanctuary . It was clear from the rapt attention from the crowd that the audience were aware of his contribution to such prog classics as they enthusiastically showed their appreciation. A quite amazing start to the evening.
Further tracks followed from Sanctuary with Christina Booth then taking to the stage to perform tracks from her solo album which included wonderful versions of Same Old Road and The Way Back to My Heart. But the stand out track from the Booth segment was the laid back, jazz, funk rendition of Devotions with Rob Reed showing what an exceptional pianist he is!
After the interval the band went into overdrive with Magenta classics coming fast and furious with beautiful performances of Gluttony, and Envy from the album Seven as well as the beautiful Call Me with the converted Welsh chapels tremendous acoustics ensuring that the hairs stood proud on the back of everyone’s neck! It was obvious in a past life that Christina must have been a choir girl as her voice was as clear as a bell in the chapels surroundings, bringing an intimacy to each song that you can only experience in an acoustic performance.
But tonight, was all about being different and Magenta delivered the most wonderful mix of acoustic versions of old Magenta and solo band member favourites together with a fantastic selection of covers. As the concert reached its conclusion Les Penning re-joined the band on stage for a superb rendition of Mike Oldfield’s “In Dulci Jubilo” with Chris Fry effortlessly reproducing the original guitar solo. With the band finishing the encore with the Yes prog classic “Wonderous Stories” – (Rick Wakeman eat your heart out as Rob Reed again shone on piano faultlessly running up and down the keyboard) bringing the song to life as the high ceiling of Acapela allowed the notes to resonate around the venue.
And finally, the last word to Christina Booth who smashed the final song, a magical performance of Kate Bush’s “Hounds of Love”. If you missed this special concert by Magenta at Acapela then don’t worry as the November 2018 concert tickets are already on sale.