Magnum / A fantastic night out in Cambridge with Vega and Theia

It’s a balmy evening as MetalTalk enter Cambridge Junction for an evening of classic rock in the presence of Brummie legends Magnum. This is the opening night of their tour to celebrate the release of their wonderful The Monster Roars album.

Magnum, Vega, Theia. Cambridge Junction – Monday 28 March 2022

Words: Robert Adams

Photography: Steve Ritchie

Theia. Cambridge Junction. Monday 28 March 2022
Theia. Cambridge Junction. Photo: Steve Ritchie/MetalTalk

Theia starts proceedings off at 7.30 sharp to a responsive crowd. Reduced to a duo these days after losing their bass player, this didn’t hinder Theia in any way at all. Their energetic half-hour set was met with great favour from the rapidly filling Cambridge Junction.

Vega. Cambridge Junction. Monday 28 March 2022
Vega. Cambridge Junction. Photo: Steve Ritchie/MetalTalk

Next up was the marvellous Vega. This is my first time seeing them live, and they certainly did not disappoint. Vocalist Nick Workman wasted no time in getting the Cambridge crowd on their side with call and response vocals, and they were soon eating out his hand.

Vega. Cambridge Junction. Monday 28 March 2022
Vega. Cambridge Junction. Photo: Steve Ritchie/MetalTalk

The arrival of ex-Inglorious guitarist Billy Taylor to Vega certainly adds a splash of colour, with his bright red Mohican standing out. Still, he was added to the band for his playing, and he sounded wonderful.

Vega. Cambridge Junction. Monday 28 March 2022
Vega. Cambridge Junction. Photo: Steve Ritchie/MetalTalk

The whole band were wonderful tonight, and they made the ballsy move of closing their set with a cover of Def Leppard’s Animal, which the Cambridge crowd adored.

Magnum, Cambridge Junction - Monday 28 March 2022
Magnum. Cambridge Junction. Photo: Steve Ritchie/MetalTalk

It’s been far too long since I saw Magnum live. My last time was at the now-defunct Marquee in London just before Tony and Bob formed Hard Rain, so I was really looking forward to seeing them again.

Entering, receiving a hero’s welcome, they kick off proceedings with a bouncing Days Of No Trust from their Wings Of Heaven album, and it’s just glorious. Bob Catley is as gesticulative as ever and is as warm a host as you could imagine. The crowd helped him out by joining in on the choruses of pretty much every song played tonight.

Magnum, Cambridge Junction - Monday 28 March 2022
Magnum. Cambridge Junction. Photo: Steve Ritchie/MetalTalk

With so many songs to choose from, the setlist covers many years and wonderfully showcases the strength of Tony Clarkin’s timeless songwriting. Every decade of Magnum’s career is represented tonight, and every song played is welcomed like a long lost friend to the adoring Cambridge crowd.

More up to date songs like Where Are You Eden from 2020s The Serpent Rings album sit very nicely alongside “the hits” like Vigilante and Wild Swan. The Monster Roars title track and The Day After The Night Before are very well received.

Magnum, Cambridge Junction - Monday 28 March 2022
Magnum. Cambridge Junction. Photo: Steve Ritchie/MetalTalk

The lyrics to Rocking Chair are even more pertinent to the band and the fans now – given that Catley is 74 and Clarkin is 75 – and the roar that greets Catley when he sings, “I need my rocking, but I don’t need my rocking chair” makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up.

Closing the set with the timeless Kingdom Of Madness, the band take their leave, but the Cambridge faithful soon call them back, and we are treated to two bona fide Magnum classics, On A Storyteller’s Night and Sacred Hour, before the band leave for good.

Magnum, Cambridge Junction - Monday 28 March 2022
Magnum. Cambridge Junction. Photo: Steve Ritchie/MetalTalk

It’s official – Magnum still rock. This was my twelfth time seeing Magnum and, as I said earlier, my first time since the mid-’90s.

Magnum live is certainly still a fantastic night out. Catch them if you can on the remaining dates. You will love it.

Magnum, Cambridge Junction - Monday 28 March 2022
Magnum. Cambridge Junction. Photo: Steve Ritchie/MetalTalk
Magnum, Cambridge Junction - Monday 28 March 2022
Magnum. Cambridge Junction. Photo: Steve Ritchie/MetalTalk
Vega. Cambridge Junction. Monday 28 March 2022
Vega. Cambridge Junction. Photo: Steve Ritchie/MetalTalk
Vega. Cambridge Junction. Monday 28 March 2022
Vega. Cambridge Junction. Photo: Steve Ritchie/MetalTalk
Vega. Cambridge Junction. Monday 28 March 2022
Vega. Cambridge Junction. Photo: Steve Ritchie/MetalTalk

march

28mar7:30 pmMagnum, CambridgeJunction

29mar7:30 pmMagnum, NorwichWaterfront

30mar7:30 pmMagnum, LondonIslington Assembly Hall

31mar7:30 pmMagnum, BirminghamSymphony Hall

april

03apr7:30 pmPostponedMagnum, SouthamptonEngine RoomsFuture date TBA

04apr7:30 pmPostponedMagnum, CardiffTramshedFuture dates TBA

september

09sep7:30 pmMagnum, BelfastLimelight

10sep7:30 pmMagnum, DublinVoodoo Lounge

12sep7:30 pmMagnum, GlasgowGarage

13sep7:30 pmMagnum, SheffieldLeadmill

14sep7:30 pmMagnum, NottinghamRock City

16sep7:30 pmMagnum, HolmfirthPicturedrome

17sep7:30 pmMagnum, ManchesterAcademy

Magnum Set List :

Days Of No Trust

Road To Eternity

The Monster Roars

The Archway Of Tears

Dance Of The Black Tattoo

Where Are You Eden

The Flood

The Day After The Night Before

Wild Swan

Les Morts Dansants

Rockin’ Chair

All England’s Eyes

Vigilante

Kingdom Of Madness

Encore

On A Storyteller’s Night

Sacred Hour

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