LIVE REVIEW // The Magic Gang and Sheikh @ The Hope and Ruin 02.12.15

Brighton babes, The Magic Gang kicked their tour off in style at The Hope and Ruin - a bar/live music venue inspired by Eastern European watering holes and decorated entirely out of found objects and gig posters. 

The Strokes have played the venue in the past and it's a place full of character with a lively atmosphere to match; an apt fit for the headliners and their support band, Sheikh, who embody everything you want them to be and more. 

As the room starts to fill up, Sheikh take to the stage and dive straight into 'Fortune'. The five-piece who hail from Bahrain but now reside in London have a sound that can be described as guitar driven psych rock with a little bit of pop thrown in for a twist. 

Whilst they're very much themselves and have an epic stage presence, at times Sheikh have a tendency to sound like The Maccabees mashed with Catfish & The Bottlemen and Bombay Bicycle Club and they own it. Stand-out tracks include 'I Could Be Yours' and their debut track 'Fonda' which impresses with sun-kissed guitars and is laced with a sleek guitar riff. 

A short while later, The Magic Gang grace the venue and smash their way through a setlist of devilishly great tracks including 'Jasmine' from their forthcoming EP. The band have recently been announced as part of DIY magazine's 'Class of 2016' and with good reason, their live set contains a thrilling intensity throughout. 

'No Fun' is a dreamy affair from start to finish that gets the crowd dancing to their searing guitars and polished grooves. Singer and guitarist, Jack Kaye snaps the string on his guitar before telling the crowd "It's okay - I don't use that string anyway." 

Both, The Magic Gang and Sheikh are bands providing reasons to get excited about music again. Their tracks will worm their way into your memory easily and fingers crossed, we'll hear some more material from them soon. The bands are touring together for the rest of December; go show them some love and support at a gig near you. 

Words Lauren Wade

The Magic Gang will play:

03/12 - The Joiners, Southampton
04/12 - The Bullingdon, Oxford
05/12 - The Louisiana, Bristol
07/12 - Sunflower Lounge, Birmingham
08/12 - Studio2, Liverpool
09/12 - Sound Control (bar), Manchester
10/12 - Bungalows and Bears, Sheffield
12/12 - Think Tank, Newcastle
13/12 - King Tut's, Glasgow
14/12 - Brudenell Games Room, Leeds
15/12 - The Lexington, London

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