Magenta - Angels And Damned-20th Anniversary Show,
After 20 years at the top of the game, is there really anything left to say about Magenta? Since Robert Reed and Christina Booth started working on an one-album project back in 2001 they have pursued a path of incredibly melodic prog based on the songs of Rob and the vocals of Christina, with every release being an absolute delight. Guitarist Chris Fry has been there since the beginning, with the line-up completed by Dan Nelson (bass) and Jonathan 'Jiffy' Griffiths (drums), and they are an incredibly tight unit moving through different styles and dynamics as the need arises, with Christina sometimes waiting patiently for the right moment as the boys run through yet another instrumental passage and others where she is totally dominant, very much in charge of proceedings.
This release is a DVD and CD set of a very special performance to celebrate their twentieth anniversary, so we get material from all their albums, as well as some special guests including the amazing Peter Jones (who seems to be everywhere these days) and the much-missed David Longdon who joins for a wonderful cover of “Spectral Mornings”. Over the years I confess I have loved everything they have done, and this celebration is just about perfect. Any fan will point to one song which should have been played and wasn’t, but even with a show lasting 140 minutes there is just not enough time for everything. But there is just so much on here to enjoy, with closer “Lizard King” epitomising for me just what this band is all about with dynamic bass, complex drums, driving guitar, keyboards everywhere and Christina over the top with her vocals which are a sheer delight, as they have always been.
When it comes to melodic prog there are few who can compete with Magenta, which is why they have had a career which so far has been going for 20 years. Here is to the next 20, as this is essential and a progtastic delight from start to end.