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Back in the day I was a teenage Magazine fan. I saw them live on 23.04.79 at Manchester Apollo, with support from the then unknown Simple Minds. After the show I met the infamous Howard Devoto (responsible alongside Pete Shelley for bringing the Sex Pistols to Manchester in 1976). Hitting the fast forward button to 2008 and I hear they are back on the road for a few select gigs. Initially I was sceptical, yet another band reforming for a tour.? It took a while for me to take the plunge, by this time tickets were selling like hot cakes but I just managed to secure two tickets. The day arrives, I am feeling under the weather and not that enthusiastic about going to be truthful, wondering whether to sell my tickets on ebay. Yet I persist and go along, thank god I did, it was a magical evening.


We arrived on time, heading for our die old tradition of front row, directly under the singers mike stand. Yea now I am getting into the spirit of things, the hall is already half full, and by the time the first support act came on it was almost full.


Ipso Facto was the initial guest performers. I always want to cut straight to the main act, but on this occasion I was really into the band. Four young women, hit the bright stage lights, mini skirted, dressed in black, sultry, mean and moody with attitude driven music a kind of film noir image. The singer is stunning, Louise Brooks with balls and I am captivated, she sings incredibly and plays a mean guitar too! Ipso Facto are Rosalie Cunningham: Vocals & Guitar, Samantha Valentine: Bass. Cherish Kaya: Keyboards, Victoria Smith: Drums,
Loved their rendition of the late Klaus Nomi dark melody ‘You Don’t Own Me'. All four girls give a superb performance with their melodramatic dark edged pop music, with haunting reminisces of Robert Palmers video come to life ‘Addicted To Love’. Their songs have titles such as ‘Balderdash’, ‘Six And Three Quarters’, and 'Introducing'. I will be keeping an eye out for their first album.


'Six And Three Quarters' by Ipso Facto live at Manchester




Linder - Next up as 'special guest' for the Manchester show only, emerged in white light came Linder (Linder Stirling) formerly of the now defunct Ludus. The woman responsible for some excellent artwork in the early days of punk & post punk in Manchester. Linder a well know figure around the Manchester punk scene in '76 designing covers using photo montages such as Buzzcocks 'Orgasm Addict' and Magazines 'Real Life' album cover, in addition to co producing the fanzine Secret Public with Jon Savage. Also a former partner of Devoto in the early days of the scene. The last time I saw Linder she sang with Ludus supporting Public Image at Belle Vue, Manchester on 23.03.79. Linder is also an accomplish photographer, who has held many acclaimed art exhibitions and is one of Morrissesy's life long friends.


Born in 1954 which makes her 55 years old, but let me tell you folks she looked remarkable, dressed in a white flowing smock displaying a naked female print, tight white jeans and boots (an outfit to die for), designed by British designer Richard Nicoll, his new collections are based on Linder’s work.

A charismatic figure who possesses fabulous genes, high cheek bones, and lithe body, with an air of gracefulness. The music was greeted with some cat calls from the audience, "Genocide", "play something fast". It's what I'd describe as a performance art show and whilst it wasn't the kind of music I'd rush out to buy I really did enjoy the set, apart from a little too much pacing back and forth across the stage. She does have an enigmatic aura about her in a similar way to Nico, it's a pity the audience (from where we were stood) didn't give her much credit. The musicians were: Guitarist Stuart McCallum (The Cinematic Orchestra), Mykey Wilson on drums (Dust Junkies) and John Ellis (John Squire) on keyboards. Musically it's avant garde, pop, jazz, with high pitched experimental noises. People who didn't know anything about Linder must of been wondering "what the hell". This was to be her first return to the stage since 1982 and a great coming home it was. Give this incredibly intelligent, talented, creative woman three cheers! 



Magazine - The natives were getting restless at this point, the hall was packed to the gills. The backdrop came down featuring Linders 'Real Life' images, this was a sight to behold. The excitement building and finally the band emerge onto the stage, little later followed by Howard to ecstatic applause. Howard seemed to scan the crowd and be quite bemused at the sheer volume of people present. John Doyle mouthed "Wow" standing up from his drum kit to survey the audience. They kick started into 'The Light Pours Out Of Me', with marvellous effects from the light machines behind Howard. It was electrifying and the hairs stood out on the back of my neck.

I caught some great shots, Howard appears to be guiding the lights by hand. He was dressed rather eccentrically in a pink single breasted jacket, with mandarin collared pink shirt, 3/4 length trousers and canvas shoes. Quite the different man we saw 30 years ago, but echoes of the young Howard remain in some of his posturing, he gave us little ballet steps, quirky movements, lots of hand motions, grimacing and smiling, staring out into the vast crowd he looked like he was really enjoying the comeback.


The music was flawless, with guitarist Noko giving us some good ole sex appeal with red shirt and leather trousers, Dave Formula on keyboards, smiling and having a ball, on bass Barry Adamson with shades of Slash in his top hat, snazzy waistcoat and dark shades.Finally John Doyle on drums (who was interviewed on our very pages check out here) bashing and crashing with passion.






Howard shared a few words with the audience, he introduced all the band said it was all down to Dave Formula that this reunion had taken place and also gave a mention to the late John McGeoch during the set. 


Howard introduced Rosalie from Ipso Facto onto the stage and they performed a short duet, on 'Great Beautician In The Sky'. Later Samantha, the guitarist from IF joined Rosalie with backing vocals standing behind Barry Adamson.





Towards the end of the set Howard sat on the edge of the stage, eyes gazing into the dark swaying masses who by this time had erupted since they played 'Shot By Both Sides'. It became a bit of a mosh pit and the barriers were squashing us somewhat, meanwhile the cameras (which had been whirling around the stage & crowd all evening) panned onto the front row. So I presume a DVD will be coming out, you might spot me snapping away with my trusty Cannon in hand.(Check out some great shots of the night here)


The set list appeared to be the same as the one from London (check out here). I did manage to get half of Howard's set list by the end of the night. 


Magazine in Manchester 'Song From Under The Floorboards' by Mel



They carved out one hell of a great show for everyone including the supremely entertaining guest acts and I'm sure no one went away disappointed. After completing two encores the entire band came onto the stage and took a bow and the crowd made a thunderous appreciative racket. Thanks for a great night Magazine, dare I say it even better than in 1979!


L - R John Doyle, Barry Adamson, Howard Devoto, Noko, Dave Formula



Review & photos by Mel

Magazine video by Mel



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