There are few bands who I can say I have enjoyed for 45 years, but Magnum is one of them. True, there have been line-up changes but when all songs are written by guitarist Tony Clarkin and sung by Bob Catley, who together formed this band back in 1972, does it really matter? They have created their own pomp sound, and are unmatched in the UK (and probably Europe) not only for their style but longevity. This album was released at the beginning of 2022, which means it was recorded when Bob was 73 years old yet his voice has none of the fragility or frailty one might expect. I have only seen the band four times, and probably not in nearly 30 years, yet I was always amazed at how powerful and on point he was in concert and in the intervening years nothing has changed.
Is this album as immediate as their classic early albums? No, not at all, but it is a grower in the way of many of their later ones. Clarkin has a way of crafting great songs with wonderful hooks which rarely have a need for a solo, as it is all about verse/chorus/bridge and Catley’s delivery. This is the second album with Rick Benton (keyboards), Lee Morris (drums) and Dennis Ward (bass guitar, backing vocals) and somewhere in the world they will be on tour, shaping the songs, and let us hope they find room for quite a few of these in the set along all the others the fans will want to hear. Magnum are a force of nature, and have no idea on how to release a bad album, and while ‘On A Storyteller’s Night’ might seem like a millstone to many that was 38 years ago, and they are still going strong. Only death or disability will stop the Brummies from giving it their all, and yet again us Magnum fans are going to enjoy yet another totally enjoyable album from beginning to end.
8/10 Kev Rowland