Thursday, 25 November 2010

258 MAGNAPOP, THE JULIE DOLPHIN, Oxford The Venue, Saturday 5 February 1994

I've spent a lengthy self-enforced exile from this venue, thanks to a not-altogether pleasant experience first time here (the Curve gig last year), but tonight there were appreciably fewer people in attendance for Magnapop. Oxford; have you no taste?

A carload of us drove down for this one, getting in at 9 just as The Julie Dolphin took the stage. They delivered a fine, hard driving rock sound augmented by female vocals - from Julie, supposedly? (Nope, as I later discovered, from wonderfully talented New Zealander Dianne Swann). I couldn't see many of the Throwing Muses' supposed similarities myself, apart from the vocalists' strident projection (quite Hersh-like) and one number which sounded exactly like the Muses' "Mexican Women", but I thoroughly enjoyed their set and hope to see them again... and again!

Athens, GA. natives Magnapop - at last in a small club! - took the stage a 10.30, buxom vocalist Linda Hopper in a "Playgirl" t-shirt and buoyant mood, and they proceeded to deliver a fine, rocking white noise set, sometimes over-loud but always powerful and colourful. Terrific stuff; I moshed for all I was worth, along, oddly enough, with 3 violent skinheads (Magnapop - the new Sham 69? Surely not!), giving as good as I got, but stopped before it got into serious male bonding territory. As for the onstage performance, the brilliant "Merry" and "Texas" were the highlights of Magnapop's magna-nificent pop set. A great way to kick off the 1994 gig year, especially with a "Bodrum" kebab with the boys afterwards!

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