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Magic of Pegasus

Sex Cult Rock ‘n Roll

by Angela Weickl, images by Kate Kempen / 07.09.2010

The stage is stacked with television sets like an analog graveyard. They project fuzzy imagery that blinks and flickers. One set only manages snow. As the ethereally dressed Magic of Pegasus float onto the stage, I find myself stuck in a ‘70s music video – and part of me wishes David Bowie would jump out from behind one of the TVs. Instead we get Graeme Newlove and his sex dwarf-hippie cult. As the techno beats break he has a frenzied tambourine slamming fit and the bar area empties. The bewildered crowd flocks to the stage.

Whatever you’ve heard about this band doesn’t prepare you for the spectacle they deliver. A 15 minute burst of mania, part Soft Cell on crack, part Jesus Christ Superstar. Foaming from the mouth like a rabid mental patient, Newlove elates the crowd with a cover of Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire” as his 3 back-up singers harmonize for our choral pleasure. The audience is either awestruck or disgusted. One particularly vocal dude exclaims: “It’s like a bad acid trip!”

Magic of Pegasus

The Runs have been around for less than a year and managed to implant themselves in a few tasty line-ups – including an opening slot for Fokofpolisiekar. But when your name evokes diarrhea, aren’t you destined to be shit?

Tonight seems to be a struggle for them on stage. Each Runs member is trying to enforce the law and drive the band in their own desired direction, culminating in a giant fuck-up. The bassist is a converted lead guitarist and steals the show outright. The lead guitarist looks like George Harrison but plays like Jimmy Page and the drummer is a forceful timekeeper holding it all together as the aforementioned struggle spawns.

The Runs

But the slow clap of the evening is awarded to lead singer Gabriel Shmabriel, dressed in a ghastly floral button down shirt. Caressing the sexy old school mic his physical performance is Bono-esque while vocally mimicking Scott Weiland and Chris Cornell with a drizzling of Frank Black to cement the confusion. In a final act of alienation, Shmabriel summons the spirit of Pete Townshend and smashes his guitar, a move he pulls every time they play, giving him about as much Rock n Roll street-cred as Milli Vanilli. How the fuck can you afford to smash your guitar after every gig?

This band can’t decide if they are Them Crooked Vultures, Sound Garden or The Who. Currently their parts are greater than the sum and if they could manage to play the same song at the same time there may just be a glimmer of hope. But for tonight, thank Beelzebub it’s over…

The first thing you notice about The Plastics post-Shark launch, post awe inspiring Gordon Raphael experience is that they’ve got their swagger back. Past shows were boring because they were bored. Not anymore. The news songs sound nothing like that ill-fated Arctic Monkeys cloned “Kiss the Plastics” EP. The combination of Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club nostalgia, with the surfer simplicity of The Drums and toe-tapping quirkiness of Vampire Weekend has us smiling. Pascal’s voice has matured while his on stage cockiness has been replaced by charming confidence. High-fives all round!

In the afterglow a couple “lang-arms” to Blitzkrieg Bop while barefoot Hippies prance and twirl across the beer sodden dance floor, this acid trip is far from over…

All images © Kate Kempen.

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  1. muerte says:

    Excellent. Good sharp insights. Moar pleez!

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  2. optional says:

    A bit cliche’d and its not clear if your writing about a band called ‘The Runs’ or a band called ‘The Magic of Pegasus’

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  3. Stickler's Mom says:


    One word.

    Say it after me: ‘Soundgarden’.

    Now you know.

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  4. ZOMG says:

    When you describe a band as being part this and part that with a dash of this, it’s unhelpful. How do we know what parts? We can’t get a clear picture of their sound from lazy writing like that. Try harder.

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  5. Matthew Eriksen says:

    Oh, quite so ZOMG. It’s part show-off look-at-how-many-bands-I-know-and-“get” and part laziness. Yuck.

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  6. Melanie says:

    Would be nice if Mahala told us where the bands are playing next – some useful information, not just opinions

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  7. Andy says:

    F-f-f-facebook will have that info for you.

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  8. Part Zappa says:

    Considering the costumes I’m surprised Polyphonic Spree or Bluejuice weren’t mentioned.

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  9. AlainWilliam says:

    Yeah, that first picture looks like it could be The Polyphonic Spree. Very similar.

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  10. anon says:

    your review thoroughly disappointed me. could you have name-dropped bit more?!

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  11. anon says:

    i have to admit, your review is shit.

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  12. anon says:

    completely agree with Matthew Eriksen

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  13. Anonymous says:

    I love the plastics but they played a pretty average show that night, seemed like they didn’t want to be there.

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  14. anon says:

    have to admit, also think the plastics played an average set.

    also, I’ve seen The Runs play loads of times and have never seem him smash a guitar. get your facts straight.

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  15. Angela says:

    It’s not name dropping, its a point of reference for people who have not seen the bands.
    Everytime i’ve watched The Runs, Gabriel has smashed his guitar. Facts straight.

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  16. muerte says:

    That’s it Midnight. Fire back!

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  17. Anonymous says:

    wow amazed at how unimformative that review was

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  18. Anonymous says:

    I have never seen the Runs or Magic of Pegasus, the name dropping helped alot. Now i know: dont go see Magic of Pegasus they sound more like a freaky artpiece who should perform at Artscape, Do go see the Runs who sound like a young high energy rock band with potential.

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  19. anon says:

    all the TWO times you’ve seen him he’s smashed his guitar?!
    but in your review you say “In a final act of alienation, Shmabriel summons the spirit of Pete Townshend and smashes his guitar, a move he pulls every time they play, giving him about as much Rock n Roll street-cred as Milli Vanilli. How the fuck can you afford to smash your guitar after every gig? ”
    a move he pulls EVERYTIME they play.

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  20. Angela says:

    Every time i’ve seen them play, i should have gone for more clarity rather than sensationalism.
    Anon = Gabriel or another Runs member…?

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  21. anon says:

    ha, just because i corrected you, you assume im from the band. wrong!

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  22. tim lester says:

    @Angela. He’s smashed a guitar twice . . . you’ve seen two shows . .
    thats not EVERY show . but thats irrelevant

    I get the point of reference . . its clever . . If you’re writing for yourself . .
    The Plastics are always average live. . I always get amped for a show of theirs . . always think its gonna be better than the last (because of the marketing) . . and I’m always let down . .
    I can only ever manage the first 2 songs of their set max . . .

    I think the Runs are a fucking rock band. . period . . even the name is anti-music. “the Runs”
    its punk . . nuf sed

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  23. Anonymous says:

    yes timothy lester, because your music is just sooooo amazing and cutting edge.

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  24. Anonymous says:

    what has timothy lester’s music got to do with anything?

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