BUZZIN' 15: Artmagic

Free Trade Hall, Manchester. Oct 31st, 1994. It was the first time this writer went to see Suede for the first time and it was the first UK tour that then exceptionally young guitarist Richard Oakes had played live with the band following Bernard Butler's departure. This was the suede line up we grew up with, loved and had no real romantic vision of Butler rejoined as we were too young to ever witness the first incarnation of the band.

While Brett Anderson went and did a solo career, the other members of Suede have been pretty quiet until the recent reformation gigs, so it was a surprise to get an email earlier this week about Artmagic. The new project from Richard Oakes and singer / programmer Sean McGhee. Perhaps even more surprising is that McGhee has worked with Britney Spears, Sugababes, Robyn and Imogen Heap amongst others.

Before you pop a pill and think Oakes has jumped shipped from an arse slapping glam rock band to a synthtastic trashy pop band - which we admit would be amazing - just sit down and realise that Artmagic is an altogether more chilled out proposition that sounds little like either artists previous work.

At times its sounds like 60/70s MOR artists Bread, especially on "Half Life", whereas "You" sounds like Ben Folds or Duke Special at their most straightforward. Its simple but effective songwriting at play here and a real back to basics approach for both artists.

Presently live appearances are few and far between and currently only London based so keep an eye out on their myspace / facebook for more info on the forthcoming album

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