10 iconic gigs that rocked The Magnet

Hands up who else is gutted that there’ll be no more live music at The Magnet?

Our Valentine’s Day was tinged with sadness as we found out legendary Hardman Street venue, The Magnet is not longer able to host live gigs and as the city regrettably loses another brilliant venue, our Alex has taken a trip down memory lane to highlight 10 of the absolutely belting gigs that rocked the city. If you’ve ever been to a gig here, or even graced the stage, you’ll have shared that space with some of the most famous and talented icons in the business.

Here’s 10 iconic gigs that rocked The Magnet….

1 – Smile (Freddy Mercury & Brian May)

We have to start with where it all began. Back in 1958, when The Magnet first opened and was then called The Sink Club, Mercury and May graced the burgundy stage with their first band, Smile. That became the platform that put The Magnet in the same league as the likes of The Jacaranda, hot on the heels of the world renowned Cavern Club. Whilst Cavern went on to become a shrine to it’s legend, The Magnet continued innovating with the ups and downs to bring the best live music to the city.

2 – The Wombats

The Wombats have played multiple times at this staple Indie venue at varying levels of stardom as they flew the nest of Merseyside. The band never forgot their roots, returning to the basement venue for a show that will never be forgotten back in 2015. It’s a shame that we won’t get to see this return once more, to top off what has been such an incredible rise to fame, but never say never…

3 – Skrillex

This might seem totally mind blowing now, however, the Dubstep pioneer took to the stage just 48 hours after accepting his first ever Grammy Awards. He played two shows in one night in Liverpool, with this being the after party. However, this goes down in legend more so than the official gig itself due to the intimacy and how crazy things got down there, back in 2012.

4 – Cabbage

Cabbage get an honourable mention as they will be one of the last bands we see take to the dark red stage, if not the last. Cabbage return on 16th Feb 2018 after they tore the place apart at the back end of 2017. Tickets are sold out for the 2018 show, however, we expect to hear reports of crowd surfers touching the ceiling and th band in the crowd, just like last time.

5 – Reverend and The Makers

2016 saw Soft Rockers, Reverend and the Makers, embark on an acoustic tour of the UK. That tour then saw them arrive at our doors in the underground surrounding on The Magnet. The tour was something out of the ordinary for the band, giving fans an exclusive chance to hear the tracks stripped back, something that punters flocked to The Magnet for, selling out in a flash.

6 – The Courteeners

Another Indie/Rock outfit that came to The Magnet in an acoustic fashion was The Courteneers. Lead singer, Liam Fray stood in front of gig goers with just his acoustic guitar to serenade them into silence and whip them up into a frenzy within the same song. All the more impressive as it was his second set of the night after playing the second of their Liverpool dates earlier that evening.

7 – Ms Dynamite

You might not have expected this one as the venue has, in recent years, become a mecca for Indie-Rock bands. However, proudly, the street level bar was originally called the ‘Rumblin’ Tum’, and the basement the ‘Sink Club’. Both one of the city’s first black music venues and the origins can be seen across the club scene today. Ms Dynamite took to the stage back in 2011 as part of her UK tour,

8 – Tim Burgess (The Charlatans)

Lead singer of Indie-Pop sensations, The Charlatans, Tim Burgess came to the magnet on his solo tour in 2012 in support of his solo album, Oh No I Love You. Burgess is known for his chaotic and unhinged stage prescience, as well as his blonde bowl cut, making the show one for the eyes as much as the ears.

9 – Gilles Peterson

Giles Peterson is another DJ on the list that took The Magnet by the horns from behind the decks. The Radio 1 DJ came to the venue as part of his UK tour, a tour that seems endless, seemingly flowing from tour to tour over the years. Peterson comes back to Liverpool this March for FIESTA BOMBARDA and we’re sure will have to say about the sorry state of what is happening to our UK music venues.

10 – Roy Ayers

Roy Ayers, kids, is a Jazz-Fusion artist that helped bring the genre to the mainstream in the US, and UK, with his hits such as Everybody Loves The Sunshine and You Send Me. Ayers is another, much earlier example of the venue doing the right thing when it came to mending racial divisions in the live music industry. It’s amazing to think that this US, Jazz legend took to the stage, a stage that sadly won’t have live music on it for the foreseeable future, a stage that helped stand up against those divisions.


The Magnet After Parties (too many to choose from)

The Magnet

We are cheating slightly on this one, but the after party is an art, one that The Magnet perfected. We’ve mentioned a couple already that turned into fully fledged gigs, such as Skrillex and The Courteeners, however there are so many club nights and after parties that happened here that we can’t name them all or pick out just one. From Soul II Soul to LIMF and Africa Oye, the party has always continued in that intimate venue.

There have been so many gigs and club nights at The Magnet, it was so hard to pick out just 10! We’re sitting tight waiting on more news about the future of the venue and will bring you more as we get it. What’s been your favourite gig at The Magnet? Drop us a line on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram with your memories and we’ll share the best on our socials.


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