Who are you and where are you from?
I’m Romeo Stodart, the singer & songwriter for The Magic Numbers. I am originally from Trinidad & Tobago via New York and now reside in London.
Who are your favorite artists from home?
Lord Kitchener, The Mighty Sparrow & pianist Hazel Scott are often played around the house and they’re all fellow Trinidadians.
What’s it really like touring?
We’re road dogs really, we actually love it. Touring can be a form of escapism. Sometimes there’s no better feeling than travelling that open road, hair blowing in the wind and someone to the left of you puking on your lap. That in-between feeling, it’s emotional – leaving one place absolutely elated, only to experience the inevitable come down. We try to surround ourselves with people we love, there’s definitely romance to be found within the monotony.
What’s your favourite city/town/venue to play?
We love playing South America, there’s always an honest passionate energy amongst the audience there. Sweden is also a real favourite of ours, as we’ve had some incredible shows there and as it was the first country outside of the UK that we ever played, it’ll always be special to us.
What’s your ideal festival line-up?
The more diverse the better, let’s see… maybe kick off the day with various artists like Dr John, Wu Tang Clan, Axl Rose, Jarvis Cocker & Patti Smith – all singing songs from Sesame Street, followed by Sun Ra Arkestra projecting us out of space, gotta have Slayer next, then The Bangles, a freakout from Beak >, secret guest Bowie blows minds with Hunky Dory set, a late afternoon screening of Heartworn Highways, followed by Trio Bulgarka vocal ensemble, leading us into a life changing sunset performance by Leonard Cohen with our very own Michele & Angela on backing vocals, then story telling with Tom Waits with Bobby McFerrin & Mike Patton providing most of the human instrumentation & festival headliners – Neil Young & The Magic Numbers as his back up band, rocking hard into the night. Can we make this happen please?
What has been your biggest achievement of the year?
Alias, our fourth and best album to date.
What was the worst piece of advice you were given?
Have something to fall back on, having no plan b allows you to succeed with plan a.
What do you do to relax?
I find it hard to fully switch off, but reading & film can transport you somewhere out of your own thoughts for a little while.
What are you reading?
I’m reading Astragal by Albertine Sarrazin. It’s about a young girl who escapes from prison and then begins her journey of self discovery, it’s really romantic, rebellious & thought provoking. Highly recommend it.
How about TV, anything good on the box?
I actually don’t own a TV, haven’t done for a number of years.
Do you have a favourite YouTube video?
David Shrigley’s Who I Am And What I Want – it’s a band favourite, Angie pretty much knows it off by heart. Compulsive viewing.
What website do you visit most?
What is your favourite:
Record? These change every day – Today I’d say The Bacharach/David Songbook
Song? ‘Sky’s The Limit’ by Dennis Alcapone
Lost classic song? The Kiss by Judee Sill
Record label? Stax
Who is your favourite current artist?
A new artist that you are most excited about?
Well, there’s been 3 recent chance discoveries that have all blown me away – Bannerman are a New Zealand group based in Berlin that we met on tour and invited along to play with us, absolutely fallen in love with them. Unique sound that’s dark, mysterious & soulful and their delivery oozes conviction. There’s also the haunting Sophie Jamieson, whom I’ve been a fan of for awhile now, her most recent track ‘Take’ is one of the best things she’s done. Then there’s The Goat Roper Rodeo Band – Harmony led country/blues three piece from North Wales. I’m so lucky to have met these guys as they’re a reaffirmation of what music’s about. I really love being around that purity, that energy and spark where music is everything, people become too jaded by the business and wrapped up in measuring their successes, it’s music, your first love, just live it. I’m producing their album at our studio and we’re capturing some killer performances. Can’t wait for people to hear it.
What was the last great gig you have seen?
Neil Young & Crazy Horse. Every single night on tour with him. I’m a lifelong fan so standing side of the stage, having just warmed up the crowd for him was a dream come true. There’s no one like him. Inspirational.
I’ve walked out of many shows in recent years, Grizzly Bear, The Shins, tonnes of supposedly cool & innovative groups who I’ve found incredibly boring and performances lacklustre. My most hated current group at the moment are Alt-J. I really do not get them at all, their sound actually makes my skin crawl, shudder to think.
What should we expect from your Irish shows?
The Magic Numbers make a welcome return to Ireland playing at Roisin Dubh in Galway on Nov 30th, Dolan’s in Limerick on Dec 1st, the Half Moon in Cork on Dec 2nd, The Academy in Dublin on Dec 3rd and the Limelight 2 in Belfast on Dec 4th. Tickets are available here.