The Magic Numbers

The Magic Numbers’ songwriter and all-around main man, Romeo Stodart, mused about getting a U.S. representative. The British band has management – Normal Management’s Alice Harter & Paul Noble – but now it was time for some help in the States.

“We have somebody we’re very keen on but it hasn’t been sort of definite,” Stodart told Pollstar from London, where he and his mates were getting ready for a U.S. tour with Bright Eyes.

That, of course, means it’s going to happen. Still, it’s understood that in this business

whether it’s a potential record deal, the selection of an agent or, most notably, a possible tour

nobody talks about the “maybes” in detail.

But as the interview ended, Stodart gave a pretty big hint.

“We’re looking at Elliot Roberts,” he said. “It’s still in the early stages but we’ve met. It probably would make sense. He’s great. We were blown away by his interest in the band.”

A few weeks later, it was a done deal – Roberts would help out Normal Management stateside.

The Magic Numbers – two sets of brothers and sisters – have debuted with an album that “2005 is destined to be remembered for,” according to one reviewer. Stodart writes of heartbreak and loss but the songs are unabashedly poppy. The band’s U.S. agent, Little Big Man Booking’s Steve Ferguson, said a listener could spend days picking out the influences in the music.

And one known influence is Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. The Numbers apparently are big fans, which leads us full-circle back to Roberts, who manages Neil Young and David Crosby.

While sitting in on a panel at this year’s Concert Industry Consortium, Roberts spoke glowingly of new music.

“I was listening to the other panels talk about the sorry state of the business,” he said. “To me, it’s never been better. There’s more quality young acts now than in 15, 20 years.”

He discussed the details of how he’s helping the Numbers out November 30th, talking with Pollstar from the set of the “Late Night With Conan O’Brien” show. The Numbers were going to be featured on the NYC-based program later that evening after playing the Bowery Ballroom earlier in the week.

The Magic Numbers

“For me, it was the album,” Roberts said.

His son had heard a track on radio, so the two went down to Los Angeles’ Amoeba Music to pick up an import of the CD.

“I just couldn’t stop listening to it. I loved the music so much that I literally said to myself, ‘Boy, I would love to be involved with this band. How cool it would be to listen to this music and watch this songwriter grow,’ which is what I love to do best.”

So, he flew to Germany to catch a show. He said the exact same thing that Ferguson said: You completely understand what the band is about – you get their charm – after seeing them live.

“They’re the real shit,” Roberts said. “They play amazingly for a trio. Romeo is an amazing guitar player and Michele is one of the best bass players I’ve seen in years, period. She plays Motown bass, and she’s amazing.”

That would be Romeo’s sister, Michele. The “trio” can be called a quartet, too, because the drummer, Sean Gannon, also has a sister onstage, Angela, who joins in on percussion and melodia.

The guys formed the band in a U.K. high school about four years ago, inviting their sisters to join after other band members kept quitting. Since then, it has grown into a European phenomenon. Fans include Elton John, Noel Gallagher, The Doves, Nick Hornby, and the Chemical Brothers.

The CD has spawned several hit singles overseas (Gallagher is reportedly pushing “Love’s A Game,” which he says is a classic, as the seventh single). In the States, though, it’s always a challenge.

But Ferguson said The Magic Numbers will have a good chance to break because they’re going to implement the same touring strategy as fellow Little Big Man client Coldplay: They’re gonna tour a lot.

“Part of the plan is to play more than the 12 major markets most English bands play and then go home and think they’ve broke the country,” Ferguson said. “They’re really keen on touring and that’s what’s helped them in other territories because they’re so great live.”

Roberts added his own take.

“The strategy is just to expose them as much as humanly possible, in every way possible.

And if it’s not radio, it’s going to be live and it’s going to be the Internet. There’s other ways to explore it without thinking about Top 40 radio.”