Purson – “Desire’s Magic Theatre” (2016)


Label: Spinefarm Records

Review by Warren Mayocchi

With a psychedelic swirl and a sprinkle of influences from jazz to 70’s hard rock, Purson have delivered “Desire’s Magic Theatre” to we listeners. The band describe themselves as “Big Psych, Facemelter, Fuzz Wowowpopsong, Other” which might be right at times. The album opens and closes with the sound of a train and Purson do take us for a trip. Their sound is generally varied but consistently has a psychedelic theme, as does the clothing of the band members: Rosalie Cunningham, George Hudson, Samuel Shove, Justin Smith, Raphaël Mura. They have early Pink Floyd guitars, a thumping drumbeat, buzzing bass, Beatles brass, cheesy-movie flute runs, kaleidoscopic Deep Purple keyboards, but I think they sound like “Tragic Kingdom” era No Doubt (if No Doubt had formed in the late 60s and created their album in the mid-70s). The album appears to pay homage to artists of the 60s/70s in name as well as performance. Given the guitar work on “Electric Landlady” the link to Jimi Hendrix might be suggested, but then there is Hendrix‘s 1968 album “Electric Ladyland” to strengthen the bond. “The Sky Parade” allows the band to unleash on an apocalyptic sci-fi space rock song. “Mr. Howard” echoes glam rock. “I Know” has harmonies of a swirling Beatles song – but is most like their 1963 song, “This Boy”. The last song of the album, “The Bitter Suite”, goes through too many genres to list, but at over seven minutes long it is my favourite track. Ultimately “Desire’s Magic Theatre” is an entertaining experience – a great trip through vintage sounds performed by excellent musicians. I believe Purson will be a fantastic band to watch in a live venue. Though the album can be disconcerting at times due to the variety of sounds and songs, there are surprises for your ears everywhere. Grab your best pink paisley pants and take a ride on this train. Groovy!

Rating – 82/100



  1. Desire’s Magic Theatre
  2. Electric Landlady
  3. Dead Dodo Down
  4. Pedigree Chums
  5. The Sky Parade
  6. The Window Cleaner
  7. The Way It Is
  8. Mr Howard
  9. I Know
  10. The Bitter Suite


Line Up

  • Rosalie Cunningham – Vocals & Guitars
  • George Hudson – Guitars
  • Samuel Robinson – Keyboards
  • Justin Smith – Bass
  • Raphael Mura – Drums






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