Magenta, 1978

The Colston Hall, Bristol

See News for latest information on 2017 live dates...

The official home of the West Country folk band Magenta

Magenta were a popular folk band operating out of the west country from 1975 until 1985. They played a variety of original and traditional music and released 3 albums which are now available in cd format.

Magenta have reformed for short periods in 1996, 2009 and 2011 and in 2016 they are back together playing again for a series of concerts. These will include songs from their fourth album "Wrecking Man" originally recorded in 2011 and remixed and re-issued in 2016.

This site brings together all their various musical endeavours and includes the history of the band, and an update on their individual careers since 1985. The site also includes histories, profiles, details and links to various other acts who have been connected with the various members of Magenta over the years. Some of these acts have also produced cds or other material, which may be of interest. View the albums available from Magenta Music below and the links to alternative acts at the footer of the page.

Most people will remember Magenta's music as a mix of original and traditional songs and tunes using various acoustic instruments and four voices. Initially, the instrumentation was limited to guitars, mandolin, whistle, dulcimer and glockenspiel but later featured keyboards and fiddle. Much of the original material was written by Arthur Brown with substantial contributions from Pete Thompson and Jan Macauley.

The songs covered various 'folky' topics with old folk tales being given a modern treatment, plus songs and stories on a wide variety of other subjects.Their most ambitious work was the Battle of Sedgemoor, which runs for over 14 minutes and recounts the story of the battle from the participants' points of view. It can be heard in its entirety on the 'Recollections' album.

Magenta's appeal as a 'live' act was music and variety. The spread and style of the music was quite broad, as was the instrumentation and harmony singing employed to deliver it. There was also a generous sprinkling of humour in some of the songs and from front man Mervyn Brown, which kept audiences engaged.

Magenta operated for over 10 years in the seventies and eighties. Brother and sister team Arthur and Janet Brown started to play local folk clubs as a duo in 1975 under the name Magenta. Their first paid booking (they didn't call them 'gigs' then!) was at the Oak & Horn Folk Club in Hanham, Bristol, for the princely fee of £7.50.

Magenta were residents at the Bell Folk Club in Banwell from 1977 to its closure in 1985.

Magenta, 1985

The final line-up

Band Profiles

<h2>Magenta</h2><p>Click on the navigational circles above to find out more about the individuals in the band...</p> <h2>Pete Thompson</h2>
			<p>Pete was well-established as a guitarist and singer of traditional songs before joining Magenta and he still has great enthusiasm for traditional music.</p>
			<p>Pete played guitar, mandolin, bouzouki, fiddle and whistle with Magenta, following which he joined 'The Old Fox Band' who had a weekly residency at Crockers Pub in Bristol on Sunday nights and who still appear at Barn Dances and other events throughout the South West. Pete played in Bulldog for a while and he was also part of the light-hearted traditional trio 'Morris Chevalier', based in the South Bristol area.</p>
			<p>Pete remains a regular member of the Mendip Morris Men, who perform at pubs and events throughout the South West, with regular forays into Europe. The Mendip Morris Men's CD entitled 'As Luck Will Have It' is available from the Mendip Morris Men or through Magenta Music.</p> <h2>Allen Greenall</h2>
				<p>Allen played some great acoustic guitar parts with Magenta, which sadly came too late to be included on any of the group's original albums, but he is featured on the groups fourth album 'Wrecking Man'.</p>
				<p>Allen continues to develop his guitar skills and has become a highly accomplished modern acoustic guitarist. He studied for a while with guitarist Pierre Bensusan and has been instrumental in raising the French musician's profile in the UK arranging tours and concerts throughout the country.</p>
				<p>Allen now lives in Cornwall and in recent years has been involved with the prestigious St. Ives Festival as a member of the organising committee. Allen runs his own graphic design business from his home in Helston (<a href='http://www.agdesign.co.uk/' target='_blank'>AG Design</a>).</p> <h2>Mervyn Brown</h2>
				<p>Mervyn was the 'front man' with Magenta, playing guitar, dulcimer, whistle and recorders. His strong lead vocals were a key feature of Magenta's sound with a range that could successfully cover gentle ballads, folk standards and raucous chorus songs. Mervyn's humorous anecdotes and introductions plus the odd monologue added entertainment to a Magenta concert as well as music.</p>
				<p>After Magenta, Mervyn sang with several bands including Soul Doubt and Retread, both in the Bristol area.</p>
				<p>He has also remained a leading light in local theatres in the south Bristol area appearing regularly as actor, singer and performer in productions ranging from straight drama to comedy, concerts and variety shows.</p> <h2>Arthur Brown</h2>
				<p>Arthur played guitar and mandolin with Magenta and wrote many of the band's original songs. When the band split, he joined the highly successful westcountry comedy band 'Bulldog', who in 1985, consisted of Paul Darby, Paul Temple & the late Geoff Teague, all of whom were based in the Weston Super Mare area.</p>
				<p>Other musical collaborations have included periods as guitar accompanist to Bristol singers Aj Webber and Gail Franx in the 1990's, mandolin player 'Shane Arkwright' in 'Tex Braithwaite & the Biryani Brothers' (1992 - date) and sound man and occasional harmonica player with blues/rock band '88 Straight' (2004 – 2006).</p>
				<p>Arthur continues to write and record songs and in 2004 completed a solo album of his own material entitled 'All Said & Done', available through Magenta Music.</p>    <h2>Jan Macauley</h2>
				<p>Jan played keyboards and glockenspiel with Magenta. A music teacher by profession, she will be well known by many a piano and keyboard student in numerous schools throughout Somerset. After Magenta she played as a duo with Pete Thompson for a short time and then in the late 80s she joined brother Arthur and Paul Temple in Bulldog and has been unable to escape ever since.</p>
				<p>Jan also composes more serious music and is organist at Berrow Church in Somerset. She has written several musical productions which have been performed in local schools and churches.She recorded an album of Contemporary Christian Material with Judith Champion in 2007, which is available through magenta Music.</p>
				<p>Jan has also produced several short musical works for children that have been performed in local schools and churches.</p>

Shop

Buy Albums

Available to order...

  • Magenta 'Canterbury Moon'

    Label: Cottage Records (COT 821)
    Recorded at Bird Sound Studios, July 1978
    Reissued on CD 2002 - Available from Kissing Spell (KSCD 938)

    £ (available from kissing spell)

  • Magenta 'Recollections' Double Album

    Label: Little Stan Productions (LSP 811)
    Recorded at Cave Studio, Bristol, 1980/1981
    Reissued on CD 2008 - Available from Magenta Music

    £15 incl. p&p (£17.50 overseas)

  • Magenta 'Wots Next Then?'

    Label: Little Stan Productions (LSP 831)
    Recorded at Cave Studio, Bristol, 1983
    Reissued on CD 2009 - Available from Magenta Music

    £10 incl. p&p (£12 overseas)

  • Magenta 'Wrecking Man'

    Catalogue No: LSP 1601
    Recorded 2011
    Reissued 2016, Available from Magenta Music

    £10 incl. p&p (£12 overseas)

  • A G Brown 'All Said And Done'

    Catalogue number: SA04
    Solo Album, Recorded 2004
    Available from Magenta Music

    £10 incl. p&p (£12 overseas)

Also available to order from Magenta Music...

  • Bulldog 'Geoffrey goes to pieces'

    Catalogue Number: BB86, Label: Bulldog Own Label cassette
    Recorded live at The Heron, Weston Super Mare, 1986
    Reissued on CD 2009 - Available from Magenta Music

    £ 10 incl. p&p (£12 overseas)

  • Bulldog 'It's just not cricket'

    Label: Bulldog (BD02)
    Recorded 1993
    Available from Magenta Music

    £ 10 incl. p&p (£12 overseas)

  • Bulldog 'Get Serious'

    Label: Bulldog Own Label
    Recorded 2010
    Available from Magenta Music

    £ 10 incl. p&p (£12 overseas)

  • Tex Braithwaite & the Biryani Brothers 'Gone but not forgiven'

    Label: Saddle Sore Productions (SSP 001)
    Recorded 1999
    Available from Magenta Music

    £ 10 incl. p&p (£12 overseas)

  • Mendip Morris Men 'As luck will have it'

    Catalogue number: MMM001
    Recorded 2005
    Available from Magenta Music & Mendip Morris Men

    £ 10 incl. p&p (£12 overseas)

If you would like to purchase any of the albums listed above, please fill in the form below with any comments and your choice of albums.

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Magenta, 1975

Bell Folk Club Banwell

Latest News

  • More Magenta 2017 dates

    4 Oct 2017

    Magenta will be playing a special concert at Cheddar on Saturday 11th November to launch a new CD.

    The new album, which includes seven new original songs, has been recorded over the last few months at Shane Arkwright's Recording Emporium and is entitled 'Let it Fall'.

    The concert will be held at Cheddar Village Hall, Church Street, Cheddar at 7.30pm, tickets are priced at £10 each and are available from Arthur Brown on 07970 525826 or email agb@ncs.u-net.com

  • Magenta 2017 dates

    8 May 2017

    Magenta will be playing two live dates in June.

    The first is on Saturday June 3rd at Weare Village Hall (7.30pm). Tickets are available on 07970 100252. The second concert is a return visit to Berrow Church, near Burnham on Sea on Friday 16th June (7.30pm), where the unique acoustics provide a special atmosphere for the band’s music.(tickets available on 07841 614597).

    Magenta have been working on songs for a new album, some of which will be featured at the concerts. There are plans for more live dates later in the year to coincide with the release of the album.

  • Magenta 2016 LIVE Dates

    10 January 2016

    In addition to the Weston Super Mare dates at the Blakehay on March 4th and 5th Magenta are playing another live concert at St Mary's Church Berrow, near Burnham on Sea, Somerset on Friday February 5th at 7.30pm. The show is open to all and is a chance to hear Magenta's sound in a very different acoustic environment with proceeds going to the restoration fund. Tickets are available on the door or in advance from jann.mac@talktalk.net or call 07970 525826.

  • Magenta 2016 Concert Dates

    21 December 2015

    After a 5 year break, the 5 members of Magenta have got together again and will play some dates in 2016. Following the success of the Blakehay and Playhouse concerts in Weston Super Mare in 2009 and 2011, Magenta will return to the Blakehay Theatre, Wadham Street, Weston, for 2 nights on Friday 4th and Saturday 5th March 2016 (7.30pm start). Tickets are available from the Blakehay box office Tel. 01934 645493 - www.blakehaytheatre.co.uk.

  • Magenta New album 'Wrecking Man' now available

    13 March 2011

    Magenta's new album entiitled 'Wrecking Man' is now available through Magenta Music.

  • Magenta new album showcased at Playhouse Theatre

    10 March 2011

    The Grand Charity Concert at Weston Playhouse on Saturday 12th March was a great success with well over 400 enjoying the mix of folk and jazz. Magenta headlined the evening with a selection of songs old and new and including a number of songs off their new album 'Wrecking Man' (now available from Magenta Music). There were also great performances by some great young musicians in the North Somerset Jazz Orchestra and the North Somerset Swing band.

  • Magenta Playhouse show 12th March 2011

    09 February 2011

    Tickets for the Chairman's Grand Charity Concert in Weston's Playhouse Theatre on Saturday 12th March are selling well. The evening is being promoted by Ann Harley, the Chairman of North Somerset Council and is in aid of three charities - Weston HospiceCare, the Strawberry Line and North Somerset Young Carers. Tickets are available from the Playhouse Box Office and Agents.

    Magenta are headlining the evening and there will be appearances by some of the area's finest young musicians in the North Somerset Jazz Orchestra and the North Somerset Swing Band.

    Magenta will have their fourth album available for the very first time at the concert. It includes several new songs, reworking of a couple of older numbers and some songs they did not get round to recording first time around. The new CD will be available via the website from 12th March 2011.

  • Playhouse Concert Saturday March 12th

    07 January 2011

    Magenta will headline a Grand Charity Concert at the Playhouse, Weston Super Mare, on Saturday 12th March at 7.30pm. The concert is the last in a series of reunion concerts that started with 2 sell-out nights at Weston's Blakehay Theatre in October 2009. Magenta have also been working on a fourth album, which it is hoped will be available for the first time at the show. Tickets are available from the Playhouse Box Office & Agents or contact Chris Ballard (01934 842584).

  • Blakehay concerts a great success

    06 November 2009

    Magenta's '25 Years On' Reunion weekend was a huge success with both nights selling out and a tremendous response from 2 great audiences.

  • Wot's Next Then now available on CD

    06 September 2009

    Magenta's third album 'Wot's Next Then' originally released in 1983 is now available in CD format from MagentaMusic (see Shop above).

    The price is £10.00 incl P&P

  • Magenta '25 years on' reunion concerts

    17 August 2009

    Tickets for the first reunion concert at the Blakehay Theatre, Weston on Saturday 31st October are virtually sold out. However tickets for the Sunday evening (1st November) are still available from 07970 525826 or 01934 733505. Tickets are £10.

Get In Touch

Blakehay Theatre, 2009

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Use the form to contact us about anything you've seen on this site or if you have any queries about Magenta Music. Alternatively you can phone 07970525826 or email us.

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