Were you at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford a couple of weeks ago for the Yahoo Wireless Festival? If you were, then you’d have seen some great acts on stage- Jay-Z, Emilie Sande, Justin Timberlake and John Legend. DJ Calvin Harris was ultra cool in the 30 degree heat on the Pepsi Max Stage. You can catch bits of the acts and interviews with some of the artists online, but for me, as a fan of Steven Frayne, one of the best bits was caught backstage in the video shown below.
Steven may be better known to you as Dynamo, the Bradford-born 30 year old now on his third series of the mind-bending show Dynamo: Magician Impossible. Dynamo, whose third show is sponsored by Pepsi Max, popped by to show some of his talent to a select number of festival goers. By Dynamo standards his performance here was modest- no levitating by the side of a London bus or walking across the River Thames- but it was still striking. He asked people to think of one of the acts appearing and then he would guess it by looking into their eyes and touching the tips of their fingers with his. It may sound simple, but there were over a hundred acts appearing, and the video shows people not selecting the top three or four big names. The incredulous look on their faces as Dynamo correctly guesses what acts they were thinking of is what makes viewing Dynamo so compulsive.
He is by anyone’s standard a bit geeky. No tuxedo and bow-tie here; in fact he’s about as far away as you can get from traditional magicians such as Paul Daniels. He is an unassuming illusionist cum street magician and it’s when he’s down close with the punters that his down-to-earth charm and tricks get him full marks. He learned his first magic tricks from his Grandfather in Bradford who performed card tricks in his local pub for free beers! Dynamo has progressed a long way in the last 10 years since he turned professional, and many of his performances really do you leave you scratching your head and thinking “just how did he do that?!!”
The new series of his show has Dynamo travelling abroad, but he doesn’t go to the swankiest glitziest places. He loves mixing it with the locals in the less popular and less affluent places in a city. You should catch it, not just because he is really clever with his illusions and sleights of hand and feats of memory/mind-reading, but because he comes across as a nice ordinary bloke with extraordinary warmth and talent. Go Dynamo Go!
See the video here: