''It" bands from the United Kingdom tend to be loud, fast, and well dressed. Recent imports include such natty, bratty sensations as Franz Ferdinand, the Futureheads, and the late, great Libertines. If the much-hyped arrival on these shores of the Magic Numbers is any indication, however, a taste for sweeter treats is emerging.
The band, composed of two sets of siblings, played its first Boston show on Tuesday (they opened for Bright Eyes last week in Worcester) for a crowded and gleeful house. Happy is the magic adjective, not just for the head-bobbing fans at Great Scott but for a group whose songs are the sonic equivalent of a smile: all fetching chord changes and sugared harmonies, chiming guitar and hand claps. Meditations on love and messages of hope were rendered in pitch-perfect indie-pop vocab -- simpering male singer, melodica interludes -- to the point that one wondered if it was reasonable to feel so thoroughly untroubled in a sweaty nightclub on a Tuesday night.
There's real danger in relying too heavily on the charms of recycled '60s sunshine, especially when the live show is absent much of the crisp, oddball instrumentation that delivers the Magic Numbers' major-label debut from excessive pleasantness. Happily (again), the Magic Numbers infused the proceedings with just enough wit and vim to transcend their genial underpinnings.
Michele Stodart, sister of the well-named frontman Romeo, is the band's secret weapon; her endlessly clever bass lines gave shape and force to sleepy waltzes (''Long Legs") and perky rockers (''Love Me Like You") alike. Angela Gannon, sister of drummer Sean, showed how blissful judicious use of a tambourine can be and took a break from backup duties to deliver a haunted duet with Romeo on ''I See You, You See Me." At the risk of sounding shallow, it must be noted that they were fabulous to gaze upon: a dark-haired, chubby foursome that restores faith in a future beyond bony-chic rock stars.
In addition to much of its self-titled album, released earlier this year, the group performed two new songs -- one a rootsy thigh slapper, the other a heartfelt ballad -- that suggest the Magic Numbers' sophomore effort will slip seamlessly into the comfort zone they so blithely inhabit.
Joan Anderman can be reached at email@example.com.