NTS Radio recently broadcast ‘The Magic Behind Beefheart’, an hour long look at Don and the Magic Band’s career by Imogen Eason. A great selection of music, albeit brief extracts, keep the show moving along. It includes interviews with John French and Denny Walley talking about their time in the band, about Don and Frank Zappa and about playing the music again in the reunion Magic Band. It’s not clear when these interviews were done but presumably they must be a few years old and recorded before Denny left the band – (I’m guessing 2013). Take a listen here
As the Magic Band begin their Farewell tour of the UK this excellent interview by John Martin has appeared on the Nottingham cultural website Leftlion to advertise their performance at the city’s Rescue Rooms on Sunday 12 November 2017. Read the interview Check out details of the Magic Band tour
Updated: 6 November 2017 The news we posted a few months back that there would be no more Magic Band tours has, happily, proved to be completely wrong. John French decided that he didn’t want the Magic Band project just to fizzle out, he’d much rather have a proper Farewell Tour and that’s what he has painstakingly put together. Sadly Mark Boston doesn’t feel well enough to commit to a lengthy tour so he’ll not be there, and Brian Havey who featured on the two last tours wasn’t available for this one so his duties (and others) will be covered by keyboard player Jonathan Sindelman. The
2016 has been a bad news year for all sorts of reasons … unfortunately here’s some more of the same… On 15 December John French posted this on The Magic Band Facebook page: I have decided not to pursue any more tours. There is precious little demand these days, and not enough offers to actually support any group. I have sincerely enjoyed the actual tours, but the five to six months leading up to them is filled with tedious details. Too much time is spent on the business and not enough on the music. Since I founded the whole project in 2002, the difficulty level
The Magic Band have booked two dates for a very short tour during Summer 2016. Thursday 14 July – Under The Bridge, Fulham, UK – underthebridge.co.uk Friday 15 July – Zappanale #27, Bad Doberan, Germany – www.zappanale.de That’s all, folks, unfortunately! However, they might be back in the UK at the end of the year Photo by John Bentley
Just when you’re waiting for a Magic Band DVD two turn up at the same time. If you saw the earlier posts you’ll know that John French set up two Indiegogo crowd-funding projects a few months back to finance the release of these two DVDs – Magnetic Draw and Singing Through You. Well, here they are: Singing Through You documents the band’s 10th anniversary gig at Under the Bridge, London in March 2013 plus it includes an interview John did at Rough Trade Records to promote his book about Beefheart. Read our short review of Singing Through You Magnetic Draw catches them a year later at
Another Magic Band tour has just ended and there are still many fans across the UK with silly smiles on their faces. The band were on top form and there was a good turn out at most of the venues which is great news considering this tour nearly didn’t happen. The first problem for the band came with Denny Walley deciding to quit so that he could follow his own musical path concentrating on the Zappa side of his repertoire. This was a big blow to the band (and us fans) as Denny’s guitar playing is something special and with no other ex-Magic Band guitarists willing to
Updated: 5 November 2015 The Magic Band are touring again during November this year. These are the confirmed venues: 4 November 2015 – The Rescue Rooms, Nottingham 5 November 2015 – Band On The Wall, Manchester 7 November 2015 – The Continental, Preston 8 November 2015 – The Kazimier, Liverpool 10 November 2015 – The Greystones, Sheffield 11 November 2015 – Brudenall Social Club, Leeds 12 November 2015 – The Studio, Hartlepool 13 November 2015 – Arts Centre, Norwich 15 November 2015 – Arts Centre, Colchester 16 November 2015 – Robin 2, Wolverhampton 17 November 2015 – The Fleece, Bristol 18 November 2015 – Winter Gardens,
Update: 15 Oct 2015 It was touch and go there for a while with this project going right to the wire but it’s good to see that it has been fully funded. Great work from all the fans who contributed! ——————————————————- With one Indiegogo crowdfunding project successfully completed the band have set up another one! This time it’s for another DVD called Singing Through You which is a recording of the 2013 show at London’s Under The Bridge. A fine venue and by all accounts a very fine show. The release of this on DVD has been talked about for a while now, and hopefully it
Updated: 3 Sept 2015 Great news – after only 4 days this has already reached its target! ——————————————————- John French has started a crowdfunding project on Indiegogo to finance the release of The Magic Band’s latest DVD. Called Magnetic Draw this is a two disc set which includes, on one disc the concert performed at “The Engine Shed” Lincoln, UK on 23 May 2014, and on the other interviews with all the band members. All monies raised will go to the production of the DVD, and more importantly all profits will go directly to all the Magic Band members who have taken part. Here’s a chance for all
The Magic Band are now touring the UK and are playing a date in Germany see their site for links to buy tickets. 25 May 2014 Newcastle Upon Tyne – The Cluny 27 May 2014 Leeds – Brudenell Social Club 29 May 2014 Manchester – Band On The Wall 30 May 2014 Liverpool – Eric’s 31 May 2014 Aldershot – West End Centre 01 June 2014 Brighton – The Haunt 03 June 2014 Colchester – Colchester Arts Centre 05 June 2014 Bristol – The Fleece 06 June 2014 Hertford – Hertford Corn Exchange 07 June 2014 London – The Garage 08 June 2014 Tanworth In
It’s almost 40 years since Don played the Troubadour in Los Angeles… and far too long since the Magic Band have played in the US. At long last a venue has had the commonsense to book the band so some of our American cousins can see what they’ve been missing. The date of the show is Monday 7th April. Find out more on the Troubadour’s Facebook page for the gig.
A new Magic Band website announces a new Magic Band tour. The new site provides us with a suitably Magic web presence; my favourite bit being the archive of press reviews of many of the reunion shows. It’s a pleasing reminder that the reunion has been consistently booglarising us for over 10 years now, and the tone of the reviews is as equally thrilled and disbelieving in 2013 as it was in 2003. John French, Mark Boston and Denny Walley, along with their bandmates over the last decade, have achieved something truly remarkable. So get yourself out there if you can, witness an unforgettable show, revel
The Magic Band have been added to the line-up of the All Tomorrow’s Parties ‘End Of An Era Part 2’ festival curated by ATP and Loop. The event takes place at Pontins, Camber Sands, England from the 29th November-1st December 2013. More info about the event and tickets are available at the ATP website.
To celebrate the launch of the new improved Radar Station I have a couple of interviews to share with you all – one is from one of the newest Magic Band members, the other is with one of the original founder members. First up here is an interview I did with Eric Klerks at the end of 2012. Eric gives up a bit of background about himself, how he came to be in the band and what he thinks about listening to and playing Beefheart’s music. Read the interview with Eric I was particularly interested in some of Eric’s explanations of the Magic Band music in technical terms (although
Updated: 26 Jan 2013 Woo hoo! Yes, prepare to be booglarized again … the guys are back in the UK for another tour. So far the following dates have been set up: March 2013 1 – Concorde 2, Brighton 2 – Arts Centre, Colchester 4 – The Fleece, Bristol 5 – Robin 2, Bilston, Wolverhampton 6 – The Continental, Preston 7 – Band On The Wall, Manchester 9 – Arches, Glasgow 10 – HMV Picture House, Edinburgh 11 – The Cluny, Newcastle upon Tyne 13 – Erics, Liverpool 14 – The Duchess, York 15 – Sub89, Reading 16 – Under The Bridge, Fulham, London For
We’ve had an email from Magic Band guitarist Eric Klerks with details about up-coming live dates, mostly Europe but also one at ATP New York. September: 23- ATP Festival ‘I’ll Be Your Mirror’, Pier 36, NYC 28- Button Factory, Dublin, Ireland 29- Club Zanzibar, Liverpool, UK 30- Picturedrome, Holmfirth, UK October: 3- Kesselhaus, Berlin, Germany 4- Amager Bio, Copenhagen, Denmark 6- Parkteatret, Oslo, Norway 7- Blues Garage, Hannover, Germany 10- Theaterhaus, Stuttgart, Germany 11- Exil, Zurich, Switzerland 13- 4AD, Diksmuide, Belgium If you attend, please send us your reports, photos, videos and anecdotes.
The Magic Band will be back in the UK in March (for a mini tour), in Japan in April and New Jersey in September, playing at an ATP event in each of the three countries. So far the following venues have been confirmed: 7 March 2012 – Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth 9 March 2012 – The Phoenix, Exeter 11 March 2012 – ATP Festival, Minehead 12 March 2012 – The Robin, Bilston, Wolverhampton 13 March 2012 – The Continental, Preston 14 March 2012 – The Duchess, York 14 April 2012 – ATP Festival, Tokyo POSTPONED – hoping to reschedule later in 2012 21-23 September – ATP
John French has kindly sent along his account of the Magic Band’s recent UK tour. The Magic Band’s “mini-tour” went well. We stayed in Basingstoke, England at a friend’s house to rehearse. It worked out perfectly for us, as we were able to rehearse in the living room for three days. I had gone over a day earlier (November 24th) and sorted out the backline with Malcolm Mills, the owner of Proper Music, who put out my last CD and published my book. Malcolm let me stay at his beautiful home with him, his wife Miriam, and sister-in-law Hillary. Upon arrival, I realized I
The Magic Band played at The Scala in London on Wednesday night and blew its stacks, as has come to be the norm at their amazing reunion shows. A couple of videos are available on YouTube (thanks to Ben for pointing these out): Electricity Big Eyed Beans From Venus Ian Archer sent along a scan of the set list which he managed to get John Drumbo French to sign: Ian comments: [wp_quote]What a joyous occasion – great to see the guys looking so well and sounding as good as ever. The band seemed pleased to see us as well. The Floppy Boot stomped down and that