Magic Band live at London’s Shepherds Bush Empire 2003

This show was available on the Magic Band’s Crow’s Milk DVD. Released in 2006 but now hard to find – second hand copies do turn up occasionally on

The film of the show was accompanied by the tour documentary entitled Crow’s Milk.

Nearly twenty classic Beefheart compositions are rejuvenated on stage by five of the finest musicians who ever performed in The Magic Band. The playlist ranges from storming versions of crowd-pleasers such as ‘Moonlight On Vermont’ and ‘Big Eyed Beans From Venus’ to the intricate guitar work of ‘Evening Bell and the melodic ‘Alice In Blunderland’.

Especially interesting are the instrumental versions of songs such as ‘I Wanna Find A Woman That’ll Hold My Big Toe Till I Have To Go’, ‘My Human Gets Me Blues’ and ‘Steal Softly Thru Snow’. Without Don’s voice, for Don is no longer performing, these compositions can be clearly heard as the mind and finger bending riddles they are.

The vocal parts in this Magic Band are taken by John French who comments “Don had a great lung capacity – he had a 50 inch chest. I have to breathe a lot harder and low frequencies take a lot more energy to push. I did a lot of training and exercise to get the most I could out of this puny 42 inch chest.”

This film of the London Shepherds Bush Empire concert in April 2003 (80 minutes) was directed by Elaine Shepherd who also directed the BBC documentary ‘The Artist Formerly Known As Captain Beefheart‘.

Watch the trailer

Track listing

  1. Abba Zabba
  2. My Human Gets Me Blues
  3. Steal Softly Thru Snow
  4. Gone Bops Over Kilimanjaro
  5. On Tomorrow
  6. Evening Bell
  7. Alice In Blunderland
  8. Big Toe
  9. Veterans Day Poppy
  10. Floppy Boot Stomp
  11. China Pig
  12. Dropout Boogie
  13. Nowadays A Woman’s Gotta Hit A Man
  14. When It Blows Its Stacks
  15. Circumstances
  16. I’m Gonna Booglarize You Baby
  17. Click Clack

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