Many thanks indeed to Ian for sending along these splendid photos. Pre-gig crowd shots – note Benjamin Horrendous’ zipper head and plethora of Fire Party people. Cormac giving Dennis Martian some of his fire. Rockette Morton and Denny Walley Gary Lucas reads an untitled poem Drumbo   Rockette Morton, Drumbo, Denny Walley   Denny Walley Drumbo, Gary Lucas, Rockette Morton Ben, still keeping it zipped.Read More →

The following gigs have all taken place. For news of upcoming concerts, please see the latest reunion news from the blog. 2003 [alert_box type=”info”] The line-up for the following gigs was as follows: John French – drums, vocals, harmonica Gary Lucas – guitar Denny Walley – guitar Mark Boston – bass Robert Williams – drums [/alert_box] UK, All Tomorrow’s Parties, Camber Sands, East Sussex Sunday 6th April 2003. This was recorded by the BBC and broadcast on John Peel’s Radio 1 Show and on Radio 3’s ‘Mixing It’ programme. See ATP photos taken by Janet The Planet (Denny Walley’s wife). UK, Shepherds Bush Empire, London MondayRead More →

Many thanks indeed to Janet for taking her photos of the 2003 Magic Band’s Camber Sands show, and to her huband Denny Walley for sending them along. Here’s Denny’s message: I had my wife Janet “The Planet” take these shots. I spoke with John French this morning, and he said that you might like some of them, so here you go! It was great to meet some of the Fireparty Folks, and especially to PLAY for them. The acceptance of TMB by such a diversified audience, was overwhelming to us. We LOVED it! Dons music is too important for it not to be played andRead More →

Containing both an 80 minutes live show from April 2003 recorded at Shepherds Bush Empire, London and a 50 minute documentary narrated by John Peel and directed by Elaine Shepherd, this PAL format DVD was a real treat when released in 2004 by Subdiva. Its only available second hand now – copies do regularly turn up at amazon.co.uk Update – November 2014: Copies are available from Proper Records You can read more and view both the films here at the Radar Station via YouTube: Live In Concert Crows Milk documentaryRead More →

Catalogue number: PRPCD026 Label: Proper Records Released: May 2005 Track list Matt Groening Introduction Moonlight On Vermont Floppy Boot Stomp Smithsonian Institute Blues (instrumental) Abba Zaba Circumstances On Tomorrow (instrumental) Steal Softly Thru Snow (instrumental) My Human Gets Me Blues (instrumental) Alice In Blunderland Hair Pie Grow Fins Veterans Day Poppy (instrumental) Mirror Man When It Blows Its Stacks Electricity Big Eyed Beans From Venus Album overview from Steve Froy The music was recorded live on tour and it features performances from the shows The Magic Band played in 2003 and 2004 at the Royal Festival Hall, The Garage, Edinburgh Liquid Room, and the ATPRead More →

Catalogue number: ATPRCD7 Label: All Tomorrows Parties Released: July 2003 Track list My Human Gets Me Blues Click Clack Abba Zaba I’m Gonna Booglarize You Baby Sun Zoom Spark Alice In Blunderland Steal Softly Thru Snow Dropout Boogie Moonlight On Vermont Circumstances On Tomorrow Floppy Boot Stomp Hair Pie Nowadays A Woman’s Gotta Hit A Man When It Blows Its Stacks I Wanna Find A Woman… (Bonus Track) Sure Nuff n Yes I Do Album overview from Steve Froy Recorded in February 2003 at Paradoxx Sound Studios in Palmdale when John French, Mark Boston, Denny Walley and Gary Lucas were rehearsing for their series ofRead More →

[alert_box type=”info”]Thanks to Andy Swapp for sending along his photographs, and review, from a great night in Oxford.[/alert_box] Gary ‘Mantis’ Lucas suddenly appeared stalking across stage and to whoops and hollers, he smiled his trademark, thin as a whip smile and was quickly followed by Denny ‘Feelers Reebo’ Walley, Mark ‘Rockette Morton’ Boston and drummer Michael Traylor. Straight away plugging in, hitting a string or two they had clearly come to do the stuff and no mistake – these guys meant business – when suddenly John ‘Drumbo’ French appears and wearing the ubiquitous white trench coat and wide brimmed hat we have come to recognise,Read More →

Catalogue number: SC11212 Label: Sundazed Released: October 2011 Track list Gimme Dat Harp Boy Dropout Boogie Diddy Wah Diddy Low Yo Yo Stuff When It Blows Its Stacks Kandy Korn Hair Pie On Tomorrow (instrumental) China Pig Steal Softly Thru Snow (instrumental) Abba Zaba (instrumental) My Human Gets Me Blues (instrumental) Alice In Blunderland Electricity Evening Bell Floppy Boot Stomp Big Eyed Beans From Venus Mirror Man Sundazed blurb Famously forged in a cauldron of intense artistic pressure, Captain Beefheart’s Magic Band emerged as a group unlike any other in popular music. For this transcendental performance in Oxford, England on June 6th, 2005, founding memberRead More →

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 amazon.co.uk. 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 suchRead More →

Crow’s Milk is a 50 minute documentary narrated by John Peel and directed by Elaine Shepherd which covers: The Magic Band rehearsals in California in February 2003 recording of the CD ‘Back To The Front’ the feelings of the band members about the project rehearsals in London for the two 2003 UK concerts concert and backstage footage from Camber Sands and Shepherds Bush. It was released on DVD in 2006 but can be hard to find now. Second hand copies do turn up occasionally on amazon.co.uk. The documentary was accompanied by the complete film of the London Shepherds Bush Empire show on 7 April 2003.Read More →

The 21st Century Magic Band shows are extraordinary Blasting out explosive, raw, spiky, jaw-on-the-floor renditions of some of the best tunes ever recorded by Beefheart and the Magic Band, this is no flaccid cash-in; it’s the real deal and the Magic Band are here to blow our stacks all over again. Sincerely, for anyone who has have missed Beefheart’s presence over the last three decades, this really helps make up for it. View the latest reunion news from the blog. The story so far The reformed Magic Band initially played a number of (mainly) European dates between 2003 and 2006 – see below for photos,Read More →

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 IRead More →

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 thatRead More →

I have just received the following statement for the site from John French: Well, all good things must come to an end as they say… After a lot of painful deliberation, we decided to no longer pursue the Magic Band reunion project. There are a lot of reasons, but rather than going on about booking agents not collecting deposits, promoters who didn’t pay, fraudulent contracts etc., I thought it would be a good idea just to say “thanks” to some of the people who made things possible. Pre – 2003 Graham Johnston (beefheart.com founder, great friendship and support) Derek Laskie (webmaster, beefheart.com) Steve Froy (veryRead More →