The Magic Band Farewell Tour 2017

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 line-up this time around will be:

John “Drumbo” French – Lead Vocals, Harmonica, Sax, Drums
Eric Klerks – Extended Range guitar, BKP Vocals
Max Kutner – Guitar and Slide guitar
Jonathan Sindelman – Keyboards
Andy Niven – Drums

It’s a great shame this is the last outing for the band but it’s been a thing of beauty and wonder while it lasted. Don’t miss this … because you know you’ll kick yourself if you don’t go. You won’t get another chance to hear this amazing music played live by a band schooled by someone intimately involved with its creation … so do it!

Here are the dates and venues. (I think this is the final list – due to tickets selling out Band on the Wall have added another show!):

Only UK dates here but John has hinted at a separate European Tour in Spring 2018.


    1. Author

      No promoters or venues are interested! As you say, sad…

  1. Just bought my tickets and discovered the venue is the place that I ran as Mexican restaurant 20 years ago!

    That will feel really strange…


  2. Happy to say they are playing Exeter on 21st November, so at the moment, Bristol and Exeter and hopefully some more SW dates, better start saving up, Christmas is coming early. Thanks to John and all the guys

  3. The Exeter gig is at the Phoenix

  4. it’s an absolute travesty to me that no American promoters are interested in this project. I am only 20 years old but this music has changed my life infinitley. I am a college student in Los Angeles and we do house shows all the time. I truly wish I could fine a way to set up a gig for them in LA. If only it wasn’t so far to go from all the other dates… Very glad to see them doing this tour though!!! musical glories shall be had

    1. 20 years old and you’re into Capt Beefheart?!?! thank you my friend. I thought all the fans were just “old farts at play”


      1. I got into Beefheart when I was 19 and have stayed a dedicated fan here in Canada ever since. I’m now 46 and am considering flying to the UK just to see and meet you guys before there are no more shows!

    2. Should you come over to see any of these dates, make sure to come to Bristol and Exeter and we’ll put you up for a few days. Start saving now ;-)

  5. Brilliant news.Will be watching them in Nottingham on 12th Nov.

  6. Great news about tour…soooo sad it’s a farewell son massive fan lives in Wellington NZ …what about Southern Hemisphere fans …I know it’s a long way but …..

  7. Me and the man-child will be there at the Robin 2 with mixed emotions. Glad to see them, but possibly for the last time ever.

    1. Mott The Hoople!What a band.

  8. Great news.
    Hope to see you guys play in the Netherlands during springtime!

  9. Bought tickets for myself and a friend, who introduced me to Beefheart in the mid 80’s. My personal favourite, Odd jobs hope they play it. Can’t wait. The Fleece Bristol.

  10. No US dates? WTF?! super LAME

    1. Author

      They’d be more than happy to tour the US but that would need venues to book them and make it worth their while. There has been little or no support from US agents for the band since they got together. Beefheart was always better supported in the UK and Europe .. and so it goes …

  11. cant believe there is no cardiff (wales) gig ,the band went down a storm last time?


  12. I kinda find hard to believe no interest in the U.S. NewEngland has a large following. Zapa plays Zappa. Ian Anderson to name a few. They tour large and small venues here. Guess I’m lucky enough to see them.

  13. I was at the Glasgow show last night and would just like to thank the band for such a great show. Tinged with sadness as it’s a farewell tour. The current band are excellent, the keyboards addition of Jonathan and the interplay between the guitars was stunning. When Drumbo isn’t behind the kit you need to be a helluva drummer to play this music so arise Sir Andy. Drumbo /John is a musical army with all the instruments, presence and a sense of humour. If the band play in Europe in the Spring I will bring my copy of, “Through The Eyes Of Magic” for John to sign, or read out a few pages. Congratulations and hope the tour is… Magical!!! David

  14. Just read “Through the eyes of magic ” & can’t wait to see the Magic Band at Bristol’s best venue The Fleece.

  15. The Liverpool show was last Friday (10th November) This is no tribute band the guys really had a feeling for Don’s music. All members were outstanding Directed brilliantly by “Drumbo”. Liverpool had a special treat – after short rehearsal earlier in the day The Magic Band were accompanied, for a few selected numbers, by a local group of female backing singers and a brass section. If the M.B. were playing in Liverpool the next night I would have bought a ticket just to experience the music once again. So sad this is the last time we will see them live.

    1. Bit sad myself that it’s the last shows. Maybe European dates in springtime,just hijack the Mersey ferry and you’re off.

    2. . Maybe European dates in springtime,just hijack the Merse ferry and you’re off.

  16. The band get better each and every time I see them. Last night was no exception. Made me smile so much I cracked my chin. It was good talking to the guys last night after the show and seeing their enthusiasm for this music shine through.

    Good luck to each and every Magic Band member for all their future respective endeavours and finally, lets be greedy, lets hope they do tour the UK again.

    A heartfelt thanks to all involved over the years.e

  17. Just seen the Magic Band play a fantastic, tight set in Wingham. So sad that this is the farewell tour. Please no! Keep going guys there is a new young audience out there eager to hear you.

  18. I just came away from an incredible show at the Fleece and realised you gave so much but I didn’t say thankyou! …I left in a daze, struggling to make mouth-words but hyper aware of every sound and speck of light. Thank you.

    1. Me and my brother also saw the show at the Fleece.We both thought the band were amazing.It was a fantastic celebration of the music of Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band. 10/10
      Would love to see them again !!

      1. I always bring new people, and they’re always blown away. Tonight was no exception ! I think the audience is actually growing.

        And Drumbo’s fears of a lack of authenticity with just him and the new lads are for me and this growing audience unfounded. Those older members still alive could not top these performances, only equal them. The whole thing is still totally valid :-)

  19. Just came home from the Brighton gig. Totally blown away. One to remember for the rest of my life. These musicians are just a-m-a-z-i-n-g.

  20. The Magic Band were on top form last night at “The Garage”. London. Packed venue with an appreciative audience. Set list was varied and included pieces which the existing band had not played at previous gigs. They must be one of the most accomplished bands in the world, exuding excellence throughout their high octane performance. It would be a great scheme if they don’t continue performing in future; a major loss to live music. Thanks to John and the Band for a truly memorable, enjoyable, evening. I wish all of you the very best in your future endeavours.

    1. Glad to hear the London show was as good as the Glasgow one. As you say some previously unheard tracks which was great. Sad but we have to accept this is a farewell tour and that’s it. The complete antidote to the radio playing Ed Sheerin and Co, All the best

    2. Glad to hear the London show was packed . As you say some previously unheard tracks which was great. Sad but we have to accept this is a farewell tour and that’s it. The complete antidote to the radio playing Ed Sheerin and Co, All the best

  21. Hi, great night again in Colchester. Sad it the last annual visit. Thanks to all present & past band members for the joy of the music you have given us all. Also thanks for meeting us , chatting (& signing scooter, odd request I know) good luck to all you decide to do next x

  22. A brilliant show in Colchester to wrap up their last ever tour. Despite John and Max suffering from some terrible tour bugs the band put on another dazzling show. Looking forward to new projects by Drumbo and the Android Trio (Andy, Max and Eric ). Thank you so much for giving me so much musical pleasure and entertainment over the last decade. Will come to Europe if the tour happens!

    1. was gutted that I cudnt make the last show.

      and I agree with you – if they make it to Europe i’ll do me best to be there too.

      suggest the Melkweg in Amsterdam :-)

  23. No! I want to see some Irish shows! Please come to Ireland in the new year before this wonderful music is put to bed!

  24. I’m aware this is a far-fetched (and probably late) “request”, but ANY CHANCE AT ALL to come to Buenos Aires, Argentina?

  25. So, Spring 2018 arrived today!
    Any news about the European Tour?

    1. Author

      Sorry, it doesn’t look like there is going to be one.

  26. Saddened the final Liverpool Phil show was sold out so I booked a ticket for Wolverhamptons’ Robin 2 – two minutes walk from home. Then the Phil sold me a couple of late tickets for my brother and me, Yey! So saw both shows, chatted to Eric on stage, nattered with Gary Lucas who was there too. Three days later even caught the band arriving at the Robins’ stage door, chatted to John, did the selfie and saw him later on stage. How cool is that? My mantra worked. Thank you guys. Unforgettable.

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