Weary Traveller if you happened here by mistake let it be your first step on a new journey of awesomeness. Come back once you've at least heard -
The Spotlight Kid/Clear Spot Safe as Milk
Then take a deep breath, relax and put on.
Trout Mask Replica
Then get this album. Then go see The Magic Band live - they tour regularly.
Captain Beefhart & his Magic Band offer a unique musical experience which, once you've opened your mind to, will stay with you forever. The Magic Band's reformation and regular touring gives new fans and old an opportunity to experience the exciting compositions live in ALL their glory. The band are superbly tight and considering the complexity of the compositions it is a jaw-dropper to see the guys play live. I had that pleasure for the first time recently and without doubt it's the best gig I've been to in years. This live album and the Oxford gig album offer different playlists and so if your are dissapointed that a particular track is not present here then get both! For anyone worried about the abscence of the late Captain; Drumbo steps in admirably mixing his own elements while sticking to Beefheart vocalisations for the most part. The sound quality both live and on the live albums is exceptional.
Definitely worth a place in the collection of any fan of Captain Beefheart & his Magic Band.
I'll be listening to this regularly waiting for them to tour again. (Please visit Lincoln again; 5* gig)
Dammit, close your eyes while listening and you are back in the late 60s/early 70s. An absolutely stonking live set from Under the Bridge in Chelsea, London, 16 March 2013. John [Drumbo] French IS the good captain, the band ARE the Magic Band. A swirling psychedelic mixture dipped in funky gumbo with killer vocals and riffs. The music is everything I loved about the original MB, discordant, weird, tight as a drum, fast and bulbous, you name it, it's there. The band are so tight they should be squeaking! OK, the band are: John French - vcls/hca/sax/gtr/drums, Mark [Rockette Morton] Boston - bass, Denny [Feelers Rebo] Walley - slide gtr/vcls, Eric Klerks - gtr/bs/vcls and Craig Bunch - drums. The songs, [details on the Amazon cd info.] are a mix from the band's early to mid-career and are played with maximum respect [and maximum weirdness] by these superb musicians. I can honestly say I have not enjoyed a new album as much as this one for a long, long time, singing away at home and in the car and playing air harp and slide. [try it!] One slight niggle, as my headline suggests, there are breaks between each song, and the album is just short of an hour so not the full concert. No Big Eyed Beans to be seen but the blurb on the cd promises a 'full length dvd in due course' Big thanks to Proper Records and all concerned for the time and effort that went into the making of this cd. Just off to listen to my fresh copy of The Magic Band live in Oxford, 2005 [review to follow]. Two Magic Band concerts in one week? Call the Doc [at the radar station!] . If you love the MB or indeed great music played with feeling then check out these albums.
This is a great album, I just wish I had seem them live on the 2013 tour. A good recording and a good selection of songs - newcomers to Captain Beefheart music should find plenty to enjoy. A high octane delivery from the band and superb gritty and powerful vocals from John French.
Good as this sounds, the Swedish Tribute band led by Morgan Agren(drums) and Jimmy Agren(guitar) featuring Freddie Wadling(vocals) Denny Walley(guitar) Rolf Hedqvist(bass) Mats Oberg( keyboards) is better still. Put together simply to accompany the Captain's Art Exhibition in the 1990's, the band are as tight as the best of the Magic Bands. For some reason the CD is not available any more. Musicianship/production is fantastic. The best magic bands were all about the insistent rhythms, as here. Tracks are 1.Grow Fins 2.Nowadays a woman's gotta hit a man 3.When it blows its stacks 4. Sun Zoom Spark 5.Tropical Hot Dog Night 6.Bat Chain Puller 7. Ice cream for Crow 8. China Pig 9. Lick My Decals Off Baby (on youtube) 10. Harry Irene( strangely good) 11. Big Eyed Beans from Venus. Come on Amazon, if you can make a new Ripper Street, get hold of this and press 5000 copies. Morgan Agren at this time was probably the best drummer on the planet and I think the great John French would have to agree.