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Most of this blog is related in some way to the music, books and films produced by Gonzo Multimedia, but the editor has a grasshopper mind and so also writes about all sorts of cultural issues which interest him, and which he hopes will interest you as well.

Thursday, 12 November 2015

THE MAGIC BAND to Return to Norwich

THE MAGIC BAND to Return to Norwich

Psychedelic blues legends The Magic Band blow into Norwich Arts Centre on 13 Nov playing the kosmic blues they made (in)famous with the incomparable Captain Beefheart. Led by the considerable vocal, harmonica, sax and drum chops of Beefheart's original arranger/drummer/musical director John 'Drumbo' French (he almost sounds more like the good Captain with his Howlin' Wolf influenced growl than Don Van Vliet did) and still featuring the incomparable Mark 'Rockette Morton' Boston. The band cooked up a storm during their last visit 2 years ago. A rare opportunity to see one of the most legendary and influential bands in the history of blues and rock - they're gonna booglarize you baby!'

The reunited Magic Band first appeared to unanimous critical and audience acclaim at the influential All Tomorrows Parties festival in 2003 and have sporadically regrouped since then to celebrate and reinvigorate the music of Captain Beefheart and The Magic Band.

Like the Velvet Underground, The Magic Band's influence was always far greater than their sales. They cross pollinated Coltrane with Howling Wolf, they mashed a dark humour with a childlike glee, they mangled riffs, they turned music on its head and they made records that sounded fantastically catchy and so stuffed full of genius that they are still the bench mark for all that's weird and wonderful.

John Peel described their album Trout Mask Replica as the closest popular music got to fine art and Simpson's creator Matt Groening called it the greatest album ever made. Subsequent albums like the (relatively) more commercial Clear Spot, Doc at the Radar Station and Ice Cream for Crow established their totally unique blend of delta blues crossed with avant-garde jazz as a deviant, influential force of nature.


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