Crud Fanzines PLC present...
(review by Jared)
Fast and Bulbous - The Magic Band way
Support was laid on by a young lads band - Iconoclast. I suppose them being a Liverpool band accounted for them sounding mostly like a band from Liverpool...
They did have an eerie kind of 80ıs dark yet melodic sound though; with traces of Echo & Bunnymen, funked up Laıs, The Teardrop Explodes, a bit of Joy Division even - they held court very well and they werenıt too much to endure (even though the excitement of seeing The Magic Band was knotting me up inside!!!
I donıt know how a band like The Magic Band should come on stage but each of them just walked on, started checking their equipment, nodding, checking the audience and waited for Drumbo (who apologised for being late). Drumbo did the quickest sound check ever with the multitude of sound-making ephemera present before him (mics, harmonicas, clanking-twisty whisk in a can type thing etc) and they launched straight into Diddy Wah Diddy.
The audience participated well - and The Band held their own! To say they were an eager audience is an understatement - we knew what we came to hear, and boy were we gonna hear it! Rapturous applause was given in return for absolutely fantastic renditions of: Circumstances, Sun Zoom Spark, Alice In Blunderland, Mirror Man, Abba Zabba, Floppy Boot Stomp, Click Clack and When it Blows it Stacks to name a few highlights. Like a Best Of Live LP, they hammered home their developedı angular surrealist blues numbers, with tight, snappy guitar playing from Denny Feelers Reeboı Walley and Gary Mantisı Lucas - the effect was incredible. Big olı Rockette Morton thumped out complicated and thrumbling bass lines and Michael Traylor sat in on drums when Brumbo took front of stage for bawling moody vocals, cracking harmonica and general atmospheric madness!
There was no ³Should they have played without the Captain? What will they sound like? Is it the real thing?² vibe at all that night - it was purely about hearing and seeing the songs that previously one could only wonder how on earth do they play that???ı being performed live. And judging by the faces not one person there was dissappointed.
A strange feeling did overcome me when the band launched into Eeeeeeeelectriiiiiiiiciiiiiiityyyyyyyyy - I wasnıt quite sure wether to laugh or cry; something really struck home and the rest of the audience must have felt it's power and responded. What a mind-blowing performance, what a track - worth the entrance fee alone. And when they played Moonlight on Vermont the crowd went wild (er)... Iıd never seen so many people headbanging to songs written 30 years ago, it was fantastic; Pure Magic! The final song was of course (well guessed) Big Eyed Beans From Venus - what a cracking finish to a stompingly sweatily good night.
Someone should have pointed out to the band however that when a Liverpudlian shouts ³Fuck Off², he is merely expressing his excitement and amazement at the quality of the musicianship before him, and not asking them to leave. And it was one of those nights, you just couldnıt believe what you were getting. I hope they continue to tour their tortured and surreally poetic brand of the blues, and spread the word to those of us who never saw Befheart or even Zappa. This is still the real thing people!
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