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The Magic Band Storms Glastonbury as Part of Massive UK/European Tour

The Magic Band (Gary, John French, Denny Walley, Mark Boston, and auxilliary drummer Michael Traylor) just returned from a spectacular European tour that began with a bang with a packed show at Amsterdam's famed Paradiso on June 22nd (Gary's favorite venue—this marked his 17th appearance there) and finished at an outdoor festival in an old stone castle in Belgrade, Serbia on July 8th. In between The Magic Band absolutely slew audiences in Brighton, Bristol, London, Liverpool, Manchester, Exeter, Glasgow, Leeds, and Nottingham. But the jewel in the crown had to be England's legendary Glastonbury Festival, the Brit equivalent of Woodstock, but even bigger. The Magic Band was blessed with sunny weather, playing at 4pm on the opening festival day of Friday June 25th, on the Jazz/World Stage, and from the opening notes of "Diddy Wah Diddy" a huge crowd gathered before them. Check this live review from Q Magazine's special Glastonbury issue:

live review from the Q Glastonbury Review:

The Magic Band
Jazz/World Stage

"The sun can burn you, not as bad as people do." Not this afternoon: Captain Beefheart's men dress for the occasion in Hawaiian shirts and a selection of millinery that would shame Stumpy's Hats, Lingerie and Assorted Haberdashery Stall. Grizzled and bearded as if they have been wandering Avalon for decades, these are the coolest bluesmen ever to regret not being born Blind Willie but christened Fishmonkey Drizzlewheel. Gary Mantis Lucas mistreats his Telecaster, Drumbo strains his vocals, the blooz are deconstructed and the burning idiot dancers go wild for Alice in Blunderland, Electricity and Diddy Wah Diddy.

In attendance at Glastonbury was famous UK DJ John Peel, the man who singlehandedly introduced Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band's music to UK audiences by repeated plays in the late 60's on his famous radio show. He repeated this favor 25 years after the fact by inviting the Magic Band into the BBC Maida Vale studios on July 7th to tape a live session for his programme before a passel of friends and fans, including Beefheart biographer Mike Barnes, and forthcoming Magic Band live DVD producer/director Elaine Sheperd (also responsible for the seminal documentary The Artist Formerly Known as Captain Beefheart).

The tour ended with a lightning fast visit to Belgrade where the Magic Band performed in a stone amphitheatre adjacent to a crumbling old castle before delighted Eastern bloc fans, some of whom had traveled from Budapest and Prague to catch this rare one-off appearance. Throughout the tour, the Magic Band encountered rabid fans who came to multiple shows, some of whom criss-crossed the British Isles along with the band to catch these appearances and some of whom traveled from the continental Europe in order to make the scene.