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The Magic Band Triumphs in UK Reunion

The reconstituted Magic Band reunion, the brainchild of drummer/vocalist John French featuring Gary alongside Denny Walley on guitar, Mark "Rockette Morton" Boston on bass, and occasional drummer Robert Williams, utterly overwhelmed the 2 thousand plus crowd at the All Tomorrow's Parties Festival in Camber Sands Sussex on Sunday April 6th, winning multiple ovations from the pogo-ing crowd, and then repeated the same triumphal onslaught before another 2 thousand strong crowd at London's famed Shepherd's Bush Empire on Monday April 7th. You can read a review of this show from The Times UK by clicking here.

The All Tomorrow's Parties Sussex show was preceded by a highly laudatory piece in The Guardian by The Simpsons cartoonist Matt Groening, who declared Beefheart his favorite alltime music and wrote how his sitting in on the February Mojave Desert rehearsals and recording sessions for this reunion project literally brought tears of joy to his eyes. So the stage was set for this highly anticipated event featuring the reunion Magic Band in their live debut in the All Tomorrow's Parties Festival closing slot—and true to form, they heated the place up so much with their precision, incendiary playing that a fire alarm went off near the end of the show, necessitating an evacuation of the audience and the band from the building concert hall into the chilly night air outside. Happilly, once identified as a false alarm, the Magic Band returned as did the entire swarm of two thousand fans who basked in another half hour of Magic Band mania, including old Captain Beefheart favorites "Sure 'nuff 'n Yes I Do", "Click Clack", and "Sun Zoom Spark", all featuring stinging lead guitar courtesy of Gary's glass finger slide guitar work.

The next night the Magic Band outdid themselves at Sheperd's Bush Empire, winning over an even more massive, vocally demonstrative crowd that seemed to range from 16 to 65, and then partied hearty upstairs in the private bar area of SBE with old friends like Beefheart biographer Mike Barnes, and new ones, like the group Alabama Three (A3), who came to pay homage to the MB and whose theme song from "The Sopranos" hit tv show, "Woke Up This Morning", is one of Gary's fave alltime tracks.

With a tumultuous response like this, look for more Magic Band madness in future with the release of their new album "Back to the Front" on the ATP label in June, and their closing spot at the 3 thousand seat Palladium at All Tomorrow's Parties Festival on June 22nd in LA. More Magic Band shows are in the works here and abroad, including a spot at the NYC ATP Festival scheduled for September.