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Magic Bus

Canterbury Scene

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Magic Bus Transmission from Sogmore's Garden album cover
3.81 | 76 ratings | 5 reviews | 24% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2014

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Sunflower (3:52)
2. Ballad of Lord Sogmore (5:16)
3. Cosmic Rays of Dawn (3:49)
4. Three Days (7:33)
5. Jupiter 3AM (8:36) :
- a) Round Table
- b) Secret Ship
- c) The Rings of Tananda
- d) New World
6. Seven Wonders (5:34)
7. Morning Mantra (6:58)
8. Earthpod (4:46)

Total Time 46:24

Line-up / Musicians

- Paul Evans / vocals, guitar
- Terence Waldstradt / lead guitar, backing vocals
- Jay Darlington / keyboards, backing vocals
- Vivien Goodwin-Darke / flute, recorder, backing vocals
- Benny Brooke / bass, backing vocals
- Matt Butlin / drums & percussion

Releases information

Artwork: Paul Evans

CD Self-released (2014, UK)

Thanks to historian9 for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy MAGIC BUS Transmission from Sogmore's Garden Music

MAGIC BUS Transmission from Sogmore's Garden ratings distribution

(76 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(24%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(40%)
Good, but non-essential (27%)
Collectors/fans only (7%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

MAGIC BUS Transmission from Sogmore's Garden reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Heavy Prog & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars Canterbury is back! Wonderful, wonderful fare from Devon's Paul Evans and friends. Nobody but nobody has so well captured the CARAVAN 1970-72 sound so well! And yet the songs are each pure and original (with a few borrowed riffs here and there). Excellent musical composition. Wonderfully quirky, hippyish lyrics and happy-go- lucky singing with outstanding contributions from guitars and flutes. Hailing from "transition town" Totnes, Devonshire, UK, Tim has gathered around him a dedicated crew of accomplished musicians who all have one thing in common: they feel that the spirit of the late 1960s and early 1970s--especially the musical spirit of the San Francisco psychedelic rock scene and the Canterbury spirit of SOFT MACHINE and CARAVAN--is still alive and that they are merely expressing themselves in that same spirit.

The album opens with the innocuous little celebration of Nature and the joyous gift Life, "Sunflower" (3:51). It is very much a piece straight our of the hippy folk scene of the 1967 "Summer of Love." (9/10)

2. "Ballad of Lord Sogmore" (5:15) starts out sounding like it came straight off of the 1972 KHAN album, Space Shanty. The acoustic guitar strumming, electric guitar sound and riffs, and Jay DARLINGTON (formerly of KULA SHAKER and OASIS)'s vintage keyboard work make it a dead ringer for Canterbury Scene music. Even Paul EVANS' voice is quite similar to that of Steve HILLAGE (though it is also quite similar to that of Mont CAMPBELL). Then there is the Indian interlude, to seal the deal, before we kick back into KHAN-mode for awesome organ and electric guitar soli. (9/10)

3. "Cosmic Rays of Dawn" (3:47) opens with a gentle Canterburian soft jazz feel with arpeggiated organ chords and single note electric guitar accents before Evans' Robert WYATT-like voice sings a WYATT-like lyric in that emotionally vulnerable Robert WYATT way. At 2:36 an up-tempo, jazzy instrumental section with its trilling flute play ensues to the song's end. (10/10)

4. "Three Days" (7:32) opens quietly before a "Golf Girl" kind of groove establishes itself and the band and the flute play on about the sun, sunshine and nature. At 2:15 a muted voice sings over a bit of a tired-sounding carnival sound. Then, after a little jazzy bridge, by 2:55 we're back to the perky walk-through-the-park song established after the pastoral opening. At 4:10 we shift into a more somber, slowed down instrumental section that preludes a kind of FOCUS "Tommy" section. Very cool! Great groove and awesome guitar play and sound! Flute takes over the soloing around 6:10--for quite a stretch--before that old friend the Canterbury "buzz saw" organ takes a turn. The band in the background is having some fun with it's syncopated up-tempo, and then it's over! (10/10)

5. "Jupiter 3 AM" (8:37) opens with some very spacey synth washes fly around before Paul starts singing with his slowly-paced and well-spaced acoustic guitar strums. Then the full band joins in and the song slowly builds into a foundation for some jazz noodling--which then rather abruptly dissipates into more of an instrumental 'tude. Then the music shifts into a chord and melody sequence that is quite reminiscent of that of NENA's "99 Luftballons" for about 20 seconds before bridging back to a minor key version of the opening music. At 4:55 a slow-bouncing organ and flute prep us for a full decibel breakout into a hard-rock variation on that NENA chord sequence. This then evolves into a swirling, speeding crescendo before some heavy chords are struck in syncopation before letting the music re-establish that happy-go-lucky NENA theme as it was in the fourth minute. Electric guitar and flute get the most solo exposure as the song plays out the final 75 seconds like this. Nice jazz excursion! I just love Jay DARLINGTON's mastery of the Canterbury organ sounds. (9/10)

6. "Seven Wonders" (5:33) opens like an early PINK FLOYD song before Paul EVANS' gentle vocal enters singing in a sensitive Robert WYATT/Steve WINWOOD/Peter GABRIEL way. Love the interplay of the recorder! Slow, plodding song--again, very much in the PINK FLOYD vein continues until 2:55 when a CSN&Y/AMERICA- like harmonized "la-la-la, la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la" bridges us to a heavier CARAVAN-like instrumental section--which just as elusively fades into a flute with guitar strum part before giving way to the real meat of the song: a full out Mike RATLEDGE-like "buzz saw"organ solo! This song has more trouble establishing itself--establishing a flow and identity, but it is still a brilliant reflection of all-things Canterburian. (8/10)

7. "Morning Mantra" (6:55) returns us to that happy-go-lucky CARAVAN music In the Land of Grey and Pink era, with a vocal very much in the style of the great RICHARD SINCLAIR. Flute solo fills most of the third minute before the vocal returns over a delicate arpeggiated descending chord progression. "I love my life" is the dominant lyric in this lazy song expressing one's slow morning love and appreciation for life and all it has to offer. Nice flute and electric guitar interplay in the fourth and fifth minute instrumental sections. "Love, love, love, love," seems to be the message here. You dig? (9/10)

8. "Earthpod" (4:44) the album's final song opens with fade in Mellotron giving way to a gently strummed guitar to support Paul's vocal about this tiny little planet we live on in a kind of lament for the passing of time (which one cannot help but wonder if his intention is with regards to the listening to this album or since the idyllic days of the 60s?). Organ support and the end of the first verse result in the entrance of the full band and the establishment of a more KHAN/STEVE HILLAGE song sound and melody (like "Hollow Stone"). Beautiful! Return to singing the second verse--this time with full band in subtle support (Mellotron, high-frequency flanged electric guitar, drums and gorgeous b vox!) Jay's Mellotron is actually given a solo in the fourth minute! The album closes with harmonized "Ahh"s and emotional flute solo. Gorgeous! (10/10)

A 4.5 star album, this album is so upbeat and refreshing--and polished!--that I couldn't see giving it anything less than five stars. Truly a resuscitation of much that was once wonderful in the Land of Canterbury! One of my favorites from 2014!

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars I feel lately that i'm always one step behind BrufordFreak when it comes to reviews of releases from the last couple of years, and i've also become aware of new bands because of his reviews as in the case of this group MAGIC BUS. These guys are from the UK and are listed here under Canterbury. The band they most remind me of is SMELL OF INCENSE, in fact i'd put them under Psychedelic/ Folk if we had that as a sub-genre. I do get the Canterbury tag, especially with the distorted organ that brings CARAVAN and other like bands quickly to mind but this is Hippy music all the way. My youngest daughter who i'm so proud of is a Hippy and she would completely agree with the lyrics here. If you don't agree with the lyrics you might find them a little corny but I like them. VIOLETO DI OUTONO also came to mind with the floating organ here and also GONG at times.

"Sunflower" is just too happy with plenty of floating organ as the Hippies sing about the sunflower sitting outside their window. We get a flute solo half way through and check out that distorted organ before 3 minutes, so good! That's followed by a guitar solo as the organ floats. "Ballad Of Lord Sogmore" does sound like KHAN as BrufordFreak mentions. Some nice organ, flute and guitar early on. A change after 1 1/2 minutes as these Grabriel-like vocals with strummed guitar and flute take over. Man this is so uplifting as the organ floats along. An Eastern vibe arrives after 2 1/2 minutes with some relaxed flute then back to that earlier full sound before 4 minutes. I like the guitar solo as well.

"Cosmic Rays Of Dawn" has some very psychedelic lyrics and intricate sounds. Every time the vocals stop the flute takes over. There's even a Celtic flavour before 2 1/2 minutes then it picks up. Great sound. "Three Days" opens with floating organ before it picks up with vocals. Steve Hillage comes to mind here. This is one of my favs and it's quite catchy with some nice flute. A change after 2 minutes with processed vocals then back to that earlier sound. Another change after 4 minutes as melancholic flute with piano lead the way before it kicks back in. The uplifting guitar after 5 minutes is a treat then we get flute and a jazzy vibe a minute later. Ahhh there's that distorted organ again before 7 minutes.

"Jupiter 3AM" is another favourite of mine and it has this spacey intro that gives way to reserved vocals, strummed guitar and flute. Organ too and then electric piano(nice) joins in with some intricate guitar as a beat arrives with bass. The melancholic flute before 3 minutes reminds me of SINKADUS. The mood then suddenly brightens, so uplifting. The melancholic flute is back as these contrasts continue. Great track! "Seven Wonders" is spacey with some harp before it settles in with vocals, a slow beat and more. Some cool vocal harmonies 3 minutes in and the distorted organ after 4 1/2 minutes is so CARAVAN-like.

"Morning Mantra" opens with a very BEATLES-like "love, love, love, love..." vocal part before the vocals start to sing the lyrics that are just so happy, especially the chorus. I can just see my daughter and fellow Hippies saying these words in the morning before they start the day. Lots of flute in this one and the drums and bass standout more than usual after 2 minutes. Themes are repeated. "Earthpod" has an impressive mellotron intro before strummed guitar takes over and reserved vocals also join in. Pleasant flute comes in after the vocals stop in this laid back number.

Probably closer to 4.5 stars and it's so cool to hear a modern band play in this late sixties to early seventies style.

Review by Warthur
4 stars On their second album, Magic Bus continue their style of psychedelic-oriented, Canterbury-influenced music, once again producing material reminiscent of the angle that Land of Grey and Pink-era Caravan or Khan produced in the early 1970s. This time around, a bit more West Coast hippy folk rock influence is brought into the mix, with the album opener Sunflower in particular being rooted in that style, which makes this a bit more a mixed bag of an album. This isn't quite the amazing eye-opener that the band's debut was, but it's an interesting consolidation on the foundations laid there and I remain interested in seeing where the Magic Bus takes us next.

Latest members reviews

3 stars Get ready for a glass of sunshine, peace, love and good vibes~ So I'm just going to get this out of the way I hate the lyrics of Magic Bus and their singer has their own style of singing which unfortunately I despise as they sound like one singing while regurgitating ice cream. Additionally, th ... (read more)

Report this review (#2590942) | Posted by Beautiful Scarlet | Tuesday, August 31, 2021 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I stumbled upon this release by sheer accident (a review on the home page) and it's one of those rare occasions, when an album grabbed me from the get-go. I cannot stress this enough: this is a record that no fan of Caravan Mk1 can afford to miss. Now, I love my Caravan, however, I've always regr ... (read more)

Report this review (#1491224) | Posted by Hailemon | Monday, November 23, 2015 | Review Permanlink

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