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Magic Bus

Canterbury Scene

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Magic Bus Magic Bus album cover
3.91 | 60 ratings | 5 reviews | 25% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2010

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. City of Sand (7:26)
2. Magic Bus (4:51)
3. Gods of the Mountain (7:08)
4. Tucan Pyramid (5:17)
5. Holy Road (5:00)
6. Milky Way (7:06)
7. Back to the Garden (10:54) :
- a) Back to the Garden (7:52)
- b) (silence) (2:18)
- c) untitled (0:44)

Total Time 47:42

Line-up / Musicians

- Paul Evans / vocals, rhythm guitar, tambourine, finger cymbals
- Terence Waldstradt / lead & rhythm guitars, ukulele, backing vocals
- Jay Darlington / keyboards, piano, autoharp
- Rowan Day / flute, penny whistle, backing vocals
- Benny Brooke / bass, backing vocals
- Dan Truen / drums, tabla, bells

- Richard Digby Smith / tambourine (2)

Releases information

Artwork: Paul Evans

CD Self-released (2010, UK)

Thanks to historian9 for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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MAGIC BUS Magic Bus ratings distribution

(60 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(25%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(48%)
Good, but non-essential (23%)
Collectors/fans only (3%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

MAGIC BUS Magic Bus reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Warthur
5 stars Magic Bus' debut album is an absolutely delightful excursion into mildly Canterbury-flavoured hippie prog. Take Caravan at around the time of In the Land of Grey and Pink and imagine where they would have gone if, instead of taking their sound in a jazzier direction as on Waterloo Lily, they had instead looked back to their psychedelic roots and injected the fairytale tone of Grey and Pink with a bit of West Coast sunshine and maybe a slice of early Steve Hillage; the place you end up may well be along the Magic Bus's route.

This debut album is a charming excursion into a realm of warm, comfy, psychedelic Canterbury-flavoured prog whose benign nature conceals some really neat instrumental chops. It's fantastic to hear some new musicians taking up the baton of this side of prog, and I can only hope there are many more stops for the Magic Bus along its journey.

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars I had to track this one down after really enjoying their sophomore release "Transmission From Sogmore's Garden" and while I feel this is a step down from that one I still highly recommend this their self-titled debut. Love the cover art on this album by the way. Like the second album I thought of Canterbury with that distorted organ along with GONG and VIOLETA DE OUTONO.

"City Of Sand" opens with spacey atmosphere before a slow but catchy rhythm kicks in then the guitar starts to play over top before it kicks into a full sound with organ. Nice bass before 1 1/2 minutes then the song changes completely after 2 1/2 minutes as we get a calm with vocals and strummed guitar. It does build some with bass and drums but it's still laid back. I like his voice. Back to that catchy rhythm before 5 1/2 minutes then the vocals return.

"Magic Bus" is a song the kept getting stuck in my head this past week. We hear the sounds inside a bus before we get these CSNY-like vocals and harmonies that take over. Love the distorted organ, very Canterbury-like. What a feel good song this is when the vocals arrive along with the harmonies on the chorus. More distorted organ after 3 minutes followed by flute then guitar to the end.

"Gods Of The Mountain" is such a relaxed tune with almost spoken vocals to begin with. A slow beat, bass, keys and guitar in this slow moving start. It picks up after 2 minutes but then settles back with flute as the vocals step aside. It sounds like mellotron before 4 minutes followed by those almost spoken vocals. It picks up with flute then the guitar takes over. It becomes more passionate as well.

"Tucan Pyramid" opens with harp. Did I just say harp? Also relaxed vocals as harmonies and organ follow. It picks up 2 minutes in followed by distorted organ. It picks up even more then the guitar leads followed by organ as they continue to trade off. "Holy Road" is live and it does sound different as the sound quality isn't as good but it's fine. A folky tune with vocals and guitar leading the way.

"Milky Way" opens with nature sounds as this guitar melody arrives and rises in sound. GONG comes to mind with this song. Soon bass, flute and more join in but it's still mellow. It kicks into a fuller sound before 1 1/2 minutes. That guitar led melody from earlier is back and the vocals return as well. So good! Love the bass here too along with the flute. The tempo speeds up quite a bit surprisingly 5 1/2 minutes in but again check out the bass.

"Back To The Garden" is my favourite but the rest are all fairly consistent and well done so no top three this time. Birds can be heard in the intro as relaxed vocals and harp join in. Vocal melodies and organ follow then it kicks into gear before 2 minutes. Man this is amazing! Nice guitar 2 1/2 minutes in as the vocals step aside. Check out the bass 3 minutes in as the vocals return. Oh my! A nice instrumental section follows with organ before 4 1/2 minutes. A calm with vocals a minute later then it kicks back in again without vocals this time. Great tune!

Another solid album by these Brits and having heard they just released a new one, well I obviously need to track it down and get back on that hippy bus.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 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, Paul 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, "City of Sand" (7:26) (/15)

2. "Magic Bus" (4:51) (8.75/10)

3. "Gods of the Mountain" (7:06) with an awesome GRATEFUL DEAD/SANTANA/STEVEN STILLS-like extended guitar solo to close out the final two minutes. (13.25/15)

4. "Tucan Pyramid" (5:17) BEATLES and CARAVAN immediately come to mind here--mandolin, vocals, Throw in a little late 60s ROD ARGENT-like blues-psychedelia ("I'm a Man" organ) and Paul Kantner guitar and you have the makings of a classic duelling instrumental jam in the second half. (8.75/10)

5. "Holy Road" (4:58) flutes and gently picked multiple acoustic guitars, swooning multi-voiced harmonized vocals, and you have another 1960s classic. Could be THE BEATLES ("Blackbird"), INCREDIBLE STRING BAND, or the STARLAND VOCAL BAND. Gorgeous. (9/10)

6. "Milky Way" (7:06) is very much a piece that ably strings together a collage of happy-go-lucky hippy folk themes from the late 1960s and early 70s. God, this makes me nostalgic! Blasts into an electric rant of JETHRO TULL's "Living in the Past" in the second minute before coming back to centre. Then it moves off into another, more rocking tangent, before returning for some hippy psych vocals. Finishes with some JC Superstar-like themes. (8.75/10)

7. "Back to the Garden" (10:53) (/20)

Latest members reviews

3 stars Yeah, Magic Bus is a more psychedelic Caravan. The singer actually sounds a lot like early Richard Sinclair which is odd as Paul Evans (Magic Bus singer) has a unique voice which you hear on the follow up albums. Anyways the music is a mix of longer tracks and shorter songs, all of which place g ... (read more)

Report this review (#2578415) | Posted by Beautiful Scarlet | Monday, July 12, 2021 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I first came across one of their songs, the dream-like 'Gods Of The Mountain' while I was on this very site. As soon as it was done, I looked up the song, the album and the band, disappointed that so few know about them! The songs on this album move silkily after one another, and for a debut, the ... (read more)

Report this review (#1515941) | Posted by NickArvas | Wednesday, January 20, 2016 | Review Permanlink

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