By the time the German TV show Beat Club was winding down in 1972, the beat in question had been all but supplanted by altogether edgier rhythms. Among the unlikeliest luminaries to grace the show’s soundstage were Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band.
The Lost Broadcasts presents everything the Captain and crew performed on that epochal day, in pin-sharp focus and startling fidelity. Frustratingly, this makes for a DVD that’s barely half an hour long: once you’ve had two takes of Click Clack and three of I’m Gonna Booglarize You Baby, all that remains is Golden Birdies, an instrumental reading of Steal Softly Thru Snow and Rockette Morton’s unfeasibly violent introductory bass solo.
But what there is of this music nears a strange perfection. The riveting spectacle of this most magic of bands in constant, snakey, criss-cross motion – driven lopsidedly by monocled drummer Ed Marimba, deploying a pair of paisley Y-fronts as a bandana – is more than matched by the dirty locomotion they generate as an ensemble. Top everything off with the rogueish Captain executing his finest bull-moose field holler, and you remember just why they were in a different league to every other band in the known universe.