Living Show

Baz Francis discusses his musical ventures

Hailing from the southern counties of England, Baz Francis began his musical ventures in the late ’90s as the frontman for the band Mansion Harlots. After that group disbanded, Francis spent the ensuing years performing mostly as a solo artist until he formed his next band, Magic Eight Ball. Magic Eight Ball then released several EPs and singles throughout their early years whilst touring constantly, and in 2011 Baz Francis formed the record label Magic Cat Records. In 2013, the band released their début album ‘Sorry We’re Late But We’re Worth The Wait’ featuring guest appearances from Jason Bowld (Bullet for My Valentine) and Donnie Vie through Magic Cat Records, followed by an accompanying European Tour. They then released their second album ‘Last Of The Old Romantics’ in 2014 featuring the late comedy legend that was Rik Mayall (The Young Ones/Drop Dead Fred/Bottom) on the record, and they once again toured the album across the continent.

Baz Francis first recorded as a solo artist when working with Donnie Vie on his 2014 live CD/DVD ‘Goodbye’ (released on Cargo Records UK), Vie’s ‘The White Album’ on that label too, the ‘The Best of Donnie Vie’ compilation, the pair’s ‘V8 Live In Europe 2015’ EP (on Magic Cat Records Limited), and the V8 single ‘Mrs. Vandevelde’ (on Dharma Bucks Records). Francis accompanied Vie on tour once more, this time on The White Album Tour of Europe in 2015 (followed by a string of solo dates for Baz in the USA again), and Magic Eight Ball then returned to the studio to record their 3rd album with Dave Draper. Magic Eight Ball’s ‘Richest Men In The Graveyard’ LP was released on 2nd May 2016 prior to another European Tour for Baz and the band, which then got expanded upon to include solo dates for Francis in South America too.

Following on from his first official release under just his own name (2016’s solo EP ‘Live at Molly Malone’s / Los Angeles 2015’), Baz Francis released his first solo studio album ‘Face That Launched A Thousand Shipwrecks’ on 24th April 2017 through Magic Cat Records, accompanied by a new World Tour and live album recorded whilst on the road in Egypt, ‘Trainwrecks In The Desert / Giza 2017’. Baz Francis and bandmate Will Gray then reformed Mansion Harlots in 2017 and began work on a new album. European live dates from Mansion Harlots then followed in 2018, with a new line-up of Magic Eight Ball beginning performing in California at the end of the year and continuing into 2019. Mansion Harlots then released their critically-acclaimed album ‘All Around A Fairground’ through Magic Cat Records on 18th December 2019.

Along the road, Baz has also opened for acts such as Art Alexakis (Everclear), Robby Valentine and Those Pretty Wrongs (featuring Jody Stephens of Big Star), and Magic Eight Ball have done the same with artists including Blind Melon and Chuck Mosley (Faith No More).

You can catch Baz’s next live show on Saturday, February 29th at South Valley Library in Albuquerque.