Friday, 5 September 2014


A Perfectly executed landing!

This night was a very special if what somewhat sad occasion, an evening of mixed emotions as it was Gareth Benyon's last gig as part of Minor Pilot.

There comes a time in  most people’s lives when they have to make one of those big, life changing, decisions, Gareth has decided to resume his medical training and one day may be poking around inside someone rather than caressing the strings of his guitar, if the former is in anyway going to be influenced by the latter then mankind (Or certainly any of his potential future patients) will have nothing to worry about!

Anyway, more of the mighty Minor Pilot later, the evening was kicked off by Tibetan Sky, now anyone who knows, or knows of the band will probably have wondered, “How on earth are Tibetan Sky going to go down at the Red Lion?”, let’s face it, Tibetan Sky are different, very different, any band playing melodic, complex rock music with a Tibetan singer who sings not only in his native tongue but also in the traditional Tibetan style is going to be different!
The strange thing is that it works, it may take a bit of getting used to but it works, it was interesting watching people pile in from outside to listen to the band when they started, stay for a song or two, wander back outside (It was a rather lovely warm evening and you can hear the music quite clearly outside anyway) and then wander back in and stay until they had completed their set with an absolutely storming final number which saw Ollie on drums (Perhaps better known as the stick-man from The October Game) really going for it! Complex, strange, but somehow completely entrancing.

Tibetan Sky

A little later than planned and with the available time cut from the hour set they were to play to a more or less 45 minute slot Minor Pilot took to the stage and from start to finish delivered a totally consummate set.

The mighty Minor Pilot in full flow
Having built up their reputation as one of the finest instrumental rock bands around there have always been the odd vocal input from Danny but in the past it has been more by way of using his voice as an additional instrument but over recent months more and more ‘real’ vocals have been added and as Danny actually has a fine singing voice that’s no bad thing and it complements his soaring guitar work so well.

All the while Nick lays down a solid bass line as a firm foundation for the exquisite soundscapes that Minor Pilot create so well while Rupert’s drumming has to be seen and heard to be believed.

I (& many of my friends) rate Rupert Boddington as one of the finest technical drummers we’ve ever seen, he has this ability to lay down rich multi-layered incredibly complex beats and make it look easy to boot! In a small venue like the Red Lion actually being up close and watching Rupert drum was a somewhat magical and  hypnotic experience.

Tonight was a chance for Gazz to soar and my oh my did he and some! Beautifully crafted riffs and notes seemed to fly off his guitar and fill the air with melody and those lovely 'twiddly bits' he does, a fine and fitting farewell, you could say, and I’m saying it, this final performance of the current incarnation, Minor Pilot executed a perfect landing.

Gareth 'Gazz' Benyon
Talking to the band they have a replacement guitarist lined up although not yet for ‘general release’ all I can say is that his pedigree is excellent beyond doubt and he will certainly be bringing something different and interesting to the party, it looks like the new Minor Pilot will very soon be cleared for take off and I for one can’t wait, but for now, adieu Gazz and thanks for all the great music.

Watch this space:-

Grant - Sept 2014.

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