BOOKS FULL OF WORDS UNDERLINED
Feature: Virgin Mega - Minibar Won't Suffer Fools
By Kim Taylor
Minibar is one of those British groups that came to Los Angeles to chase the rock 'n' roll dream with integrity and talent intact. All lead singer Simon Petty, drummer Malcolm Cross, bassist Sid Jordan and guitarist Tim Walker wanted was to play as many gigs as possible, make an amalgamation of music with their idea of good rock, pop and folk, whilst living the good life to their heart's content. Soon the band, that formed in London in the mid-'90s, landed the shiny, happy major label record deal and made an admirable debut album produced by T-Bone Burnett, Road Movies (2001) ... and then, well, it's the same story you hear over and over again about really talented bands that get taken for a ride by a force bigger than all of us.
After suffering far too many set backs and lies, two years later, Minibar has prevailed with their dream intact. The major label tricksters are far behind them and, with the support of some very real folks like Pete Yorn, The Wallflowers and Lucinda Williams, the band has made an album even they didn't know was possible. Released on indie label Foodchain Records, Fly Below The Radar, is a gorgeous calling card about taking a really ugly experience and breaking on through to the other side of a world full of emotion. There is a peacefulness found in the 11 tracks of Fly Below The Radar where defenseless songs are marked by three-part harmonies and peddle steel that offset Petty's amber voice and blue moods. At times they even sound like a stripped down Allman Brothers.
See why Pete Yorn calls Minibar, "One of the greatest band's I've ever heard" while they tour with Yorn on the following dates:
Oct 14, Nashville, TN, Ryman Auditorium
Oct 15, Memphis, TN, New Daisy Theatre
Oct 16, Kansas City, MO, Beaumont Theatre
Oct 17, St. Louis, MO, The Pageant
Oct 21, Cincinnati, OH, Bogart's
Oct 22, Louisville, KY, Jillian's
Oct 24, Grand Rapids, MI, Intersection
Oct 26, Bethlehem, PA, Lehigh Baker Hall
Oct 27, Pittsburgh, PA, Metropol
Oct 28, Syracuse, NY, Goldstein Auditorium
Oct 30, New York, NY, TBA (solo gig)
From Virgin Mega
Originally published September 17, 2003
©2000-2003, Virgin Entertainment Group, Inc.