When I saw that the reincarnation of one of my favourite bands, Gong, were playing in nearby Totnes during March and on my birthday, I took this as a message, purchased tickets and went with a friend. The new ‘Gong’ are a tight band who carry the legacy material very well and will no doubt continue the Planet Gong project for younger people. But they left me a little disappointed in that there were no keyboards/synthesizers to be heard and they present the rock face of Gong rather than the ethereal material that I particularly enjoy.
Instead, the high point of my evening was the performance of the main support act, ‘Magic Bus’, a local (Totnes) band described by Shindig as ‘West Country heads’. They are evidently accomplished musicians and their use of flute, keyboards and vocals are more reminiscent of Gong than the band who inherited that name. But there were also shades of Keith Emerson, Steve Howe, Roger Waters, Caravan and much more that took me back to the time when progressive music was at its peak.
I therefore resolved to find out more about the band and with their name being particularly memorable for me, I easily found and followed them in Facebook. Thus, I learned of their new album, “Phillip the Egg” and found this taster video posted in Shindig magazine –