On that first gig of the tour, there was but one Amazing Pilot in evidence, though Paul was joined onstage by Steve towards the end of his set. This was the first of several collaborations, each done in a wonderfully laid-back way. The audience seemed a little surprised whenever another of the guys ambled out with his guitar, no warning or build-up save perhaps a cursory "Is Steve there?" It added to the relaxed atmosphere of the whole evening. All three musicians were so completely at home onstage, playing their songs, doing what they love.
I must admit that I didn't sit still to properly listen to Paul's set. My reason was that this was a venue at which I hadn't photographed before, and I was concerned to make sure I got some half-decent shots. Unfortunately, that meant spending much of Paul's set trying various angles. It's annoying, as I really liked his voice and the songs, played on acoustic guitar and harmonica, sometimes backed by a subtle beatbox. I understand that later in the tour Phil joined up and the brothers played at least some of their set with their full band. But I really liked the stripped-down presentation, as it fitted the evening's general spaciousness. (On the Listen page, you'll find audio clips from The Amazing Pilots' debut album, Hello My Captor, plus clips from many of the other artists mentioned in this article.)
For the last song of Paul's set, Steve wandered out and explained that they'd all been learning each other's songs, which was continuing to be a joyous experience. He and Paul duetted an Amazing Pilots song. Steve was then left with the stage to himself... continue